On March 22, CMS announced that for providers participating in quality reporting programs the agency is granting extensions on reporting deadlines and allowing the omission of certain time periods for most program reporting. CMS released a programmatic chart explaining the relief granted considering the “extreme and uncontrollable circumstances” resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Of particular note:

  • Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) 2019 reporting deadline is extended from March 31st to April 30th
    • Providers that do not meet the new April 30th deadline will receive a neutral payment adjustment, but will not be penalized
  • Quality reporting programs will not require data submission for 2019 Q4 (October-December) and 2020 Q1 & Q2 (January – June)
    • Allowable Data Exclusions:
      • 2019 Q4 data reporting is optional; performance will be calculated based on Q1-Q3 data if Q4 data is not submitted
      • 2020 Q1 & Q2 data is exempted from reporting
      • Note: if a provider chooses to submit reporting for the excluded time periods, such data will still be used in calculating performance in some cases
    • Applicable Providers:
      • ASCs
      • Hospitals (IP/OP)
      • Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities
      • Exempt Cancer Hospitals
      • CAHs,
      • ESRD,
      • Home Health
      • Hospice
      • SNF
      • Long Term Care Hospital
    • Hospital Readmissions and Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction programs will allow the same exclusions detailed above for 2019 and 2020 data submission
    • Home Health and Hospice CAHPS survey data submission is optional for 2020 Q1-Q3 (January-September)
    • SNF value-based purchasing will exclude 2020 Q1-Q2 readmissions from the 30-day all-cause readmission measure

CMS’ MIPS deadline extension and quality program data exclusion is in an effort to “reduce the data collection and reporting burden” while providers are responding to COVID-19 demands. CMS also recognizes that performance data collected during this pandemic is not reflective of actual provider quality performance, including costs, incidence of readmission, and patient satisfaction. General governmental COVID-19 updates are available here, and the CMS Emergencies Website is being updated regularly. Please let us know if we can assist you in navigating these rapidly evolving changes to standard reporting practices.

Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers will continue to provide updates pertinent to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Health Law Pulse.