As a subcontractor to Altarum Institute of Michigan, Kentucky Regional Extension Center exclusively serves and supports the eligible providers in Kentucky under the QPP SURS technical assistance grant. However, after five years of support, the initiative will end on February 15, 2022. Contact the expert advisors at Kentucky REC for all your QPP, MIPS, and APM questions. We’re here to help: 859-323-3090.
From CMS QPP Listserv announcement December 8, 2021:
Over the past 5 years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has successfully implemented a technical assistance initiative for clinicians in small practices participating in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) known as the Small, Underserved, and Rural Support (SURS). This initiative provides free, customized technical assistance to practices with 15 or fewer Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians. Since QPP began in 2017, SURS technical assistance organizations have provided direct support to an average of 107,250 clinicians annually and achieved a 99% average annual small practice clinician satisfaction rate for the technical assistance received based on an average of 19,281 responses. Overall, the feedback we’ve heard from clinicians that have worked with SURS technical assistance organizations has been overwhelmingly positive and shows the strong impact this initiative has had on small practice clinicians’ participation in QPP.
As clinicians are preparing for the start of the 2022 performance year (PY), it is important to note that the SURS initiative will end on February 15, 2022 as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) only provided for 5 years of direct support. The practice-level program support provided by the external technical assistance organizations will no longer be available after this date. For those currently receiving MIPS support from the SURS technical assistance organizations, be assured that these organizations have committed to providing exceptional technical assistance organizations through February 15. CMS encourages small practices to take advantage of this initiative within the remaining time.
CMS is committed to providing continued support and educational resources for small, underserved and rural practices participating in QPP and will continue to have the following options available:
• The Quality Payment Program Service Center will serve as a primary point of contact to help address your questions and concerns. The Service Center is able to address basic questions as well as more complex scenarios.
• Connect with the Service Center at 1-866-288-8292 (TTY 1-877-715-6222) or via email at QPP@cms.hhs.gov Monday – Friday 8 am – 8 pm ET
• The QPP website provides a centralized location for resources, and specifically, the Support for Small Practices page will provide updates and resources for small practices.
• We encourage all small, underserved and rural clinicians and their staff to bookmark this page (https://qpp.cms.gov/resources/small-underserved-rural-practices) for easy access to updates and available resources.
• Upcoming webinars and trainings will be listed on the QPP Webinar Library. Recordings, slides and transcripts of past events will also be available and posted to the Webinar Library.
• Sign up for the QPP listserv to receive updates on the Quality Payment Program and upcoming program deadlines.
• Encourage your fellow small, underserved and rural clinicians and their staff to sign up for the QPP listserv by entering their email address into the box at the bottom of any cms.gov webpage.
• CMS is looking into the possibility of creating a targeted listserv focused on small practices so that they can get you the information you need most.
What Should I Do Now?
1. Bookmark the QPP website Support for Small Practices page.
2. Sign-up for the QPP listserv.
3. Small practices participating in QPP for PY 2021 should make plans to submit data early while technical assistance support is still available (before February 15, 2022). The data submission window for PY 2021 opens on January 3, 2022 and closes on March 31, 2022.
Reminder: Under current policies, we automatically calculate a quality score from Medicare Part B claims measures at the individual and group level. Some small practices may not be aware of the implications of their PY 2021 claims reporting due to some of the policies we introduced at the onset of the COVID-19 PHE. As a result, these small practices may wish to request performance category reweighting on behalf of the group through the PY 2021 EUC Exception Application, citing COVID-19 as the triggering event.
• PY 2021 EUC Exception Applications can be submitted by signing in to qpp.cms.gov and clicking Exception Applications on the left-hand navigation.
• December 31, 2021 is the deadline to submit an EUC Exception Application for PY 2021.
CMS understands clinicians in small practices, including those in rural locations, health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas are a vital part of our healthcare system. Therefore, they remain committed to providing educational resources to help maximize participation in QPP beyond the end of the SURS initiative on February 15, 2022. CMS is working with SURS technical assistance organizations to identify areas where greater support is needed for small practices so that they can improve existing resources, or develop new resources, and ensure small practices continue to be successful in QPP.
As a subcontractor to Altarum Institute of Michigan, Kentucky Regional Extension Center exclusively serves and supports the eligible providers in Kentucky. However, after five years of support, the QPP SURS technical assistance grant will end on February 15, 2022. Contact the expert advisors at Kentucky REC for all your QPP, MIPS, and APM questions. We’re here to help: 859-323-3090.