Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Avoid Medicare Penalties With Aid of New APA Resource

APA has released a new guide to help psychiatrists avoid potential financial penalties from Medicare’s new quality performance program, known as the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

The MIPS was created in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). It is part of Medicare’s new Quality Payment Program, along with incentives for “Advanced” Alternative Payment Models.

MIPS rewards or penalizes physicians for performance quality. For the current performance year of 2017, rewards or penalties will be applied in 2019. Over 16,000 psychiatrists could be subject to MIPS penalties in 2019 if they fail to do MIPS reporting for 2017.

The APA guide, “Take Action Now to Avoid Medicare Penalties,” offers step-by-step instructions to help psychiatrists navigate the new MIPS policies. The guide includes a checklist to determine whether MIPS reporting is required, information on when and where to file reports, and recommendations on improvement activities in which psychiatrists can participate to receive performance credit.

For example, psychiatrists participating for at least 90 days in PsychPRO, APA’s new ational mental health registry, can receive credit for several improvement activities for being part of a “qualified clinical data registry.” 

As an important note, most improvement activities must be done for at least 90 days, and the last 90-day period in 2017 begins October 3.

“Take Action Now to Avoid Medicare Penalties” was prepared with substantial input from APA members.  In addition to the detailed instructions, the guide includes additional resources and contact information for experts at APA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. All APA members who see Medicare patients are urged to check out the guide. 

For more help and information related to the Quality Payment Program, please visit the APA Payment Reform Toolkit.

(Image: iStock/artisteer)


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