Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 04/30/2018  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  The Honorable George J. Mitchell to Keynote MMA's 165th Annual Session
•  New Interactive Online Course Ups Physicians’ Nutrition Knowledge, Supports Patients in Diabetes Prevention
•  MMA Acknowledges the Passing of Jordan Shubert, M.D. and Mark Cooper, M.D.
•  Consumer and Healthcare Groups File Suit for Medicaid Expansion Implementation
•  MMA Listening Session in Presque Isle on Tuesday, May 15 6-8pm
•  MICIS: Next Steps in Addressing Maine's Opioid Crisis
•  AMA, Specialty Societies Ask CMS to Reduce 2018 MIPS Reporting Period
•  Doctors Without Borders Coming to Maine May 1st
•  Legislative Calls Over for 128th Legislature; Veto Day Wednesday
•  Legislative Report
•  Maine Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons Spring Educational & Business Meeting - Friday, May 4th
•  Introduction to Lean in Healthcare Full-Day Workshop on Tuesday, May 8
•  Maine Chapter, American College of Surgeons Annual Meeting in Kennebunkport, ME - May 18-20
•  One River, One Ocean: June 2-14, 2018
•  New Free CME on Alzheimer's Risk, Detection, and Management
•  Peer Navigation Program from Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)
•  Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
•  Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine 2018 Annual Conference & Meeting - Nov 2-3
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician – Bangor, Maine
•  Family Practice Physician - Bucksport Regional Health Center
•  Relocate to Beautiful Southwestern Maine - Medical Director/Family Practice Physician
•  Psychiatry Faculty, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
•  Psychiatric Medical Director
•  Maine's Largest FQHC in need of Physician for Geriatric Program
•  Multiple Family Med Opportunities in Beloved Community Health Centers
•  Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
•  Internal Medicine Outpatient Physician
•  Clinical Cardiology Opportunity
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians


AMA, Specialty Societies Ask CMS to Reduce 2018 MIPS Reporting Period

 See current MIPS information from the AMA here.


 The AMA, along with national physician specialty societies, recently sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) asking that the 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting period be reduced from a full calendar year to a minimum of 90 consecutive days due to the lack of timely and direct notification about whether a physician is considered MIPS eligible.

In addition, there will be a further significant delay by CMS in updating the Quality Payment Program interactive website with 2018 information. The website is not expected to  be updated until the summer of 2018, at the earliest. The two delays combined make it extraordinarily difficult for physicians to meet the full-year quality data reporting requirements for MIPS this year. The letter also requests a reduced reporting period for future MIPS program years in order to reduce administrative burdens and ensure physicians have sufficient time to report after receiving performance feedback from CMS.

To determine whether they are eligible for the MIPS program, physicians must actively consult CMS' website. Previously, CMS had mailed letters to practices to inform them of their eligibility status, which many practices were waiting for this year. Without direct outreach by CMS to physicians and group practices, many will be left in the dark on their status.

Therefore, the AMA encourages practices to look up their MIPS eligibility at the CMS QPP website. The AMA is committed to working collaboratively with CMS to ensure MIPS recognizes the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries rather than quantity of data reported, and will continue to advocate for timely notification by CMS on program changes to ensure successful participation.

Register for MIPS group web interface, CAHPS for MIPS 2018 survey reporting

Registration is required for groups that intend to use the CMS Web Interface and/or administer the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) survey for 2018.

Only groups of 25 or more eligible clinicians that have registered can report via the CMS Web Interface. Groups that participate in MIPS through the qualified registry, qualified clinical data registry, or electronic health record (EHR) data submission mechanisms do not need to register. For 2018, only groups of two or more eligible clinicians that have registered can participate in the CAHPS for MIPS survey. Visit the Quality Payment Program website to register. You will need a valid Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) account. If you do not have an EIDM account, please create one as soon as possible. The registration period is from April 1–June 30, 2018.

Please note: If your group was registered to participate in MIPS in 2017 via the CMS Web Interface, CMS automatically registered your group for 2018. You may edit or cancel your registration at any time during the registration period. Automatic registration does not apply to the CAHPS for MIPS survey. For more information, visit the Quality Payment Program Resource Library to review resources on the CAHPS for MIPS Survey and the CMS Web Interface. 

Reminder: Participate in CMS Quality Measures Study to Receive Full Improvement Activity Credit in QPP

CMS is conducting the 2018 Burdens Associated with Reporting Quality Measures Study, as described in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) Year 2 final rule. Clinicians and groups who are eligible for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) that participate successfully in the study will receive full credit for the 2018 MIPS Improvement Activities (IA) performance category.

The study runs from April 2018 to March 2019. Clinicians do not need any outside knowledge of MIPS to participate in the study; rather the study team is interested in learning more about clinicians' experience participating in MIPS. Applications will be accepted through April 30, 2018. Clinicians will be notified in spring of 2018 if selected.

CMS is conducting this study to:

  • Examine clinical workflows and data collection methods using different submission systems.
  • Understand the challenges clinicians face when collecting and reporting quality data.
  • Make future recommendations for changes that will attempt to eliminate clinician burden, improve quality data collection and reporting, and enhance clinical care.

Participants will have to meet the following requirements in order to complete the study and receive full IA credit. For participants reporting as a group, their entire group will receive credit. For participants reporting as individuals, only the participating clinician will receive credit.

  • Complete a 2017 MIPS participation survey in April/May 2018.
  • Complete a 2018 MIPS planning survey September/October 2018.
  • The Study team will invite selected participants to join a virtual 90-minute focus group between November 2018 and February 2019.
  • Meet minimum requirements for the MIPS Quality performance category by submitting data for at least three measures in the MIPS Quality performance category, as required for 2018 MIPS participation.

The data submitted must:

  • Include one outcome measure.
  • Be submitted to CMS by the final MIPS reporting deadline (March 31, 2019).
  • Be submitted through any method accepted under MIPS for year 2 of the Quality Payment Program (2018).

Clinicians can apply to participate in the study here.