Clinicians can check 2017 MIPS participation status online

CMS has opened up a new online tool for clinicians to check whether they should participate in the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for 2017.

The agency has been criticized for delays on informing clinicians of their MIPS status and not sending notifications regarding low volume threshold exemptions or statuses as hospital-based or non-patient-facing. In an April 25 notice, CMS said clinicians can expect to receive eligibility notifications by the end of May.

To find out their status sooner, the CMS tool allows clinicians to enter their national provider identifier (NPI) and then receive information on whether they should participate in MIPS this year.

Full MIPS reporting isn’t required for 2017, with eligible clinicians only required to report in a single MIPS category for 2017 (either one quality measure, one improvement activities or all four measures in “Advancing Care Information,” MIPS’ version of meaningful use). No penalty or bonus will be awarded for this level of participation.

There’s a good chance clinicians will find they don’t have to participate in MIPS this year. The final rule for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)'s payment tracks estimated “almost half” of Medicare clinicians wouldn’t qualify for MIPS in 2017.

In order to participate, clinicians (or those reporting as groups) have to bill Medicare Part B more than $30,000 per year and see more than 100 Medicare patients. Those participating in Medicare for the first time in 2017 would also be exempt.