MIPS Flexibilities and Resources Available to Support Clinicians Responding to COVID-19

Members & Publications


February 1, 2022

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to provide relief where possible to clinicians responding to the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency (PHE). CMS is applying the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (EUC) policy to ALL individually eligible MIPS eligible clinicians for the 2021 performance year (PY).

The automatic EUC policy only applies to MIPS eligible clinicians who are eligible to participate in MIPS as individuals. The automatic EUC policy doesn't apply to groups, virtual groups or Alternative Payment Model (APM) entities.

MIPS eligible clinicians who are eligible to participate in MIPS as individuals do not need to take any action to have the automatic EUC policy applied to them. They'll be automatically identified and will have all four MIPS performance categories reweighted to 0% and receive a neutral payment adjustment for the 2023 MIPS payment year unless they 1) submit data in two or more performance categories, or 2) have a higher final score from group or APM Entity participation.

For more information, please see the Quality Payment Program COVID-19 Response Fact Sheet or visit the Quality Payment Program COVID-19 Response webpage on the QPP website.

Eligible Clinicians Can Still Take Advantage of SURS Support until February 15

Over the past five years, CMS has successfully implemented a technical assistance initiative for clinicians in small practices participating in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) known as the Small, Underserved and Rural Support (SURS). This initiative provides free, customized technical assistance to practices with 15 or fewer MIPS eligible clinicians. CMS encourages small practices to take advantage of this initiative before it ends on February 15, 2022.

CMS is committed to providing continued support and educational resources for small, underserved and rural practices participating in QPP. The Support for Small Practices page on the QPP website will provide updates and resources for small practices and a link to subscribe to the new SURS listserv. CMS encourages all small, underserved and rural clinicians and their staff to bookmark this page for easy access to updates and available resources.

Legislation Introduced to Alleviate Impact of Conversion Factor Cut for 2021

Nov 09, 2020

Last month, two bills were introduced in the House proposing solutions to the estimated 10.6% Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor cut expected to go into effect January 1, 2021.  The bills offer some relief to the cut, but do not reflect a comprehensive or long-term solution.  AAPM&R has therefore chosen to remain neutral regarding these bills. 

Your Academy continues to advocate for a permanent solution to the conversion factor cut while maintaining the important payment increases to office and outpatient evaluation and management services.