CMS Programs Provide Numerous Opportunities to Define and Improve Quality

October 2021

At times, the “alphabet soup” of Medicare quality programs can be confusing and intimidating. MIPS. MVPs. IAs. What does it all mean? While they take some effort to understand, Medicare’s programs provide numerous opportunities for public input. Discern Health works with clients to navigate these opportunities and has achieved significant results for both chronic and acute care.

“MIPS” is the Merit-based Incentive Payment System that Medicare uses to adjust physician payment based on quality performance. “IAs” are Improvement Activities that physicians can implement to earn credit in MIPS. Each IA describes a specific process that can enhance patient care and outcomes. Each year, Medicare accepts recommendations for new IAs and modifications to existing ones. Discern has recently successfully submitted three IAs to Medicare – one focused on chronic care, one in oncology, and one related to COVID readiness.

“MVPs,” or MIPS Value Pathways, are measure sets focused on a specific therapeutic area or medical specialty. MVPs include a combination of clinical quality, cost, and health IT measures. MVPs are a new initiative, and Medicare proposed the initial set of MVPs earlier this year. As with IAs, CMS also accepts recommendations for new MVPs. Discern worked with clients to facilitate the development and submission of three of MVPs which Medicare has proposed for initial adoption, related to both chronic and acute care.

Discern is currently working with several clients to develop and submit IAs and MVPs for the next round of review by Medicare. Please reach out to us to better understand these Medicare initiatives and how to get engaged.

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