To further support clinicians during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the deadline for COVID-19 related 2020 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception applications to February 1, 2021.
For the 2020 performance year, CMS will be using the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy to allow MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups to submit an application requesting reweighting of one or more MIPS performance categories to 0% due to the current COVID-19 public health emergency.
If you have any concerns about the effect of the COVID-19 public health emergency on your performance data, including cost measures, for the 2020 performance period, submit an application now and be sure to cite COVID-19 as the reason for your application.
If you have an approved application, you can still receive scores for the Quality, Improvement Activities and Promoting Interoperability performance categories if you submit data. If the Cost performance category is included in your approved application, you will not be scored on cost measures even if other data are submitted. IMPORTANT: Individuals, groups and virtual groups can’t submit an application to override PY2020 data that has already been submitted. Any data submitted as an individual, group or virtual group before or after an application has been approved will be scored. Learn more in the 2020 Exceptions Applications Fact Sheet.
CMS has finalized that APM Entities may submit an application to reweight MIPS performance categories as a result of extreme and uncontrollable circumstances, such as the public health emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Data submitted for an APM won’t override performance category reweighting from an approved application. Learn more in the 2021 Quality Payment Program Final Rule Overview Fact Sheet.
Note: The deadline to submit a MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category Hardship Exception application or an Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances application not related to COVID-19 will remain December 31, 2020. Remember, if you’re already exempt from reporting Promoting Interoperability data, you don’t need to apply.
How do I Apply?
You must have a Health Care Quality Information Systems (HCQIS) Access Roles and Profile (HARP) account to complete and submit an exception application on behalf of yourself, or another MIPS eligible clinician, group, virtual group or APM Entity. For more information on HARP accounts, please refer to the Register for a HARP Account document in the QPP Access User Guide.
Once you register for a HARP account, sign in to qpp.cms.gov, select “Exceptions Applications” on the left-hand navigation, select “Add New Exception,” and select “Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception” or “Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exception.”
How do I Know if I’m Approved?
If you submit an application for either of the exceptions, you will be notified by email if your request was approved or denied. If approved, this will also be added to your eligibility profile on the QPP Participation Status Tool, but may not appear in the tool until the submission window is open in 2021.
For More Information
- View this step by step video and guide that walk you through how to submit the application.
- Visit the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception Quality Payment Program (QPP) webpage for more information and link to the application.
- Check out the Exceptions Application Fact Sheet to learn more about these exceptions.
Contact the QPP at 1-866-288-8292 or by e-mail at: QPP@cms.hhs.gov. To receive assistance more quickly, please consider calling during non-peak hours-before 10:00 a.m. and after 2:00 p.m. ET.
- Customers who are hearing impaired can dial 711 to be connected to a TRS Communications Assistant.