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CMS Launches Data Submission System for Quality Payment Program

January 3, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that doctors and other eligible clinicians participating in MACRA’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) can begin submitting their 2017 performance data using a new system on the program’s website.

CMS officials attest that the data submission system is an improvement from the former systems under the CMS legacy programs, which required clinicians to submit data on multiple websites. Now, 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 2, 2018 to March 31, 2018, except for groups using the CMS Web Interface whose submission period is January 22, 2018 to March 16, 2018, the federal agency said in its announcement.

“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 be required to log into the system. After logging in, the system will connect each eligible clinician to the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) associated with their National Provider Identifier (NPI). Eligible clinicians will report data either as an individual or a group.

There are multiple data submission options, including Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs), qualified registries, attestation, or the CMS Web Interface. Eligible clinicians can also submit data using a health IT vendor, which extracts data from certified EHR (electronic health record) technology; however, with the aim for greater 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, CMS officials explained.

And, as data is entered into the system, eligible clinicians will see real-time initial scoring within each of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance categories based on their submissions. This scoring may change if new data is reported or quality measures that have not yet been benchmarked are used. Once the submission period closes on March 31, 2018 (with the exception of the CMS Web Interface, which ends on March 16, 2018), CMS will calculate the payment adjustment based on the clinician or group’s last submission or submission update.

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