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MIPS Mobile Challenge Aims to Give Clinicians Real-Time Information and Assistance

May 3, 2016
by Heather Landi
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a competition to develop a mobile platform to help educate physicians and clinicians about the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program.

Now open for submissions, the MIPS Mobile Challenge will have two phases—phase I submissions are due July 15 and the deadline for phase II submissions is Sep. 30. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will announce grand prize winners Oct. 15.

In the proposed Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) rule released by the federal government last week, one of the big takeaways was that  Congress would streamline various quality reporting programs into a single framework to help eligible Medicare physicians transition from payments based on volume to payments based on value, as reported by Healthcare Informatics Managing Editor Rajiv Leventhal.

As such, the MACRA proposed rule would implement these changes through the unified framework called the Quality Payment Program, which includes two paths: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and advanced alternative payment models (APMs).

According to a CMS announcement about the MIPS Mobile Challenge, the MIPS program combines parts of the Physician Quality Reporting System, the Value Modifier (VM or Value-based Payment Modifier), and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program into one single program that assesses the performance of MIPS eligible clinicians based on four performance categories: (1) Quality, (2) Resource use, (3) Clinical practice improvement activities, and (4) Meaningful use of certified EHR technology. This program has the potential of impacting 1.2 million MIPS clinicians.

“One of the most important aspects and challenges of our program is educating and providing outreach to the potential 1.2 million MIPS clinicians. Feedback we have received from our customers/end users is that they want more real-time information and access to assistance so they can successfully report to our programs. Therefore, we are launching a MIPS mobile challenge to find innovative ways of improving communication to educate physicians, support staff, health organization leadership, data vendors, and others impacted parties,” CMS stated.

CMS said it would like to utilize a mobile platform, which could be a mobile suite or application. “We also want to provide the capability to access assistance to help MIPS clinicians learn and get help with specific areas. Having key information and access to the right support at the right time reduces burden and provides increased satisfaction for the MIPS clinicians and their supporting entities,” CMS stated.

The top three to five winners for phase I of the challenge will be provided a cash prize totaling $10,000 per winner, and the Phase II final challenge winner will be awarded a $25,000 prize.

Submissions for the MIPS Mobile Challenge will be judged based on criteria such as ease in which a user can navigate usability and design, evidence of design with user feedback, innovation in design, functionality and accuracy and the look and feel of the mobile application.

More information about the MIPS Mobile Challenge can be found here.

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