There is a new bill (SGR-Sustainable growth rate) that has been passed and includes a new incentive program called the Merit-based Incentive Payment (MIPS). This incentive program essentially rolls together and is intended to harmonize three existing quality-incentive programs: the EHR incentive program, the Physician Quality Reporting System, and the Value-based payment modifier established under the Affordable Care Act.
Payments to professionals under MIPS will start in 2019 with the current programs ending in 2018. The new incentives would range from a 4% maximum penalty or bonus in 2019 to a 9% maximum penalty or bonus in 2022 and beyond. The new system would take the place of the existing penalties and bonuses under the government's EHR incentive program. Providers currently face a 3% penalty starting in 2017, which rises to 5% in 2019 and beyond.
Under MIPS, providers will continue attesting to meet the CMS' requirements for the meaningful use of health IT, which would account for 25% of the score. Quality and resource utilization would each account for 30%, and “clinical practice improvement activities” would contribute the remaining 15%. This is new legislation so there is considerable potential that the structure of MIPS will change.
Bottom line is that the Meaningful Use Program isn’t going away, but the penalties and payments will change and missing the mark may not absolutely guarantee a fixed penalty.
Netgain will continue to follow the changes that are proposed and give further updates when warranted.