March 29, 2021
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting automatic exceptions from reporting requirements for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs due to the significant disruptions the COVID-19 public health emergency is having on physician practices. CMS also reopened the hardship exception application for group practices, virtual groups and alternative payment model entities who missed the previous 2020 deadline. The re-opened application deadline is March 31, 2021.
The Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances (EUC) Hardship Exception policy will be automatically applied to all MIPS eligible clinicians who do not submit any MIPS data for the 2020 performance period. Physicians don’t need to take any additional action to qualify for the automatic EUC policy. Eligible clinicians and groups that submit data in at least two MIPS categories will override the hardship exception and be eligible to earn a bonus from the exceptional performance bonus pool, or could potentially be subject to a penalty.
The California Medical Association and American Medical Association strongly advocated for this automatic relief from MIPS penalties to ensure physicians will not be unduly penalized during the pandemic.
For more information, see the CMS Quality Payment Program COVID-19 Response webpage.