PROVIDENCE, RI (March 9, 2017) – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded a five-year federal contract to Healthcentric Advisors and its partner organization, Qualidigm, to assist New England-based small physician and other eligible clinical practices to prepare for and participate in the new Quality Payment Program (QPP), established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). This is one of 11 awards made by CMS totaling approximately $20 million for the first year of a five-year program. CMS intends to invest up to an additional $80 million nationally over the remaining 4 years.
This technical assistance, authorized and funded under MACRA, brings direct support to thousands of Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians in small practices with 15 or fewer clinicians. This includes small practices in rural locations, health professional shortage areas and medically underserved areas across the country. The direct technical assistance is available immediately, free to all MIPS eligible clinicians and will deliver support for up to a five-year period.
Clinicians in small and rural practices are critical to serving the millions of Americans across the nation who rely on Medicare for their health care. Congress, through the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, recognized the importance of small practices and rural practices and provided the funding for this assistance, so clinicians in these practices can navigate the new program, while being able to focus on what matters most — the needs of their patients.Dr. Kate Goodrich, CMS Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality
Healthcentric Advisors is administering the award as the prime CMS contractor and will serve as the lead organization for Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Qualidigm will serve as the lead organization for Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont. Technical assistance and support services under this new CMS contract will be branded and promoted as the New England Quality Payment Program Support Center.
The New England Quality Payment Program Support Center will provide customized technical assistance to MIPS eligible clinicians in small practices based in rural and medically underserved areas which may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Conveying the MIPS expectations and timelines
- Explaining the MIPS feedback report
- Creating a MIPS-score improvement plan
- Evaluating practice readiness for joining an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM)
- Assessing and optimizing Health Information Technology
- Supporting change management and strategic planning
- Developing and disseminating education and training materials
- Enabling peer-to-peer learning and local partnerships
In addition to the technical assistance support contract for smaller practices, Healthcentric Advisors, in partnership with Qualidigm, provides similar support and technical assistance to New England-based practices with more than 15 clinicians via the CMS Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization contract. This centralized approach minimizes confusion for clinicians and provides assurance that they are connected to the appropriate resources needed to be successful in this rapidly changing payment environment.
Healthcentric Advisors, headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, has satellite offices in Woburn, Massachusetts and Brunswick, Maine. Qualidigm, headquartered in Wethersfield, Connecticut, has satellite offices in Dover, New Hampshire and Barre, Vermont.