CMS Announces COVID-19 Exceptions and Extensions for Medicare Quality Reporting Programs

Alerts / March 24, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on March 22, 2020 that it is granting reporting exceptions and extensions for measure reporting and data submission in Medicare quality reporting programs in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The announcement follows letters to CMS and Congress by 10 provider organizations, led by the National Association of ACOs, urging relief. These letters recognized that clinicians participating in alternative payment models, such as the Medicare Shared Savings Program, may face higher levels of financial risk due to impacts of COVID-19.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma stated, “In granting these exceptions and extensions, CMS is supporting clinicians fighting [c]oronavirus on the front lines.” CMS is continuing to assess options for bringing additional relief to clinicians, facilities and their staff.

CMS is implementing extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy exceptions and extensions for upcoming measure reporting and data submission deadlines for certain CMS programs, and will not use data for services provided from Jan. 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, as summarized below. CMS recognized that quality measure reporting may not be reflective of performance during the COVID-19 emergency. The announcement does not fully address relief that may be available to mitigate COVID-19 impacts, but CMS promised to provide additional information on changes to these programs soon.

Authorship Credit: Kristen McDermott Woodrum and Maureen Furino

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