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Physical therapists and other providers participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System could get some slack on reporting requirements, thanks to opportunities being offered by CMS amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent announcement from the CMS Quality Payment Program, qualifying clinicians can apply for a reweighting of any or all MIPS performance categories for performance year 2020 by way of an "Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Application" that allows for one or more of the categories to be reweighted to 0%.

Providers can submit an application if they believe that they have experienced an extreme and uncontrollable circumstance, such as the COVID-19 public health emergency, that prevented them from collecting data or affected their performance on cost measures. In order to submit the application, clinicians must have a HCQIS Access and Roles Profile, or HARP, account. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 31, 2020.

Although documentation is not required to be submitted with the application, clinicians should retain documentation of their circumstances supporting their applications for their own records in the event they are selected by CMS for data validation or audit.

This CMS document provides more details on the exceptions process. (Link works best in Google Chrome or Microsoft Explorer web browsers). We expect that CMS will be releasing additional guidance in the near future.

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