CHA News Article

CMS Will Apply Automatic MIPS Exception to Clinicians Affected by Wildfires

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an interim final rule that includes the extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy for the transition year of Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The interim final rule was issued as part of the calendar year 2018 Quality Payment Program year 2 final rule.

Under the policy, MIPS-eligible clinicians affected by the Northern California wildfires do not need to submit an application to reweight the performance categories. CMS will identify clinicians based on information in the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System. In addition, eligible clinicians will automatically receive a neutral MIPS payment adjustment. However, clinicians who choose to submit data for any of the MIPS performance categories will be scored based on the data submitted.

Counties on the wildfire exception list include Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba.

The automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstance policy only applies to MIPS-eligible clinicians in affected areas and is not applicable to MIPS-eligible clinicians in MIPS alternative payment models in 2017, like the Medicare Shared Savings Program. 

CHA will continue to monitor information from CMS on exceptions for clinicians in areas affected by the fires in Southern California.