The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday launched a new data submission system on its Quality Payment Program website to make it easier for eligible clinicians participating in the program to submit their 2017 performance data without having to use multiple websites.

Previously, legacy CMS programs such as the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for Eligible Professionals and Physician Quality Reporting System required clinicians to submit performance data using multiple systems. However, under the QPP, the agency is trying to streamline the data submission process by creating a single system for all submissions.

“The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) requires CMS to implement the Quality Payment Program, and we are committed to doing so in the least burdensome way possible,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “The new data submission system makes it easier for clinicians to meet MACRA’s reporting requirements and spend more time treating patients instead of filing paperwork.”

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Eligible clinicians have two tracks from which to choose as part of QPP: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or the Advanced Alternate Payment Models (APMs). One of the features of the new data submission system is it provides automatic feedback and scoring.

“As you enter data, you’ll see initial MIPS performance category scoring based on your submissions,” according to CMS. “This scoring may change if you participate in an APM, report new data, or use quality measures in the Quality performance category that have not yet been benchmarked.”

Eligible clinicians now can use the new system to submit their 2017 performance data for the QPP during the 2017 submission period, which runs from January 2 to March 31, 2018. However, CMS Web Interface users—groups with 25 or more clinicians, including APM entities—have a shorter timeframe to submit quality data, with a submission period that runs from January 22 to March 16, 2018. Data can be updated at any time during the respective submission periods.

“There are multiple data submission options, including Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs), qualified registries, attestation or the CMS Web Interface,” states the agency. “Eligible clinicians can also submit data using a Health IT Vendor, which extracts data from certified EHR technology; however, in the spirit of flexibility and burden reduction, eligible clinicians can generate a non-certified report in either the new Quality Payment Program file format or QRDA III file format and manually upload the file into the submission system.”

Once the data submission periods close in March, CMS will calculate clinician payment adjustments based on their last submission or submission update. The agency encourages eligible clinicians—who will report data either as an individual or a group—to log in early and often to get familiar with the new data submission system.

Clinicians must have an Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) account and an appropriate user role associated with their organization to sign-in and submit data to the QPP. Because there is no “submit” or “save” button in the submission system, when data is entered it automatically updates the record.

Additional information on the new data submission system can be found here. Those needing assistance with the system can contact QPP by email at qpp@cms.hhs.gov or toll free at 1-866-288-8292.

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