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Quality Reporting Exceptions to Providers Affected by Hurricane Barry

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will grant exceptions under Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to allow facilities affected by Hurricane Barry to focus on treating patients and repairing damages.

Facilities located in areas designated as emergency disaster areas or major disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be exempt from reporting provisions of three programs without having to submit extraordinary circumstances exception requests:

  • the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program;
  • the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program; and
  • the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program.

Facilities in areas not designated as such can request an extraordinary circumstances exception (ECE) for these programs. Hurricane Barry made landfall in Louisiana in mid-July.

For Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)–eligible clinicians in affected areas, CMS will follow the automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy, under which the agency will weight all four MIPS performance categories at zero percent and assign clinicians a score equal to the performance threshold, resulting in a neutral payment adjustment for the 2021 MIPS payment year. If MIPS-eligible clinicians in affected areas submit data on two or more MIPS performance categories, CMS will determine their 2021 payment adjustment based on performance in those categories.

Providers may request an ECE for additional Medicare programs, including:

  • Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program;
  • Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program;
  • End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program;
  • Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program; and
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing Program.

America’s Essential Hospitals has created a resource page dedicated to disaster response tools for essential hospitals. Visit this page regularly for new and updated information.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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