American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

MACRA: Options for 2017

Physicians can choose from four different paths in 2017, depending on their level of readiness.


In an effort to ease the transition to MACRA's Quality Payment Program, CMS is enabling physicians to try reporting options without the risk of penalties during 2017. To check your status for Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting this year, you can enter your national provider identifier (NPI) in the CMS MIPS Lookup Tool. If you believe you qualify for a MIPS hardship exception, learn how to apply.

CMS MIPS Lookup Tool MIPS Hardship Exceptions

If you're eligible for MIPS, you must submit at least some 2017 data to avoid a 4% negative payment adjustment on 2019 Medicare Part B payments. Read more.

Choose from 4 flexible reporting paths

In an effort to ease the transition to MACRA, CMS is enabling physicians to try reporting options without the risk of penalties during 2017.

Available to AOA members, the MIPS Navigator™ is an online tool that allows you to easily sort through various MIPS alternatives and produce a "2017 MIPS Itinerary/Plan" designed to maximize your potential 2019 MIPS bonus. You can also use the AIR™ clinical data registry to report your MIPS measures to CMS.

Access MIPS Navigator and AIR

Here are the four options for MIPS reporting in 2017:


  • Option 1: Test the program
    This option gives physicians an opportunity to test out MIPS reporting by submitting a small amount of data to CMS anytime in 2017. If you choose this option, you'll avoid all penalties. The "small amount" of data can consist of reporting on just a single quality measure or one clinical improvement activity or all of the required EHR measures.
  • Option 2: Partial year reporting
    Physicians submit more data (more than one quality measure, more than one clinical improvement activity, or more than the required EHR measures) for a minimum of 90 days. In this option, you'll not only avoid all penalties, but also may qualify for a small incentive payment based on performance.
  • Option 3: Full-year reporting
    Submit full data (all required measures for all three categories) for between 90 days and a full calendar year beginning Jan. 1, 2017. In this option, you'll avoid all penalties and may qualify for a larger incentive payment based on performance.
  • Option 4: Participate in an advanced APM
    For 2017, if you participate in an advanced APM, you will avoid penalties and won't need to submit MIPS data. If you receive enough Medicare payments or see enough of your Medicare patients through the advanced APM, you'll qualify for a 5% incentive bonus. Physicians who participate in an advanced APM for the 2017 performance year can check the CMS APM lookup tool to see whether they've achieved qualified participant status.
  • Virtual MIPS Reporting for 2018

    Physicians who want to report for MIPS as part of a virtual group in 2018 must elect to do so by Dec. 1, 2017. Learn more in the CMS Virtual Groups Toolkit.

    CMS Virtual Groups Toolkit

    MACRA exemptions

    If one of these three scenarios applies to you, you're exempt from participating in MIPS:

    • You're in your first year of billing Medicare.
    • You have $30,000 or less in Medicare Part B revenues.
    • You have fewer than 100 Medicare Part B patients.