CMS Eases Certain Reporting Requirements Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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MARCH 23, 2020 --  Federal officials yesterday announced greater flexibility on Medicare data reporting regulations, intending to give clinicians more time to attend to patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said the changes will apply to the Quality Payment Program, in which 1.2 million clinicians participate, as well as to data-reporting requirements for hospitals.

The deadline for the Quality Payment Program of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for reporting 2019 performance has been moved from March 31, 2020, to April 30, 2020, CMS said in a press release.

Physicians who are eligible for MIPS but do not submit the normally required data by April 30 will receive what CMS calls "a neutral payment adjustment" for the 2021 MIPS payment year.

CMS said it is also evaluating options for providing relief around participation and data submission for 2020. In a statement, Patricia Harris, MD, president of the American Medical Association, said these moves would provide some needed relief.

"In the best of times, physician practices struggle to meet all the bureaucratic demands in the Medicare program. These are not the best of times," Harris said. "Doctors don't have much time to breathe a sigh of relief, but if they did, they would take a moment to thank CMS for this wise decision."

As of today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting a total of 33,404 cases of coronavirus in the United States, with 400 deaths attributed to the infection.

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