This Week – January 6, 2018

This Week in Washington, D.C.

  • CMS Opens Data Submission System for CY 2017 MACRA Reporting
  • CMS Clarifies Position on Texting Physician Orders
  • CMS Approves GIQuIC as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry for the 2018 Reporting Year
  • 2017 Public Policy and Practice Management Year in Review: What did ACG do for you?

From ACG Legislative and Public Policy Council Chair, Whitfield L. Knapple, MD, FACG

CMS Opens Data Submission System for CY 2017 MACRA Reporting

This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that ACG members participating in the “Quality Payment Program” can begin submitting their 2017 performance data using the Quality Payment Program website.  The Quality Payment Program is CMS’ name for implementing MACRA, or the two Medicare reimbursement tracks from which you choose to participate: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or an alternative payment model (APM).  Eligible ACG members can use the new system to submit their 2017 performance data, which will impact your 2019 payment year.  The 2017 submission period runs from January 2, 2018 to March 31, 2018.  Group practices who are using the CMS Web Interface have a different submission period: January 22, 2018 to March 16, 2018.

Your first step: Find out your status (you may not need to report data)

Determine whether or not you have to worry about MACRA.  Click here and enter your 10-digit National Provider Identifier (NPI) number.  This will tell you whether you meet the thresholds in order to be required to participate in MACRA.

Who has to participate in MACRA for the 2017 reporting year?

  1. If you are a: physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or CRNA; and
  2. If you bill more than $30,000 to Medicare, and provide care to more than 100 Medicare patients per year.

CMS estimated that roughly 12,168 GI clinicians would be subject to MIPS in 2017.  Do you have to participate?  Click here to find out.

Your second step: Gather your data

If you have any questions, read ACG’s summary of the 2017 Reporting Year for the details of what you need to report, or contact the ACG office.

Your third step: Log into the system

After logging in, the system will connect you to the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) associated with your NPI.

According to CMS, you will see a real-time initial scoring within each MIPS performance category as data is entered into the system.  This scoring may change if new data is reported, or if quality measures that have not yet been benchmarked are used.  Additionally, the performance category score will not initially take into account the user’s APM status, Qualifying APM Participant (QP) status, or any other special status that may apply to clinicians.

Please note: there are multiple data submission options, including using ACG-ASGE’s quality improvement registry, GIQuIC.  While the registration for the 2017 reporting period is closed, you may want to consider registering for next year.  The registry submits this data for you.  More on this below.

From ACG Practice Management Committee Chair, Louis J. Wilson, MD, FACG

CMS Clarifies Position on Texting Physician Orders

On December 28, 2017, CMS sent a memo clarifying its position on the use of text messages in healthcare, confirming that there is not a total ban in place.  A memo issued by the CMS to state surveyors reiterates a ban on texting of physician orders, but allows the exchange of patient information on a secure platform.  “It is expected that providers/organizations will implement procedures/processes that routinely assess the security and integrity of the texting systems/platforms that are being utilized, in order to avoid negative outcomes that could compromise the care of patients,” according to the memo.

Ann M. Bittinger, JD, advises what physicians can, cannot and should not text about regarding their patients in “Use Smartphones Smartly—What HIPAA Allows You to Text about Patients,” the latest Law Mind column in ACG Magazine. Be sure to review the checklist for mobile device policies and procedures. Ms. Bittinger can be reached via email.

CMS Approves GIQuIC as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry for the 2018 Reporting Year

GIQuIC is pleased to announce that the GIQuIC Registry has been approved as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) for reporting to the Merit‐based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for the 2018 reporting year.

Since 2010, GIQuIC has grown in value as a clinical benchmarking tool for gastroenterology practices, with more than 5.5 million colonoscopy cases and rising. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved GIQuIC as a QCDR since the 2014 reporting year, facilitating endoscopists’ documentation of compliance with quality measures. The QCDR reporting mechanism is a dynamic reporting option that allows providers to report on MIPS and non‐MIPS measures that are meaningful to their specialty practice and foster improvement in the quality of care provided to patients.

The 2018 GIQuIC QCDR is approved to report for individual eligible providers, groups, and virtual groups to the Quality, Advancing Care Information, and Improvement Activities performance categories.

Visit to see the list of measures available for reporting to the MIPS Quality performance category via the GIQuIC 2018 QCDR. The 2018 GIQuIC QCDR has 11 reportable measures (nine colonoscopy, two EGD), up from the seven reportable measures (six colonoscopy, one EGD) available with the 2017 GIQuIC QCDR.

GIQuIC will host an informational webinar on reporting via the 2018 GIQuIC QCDR in February 2018.

2017 Public Policy and Practice Management Year in Review:

What did ACG do for you?

December 2017

November 2017