February 06, 2018

CMS Enacts MIPS Natural Disaster Interim Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented an interim final rule with comment period on Jan. 1, 2018, to address extreme and uncontrollable circumstances that Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)-eligible clinicians experienced from specific natural disasters in the calendar 2017 MIPS transition year.

The CMS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy applies to MIPS-eligible clinicians in designated Federal Emergency Agency (FEMA) disaster zones affected by the California wildfires or Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Marie or Nate. The policy does not apply to MIP-eligible clinicians in MIPS Alternative Payment Models (APMs), such as the Medicare Shared Savings Program in 2017.

A CMS fact sheet describes policy terms and requirements. MIPS-eligible physicians in the disaster zones will not be required to apply to reweigh the performance categories. They will automatically receive a neutral MIPS payment adjustment, unless they submit data for two or more MIPS performance categories by the submission deadline for 2017. In such cases, they will be scored on each performance category according to existing MIPS scoring policies.

For more information. please contact Dominick Parris (djparris@acr.org) or Pam Kassing (pkassing@acr.org).