In 2017, physicians can avoid a payment cut by simply reporting the bare minimum data required under MIPS – but that decision could easily come back to bite them in 2019.
According to a recent report by Medical Economics, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be publishing physicians’ reporting grades on their Physician Compare website as well as sharing the data with third party rating sites such as Yelp and HealthGrades. As part of the switch to value-based care, this information will be publicly accessible for patients to review and aid in selecting the right physician for their needs.
Yes, by reporting the bare minimum amount of data now, physicians can avoid a small penalty come 2019. But their scores will also be significantly lower than those doctors who reported more quality data. Even if their services were comparable, the lack of data means a lower score.
At the American College of Physicians (ACP) conference in San Francisco this past March, Tom Lee, PhD, MBA and chief executive officer and founder of software solution provider SA Ignite urged doctors to report all the data they can for exactly that reason:
MIPS is where every single point equals dollars … Don’t lose track of this. That score will be in the public domain even if you are just simply trying to avoid a payment penalty [in 2019 by testing out the program’s data requirements].
Yes, physicians should pay attention to the guidelines for avoiding penalties and potentially boosting their payments. But it’s also crucial to remember that the data submitted directly affects each physician’s annual score. And if only the bare minimum is reported (and down the line, patients see these score without context), then that number may affect more than just reimbursements.