Switching Your Game Plan for Reporting MIPS Data This Year? Some Dates You Need to Know
First-quarter data collection for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) has just ended. If you are a participating physical therapist who doesn't yet have a firm plan for *how* to submit your data, or you need a new plan, you have some decisions to make-and soon.
CMS Allows Providers to Switch Reporting Methods
As a refresher, there are 3 ways to report MIPS data:
- Claims-based. Improvement activities need to be entered manually through the CMS website.
- Qualified registry. This includes many electronic health record (EHR) vendors.
- Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR), such as APTA's Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry. QCDRs offer more measures than qualified registries.
Here are some possible scenarios you may find yourself in.
- You're moving from claims-based MIPS reporting to reporting through your new EHR system that integrates with the Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry.
- You're already reporting via an EHR system and receiving a quarterly MIPS score but thinking about signing up with a QCDR to get rregular feedback that could improve your MIPS score and possibly offset your investment through a potentially increased payment incentive.
- You're not required to participate in MIPS but are considering joining the Registry in order to monitor your MIPS performance and decide whether to participate in 2020.
(And if you aren't sure if you are required or eligible to do so, you can check your participation status using this tool from CMS.)
Key 2019 Deadlines
If you are considering APTA's Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry, here are some key 2019 deadlines to keep in mind.
June 30: Registry enrollment deadline for 2019. While APTA accepts new enrollees in the Registry all year long, physical therapists who wish to submit data to CMS as part of the 2019 MIPS reporting year (which will determine the payment incentive or penalty for 2021) must indicate their intent to do so by enrolling in the Registry by June 30, 2019.
July 1: Registry enrollment opens for the 2020 reporting year. You can beat the rush by enrolling earlier rather than later, ensuring your participation.
December 31: Data collection concludes for the 2019 reporting year. This will be followed by the actual data submission process.
Get our detailed annotated list of MIPS milestones for 2019 and 2020.
What Else You Should Be Thinking About
Does your current EHR integrate with the Registry? Here is a list of participating EHRs. If you want to participate and your EHR isn't listed, check with Registry staff at email@example.com.
Monitor your MIPS score regularly! Whatever your reporting mechanism, you should check your MIPS score regularly. Checking your stats on at least a quarterly basis will help you make needed adjustments throughout the year to maximize your payment incentive.
Collect data, all the time. If you decide on June 1 that you are going to sign up with the Registry, either to participate in MIPS or to monitor your potential MIPS score, you'll need to have that data. On a practical note, APTA Director of Quality Heather Smith, PT, MPH, says, "Collecting and reviewing your data on a regular basis is crucial to understanding and communicating your practice's performance and the value you bring to the table."
The bottom line? If you're still on the fence about participating in the Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry, reach out to APTA's MIPS experts at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help you.
Financial Literacy Month Podcast: Improve Your Personal Financial Health With APTA Member Benefits
Student loans are a source of stress, not only for current students but for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in the workforce. APTA provides 2 valuable resources to help members make educated financial decisions. Enrich is an individualized financial education platform that teaches members about money management, financial services, credit scores, and planning for retirement. Laurel Road is a student loan refinancing program that provides a discounted interest rate for eligible APTA members.
In a new podcast, Kevin Soehner, of Enrich, and Alex Macielak, from Laurel Road, offer tips on managing your debt and planning your financial future. "It's never too early to get started on your strategy, where you are, and where you want to be," says Macielak.
Listen to the interview to learn how to:
- Ask the right questions when choosing student loans and exploring repayment options
- Manage loans and other debt once you've graduated
- Balance student loan repayment with supporting a family and buying a home
- Decide when it makes sense to invest your cash vs aggressively pay down loans
Soehner and Macielak emphasize that no single strategy will lead to achieving financial health, because everyone's situation is unique. Enrich and Laurel Road can empower members as they navigate the seemingly complex topic of personal finance and develop a strategy that works for them. Because, Soehner notes, "Student loans shouldn't dictate your financial plan."
Learn more about these and other member value programs at www.apta.org/ValuePrograms/.
Listen to the full podcast here.
[Editor's note: APTA continues to advocate for student debt relief options on Capitol Hill, too, and is a strong supporter of a bill that would include PTs among the professions included in the National Health Services Corps (NHSC). NHSC providers can receive relief for up to $50,000 in student debt.]