CMS Proposes New Measure Specialty Sets, MIPS Value Pathways

This week, CMS released the proposed rule for Year 4 of the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Many of the Year 3 requirements will be maintained going into the 2020 performance year; we highlighted the proposed changes in our blog post here. However, there are bigger proposed changes in store for Year 5 of the QPP starting in 2021.

In the latest release, CMS expressed an intention to move toward what they say would be a more streamlined MIPS program. To fulfill upon this vision, the agency is aiming to reduce reported complexities with data submission and confusion surrounding measure selection with a new framework they are calling MIPS Value Pathways (MVPs).

Check out key takeaways below from the proposed rule on MVPs and what CMS has put forth as a very loose framework for the future of the program.

CMS is soliciting public comment on the proposed rule until September 27, 2019 at 5 PM EST.

MIPS Value Pathways defined

The MVP framework would create sets of measure options that CMS says would be more relevant to clinician scope of practice and meaningful to patient care by connecting MIPS measures across the four performance categories specific to specialty or condition. It would also incorporate a set of administrative claims-based quality measures that focus on population health and provide data and feedback to clinicians. CMS says it intends to use the current MIPS specialty measure sets as a base framework for developing these new MVPs. The agency also indicated they will seek to enhance information provided to patients, with possible exploration of new forms of public reporting.

How does the MVP framework change MIPS?

If implemented, all MIPS-eligible clinicians would no longer choose their measures from a single inventory, but would instead fulfill measures and activities connected to a specialty or condition as a part of an MVP. This means the MIPS program would no longer require the same number of measures or activities for all clinicians.

CMS anticipates that an MVP would use a single benchmark for each measure, and all clinicians and groups in the MVP would be compared against the same standard. It is proposed that scoring policies would be evaluated to ensure scoring across MVPs is equitable, so that clinicians reporting a specific MVP are not unfairly advantaged. The agency says this would eliminate the need for special scoring policies and bonuses to incent selection of high priority or outcome measures, as clinicians would be required to report all measures in the MVP.

Additionally, MVPs will focus on bundling quality measures with existing, related cost measures and improvement activities as CMS sees feasible.

How will MIPS data collection be impacted by MVPs?

It is unclear at this time exactly how clinicians and groups will be expected to report data to satisfy measures under the new MVP framework. CMS says that the current MIPS performance measure collection types will continue to be used to the “extent possible,” creating some uneasiness for clinicians and industry leaders who have invested time and resources in their current reporting mechanisms. CMS is soliciting feedback around data submission mechanisms, particularly QCDRs and their role in the program. The agency maintains that a driving force behind the proposed changes is that the flexibility of the program in years 1-3 resulted in multiple benchmarks for each measure and specialty, hindering the ability of CMS to make meaningful comparisons.

Agency emphasizes patient experience and patient reported outcomes

The proposed rule also emphasized an increased focus on patient reported measures, including patient experience, satisfaction and outcomes in their performance measurement. The agency anticipates the MVP framework will provide more meaningful information to patients, which will enable them to make decisions about their care and achieve better outcomes.

CMS Example of Possible MIPS Value Pathway
MVP Example Quality Measures Cost Measures Improvement Activities Promoting Ineroperability
Preventive Health
  • Preventive Care and Screening: Tobacco Use: Screening and Cessation Intervention (Quality ID: 226)
  • Osteoarthritis: Function and Pain Assessment (Quality ID: 109) Adult Immunization Status, proposed (Quality ID: TBD)
  • Controlling High Blood Pressure (Quality ID: 236)
  • PLUS: population health administrative claims quality measures (e.g., allcause hospital readmission)
  • Total Per Capita Cost (TPCC_1)
  • Medicare Spending Per Beneficiary (MSPB_1)
  • Chronic Care and Preventive Care for Empaneled Patients (IA_PM_13)
  • Engage patients and families to guide improvement in the system of care (IA_BE_14)
  • Collection and use of patient experience and satisfaction data on access (IA_EPA_3)
  • All measures in Promoting Interoperability***

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August 1st, 2019 Categories: featured, MIPS, Patient Experience

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