What you need to know about 2018 Improvement Activities
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced the Improvement Activities (IA) category for the 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance year. The IA category rewards clinicians for care focused on coordination, beneficiary engagement, and patient safety. Below are key questions to keep in mind and the list of pathology-specific Improvement Activities for the 2018 MIPS performance year.
How much weight does CMS assign the IA category for the overall MIPS score?
Improvement Activities account for 15% of a non-patient-facing physician’s MIPS score (the other 85% is Quality Measures).
What is the maximum score for the IA category?
Physicians can earn a maximum score of 40 points by reporting Improvement Activities.
How does the CMS score the IA category?
Improvement Activities are classified by two weight categories:
- High-weighted (worth 40 points)
- Medium-weighted (worth 20 points)
The CAP recommends you choose either two medium-weighted or one high-weighted IA.
What are the requirements for reporting?
- Physicians must do the activity for a minimum of 90 days and up to a full year.
- Physicians must keep documentation for 10-years on how they participated in an Improvement Activity.
How do pathologists report on the IA category?
Physicians must attest to completing the Improvement Activities by the end of the 2018 MIPS reporting period.
- A simple “yes” is all that is required to attest to completing an improvement activity, in addition to documentation.
- Most billing companies cannot provide attestation for Improvement Activities. Therefore, most pathologists will need to attest, such as through a qualified registry, for Improvement Activities. (Groups of 25+ can submit through the CMS web interface).
- For group reporting, only one MIPS-eligible clinician in a tax identification number (TIN) entity must perform the Improvement Activity for the TIN to receive credit.
Does the CMS have any resources available on Improvement Activities
Yes. Visit the CMS website for more information on Improvement Activities.
What are some examples of IAs that apply to pathologists?
Many activities pathologists are already doing should qualify for Improvement Activities. According to data collected by our 2017 MIPS Reporting Solution, some of the top utilized Improvement Activities by pathologists were:
- Implementation of improvements that contribute to the more timely communication of test results (medium weight = 20 points)
- Implementation of use of specialist reports back to referring clinician or group to close referral loop (medium weight = 20 points)
Members can login to see Improvement activities we have identified as applicable to pathologists.