CMS rolls out a new QPP data submission system designed to reduce physician burden

Seema Verma speaking at press conference
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the new data submission system allows the agency to implement QPP “in the least burdensome way possible." (Whitehouse.gov)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officially unveiled a new IT system designed to streamline data submission for physicians participating in the Quality Payment Program.

The new system, which consolidates multiple legacy data submission pathways into one website, provides several data submission options, including extracting data from certified EHR technology. Under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) performance data submitted during the first three months of 2018 will inform value-based payment adjustments in 2019.

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CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the IT upgrades allow the agency to implement QPP “in the least burdensome way possible.” A fact sheet (PDF) released by CMS said the system was constructed based on feedback from physicians, and it would add new features based on user input over the next several months.

“The new data submission system makes it easier for clinicians to meet MACRA’s reporting requirements and spend more time treating patients instead of filing paperwork," Verma said in an announcement.

The system also provides real-time scoring feedback within each of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) criteria. That feature was a specific issue highlighted by the Office of Inspector General last month. Although auditors praised CMS for its work over the last year to deploy IT systems in time for this month’s launch, they also raised concerns that participating physicians lacked technical assistance to correctly submit quality data and that the feedback portions of the IT system could lead to fraud and abuse.