Overnight Congressional Bill Proposes Slowing Down MIPS


The Congressional Bill that passed early morning on February 9th included a section on implementing certain changes to MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System).  The bill that brought an end to an overnight government shutdown, gives CMS the option to slow down certain aspects of MIPS, particularly the Cost category. According to the 652-page legislation, “lawmakers propose that for each of the second, third, fourth and fifth years for which MIPS applies to payments, a clinician’s cost-cutting would never be less than 10 percent and never more than 30 percent.” This means that the Cost category of MIPS has the possibility of being weighted at only 10% until 2021. Previously, the final MACRA 2018 rule originally intended to have the Cost category jump from 10% of a clinician’s score in 2018 to 30% of their MIPS score in 2019. An article published on Healthcare Informatics also stated that when the final rule was released, stakeholders believed the jump to 30% in 2019 was too far of a leap for providers at this time, many who are still not ready to preform in the Quality Payment Program (QPP).  This change has mixed feelings. Tom Lee, the CEO of SA Ignite Consulting in Chicago said keeping the weight down might result in clinicians remaining in MIPS longer rather than entering an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (A-APM). Meanwhile, Anders Gilberg, Senior Vice President for Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) government affairs said that it is “largely a win for physician practices” because it reduces the burden in the MIPS program.


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