MIPS 2022 Yearly Updates You Need to Know

Since it’s inception on January 1, 2017, the Quality Payment Program continues to strive to move healthcare forward, toward more meaningful participation by clinicians and improved outcomes for patients. Each year the program is reevaluated and modifications are made to align the program with healthcare trends. Changes for the advanced alternative payment models are defined by the individual organizations. Therefore, we will focus on the changes that are relevant for the Merit-Based Incentive Program System (MIPS). This program has been re-branded and is now known as Traditional MIPS.

Eligibility for participation in the Traditional MIPS program has been expanded to include clinical social workers and certified nurse midwives. Quality measure specialty sets have been developed for each group. Improvement activities for both clinician types have also been developed. Any clinical social worker or certified nurse, like all eligible clinicians, must meet the low-volume threshold requirements.

The performance threshold, the minimum number of points required to avoid a penalty, has also changed this year. During the initial five years of the program the performance threshold was gradually increased. Beginning in 2022, the sixth year of the program, the performance threshold must be the mean final score from the 2017 performance year. Therefore the performance threshold is set at 75 points, which is an increase of 15 points from the previous year. The exceptional performance threshold, which allows providers to achieve additional bonuses is set at 89 points. It should be noted that this is the last year for the exceptional performance threshold.

Performance category weights have also been modified for the 2022 performance year. They are as follows:
  • 30% for the quality performance category
  • 30% for the cost performance category
  • 15% for the improvement activities performance category
  • 25% for the promoting interoperability performance category.
The promoting interoperability and quality performance categories utilize CEHRT to capture the defined criteria.

The Kareo dashboards have been updated with the new requirements as listed below.

Promoting Interoperability updates
There are two rather significant updates to the promoting interoperability performance category:
1) Require eligible clinicians to attest to conducting an annual assessment of the safer guidelines, and
2) require eligible clinicians to report immunization registry reporting and electronic case reporting measures.

ONC Developed the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience Guidelines (SAFER Guides) to help healthcare organizations at all levels conduct self assessments which optimize the safe use of EHRs. By completing an annual self assessment using the SAFER guides, providers can help develop a culture of safety within their organization and ensure they are responsible operators of technology tools which they utilize in the delivery of care. For performance year 2022 providers are asked to review the SAFER guide entitled “High Priority Practices”. This will help them identify high risk and high priority safety practices throughout their organization. Providers only need to indicate whether or not they’ve completed this assessment doing the performance year 2022. There is no penalty if the assessment is not completed.

The second update to the Promoting Interoperability performance category is a direct result of the Covid pandemic. CMS modified the public health and clinical data exchange objective to require providers to submit information to immunization registries and electronic case reporting. In previous years providers were only required to submit to the immunization registry and a second registry of their choice. In order to better serve our nation during any future pandemic and/or major health threats and to continue to track the long-term Covid effects, providers are now required to report to the Electronic Case Reporting registries. Providers who utilize certified EHR that do not currently have electronic case reporting implemented, are eligible to claim an exclusion for 2022.

Quality Reporting
There have been no substantial changes in the quality reporting for performance year 2022. Kareo continues to support a group of 22 electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) which can be accessed through our quality dashboard. Providers will continue to document quality initiatives within the EHR and can follow their progress toward meeting benchmark goals on the CQMsolution dashboard.

Kareo offers training and help articles to assist customers in meeting their MIPS objectives, as well as individual dashboards to assess provider progress throughout the performance year.

About the Author

Beth currently serves as an advisor to the Kareo EHR product and engineering teams for clinical enhancements, CMS Incentive program requirements, and other industry/...

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