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On January 1, physical therapists (PTs) in private practice became eligible clinicians in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)—one of 2 tracks in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) that was launched by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2017.

Although PTs can choose to participate either in MIPS or in advanced Alternative Payment Models (advanced APMs) within QPP, most PTs likely will elect to participate in MIPS because of the low number of advanced APMs developed to date.

The Basics

MIPS is a complex program that includes some elements with which PTs may be familiar. Its measures for reporting quality are similar to those in the old Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). MIPS, however, features several reporting categories not in PQRS—including quality-improvement activities, efforts to promote interoperability, and cost measures. PTs must understand the fundamentals of MIPS in order to effectively navigate the program.

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