Many government officials are worried the Coronavirus outbreak will overburden the U.S. healthcare system. In a drastic effort to help healthcare providers focus on patient care rather than paperwork, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will waive multiple key quality reporting requirements.
What Does CMS Waiving Reports Mean for Healthcare Providers?
- Q4 Reporting Deadlines Are Now Optional
The deadlines for 2019 data submission for the Medicare Shared Savings Program, the Quality Payment Program, and affiliated merit-based incentive program (MIPS) will be extended from March 31 to April 30, 2020. MIPS eligible clinicians who miss the April 30 deadline will qualify for the automatic and uncontrollable circumstances policy and will receive a neutral payment adjustment for the 2021 MIPS payment year.
- Eleven Hospital-Based Programs Are Now Exempt
CMS made the decision to exempt Q4 data for 11 hospital-based quality programs and six post-acute programs. Including:
- The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program
- The Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program
- The Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (post-acute program)
*Although submitting the data is optional, CMS will count the data should a healthcare provider choose to do so.
- This Initiative Will Leak into Q1 and Q2 of 2020
Operators are not being required to submit data for Q1 and Q2 of 2020. And qualifying claims for the SNF VBP program will be excluded from the claims-based 30-day All-Cause Readmission Measure for the first two quarters of 2020.
- Merit-Based Incentive Payments Remain in Place
In addition to the waived reporting requirements, all merit-based incentive payments will remain in place to promote quality care to patients.
- CMS Delaying Release of 2020 Minimum Data Set
Previously, the release of the 2020 Minimum Data Set was scheduled for October 1, 2020, but recently announced it would push back the publishing date in response to the concerns of healthcare providers. In the meantime, CMS is working closely with stakeholders to determine the potential impacts of the delay, along with a compressed timeline for healthcare providers to train staff and update their IT systems.*The Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Provider Preview Reports will be released in June 2020.
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