CMS Announces Availability of Hardship Exemptions for MIPS-Eligible Clinicians Impacted by Hurricane Florence

CMS announced it was granting exemptions from quality reporting programs for physicians and facilities recently impacted by Hurricane Florence. Specifically, MIPS-Eligible clinicians in affected areas are eligible for the automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances hardship and will not be subject to MIPS penalties in 2020 if they are unable to submit 2018 MIPS performance year data. MIPS-eligible clinicians in FEMA-designated areas affected by Hurricane Florence will be automatically identified, and no action is required. However, if you are automatically identified but still choose to submit data on two or more MIPS performance categories (either as an individual or group), you will be scored on those performance categories, and your 2020 MIPS payment adjustment will be based on your 2018 MIPS final score.

For ASCs in the FEMA-designated areas, CMS is also granting an exemption from data collection and submission requirements that apply for the remainder of calendar year (CY) 2018 and the 2018/2019 Influenza Season that relate to CY 2020 payment determinations. These exceptions apply to all data submitted via the QualityNet Secure Portal and the NHSN web-based measure collection tools that are due May 15, 2019, including claims-based measures calculated from submitted Quality Data Codes (QDCs). This exception does not apply to claims-based measures that do not utilize QDCs for calculation purposes.

FEMA-designated disaster zones related to Hurricane Florence are:

North Carolina Counties: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne, and Wilson.

South Carolina Counties: Berkeley, Charleston, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Sumter, and Williamsburg.

If you need additional information, please contact Allison Madson, manager of regulatory affairs, at, or 703-591-2220.