CMS Offers MIPS, Quality Payment Program Credit for COVID-19 Data

Quality Payment Program

CMS is now offering MIPS credit for all participating clinicians of the Quality Payment Program to help report and provide COVID-19 data.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is asking all clinicians in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) to contribute to the scientific research and reporting efforts to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contributing clinicians may earn credit through the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Clinicians can earn credit by participating in a clinical trial and reporting accordingly through the new COVID-19 Clinical Trials improvement activity.

“The best scientific and medical minds in the world are working night and day to find treatments to combat Coronavirus,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “But without solid data, their efforts are liable to run up against a brick wall.”

CMS intends for clinicians to report their findings and provide data to the industry in an effort to lessen the spread of the virus or treat COVID-19 symptoms.

“At the direction of President Trump, CMS is supporting efforts of researchers to obtain solid, actionable data to accelerate the development of new treatments and our understanding of the coronavirus,” Verma continued. “Today’s action encourages clinicians to report data that will help us monitor the spread of the virus, find innovative medical solutions, and unleash scientific discovery as we seek to overcome this terrible disease.”

Participating clinicians must first participate in a COVID-19 clinical trial and treat a patient with coronavirus using a drug or biological product. Next, clinicians must report their findings through a clinical data registry or repository throughout the examination.

Clinicians and their patients can participant in multiple different types of clinical trials, receiving MIPS credit based on the type of trial in which they participate. For example, a traditional double-blind placebo-controlled trial would score higher than others, resulting in half of the possible maximum score.

Clinicians may also report their findings through a data repository, like Oracle’s COVID-19 Therapeutic Learning System.

The system allows clinicians and patients to record the impact of potential coronavirus drug therapies. This tool aims to speed up test results, which in return may lead to better patient care when dealing with COVID-19 patients.

Along with the COVID-19 Clinical Trials, CMS has worked hand-in-hand with the White House Coronavirus Task Force to decrease clinician burden and work with the healthcare community to help decrease the spread of the pandemic.

In late March, the head of the Coronavirus Task Force, Vice President Mike Pence, wrote a letter to hospitals across the country requesting they report COVID-19 testing data directly to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in an effort to help fight the pandemic.

Since private and commercial laboratories have already been reporting their findings, Pence asked all hospitals that are performing “in-house” or onsite testing to report testing data to HHS each day.

“As you know, partnership is essential as we work together to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Pence. “To that end, we are requesting your assistance with reporting data that is critical for epidemiological surveillance and public health decision making.”

“We understand that you may already be reporting to your state, but the data is needed at the federal level to support FEMA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their efforts to support states and localities in addressing and responding to the virus.”

Using coronavirus test results, the data will help monitor the spread and emergence of the coronavirus and its impact on the healthcare system.

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