CME for MIPS: How to Support Your Clinician Learners’ Participation in the Quality Payment Program

Since the introduction of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Payment Program (QPP) in 2017 many accredited providers and their physician stakeholders have been actively pursuing approaches to meet new expectations for payment reform. As we are in the midst of 2018 Performance Year (PY2018) for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), we wanted to provide accredited providers with a few action items to consider that may help you support learners and organizational stakeholders as they navigate payment reform.

Use CME improvement activities to help clinicians meet MIPS expectations that deliver financial incentives for engaging in quality. This year, MIPS-eligible clinicians can report participation in CME activities that address performance and/or quality improvement to fulfill MIPS Clinical Practice Improvement Activities. These improvement activities are included in the current (PY2018) Clinical Practice Improvement Activities and are listed as Completion of An Accredited Safety or Quality Improvement Program (Activity ID IA_PSPA_28) under the Patient Safety and Practice Assessment category on the QPP website. We have posted a step-by-step guide to assist you and your learners with this opportunity.

Support organizational change with CME. A recent KPMG/AMA survey highlights significant gaps in knowledge for physicians seeking to understand and plan for meeting the expectations of the QPPThese educational needs may highlight an opportunity for you to convene a conversation with your leadership about how your CME program can support organizational learning that engages physicians, healthcare teams, and administrators around these changes. This interprofessional education can support organization-wide professional development to build leadership and communication skills essential for implementing change.

Quality-improvement is CME. Pursue collaboration with colleagues in your organization who monitor and report CMS performance and quality measures. At a minimum, those data can inform the gaps and educational needs of your interventions and measure the impact of your educational efforts. Engage leadership to remove silos and more effectively envision quality improvement and continuing professional development as a learning continuum.

CME for MIPS is one way that you can relieve administrative burden for your clinicians. In addition to MIPS, several strategic opportunities exist to allow your learners to simultaneously satisfy several professional and institutional requirements through their current engagement in CME learning and improvement. Consider engaging with your clinicians and organizational leaders to communicate specific ways that your CME Program can simplify professional requirements and reduce administrative burden—from quality improvement to MIPS to Maintenance of Certification/Continuing Certification. 

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Thank you for your continuing efforts to improve practice and care through your educational leadership. Please contact us if you have questions or ideas to share.