CMS Eases Quality Payment Program Reporting Requirements in Response to COVID-19

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On March 22, 2020, the HHS’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it is easing the burden on clinicians, healthcare providers, and facilities that are participating in the Quality Payment Program and other reporting programs due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The CMS is granting exceptions and extensions to reporting requirements for the 1.2 million clinicians that are participating in the Quality Payment Program and are on the front lines fighting against the virus and COVID-19 respiratory disease.

“The Trump Administration is cutting bureaucratic red tape so the healthcare delivery system can direct its time and resources toward caring for patients,” explained CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

The CMS has recognized that quality measure data collection and reporting for services during the COVID-19 crisis may not reflect the true level of performance in areas such as cost, readmissions, and the patient experience. The move will also ease the burden on clinicians during these exceptional circumstances.

Policy exceptions and extensions are being provided for 2019 and 2020 data submission deadlines for the quality reporting programs listed below:

Provider Programs

  • Quality Payment Program – Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
  • Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

Hospital Programs

  • Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program
  • CrownWeb National ESRD Patient Registry and Quality Measure Reporting System
  • End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program
  • 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

PAC Programs

  • 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

Further information on the new reporting deadlines, exceptions, and extensions can be found on the CMS website.

Author: HIPAA Journal

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