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MACRA and the Quality Payment Program


MACRA and the Quality Payment Program

Transitioning from a volume-based payment system to one that rewards value.


The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) was signed into law on April 16, 2015. The law provides a more predictable Medicare payment schedule for physicians and other clinicians with intentions of moving from a volume-based system to a system that rewards value. This new payment system is called the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

Read how ACP advocated on behalf of clinicians and influenced the MACRA Rules:


MACRA Physician

Submit Your 2019 MIPS Data

CMS has transitioned to the new HCQIS Authorization Roles and Profile (HARP) system. Previously, clinicians received their credentials through the Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) system.

  • Previous EIDM Accounts: For all clinicians who previously had an EIDM account, you were automatically transitioned to HARP, and will use your existing EIDM user ID and password to sign in to the QPP website.
  • New Clinicians: For all clinicians who didn’t have an EIDM account, you’ll need to enroll with HARP. For a step-by-step guide to signing up for a HARP account, refer to the QPP Access User Guide.
Important Deadlines:
  • CMS Web Interface/CAHPS for MIPS Election – Groups and virtual groups that want to report using the CMS Web Interface and/or administer the CAHPS for MIPS Survey must register on between April 4 and July 1, 2019. Groups that used the CMS Web Interface in 2018 are automatically registered for the 2019, but can be edited or cancelled between April 4 and July 1, 2019.
  • Claims - CMS will receive quality data from Part B claims processed by your Medicare Administrative Contractor. All claims must be processed within 60 days of 12/31/2018.

Qualification and selecting your payment track

Physicians can still choose from one of two payment tracks to avoid penalties and earn potential increases in Medicare payments—the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System or an Alternative Payment Model. Physicians, or their practices, have the opportunity to decide annually the program in which they will be participating.

Do you qualify for 2019?



Merit-Based Incentive Payment System

The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) builds on traditional fee-for-service payments by adjusting them based on a physician’s performance. Updated July 2018 to include 2017 Feedback Report information. Learn more


Alternative Payment Models

APMs structure payment to incentivize quality and value. “Advanced APMs” satisfy advanced risk, quality, and technology requirements and offer possible exclusion from MIPS and a 5% Medicare bonus. Two new primary care models will qualify as Advanced APMs starting in 2020. Learn more

More information on QPP

CMS Resources

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services has both high level and detailed resources to assist you in navigating the rules and requirements and is easily sorted by program year, performance category, track (APM or MIPS), and resource type. Visit the CMS resource library below.

See Resources

Have more questions?

MACRA and the resulting Quality Payment Program are very comprehensive, and oftentimes confusing topics that affect all types of clinicians participating in Medicare Part B. If you still have questions or need further guidance, try these resources.

10 Things You Should Know

Frequently Asked Questions

Glossary of Terms

Additional Tools

Printable Brochure

2019 Printable Presentation

For more information or questions or concerns regarding specific MACRA-related issues, email

We also encourage you to discuss MACRA with your colleagues in the Member Forum on MACRA.

Quality Payment Program (QPP) for 2019

Finalized in October 2016, the Quality Payment Program (QPP) was created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), officially replacing the old Sustainable Growth Rate system. The new QPP transforms Medicare physician compensation, moving away from fee-for-service billing and toward payment based on value.

Understanding QPP is crucial for clinicians who participate in Medicare Part B. The below chart will help you determine if you quality for QPP in 2019.

Do you qualify?

Medicare Part B payments
Medicare Part A (e.g., hospital payments)
Physicians, PAs, NPs, CNSs, CRNAs, PTs and OTs, clinical psychologists, audiologists, speech & language pathologists, and registered dietitians or nutrition professionals.
Clinicians that fall below the low-volume threshold*
Groups that include the above clinicians
Clinicians billing Medicare for the first year (for MIPS)

*If you bill Medicare less than or equal to $90,000 a year OR provide care for less than or equal to 200 Medicare patients a year OR less than or equal to 200 professional services to Part B patients. However, clinicians or groups who qualify for one or two of the low-volume thresholds may "opt-in" to MIPS in 2019.

If you do qualify to participate in QPP, you will need to decide which payment track to follow - the Merit-based Incentive Payment System or an Alternative Payment Model.

Check your participation status in either MIPS or APM. After groups log into their EIDM account, they can click into a detailed listing of the eligibility status of every NPI in the group to find out if they are a 2018 MIPS participant.

Please note that additional details regarding the 2019 performance year will be added as they become available.