Some folks prefer Rod Stewart’s cover of the song The First Cut is the Deepest but I have to admit I favor the rendition by Cat Stevens. No matter your preference, I’m pretty sure neither one of them was singing about the MACRA – MIPS program. If they were, they would have been crooning The First Cut is the Lightest.
MACRA – MIPS (aka The Quality Payment Program) began on January 1, 2017. That performance year brought eligible clinicians in 2019 maximum Medicare part B payment adjustments of +/- 4% delivering a potential 8% swing in reimbursement. With all the exceptions, exclusions, and low thresholds, that first year brought exceptionally light cuts in terms of Medicare part B reimbursement adjustments. Every year the knife returns and cuts a bit deeper. The 2020 performance period will be delivering a cut in 2022 that will have a real impact on affected practices, especially the smaller ones. With a maximum possible payment adjustment of +/- 9% we are now looking at a potential swing of 18% in the 2022 payment year.
CMS recently published a blog post titled 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP) Performance Results. This is the data that is affecting 2020 Medicare Part B reimbursement. The graphic below is from that release.