If you participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program, you may know the Promoting Interoperability (PI) requirements. For participating clinicians, PI can account for up to 25% of your MIPS score. If you are unsure of PI requirements and are not meeting them, you may end up on the wrong side of a penalty. And your PI activities need to have started by October 1st because it’s your last chance to make the best impression. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) measures you on a 90-day reporting period.
These requirements may seem overwhelming, especially if participating in MIPS is mandatory for your practice. But it does not have to be. When you do it right, you boost your chances of getting a MIPS bonus. Don’t go blindly into your next MIPS cycle without an understanding of promoting interoperability. Read on to ensure you ace the promoting interoperability measure.
What is Promoting Interoperability?
Let’s start with the MIPS program. This points-based system evaluates Medicare Part B Clinicians, rewarding those who provide better care.To participate in the program, you collect and report data that CMS uses to assess your practice.
While the MIPS program seems like a hassle, it aims to reward clinicians who commit to offering a higher quality of patient care. The system contributes to better patient focus and treatment outcomes within the industry.
Promoting Interoperability (PI) is part of the overall MIPS program and refers to how you use electronic health record (EHR) technology. To comply with this part of the program, you need to demonstrate you’re using EHR technology effectively and in a way that meets quality standards.
This program, developed in 2011, encourages providers to use certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for health information exchange (HIE), engaging patients, and other uses that improve the patient experience. When you participate in this program, you may qualify for bonuses for meeting the criteria.
Promoting Interoperability Requirements
To comply with the 2022 PI program, you report for 90 consecutive days for any new and returning participants. Your CEHRT must meet 2015 criteria, and you must collect data and report on the following CMS objectives:
- Electronic prescribing
- Health information exchange
- Provider to patient exchange
- Public health and clinical data exchange
Along with this data, you have to stay in compliance with:
- The Security RiskAnalysis measure
- Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) Guidelines
- Assurance that your policies and procedures don’t restrict functionality
- Direct review by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
You can perform a self-assessment using the High Priority Practices Guide and work sheets to gauge how well you meet these requirements.
Changes to Promoting Interoperability in 2022
CMS has updated regarding which data you need to collect and report. New measures that contribute to your overall MIPS score include:
- Syndromic Surveillance reporting
- Immunization Registry data
- Electronic Cases
- Electronic ReportableLab Results
These measures account for 10 points of your overall score. To receive them, you must show your work, meaning you keep the data on hand and include it with your total MIPS data to calculate your score. If you don’t report, you lose points on your overall score. Failing to score 60 points or more could impact your payment.
Improve Interoperability in Your Practice
Essentially, interoperability makes it easier for patients to access their personal health information and for clinicians to transfer data for faster patient care. A robust EHR platform can integrate with other systems, letting you share data with additional providers assisting with a patient’s care.
You can improve it in your practice by evaluating data issues that keep you from sharing records promptly. Evaluate your processes and systems to enhance your EHR for better data management.
Promoting Interoperability Exceptions
The CMS offers MIPS exceptions for extreme situations that inhibit your ability to collect and report data. These circumstances have to be out of your control. You can’t get this exception because your staff was too busy to log the correct data or failed to report the data. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic blocked many clinicians from collecting data, and many received exceptions for 2020.
The Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances exception would be automatically applied if your practice is in the path of a natural disaster.
You may also be eligible for a hardship exception. If approved for this exception, you can request to have the PI category weighted differently in your overall MIPS score. To qualify for this exception, you must prove your EHR technology decertification or that your internet connectivity isn’t strong enough to keep up with your technology.
You may also be eligible if you experience any of the following:
- A natural disaster hits your practice
- You experience financial hardship
- You have issues with vendors that limit your ability to collect data
- Your practice closes
In most cases, you have to apply for these exceptions, and you’re not guaranteed to be approved. You’ll get a notification telling you whether your application was approved. Learn how to apply for these exceptions in this blog.
How do You Submit Your Data?
The data you collect factors heavily into your score, and you can submit it in one of three ways: manually submit, upload a file to the CMS website, or submit through a third party. You will need a profile with the Quality Payment Program (QPP) to make manual submissions. Log in and follow the directions to submit your data.
MIPS and PI: Successfully Score Your PI Points with ChartPath
ChartPath’s EHR system is intuitive and easy to use. Even better, it helps you collect and report the data you need to stay in compliance with 2022 Promoting Interoperability requirements. You will have access to all your data in one place instead of having to look through multiple systems and consolidate files while submitting your report.
ChartPath’s tool is 2015 Edition certified, letting you stay on top of new PI requirements for 2022. The EHR dashboard helps you benchmark your performance against MIPS standards, including PI. This tool helps to improve your MIPS score, and it also lets you offer a better patient experience because you don’t have to look to multiple systems to access patient data.
Stay on top of MIPS PI changes for 2023 without adopting multiple EHR systems. Schedule a demo with ChartPath and take your first step to a higher score.