6 Ways to Prepare for MIPS Implementation in Your Behavioral Health Practice

MIPS is sending out shock waves. And there’s no doubt, MIPS can be intimidating.

But let’s face it, this isn’t your first rodeo with healthcare reform (most of us). Most behavioral health professionals have managed to survive Meaningful Use, to some degree. You can handle the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, better known as MIPS.

To survive and thrive in the MIPS paradigm, you’ve simply have to prepare.

A behavioral health specialist’s survival guide

To survive with MIPS, you must to wrap your head around these steps:

1 – Stay focused on MU and PQRS

You’ll still need the same basic metrics. Meaningful Use, Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Value Based Modifier (VBM) will compose up to 85% of your future composite performance score. You can bet your MIPS financial rewards on those scores. Take time now to master these basics.

2 – Dig into clinical quality measures 

For behavioral health specialists, it’s critical to identify the potentially highest performing clinical quality measures appropriate to your scope of practice. Check these measures against other quality program initiatives. Figure out how to maximize efficiency and performance levels. These are absolutely key to survival in MIPS.

3 – Examine your EHR system’s viability

Is your mental health EHR platform certified? Some systems aren’t able to collect quality data, so that you can report on quality measures. Are you able to connect easily and communicate well with other EHR systems? EHR connectivity is a major factor in MIPS scoring.

4 – Get on top of PQRS reporting

Check out the various PQRS reporting vehicles to identify one that fit your psychiatry practice’s needs. The reporting mechanisms can vary greatly, so read the fine print.

5 – Embrace APMs

It’s time to investigate Alternative Payment Models, as they are the new reality – Accountable Care Organization (ACO), Medicare Shared Savings Program, Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), etc. Highest-achieving behavioral health providers within these models will have the best financial opportunities in MIPS.

6 – Monitor and Make changes.

Don’t let quality report card dashboards get stale. Monitor them regularly to identify deficiencies, fix any problems and advance to the next performance level.

Behavioral health specialists can survive in the new MIPS environment. Think of MIPS as the next step in the healthcare reform process – a step forward. Keep the incentives front and center. Stay tuned for more details on surviving MIPS.

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