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APA releases new guide for members on MIPS

The APA has released a new guide to help psychiatrists avoid potential financial penalties from Medicare’s new quality performance program, known as the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).  The MIPS was created in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).  It is part of Medicare’s new Quality Payment Program, along with incentives for “Advanced” Alternative Payment Models.

The MIPS program rewards or penalizes physicians for performance quality. For the current performance year of 2017, rewards or penalties will be applied in 2019.  Thousands of psychiatrists could be subject to MIPS penalties in 2019 if they fail to do MIPS reporting for 2017.

The APA guide, “Take Action Now to Avoid Medicare Penalties,” offers step-by-step instructions to help psychiatrists navigate these new MIPS policies.  The guide includes a checklist to determine whether MIPS reporting is needed, information on when and where to file reports, and recommendations on improvement activities physicians can participate in to receive performance credit.

For example, psychiatrists participating for at least 90 days in PsychPRO, the APA’s national mental health registry, can receive credit for several improvement activities for being part of a “qualified clinical data registry.” 

As an important note, most improvement activities must be done for at least 90 days, and the last 90-day period in 2017 began October 3.

“Take Action Now to Avoid Medicare Penalties” was prepared with substantial input from APA members.  In addition to the detailed instructions, the guide includes additional resources and contact information for experts at APA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  We urge all APA members who see Medicare patients to take a look. 

For more help and information related to the Quality Payment Program, please visit the APA Payment Reform Toolkit.

APA members can consult with APA experts by sending an email to or calling 1-800-343-4671.

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