Easing Radiology’s Transition to MIPS

Dr. SilvaThis post was contributed by Ezequiel Silva, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology Commission on Economics.

The evolving alphabet soup of health care payment and delivery change programs is heating up. And, ready or not, we all have to take a bite. The American College of Radiology (ACR) is working to  make these changes as pallet-friendly as possible and avoid any indigestion.

Just this week, the College sent comments to CMS urging improvements to the CY 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP) proposed rule.

The ACR supported the CMS proposal to make appropriate use criteria (AUC) consultation a high weighted improvement activity under the Merit-based Incentive Payment Systems (MIPS). But the College urged CMS to enable radiologists to earn credit for supporting their referring clinicians in AUC implementation through qualified clinical decision support mechanisms.

The ACR praised CMS for raising the low volume threshold — which would exempt more clinicians and small groups from MIPS. We urged CMS to consistently apply how individual thresholds are scaled to group practices. We suggested they look to patient-facing group criteria as an example. That is, if 75 percent of eligible clinicians in a group meet the low-volume threshold, the group would not be MIPS eligible. 

We also urged CMS to extend application of the small practice bonus point system to rural practices as well. CMS would add 5 points to the MIPS final score of an eligible clinician or small practice group (15 or fewer clinicians) — if the clinician or group submits data on at least one performance category. Rural practices continue to have issues related to EHR interoperability and adoption of technology that would ease their reporting burden.

Use Free Resources

The ACR has created not only our MIPS page, but an interactive QPP microsite to help walk you through what CMS has actually done, how it may affect you and how you and your practice can prepare for what is coming.

Many other ACR tools and resources — from Be MACRA Ready: A Decision Guide for Radiologists to webinars and informational articles — can be found in the Be MACRA Ready section on the ACR website.

Read JACR Special Collection

The Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) offers a new special collection of MACRA-related articles, which will aid you as we shift from the volume-driven care of traditional fee-for-service to a value-driven payment system.

We want to hear from you:

  • What is your radiology practice doing to be ready for MIPS in 2018?
  • What ACR resources did you find most beneficial?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

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