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2021 MIPS Hardship Applications Reopened


CMS Hardship MIPS 2021

This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they are reopening the applications for 2021 MIPS extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (EUC) hardships due to COVID-19. 

  • The deadline to submit a new 2021 MIPS COVID-19 EUC application is Mar. 31, 2022 at 8pm ET.
  • Applications must be submitted through your HARP account on the QPP site.
    • For more details on what this means, read the “How to Apply” section of this blog.

Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS realized that many were unable to complete the EUC application for performance year 2021 by the previous December 31, 2021 deadline.

Important Notes

  • The deadline to submit 2021 MIPS COVID-19 EUC applications is Mar. 31, 2022 at 8 pm ET.
  • Applications must be submitted through the targeted review form (see "How to Apply" below).
  • This application does not apply to:
    • Individual MIPS-eligible clinicians as they already received an automatic EUC at the individual level for 2021 MIPS.
    • Any performance category for which the applicant has submitted data.
      • CMS "won't reweight any performance category for which an individual, group or virtual group submitted data."
  • This does apply to individual clinicians who are only eligible at the group level.
    • Clinicians who are not individually MIPS eligible whose group reported claims and nothing else should apply for this hardship as they were not eligible for the automatic 2021 MIPS EUC hardship and would, otherwise, receive a 2023 penalty.
  • If you are granted a hardship:
    • If you have 1 or 0 MIPS categories remaining after the hardship is applied, CMS will assign you a 2021 MIPS score equal to the threshold to avoid a penalty. You will not receive any 2023 MIPS payment adjustments.
    • Retain documentation of the hardship for at least six years in case of an audit.

How to Apply

If you are a MarsdenAdvisors client, contact your Client Success Manager to complete this process for you.

If you are not a MarsdenAdvisors client, apply using the following steps:

  1. Sign in to your QPP account.
  2. Select "Exceptions Applications" on the left-hand navigation.
  3. Select "Add New Exception"
  4. Select "Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception" as exception type
  5. Select the application level -- individual, group, virtual group, or APM Entity level.
  6. Enter the submitter details (your contact information, TIN or NPI, etc.)
  7. Under "Event Type", select "COVID-19" and provide date range.
  8. Provide details of your EUC request. You will need to specify that you're submitting an EUC request due to COVID-19. CMS also encourages applicants to restate the performance categories for which you are applying for reweighting in this section.
  9. Select the performance category or categories for your reweighting application.
  10. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Submit for Review".
  11. After you submit your application, you will receive a message and an email stating that your application has been successfully submitted and is pending review.
  12. Once your application has been reviewed and a decision has been made, CMS will post the decision to your QPP account. You can also monitor your application status from there.
  13. Retain documentation of the hardship for at least six years in case of an audit.

 

Next Steps

  • Share this information with your practice colleagues.
  • Contact your MarsdenAdvisors Client Success Manager if you plan on applying for a 2021 EUC. Your Client Success Manager will submit the application and retain the necessary documentation on your behalf.

 

If you have any questions on this, let us know! 

Jessica Peterson

Written by Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson, MD, MPH is the Vice President of Health Policy at the consulting firm MarsdenAdvisors.

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