As 2016 comes to an end clinicians all across the country are preparing for the first performance year under the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The performance categories outlined under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) pathway are the main focus in these last few days before January 1st
2017; leaving clinicians scrambling for any and all the information they can garner to make the coming year easy to navigate.

EMR Systems has developed a comprehensive treasure trove of information on MACRA in their MIPS Resource. This article outlines tips to excel under the MIPS pathway developed by their team of experts.

Quality
Quality accounts for 60% of the composite clinician score, and incorporates many features of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), as well as the value components of the Value Based Modifier (VBM). It requires reporting of six measures from a choice of over two hundred measures.

Tip
Review the measures. Filter the measures by specialty, and high priority measures to get a clearer view of where your practice falls in. Select the measures that your practice performs well and report those over the next year to gain the most out of this performance category.

Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIA)
CPIA is weighted at 15% in the overall composite score. It measures the steps taken by clinicians to improve clinical practices in favor of value-based patient care. It also applies to clinicians reporting under Alternative Payment Models (APMs), and medical homes.

Tips
You might want to consider perusing the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) for your practice. Not only does this reduce the measures you must report to gain the same score as clinicians reporting under MIPS, it also enables you to gain auto-credit from healthcare IT software offering it to registered PCMH.

Advancing Care Information (ACI)
Incorporating features of Meaningful Use, ACI is worth 25% of the clinician composite score.

Tips
Identify the main measures within ACI and strategize how your practice will improve overall performance to report better scores in the first year.

Immunization registry reporting is required overall, and a bonus point is offered for additional public health registry reporting. Insure that the Electronic Health Records (EHR) software used by your practice is registered, and is able to report the new measures automatically.

Resource Use/Cost
Since 2017 is a transition year, Resource Use has been weighted at 0% to allow clinicians the year to develop clinical performance for reporting in 2018. Yet the category should not be ignored. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will use the transition year to analyses clinical Resource Use measures and advise clinicians on how to best develop their activities for 2018.

Tips
Take 2017 to prepare your practice for 2018’s Resource Use measures. Track trends like patient readmission to enable practice staff to prevent avoidable readmissions. Train staff to create post-discharge care, and follow-up plans for recently discharged patients to further prevent readmission, and develop an overall value-based clinical practice.

To further develop a clinical practice that emulates value-based care, invest in EHR software that reports Medicare claim data to track per-patient costs over time.

These were a few tips and tricks you can employ before the New Year to develop a fighting strategy for the coming year. For further information on MACRA and MIPS, visit EMR Systems MIPS Resource.