2017-12-13 16:24:42 UTC

Dec. 13, 2017

Medicare grants exception to MIPS-eligible clinicians affected by recent hurricanes and wildfires.

CMS recently released regulatory guidance for clinicians participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) who have been adversely impacted by hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria, as well as the Northern California wildfires. Guidance has not yet been released for those impacted by the recent fires in Los Angeles, CA.

The “Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances” policy grants exceptions without having to submit an extraordinary circumstances exception request to MIPS-eligible clinicians. Under this policy, affected clinicians will automatically receive a neutral MIPS payment adjustment, unless they submit data for any of the MIPS performance categories by the submission deadline for 2017 (March 31, 2018). The affected areas include:

  • Florida: all 67 counties
  • Georgia: all 159 counties
  • Louisiana: all 64 parishes
  • Puerto Rico: all 78 municipios
  • South Carolina: all 46 counties and the Catawba Indian Nation
  • Texas: Aransas, Austin, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Dewitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Harris, Jackson, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Liberty, Live Oak, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Waller, Wharton, and Wilson counties
  • California: Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, Orange, Nevada and Yuba counties
  • All U.S. Virgin Islands

If you’re eligible for an exception due to extreme and uncontrollable circumstances, but still choose to report on one or more performance categories (either as an individual or group), you’ll be scored on those performance categories and your MIPS payment adjustment will be based on your final score.

This policy does not apply to MIPS-eligible clinicians in MIPS alternative payment models in 2017, such as the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

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