3 MACRA/MIPS Misconceptions You Need To Be Aware Of

Written November 14, 2017 by Alex Petruchenya

With all the info floating around MACRA and MIPS, there's bound to be some misconceptions out there, right? We picked out the most common ones so you have the facts down pat. 

But the reality is that a full year worth of reporting is the exception rather than the rule.

1. I need to report for a full year to use MIPS."– False.

Lots of physicians think they need to report an entire year to participate in MIPS. This isn’t the case especially for this test-run year, 2017. If you’re on top of your game, you can report an entire year’s worth of data, no problem.
But the reality is that a full year worth of reporting is the exception rather than the rule.

That leaves you with two more options: (1) Minimal Reporting, and (2) Reporting a Partial Year. You can read more about Minimal Reporting here, but know one thing: any three of these reporting methods will keep you away from any penalties, though Partial Year and Full Year reporting optimize your chances for a percentage bonus in 2019.

2. “Minimal Reporting is ideal for practices.” – False.

Sure, correct Minimal Reporting keeps you away from those pesky penalties. But Minimal Reporting doesn’t offer you much benefit outside of avoiding a penalty! If your clinic is pressed for time and/or resources, Minimal Reporting is your saving grace. But if you have the resources, be sure to optimize your reporting so you can have a performance boost.

Completing the bare minimum reporting will help you avoid the 2019 penalty, but it’s in your best interest to strategically report on as much as you can in each of the categories (Quality, Improvement Activities, Advancing Care Information).  By doing a little more than minimal reporting, you’ll be in a better position to perform better the next year when reporting requirements are higher.  Remember, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) can publish your annual score to the public on the Physicians Compare website.

Luma’s patient management platform helps you manage each of these categories with built-in features that meet requirements in each of the mentioned categories.

3. “If I report more than 6 Quality measures, then I’ll have a higher score.” – False.

Report nothing, and you get a penalty. Report the bare minimum, and you’ll miss out on bonuses and an awesome score to show the public. Now…report too much and you’ll waste your time? It’s getting a bit confusing now, is it (trust us, we know!)?

But here is the truth: for 2017, CMS has a maximum number of measures in each category you can report along as a minimum (as discussed, the “Minimal Reporting”). That means you should be aware of the maximum reporting in each category for 2017 so you don’t spend extra time optimizing your score for points that won’t matter, anyway.

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Alex is health and science writer based in New York. During the weekdays, she eats unhealthy amounts of falafel and practices a lot of yoga.