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December 19, 2017

In This Issue:

Time is running out to report your 2017 data if you are included in the CMS Quality Payment Program (QPP) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). As a reminder, your 2017 data will determine how your 2019 Medicare payments will be adjusted up, down, or not at all. The deadline to enroll in the CAP’s MIPS Reporting Solution is January 5, 2018.

If you are unsure of your MIPS reporting status, you can enter your National Provider Identifier (NPI) to see if you are included in an Alternative Payment Program (APM). If you are part of an APM, then you don't need to report for MIPS. If you are not part of an APM, then check your MIPS status to see if you are eligible for reporting. Clinicians who (1) enroll in Medicare for the first time in 2017; (2) bill Medicare for $30,000 or less; (3) have provided care for 100 Medicare patients or fewer; or (4) are not in a MIPS-eligible specialty, are exempt from the MIPS program.

If you do qualify to report for MIPS, it is not too late to use the CAP's 2017 MIPS Reporting Solution tool manually enter quality measures data and/or attest to Improvement Activities to avoid the penalty and aim for a bonus. The enrollment deadline for the CAP's 2017 MIPS Reporting Solution is January 5, 2018.

If you have further questions about MIPS reporting of either of the CAP's MIPS reporting tools, please email

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James E. Richard, DO, FCAP

Each month, STATLINE will feature one of the many CAP members who have been champions for pathology in Washington and at the state level through our grassroots and PAC programs. If you would like to get involved, you can join PathNET, contribute to PathPAC, or join your state pathology society.

Name: James E. Richard, DO, FCAP
Position: Laboratory Director of Sparrow Health Systems, Lansing, Michigan, CAP Speaker of the House of Delegates

How did you first get involved in advocacy?

I grew up in advocacy. My dad was a union steward, and my mom volunteered at the polls and even walked around with a petition to get the first stop light in the neighborhood. There was always talk about various local political races and whom to back and why. And when they said "back a candidate," it meant in contributions as well as stumping for votes. They also taught me that after an election, you had to find a way to find a common cause with the winner.

I went on a fly-in to Washington, DC, in the late 1980s with my county medical society and met a couple of congressmen who were active in shaping the new health care policies. Henry Waxman and Pete Stark were both memorable and I was hooked.

Why should your colleagues get involved in advocacy?

If you are concerned about your earning potential, your ability to practice freely in the interest of your patients, and your value in health care, then you need somebody to advocate for you, and at times that somebody needs to be you. It is that important. It can be intimidating at first, but so was riding a bike when you were 5. Once you did, it was not as scary as you thought. Advocacy is the same.

I learned early that knowledge was the key to being a good advocate. It removed the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. I needed to know the arguments from both sides and then prepare. The CAP does a fantastic job of prepping advocates. The Policy Meeting is a great training and proving ground for both the novice and the experienced pathologist advocate. You learn to organize your presentations for success and other skills that you will apply in your own health care organization.

Do you have a favorite memory or experience that stands out in your advocacy work?

You never know when your efforts or connections will come in handy. I met my current senator 26 years ago as a local legislator at our county medical society legislative breakfasts. Today, Senator Stabenow is one of the original sponsors for the CAP’s Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act (S. 794/HR 3635) in the Senate.

I met my current congressman when he was a local legislator in Michigan, too. I then talked with his staff during a Hill visit at the CAP Policy Meeting. I went to a fundraiser for him the following year, and the other donors did not show. I had 45 minutes, one-on-one, with my congressman. The two of us shared life stories and got a chance to know each other. We saw similarities and differences, and I had a great chance to educate him about our LCD legislation. I followed up with emails and phone calls to his staff and supplied additional information that the CAP provided. I sent a small donation to his re-election campaign because I believed in him. The efforts paid off. Last month he signed on as a cosponsor to HR 3635.

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The annual CAP policy meeting, which is set for from April 30–May 2 at the Washington Marriott in Washington, DC, enables CAP members to connect with government leaders and policy experts to discuss the impact of federal regulation on their pathology practices.

New regulations are taking shape that will impact pathology reimbursements for years to come. Attendees at the CAP Policy Meeting will receive the latest information and analysis on the implementation of new Medicare and laboratory regulations. The CAP is actively engaged in the legislative and regulatory arenas on the critical issues facing pathology and laboratory medicine, including physician payment reform, reducing regulatory burdens, and improving health care quality.

The CAP Policy Meeting will also include meetings with members of Congress and their staff during the CAP's Annual Hill Day on May 2, which is the specialty's opportunity to focus on the federal issues most important to pathologists now and in the future.

The CAP Policy Meeting is a benefit of CAP Membership. There is no fee to register.

Register for the 2018 Policy Meeting.

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STATLINE will take a scheduled break on Decembver 26 in observance of the holiday and will next appear in your email inbox on January 2. Please continue to check the CAP Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates from the CAP.

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