News & Insights

2018 QPP Reporting: Improvement Activities

February 14, 2018

2018 QPP Reporting: Improvement Activities

In this edition of Practice Solutions eNews we bring you the second of a four-part series on the regulations and requirements for the Quality Payment Program (QPP) in 2018 so that you can AVOID a 5% Medicare penalty in 2020.

In 2017, CMS introduced Improvement Activities (IA) to the Medicare Part B provider community. This new performance category had many providers stumped. Conversations among practice mangers and providers included questions and concerns like:

"The descriptions are vague."
"What do we need to document?"
"What does CMS mean when they say 'timely'?"  

After some additional clarification from CMS, this performance category has proven to be an easy win for many provider practices. In fact, if you didn't report Quality or Advancing Care Information (ACI) in 2017, it's not too late to see if you can report an Improvement Activity and avoid a penalty in 2019! You must attest before March 31, 2018. The Improvement Activities focus providers on improving patient communication, patient engagement, patient safety and care coordination. Here are the highlights to be aware of for Improvement Activities in 2018:

  • The performance category is still worth 15 points of the total MIPS Composite Score (and yes, 15 points is all you need to AVOID A PENALTY in 2018!)
  • Data reporting is still for 90 days
  • You don't need an EHR, but if you use an EHR to report IA, you can earn bonus points
  • Eligible Clinicians or Groups must report on 4 activities valued at 10 points each unless they report on a high weighted activity valued at 20 points (for a total of 40 points) to earn the full 15 points for the MIPS Composite Score (and avoid a penalty)
  • Small, rural and HPSA practices only need to report 2 medium weighted or 1 high weighted measure
  • The data collection is much less stringent than in either Quality or ACI. Clinicians have greater flexibility in demonstrating their compliance and completing the activity.
  • The reporting process does not require a data submission, but rather an attestation of "yes" to a given activity. Improvement Activities cannot be reported via Claims.
  • For Groups and Virtual Groups, only 1 provider must attest to an activity for the activity to count for the group
  • There are 112 activities listed in the inventory. Here are a few of the Improvement Activities for 2018:

Contact LAMMICO Practice Management Specialist, Natalie Cohen, MBA, MHA, at 504.841.2727 or via email at for a personalized consultation to develop and implement your practice's plan for QPP in 2018.

This is not legal or financial advice, and is not intended to substitute for individualized business or financial judgment. It does not dictate exclusive methods, and is not applicable to all circumstances.




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