COVID-19: CMS Provides Relief for Participants in Medicare Quality Reporting Programs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is providing relief for clinicians, providers, and facilities participating in Medicare quality reporting programs, including the 1.2 million clinicians in the Quality Payment Program, by granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for upcoming measure reporting and data submission.

This action is part of the CMS response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). CMS said it will continue monitoring the developing COVID-19 situation and assess options to bring additional relief to clinicians, facilities, and their staff so they can focus on caring for patients.

CMS is implementing additional extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy exceptions and extensions for the following CMS programs:

  • Quality Payment Program – Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
  • Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)
  • Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program
  • End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program
  • CrownWeb National ESRD Patient Registry and Quality Measure Reporting System
  • Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program
  • Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program
  • Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program
  • Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program
  • Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program
  • Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Quality Reporting Program
  • PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting Program
  • Promoting Interoperability Program for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals
  • Home Health Quality Reporting Program
  • Hospice Quality Reporting Program
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Quality Reporting Program
  • Long Term Care Hospital Quality Reporting Program
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing Program

For programs with data submission deadlines in April and May 2020, submission of those data will be optional, based on the facility’s choice to report. In addition, no data reflecting services provided January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, will be used in CMS’s calculations for the Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs. This is being done to reduce the data collection and reporting burden on providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifics on the 2019 and 2020 submission deadlines can be found here.

Also, read the letter from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons requesting clarification on the impact of incentive payments for eligible clinicians who have already submitted or plan to submit within the next month their 2019 MIPS data. The letter can be found here.


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