Comments on MIPS Value Pathways, 2019 Scoring, Direct Messaging

CMS Asks for Your Comments on MIPS Value Pathways – New for 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released their 2020 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Proposed Rule and, within the rule, announced they are considering a new framework for reporting. They would like input from providers – as a formal Request for Information has been issued. A public comment period is open until September 27.

Under the MIPS Value Pathways (MVP) proposed for 2021, practices and eligible clinicians would continue to report on the four categories currently a part of MIPS, but there would be a limited set of measures based on claims-based population health measures and medical specialty. The goal for CMS is to provide better and more timely feedback to clinicians, and in turn hope to improve patient outcomes. In addition, it will drive the focus of the program to value and ease transition to Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

CMS has noted in a press release that an updated model would allow providers to report on measures that are more applicable to their patients and provided services. Reporting burdens would be reduced under this proposal and a foundation based on Promoting Interoperability and claims-based population health measures will be used to assess clinicians.

CMS is requesting information on:
  • What should be the structure and focus?
  • What criteria should be used to select measures and activities?
  • Should there be the policies for small practices and multi-specialty practices?
  • Should there be assigned measures within an MVP or measure choice?
  • Should there be assigned collection methods or choice?
  • How should information be reported to your practice and your patients?

The Quality Reporting Engagement Group encourages you to make your comments online at:

To answer questions on the proposed rule for the MIPS Value Pathways, contact

MIPS: 2019 Scoring

Practices may find it difficult to navigate the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) scoring process as category weight changes can happen year over year.

From 2018 to 2019, the Quality category for weight of the performance score decreased from 50 percent to 45 percent of overall score, while the Cost category increased from 10 percent to 15 percent of your MIPS score. There were no changes in category weights for Promoting Interoperability or Improvement Activities during that same time period. For those practices participating in an Alternative Payment Model (APM), there were no changes in the category weights.
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MIPS: Direct Messaging

Direct messaging is a way to send encrypted emails for securely exchanging health information between physicians, hospitals, labs and other healthcare providers in a trusted network. Direct messaging functions like regular email with additional security measures that meet the requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Traditional emails are not considered direct messaging.

Direct messaging also has the ability for information to be pulled directly into your practice’s electronic health record (EHR) unlike an email or fax.
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