Reporting MIPS: 2018 Updates to the Improvement Activities Category

Practices may have already chosen their measures to report for the 2018 performance year (to be submitted to CMS in early 2019), and hopefully understand all the implications of changes from the previous year. This article will focus on the Improvement Activities category in MIPS reporting.

The Improvement Activities category focuses on activities that could improve clinical practices, like ongoing care coordination, clinician and patient shared decision making, regularly using patient safety practices and expanding practice access.1 From what was initially proposed, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made minimal changes for reporting for 2018. What was updated includes:

Additional Activities

CMS added 21 more activities to choose from and made changes to 27 existing activities. The new activities can be found in Tables F & G of the 2018 Final Rule.

Certified EHR

CMS increased the number of measures available to receive bonus points for using a certified EHR. Eligible clinicians can earn up to a 10 percent bonus In the Advancing Care Information/Promoting Interoperability Category to perform certain improvement activities using a certified EMR.

Number of Activities in Small Practices and Rural Areas

MIPS eligible clinicians in small practices and those in rural areas will continue to report on no more than two medium-weighted activities, or one high-weighted activity to reach the highest score.

Certified or Recognized Patient-Center Medical Homes

Those practices that are certified or recognized PCMHs and comparable specialty medical homes will receive the maximum improvement activities score. It is an automatic award of the points if the practice is certified.

Again, industry leaders will continue to weigh in with their concerns around the Quality Payment Program, yet the move to providing a high quality cost-effective healthcare model will not go away.

For help understanding your measures, making sure you are collecting the correct data and reviewing the data on a regular basis, providers can reach out to the Quality Reporting Engagement Group for answers to questions and guidance.

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