The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP) Experience Report today to provide insights into participation during the 2018 performance year. This report builds on the 2018 participation results shared in this CMS blog post by Administrator Seema Verma in January 2020.

The report includes data regarding participation and performance in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) tracks of QPP during the 2018 performance year. It covers eligibility and participation, reporting options, performance categories, and final score and payment adjustments. Key 2018 findings include:

  • 98% of MIPS eligible clinicians participated in the program and avoided a negative payment adjustment, a one-year increase of 3 percentage points.
  • 84% of clinicians earned an “exceptional performance” designation by earning 70 points or more.
  • 356,353 MIPS eligible clinicians participated in MIPS through a MIPS APM, a 15,000-clinician increase from the 2017 performance year.
  • The number of clinicians achieving Qualifying APM Participant (QP) status nearly doubled in one year, from 99,076 to 183,306 clinicians. This, along with the increase in MIPS APM participation, indicates a desire from clinicians and practices to transition toward value-based arrangements.
  • 84% of small practices earned a positive payment adjustment, up 10 percentage points from the year prior.
  • The percentage of rural practices earning a positive payment adjustment increased from 93% in 2017 to 97% in 2018.

Based on stakeholder feedback, CMS concisely compiled data in the QPP Experience Report to highlight elements named as important for understanding the Quality Payment Program. You will be able to find additional, more extensive data in a separate Public Use File, which will be released in summer 2020.

For More Information

Contact the Quality Payment Program at 1-866-288-8292 by e-mail at: qpp@cms.hhs.gov. To receive assistance more quickly, consider calling during non-peak hours—before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

Customers who are hearing impaired can dial 711 to be connected to a TRS Communications Assistant.

About Author

Healthcentric Advisors
As the New England Quality Payment Program Support Center, Healthcentric Advisors assists New England-based physician and other eligible clinical practices to prepare for and participate in the new Quality Payment Program (QPP), established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).