CMS recently issued an interim final rule with comment period that exempts MIPS-eligible clinicians in disaster areas from submitting data for the quality, improvement activities and advancing care information performance categories.
The interim final rule includes the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy, which applies to MIPS clinicians who have been affected by the Northern California wildfires and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. MIPS clinicians in the affected areas do not need to submit applications to reweight the performance categories. Clinicians will automatically receive a neutral MIPS payment adjustment unless clinicians choose to submit data for any of the MIPS performance categories. The policy applies only to individual MIPS-eligible clinicians, not groups.
The policy does not apply to the Cost performance category since it has a zero percent weight in 2017. MIPS-eligible clinicians can check whether they qualify for an exemption on the CMS MIPS Participation Status page. CMS says it is “waiving notice and comment and adopting this policy on an interim final basis due to the urgency of providing relief for MIPS-eligible clinicians impacted by recent natural disasters during the 2017 MIPS performance period.”