On June 24, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced additional flexibilities for the Quality Payment Program (QPP) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the 2020 performance year, CMS has implemented the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy, which allows eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups to submit an application requesting reweighting of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance categories down to 0% due to COVID-19.

The 2020 Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances application is open through Dec. 31, 2020.  Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and, if approved, the performance categories included in the application are weighted at 0% and will not contribute to the participant’s final score unless MIPS data are submitted for the 2020 performance period. Data submission will void approved applications on a category-by-category basis.

CMS had also previously introduced a new, high-weighted COVID-19 clinical trials improvement activity that provides an opportunity for eligible clinicians to receive credit in MIPS.  This improvement activity will also be available for the 2020 performance year.

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