Medicare Releases Quality Payment Updates for 2019

Medicare Releases Quality Payment Updates for 2019

On November 1, 2019, year 3 of the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP), key factors were released.  Beginning in January 2019, the definition of eligible providers has been expanded to include physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, clinical psychologists, and registered dietitians or nutrition professionals.

Next year, providers may choose to opt into the program, even if they have not exceeded the low-volume threshold.  In the past, a provider would have had to exceed 200 active patients and perform more than $90,000 in part B Medicare services.  This threshold eliminated 85% of chiropractors.  This threshold has been changed to allow providers to participate in the Quality Payment Program if they only meet one of the thresholds.   The program has added a third element (Number of Covered Professional Services) to the low-volume threshold determination and provides an opt-in policy that offers eligible clinicians who meet or exceed one or two, but not all, elements of the low-volume threshold, the ability to participate in MIPS.


Continued Improvement

The program continued to improve by moving clinicians to a smaller set of objectives and measures with scoring based on performance for the Promoting Interoperability performance category.  The program will also begin to allow small practices to submit quality data for covered professional services through the Medicare Part B claims submission type for the Quality performance category.

Several chiropractic physicians have expressed no inclination to participate in the quality payment program.  However, it is recommended that all providers educate themselves on the Quality Payment Program and Medicare’s Physician Compare Program.  Beneficiaries are being encouraged by Medicare to look up their physicians to see how they rate in performance related to quality care.  Patient survey scores are also being published. The survey asks patients about their experiences with clinicians in the groups they visit for care. It covers important topics, such as how well their clinicians communicate.

The Quality Payment Program is only one of the programs the government uses to recognize and reward with increased reimbursement those physicians who provide quality care to their patients and eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse. The program is seriously being evaluated by commercial carriers such as Blue Cross and Aetna.

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About Author

Mario Fucinari DC, CCSP, APMP, MCS-P, CPCO

Dr. Mario Fucinari has helped train doctors and staff over the last 20 years. He received his bachelor's degree from Wayne State University in Detroit and his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1986. Dr. Fucinari was the recipient of the 1998 and the 2003 President's Award from the Illinois Chiropractic Society (ICS) for his work with education and training and most recently received the 2012 Chiropractor of the Year award from the ICS. Dr. Fucinari was the first chiropractic physician to attain the Certified Medical Compliance degree. Two years later he earned his degree as a Certified Instructor for the Certified Medical Compliance Program. He is now the Chairman of the Chiropractic division of the national medical compliance program. He has produced classes and publications on HIPAA, Clinical Documentation, Medicare, and Stroke and Cervical Manipulation. He is a worldwide speaker for NCMIC, Foot Levelers, ChiroHealthUSA and several state associations and a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician [CCSP].Online CME CoursesConnect

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