CMS Launches New QPP Data Submission System for Clinicians

January 2018 ~

CMS has launched a new data submission system for clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program (QPP), designed to reduce administrative burdens and streamline the data submission process.

On January 2nd, the agency announced that eligible clinicians participating in the QPP can now submit all of their 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance data through a single platform. CMS states the new data submission system is a significant improvement over previous systems under legacy programs (such as Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and the Medicare EHR Incentive Program) which required clinicians to submit data on multiple websites.

“The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) requires CMS to implement the Quality Payment Program, and we are committed to doing so in the least burdensome way possible,” Seema Verma, CMS Administrator, said in a statement. “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.”

Eligible clinicians will use the new system to submit their 2017 performance data for the Quality Payment Program during the 2017 submission period which runs from January 2nd, 2018 to March 31st, 2018, except for groups using the CMS Web Interface whose submission period is January 22nd, 2018 to March 16th, 2018.

Using the new data submission system, clinicians will log-in and will then be connected to the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) associated with their National Provider Identifier (NPI). Clinicians will then have the option to report as an individual or as a group.

As data is entered, the data submission system will provide real-time initial scoring for each of the four performance categories under MIPS based on the performance data submitted. CMS notes that this scoring is subject to change if new data is reported or quality measures that have not yet been benchmarked are used. As well, the system’s real-time MIPS scoring feature will not initially account for the user’s Alternative Payment Model (APM) status, Qualifying APM Participant (QP) status, or other special status that may apply to clinicians.

Eligible clinicians have several options for submitting QPP performance data, including Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs), qualified registries, attestation, the CMS Web Interface. CMS notes that eligible clinicians can also utilize health IT vendors to submit data on their behalf from certified EHR technology, and “in the spirit of flexibility and burden reduction,” eligible clinicians can generate a non-certified report in either the new Quality Payment Program file format or QRDA III file format and manually upload the file into the submission system.

According to CMS, determining which data submission method to use will depend on the following factors:

  • Whether the clinician belongs to a group
  • Size of the group
  • Type of health IT used
  • Performance category on which the clinician reports
  • Whether the clinician is participating in MIPS or the Advanced APM track

Medicare clinicians must submit at least one quality measure or Improvement Activity to the Quality Payment Program for the 2017 performance period, which ended on December 31st, 2017, to avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2019.

Eligible clinicians should take note that the submission period differs for Web Interface users. Eligible clinicians will use the new system to submit their 2017 performance data for the Quality Payment Program during the 2017 submission period which runs from January 2nd, 2018 through March 31st, 2018. Eligible clinicians planning to use the Web Interface users can start uploading data as of January 22nd, 2018 with a submission deadline of March 16th, 2018.

For more information for clinicians participating in APMs, refer to the Quality Payment Program Data Submission System fact sheet.



Source(s): CMS Press Release; RevCycleIntelligence; Healthcare Informatics;