cms-logo-smallThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded a contract to Altarum Institute to help small practices in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Minnesota prepare for and participate in the new Quality Payment Program, established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

The University of Kentucky, in partnership with Altarum, will provide this technical assistance, authorized and funded under MACRA, bringing direct support to thousands of Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians in small practices with 15 or fewer clinicians, including small practices in rural locations, health professional shortage areas, and medically under-served areas across the country. The direct technical assistance is available immediately, free to all MIPS eligible clinicians, and will deliver support for up to a five year period.

“This work showcases the leadership and innovation of our research and allows UK HealthCare to be on the front line of the changes ahead in healthcare. This work will allow us to improve patient care and outcomes and improve overall healthcare value across this region,” stated Rob Edwards, Chief External Affairs Officer for UK HealthCare.

UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Regional Extension Center will be the group in charge of providing customized technical assistance to MIPS eligible clinicians across the Commonwealth as a part of the SURS program, which may include, but is not limited to, the following:

• Conveying the MIPS expectations and timelines
• Explaining the MIPS feedback report
• Creating a MIPS-score improvement plan
• Evaluating practice readiness for joining an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM)
• Assessing and optimizing Health Information Technology
• Supporting change management and strategic planning
• Developing and disseminating education and training materials
• Enabling peer-to-peer learning and local partnerships

“The University of Kentucky is excited for the opportunity to be a key catalyst in innovation and research as we change the way healthcare is delivered and physicians are compensated. This work will ignite transformational change in one of the most under-served, economically challenged regions in the United States, characterized by significant morbidity and mortality from chronic disease. The significance of this work for our region and the entire country cannot be overstated,” says Trudi Matthews, Managing Director of UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Regional Extension Center.

Kentucky Regional Extension Center can be contacted by phone at 859-323-3090, via email at or you can visit our website at You can also follow @KentuckyREC on Twitter and connect on Facebook at

For more information on the Quality Payment Program, visit or contact the Quality Payment Program by calling 1-866-288-8292 or emailing