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Resources for Specialists to Consider in 2021

Thursday, February 04 2021

Some MIPS-eligible specialists and specialty practices struggle to identify clinically relevant MIPS measures to report, including podiatrists, rheumatologists, surgeons, and pathologists. Even when applicable measures are identified, some electronic health record (EHR) vendors do not offer enough relevant measures to report, posing another challenge for specialists. With MIPS performance thresholds increasing in performance Year 2021 from 45 points in 2020 to 60 points in 2021, specialty practices may want to review the resources available to them to support their MIPS performance.

Take advantage of free assistance provided by your Technical Assistance (TA) Contractor

TA Contractors offer personalized, no-cost assistance to solo providers and small practices. TA Contractors produce resources for specialists, including specialty guides that outline relevant MIPS measures and activities for certain specialties. TA Contractors can also work with you directly to identify which MIPS measures you could consider reporting. If you are a specialist practicing in Indiana, contact the Indiana QPP Help Desk at 844-742-7771 or IndianaQPPHelp@purdue.edu. For other states, go here

Review the CMS Specialty Measure Sets

CMS posts dozens of specialty measure sets for specialists to report on the QPP webiste. While MIPS-eligible clinicians are required to report a minimum of six quality measures, specialists have the option of reporting a full specialty measure set, which can contain fewer than six measures. This option prevents specialists from being penalized for submitting less than six quality measures. To find your specialty measure set, click on the Explore Measures and Activities tool on the QPP website.

Check out the resources provided by your national specialty association

Many specialty associations offer free MIPS resources targeted to their members, including free or reduced cost Qualified Registries or Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs) that collect and report MIPS measure data. For example, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) offers the Intelligent Research in Sight (IRIS) registry for free to its members, which can help streamline MIPS reporting by offering additional measures and enabling practices to submit their MIPS data through the registry. As a bonus, registries may offer additional quality measures that may not be available in a provider’s EHR software.

MIPS Value Pathways on the horizon

Specialists may be pleased to learn that CMS is planning to implement MIPS Value Pathways (MVPs) in 2022. The MVPs framework aims to connect measures across the MIPS performance categories for different specialties or conditions and reduce the burden of MIPS reporting on clinicians. This year, CMS is establishing MVP development criteria to support stakeholder collaboration in developing MVPs and proposing to establish a process for MVP candidates to be considered for future rulemaking.

While it can seem challenging to meet the new MIPS performance threshold of 60 points, remember that flexibilities still exist for small practices. Small practices will continue to receive six bonus points in the Quality performance category and can receive three (3) points for every quality measure submitted, even if it doesn’t meet data completeness criteria. Small practices will continue to be able to submit hardship exception applications to reweight the Promoting Interoperability performance category. Small practices will continue to receive 20 points for medium-weighted improvement activities and 40 points for high-weighted activities


Writer: From the QPP for the Midwest and IMPAQ International , ,

Tags: Quality Services

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