CMS approves 5 new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System measures, relieving radiology’s quality crunch

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has approved five new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System measures, a move experts hope will relieve radiology’s current “quality crunch.”

A workgroup of physicians helped submit these new metrics to CMS last year, MSN Healthcare Services announced Tuesday. They’re part of the billing company’s 2021 Qualified Clinical Data Registry and will aid radiologists in qualifying for Medicare payments through the program.

“This is significant because radiology has experienced a decline in available MIPS measures as previous measures have topped out or been eliminated,” Claudia Murray, executive director of quality payment programs for MSN, said in a statement.

Murray and colleagues pointed to a 2020 study, published in JACR, which found that such sunset provisions have disproportionately affected diagnostic radiology. Typically, CMS “tops out” MIPS measures with extremely high national performance. In 2019, radiology had the highest percentage of topped out measures among all specialties at 95%, with only a single measure that was not, researchers reported.

MSN, Mednax and others responded through their workgroup of industry pros, according to Tuesday’s announcement, submitting new measures for consideration. Those involved said they’ll soon look to begin developing radiology MIPS measures for 2022 and urged others to get involved in the next workgroup (you can find more info here).

“Without their efforts, the limited number of available measures would have continued to leave radiology at a disadvantage,” MSN President Bo Trotter said in the announcement.

The new measures are:  

  • IVC Filter Management Confirmation.
  • Appropriate Follow-up Recommendations for Ovarian-Adnexal Lesions Using the Ovarian Adnexal Reporting and Data System (O-RADS).
  • Use of Breast Cancer Risk Score on Mammography.
  • DEXA/DXA and Fracture Risk Assessment for Patients with Osteopenia.

Opening Pressure in Lumbar Puncture.