Quality Payment Program introduces choices for physicians in 2017

A blog post by Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of CMS, highlights the choices eligible physicians will have for the Quality Payment Program starting on Jan. 1, 2017.

With the beginning of the Quality Payment Program set on Jan. 1, 2017, CMS has outlined the plans available for the timing of reporting for the first year of the program. The first year options are centered around the idea to let physicians to choose their own participation plans. By choosing one of the four offered plans they guarantee that there will be no negative payment adjustment in 2019.

The options available to physicians are as followed:

Test the Quality Payment Program. This option states that if physicians enter any amount of data into the program they avoid a negative payment adjustment. This basic first option is meant as a guideline to make sure your system is functioning and is prepared for more participation in the coming years as a practice gets more adjusted to the program.

Participate for part of the year. This option allows physicians to enter data for only a section of days in the year, meaning the first performance period could begin after the Jan. 1 start date of the program. Submitting information regarding how a practice utilizes technology and what improvements are being made for part of the year still qualifies the physicians for a small positive payment adjustment.

Participate for the full year. By choosing to enter information to the program for the full year the first performance period begins the first day of the program on Jan. 1. As the physician enters information regarding the quality measures, technology use and improvement updates of the practice, he will qualify for a modest positive payment adjustment.

Participate in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model. Rather than submitting data to the Quality Payment Program, physicians are allowed to join the Advanced Alternative Payment Model. If, through the year, they reach your goal of Medicare payments or see the number of patients needed then they qualify for a 5 percent incentive payment in 2019.