The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS): A Primer for Otolaryngologists

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Following passage of the 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, most clinicians caring for Medicare Part B patients were required to participate in a new value-based reimbursement system known as the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) beginning in 2017. The MIPS adjusts payment rates to providers based on a composite score of performance across 4 categories: quality, advancing care information, clinical practice improvement activities, and resource use. However, factors such as practice size, setting, informational capabilities, and patient population may pose challenges as otolaryngologists endeavor to adapt to this broad-reaching payment reform. Given potential barriers to adoption, otolaryngologists should be aware of several important initiatives to help optimize their performance, including advocacy efforts by the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, the development of otolaryngology-specific MIPS quality measures, and the launch of a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services–qualified otolaryngology clinical data registry to facilitate reporting.

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