Discern Health will develop and submit to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) a new Improvement Activity (IA) for inclusion in Medicare’s Quality Payment Program for physicians. The proposed IA will focus on personal protective equipment (PPE) management and training in physician practices. If accepted by CMS, the new IA would give credit to physician practices that have PPE plans and supplies in place.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at Discern has discussed ways in which we can contribute to a long-term solution,” said Guy D’Andrea, Discern’s managing partner. “Value-based purchasing is a tool we can use to ensure our health system is prepared for future needs and challenges.”
CMS has already recognized that IAs can address COVID-19. Earlier this month, CMS expedited the release of an IA that credits physician practices that participate in COVID-19 clinical trials. There is a category of IAs for “emergency response and preparedness,” but it only has two IAs, neither related to infectious disease. Several state governments have recognized that adequate supplies of PPE is one factor that will affect decisions regarding social distancing and returning to normal.
“Health professionals should be recognized and rewarded for being prepared, and a MIPS IA would accomplish that goal,” said Tom Valuck, MD, partner at Discern. “At the same time, relevant federal government agencies; state and local public health authorities; professional societies; and health care organization leaders should help professionals prepare,” he added.