Choosing the option of completing the Advancing Care Information (ACI) section of Medicare’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) offers physicians one clear path through the complex thicket of guidelines that define the program.
ACI accounts for 25% of the composite MIPS score for healthcare providers—and that score, in turn, determines future Medicare reimbursement levels. Physicians reporting data from 2018 could see a 5% bonus or penalty, depending on their scores.
Fortunately, earning full points in the ACI category may not be as difficult as it seems at first glance. Since most medical practices have participated in Meaningful Use, much of the groundwork for earning MIPS points has already been done as ACI replaces Meaningful Use and Quality. In addition, ACI offers more flexibility and options than Meaningful Use in terms of reporting on performance data.
Base score measures
MIPS requires medical practices to report on a range of base score measures in order to earn ACI points. Here are five ACI base score measures which are mandatory:
• Security Risk Analysis (SRA) – Conducting or reviewing an SRA involves addressing the security of electronic protected health information (ePHI) data, implementing security updates and correcting identified security deficiencies.
• e-Prescribing – At least one permissible prescription written by the MIPS-eligible clinician is queried for a drug formulary and transmitted electronically using certified electronic health record (EHR) technology.
• Provide Patient Access – At least one patient seen by the MIPS-eligible clinician during the performance period is provided timely access to view online, download and transmit to a third party their health information subject to the MIPS-eligible clinician’s discretion to withhold certain information.
• Send a Summary of Care – For at least one transition of care or referral, the MIPS-eligible clinician that transitions or refers their patient to another setting of care or healthcare provider creates a summary of care record using certified EHR technology and electronically exchanges the summary of care record.
• Request/Accept Summary of Care – For at least one transition of care or referral received or patient encounter in which the MIPS-eligible clinician has never before encountered the patient, the MIPS-eligible clinician receives or retrieves and incorporates into the patient’s record an electronic summary of care document.