CMS finalizes MIPS quality measures 'under consideration'

Photo credit: Getty/Olivier Le Moal(Getty Images / Olivier Le Moal)

Physician practices waiting to see the specific quality measures they will use under the new Medicare payment system got a clearer picture yesterday.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it has posted a list (PDF) of new “measures under consideration” on its website that include those for physician practices under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track, which is part of the new Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

The list, which will be finalized after stakeholder input, includes 35 additional proposed measures that could be used under the MIPS program beginning in the 2018 performance period.

In a CMS blog post, Kate Goodrich, M.D., director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, said the agency had published its list of quality and cost measures under consideration for Medicare quality and value-based programs. It now collaborates with the National Quality Forum to get input on the measures from multiple stakeholders, including patients, clinicians, payers and purchasers, she said.

“Medicare and other payers are rapidly moving toward a healthcare system that rewards high-quality care while spending taxpayer dollars more wisely. Foundational to the success of these efforts is having quality measures that are meaningful to patients and providers alike, and that drive improvement and better outcomes for patients,” Goodrich wrote.

In the first year of MACRA, it is estimated that about 45% of clinicians will participate in MIPS. The good news for physicians is that under the so-called ‘pick your pace’ option that CMS included, practices that report a single quality measure in the first year of the program will not see a reduction in Medicare reimbursement. CMS decided to create a transition year to allow practices to prepare for broader participation in the quality reporting program in 2018 and 2019.