AOA MORE latest: What doctors need to know now

AOA MORE latest: What doctors need to know now

Medicare's payment system overhaul not only ushers in new paths to reimbursement, but also explores expanded use of clinical data registries, areas where AOA offers members a significant leg up.

AOA MORE is an invaluable tool that we see emphasized all over the new proposed payment regulations.

Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has yet to release its highly anticipated final rule that implements the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2016 (MACRA), it's stated that the agency intends to "align and modernize" Medicare payments through Quality Payment Programs with the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)-the path that will be most utilized among doctors of optometry.

AOA continues to advocate for its members throughout the rulemaking process and filed formal comments with CMS following the MIPS proposed rule release in May. But what does all of this change mean for doctors?

MIPS: What's the bottom line?

Tentatively starting Jan. 1, 2017, MIPS consolidates components of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Value-Based Modifier and the meaningful use programs into one system that measures quality, EHR usage and practice improvement activities. These measures directly influence Medicare reimbursement amounts moving forward, and to get paid at the highest levels, doctors must robustly demonstrate these areas.

That's where AOA's newest member benefit comes in, offering users a crucial resource for MIPS participation. AOA MORE (Measures and Outcomes Registry for Eyecare), by Prometheus Research, is a CMS-designated Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) that will help users navigate performance measures and demonstrate clinical practice improvement activities to become a successful MIPS clinician.

MACRA recognizes the importance of QCDRs in carrying out MIPS, and the final rule will reflect this point. For example, CMS proposed to award bonus points in the quality scoring section for measures gathered and reported electronically via the QCDR, while several required clinical practice improvement activities are directly linked to QCDR engagement.

"AOA MORE is an invaluable tool that we see emphasized all over the new proposed payment regulations," said Jeff Michaels, O.D., AOA Quality Improvement and Registries Committee past chair, in an AOA Focus interview. "AOA members can take advantage of their membership by using AOA MORE, designed to help them navigate the new Medicare payment reform regulations that start next year."

Click here for an AOA information sheet that illustrates how AOA MORE helps with MIPS.

What to do before MIPS starts

Still months to go before the proposed MIPS implementation, doctors have time to educate and prepare themselves now for this transition. That said, there are important deadlines to meet before 2017, especially related to PQRS.

For 2016, it's important that AOA MORE users continue reporting PQRS data to CMS by traditional reporting methods—claims-based, EHR, web interface or qualified registry—until doctors' AOA MORE dashboard shows data on all 9 measures for at least 50 percent of patients who meet the parameters of the quality measures. Once integrated, doctors' EHR vendor will push data into the registry from Jan. 1, 2016, to allow for a complete reporting year. Then doctors will no longer need to report via other PQRS reporting methods.

Additionally, doctors should be aware that CMS proposed a 90-day reporting period for all doctors in 2016, but the CMS deadline for enrolling with a registry is 60 days into the doctor's reporting period. AOA anticipates this change to be finalized, and as such, doctors who choose the last 90 days of the year as their reporting period would have until Dec. 1 to register with AOA MORE for the 2016 reporting period.

Click here to read more about PQRS and AOA MORE.

Now is the time to engage with AOA MORE

The AOA wants to be doctors' partner in successfully participating in Medicare programs and initiatives, now and into the future, and AOA MORE is that resource to enhance and simplify participation.

By year's end, AOA MORE will be integrated with six EHR vendors. Doctors not on systems integrated with AOA MORE should encourage their vendors' participation—but also should continue reporting PQRS through other reporting options.

Compulink users also should be aware that registering for AOA MORE is required not only through AOA's enrollment, but also directly with Compulink.

Other helpful reminders:

  • Keep reporting PQRS via other reporting options until you have access to your AOA MORE dashboard and see all 9 measures for at least 50 percent of patients that meet the parameters of the quality measures
  • Check here to see if your EHR will be integrated with AOA MORE in 2016
  • Look for updates from AOA on MIPS and how AOA MORE can help meet the new program requirements
  • Enroll with AOA MORE if you have not done so already

Click here to find more information about AOA MORE, including FAQs and AOA resources for step-by-step implementation and Medicare program compliance.

AOA Immediate past president Steven A.  Loomis, O.D. and AOA Trustee  James P. Devleming, O.D. met with Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) to discuss the Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act

From left: AOA Trustee James P. Devleming, O.D., Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and AOA Immediate past president Steven A. Loomis, O.D. meet to discuss the Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act.

August 26, 2016

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