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MIPS

Extreme Circumstances Exception application deadline stretched to Feb. 1

To support clinicians during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending the 2020 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception application deadline to Feb. 1, 2021.

For the 2020 performance year, CMS will be using its Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy to allow MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups to submit an application requesting reweighting of one or more MIPS performance categories to 0% due to the current COVID-19 public health emergency.

If your practice has any concerns about the effect of the COVID-19 public health emergency on your performance data, including cost measures, for the 2020 performance period, submit an application now and cite COVID-19 as the reason for your application.

If you have an approved application, you can still receive scores for the Quality, Improvement Activities and Promoting Interoperability performance categories if you submit data. If the Cost performance category is included in your approved application, you will not be scored on cost measures even if other data are submitted. Learn more in the 2020 Exceptions Application Fact Sheet.

CMS has finalized that APM Entities may submit an application to reweight MIPS performance categories as a result of extreme and uncontrollable circumstances, such as the public health emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more in the 2021 Quality Payment Program Final Rule Overview Fact Sheet.

Note: The deadline for the MIPS Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exception application will remain Dec. 31, 2020. Remember, if you’re already exempt from reporting Promoting Interoperability data, you don’t need to apply.

How do I apply?

You must have a HCQIS Access Roles and Profile (HARP) account to complete and submit an exception application on behalf of yourself, or another MIPS eligible clinician, group, virtual group or APM Entity. For more information on HARP accounts, please refer to the Register for a HARP Account document in the QPP Access User Guide.

Once you register for a HARP account, sign in to qpp.cms.gov, select “Exceptions Applications” on the left-hand navigation, select “Add New Exception,” and select “Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception” or “Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exception.”

How do I know if I’m approved?

If you submit an application for either of the exceptions, you will be notified by email if your request was approved or denied. If approved, this will also be added to your eligibility profile on the QPP Participation Status Tool, but may not appear in the tool until the submission window is open in 2021.

 

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