American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

8 steps to succeed in MIPS

Learn how to excel in MIPS and read up on MACRA's other pathway, APMs.

In 2017, if you participate in any way in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), you'll avoid penalties and may be eligible for a small or modest incentive payment depending on your performance and how much data you submit. 

To check your MIPS status for this year, you can enter your national provider identifier (NPI) in the CMS MIPS Lookup Tool. MIPS affects employed physicians, too; to learn more, check out our MIPS Guide for Employed Physicians. If you believe you're eligible for a MIPS hardship exception, learn how to apply.

CMS MIPS Lookup Tool MIPS for Employed Physicians

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.

Physicians who participate in an advanced alternative payment model (APM) in 2017 don't need to report for the MIPS. However, starting in 2018, all physicians will need to submit the full year's MIPS data, even if you're participating in an advanced alternative payment model.

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's a look at how you can boost your MIPS readiness between now and 2018:

  • Assess your electronic health record (EHR) system. Is it meeting your patient care needs? Were you able to attest for Meaningful Use successfully? Ask your vendor if your EHR is certified and whether it will allow you to report for the quality and clinical practice improvement activities (CPIA) category of the MIPS. Also ask what edition your EHR is, whether the vendor plans to upgrade to 2015-edition certified EHR tech, and what costs will be involved with upgrading. The Health IT Playbook can help you assess your EHR needs and potential purchases.
  • Analyze your practice's performance under previous CMS reporting programs—the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records (MU), and the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBPM)— and address any weak spots.

  • Consult your practice's quality and resource use report to identify the most common and costly patient conditions you treat. Consider how you might be able to provide more efficient, coordinated care for those patients.

  • Familiarize yourself with MIPS’ new category, Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIA), by reviewing the list of approved activities, figuring out which ones you can do well, and making any needed workflow changes.

  • Check in with your colleagues: Do you want to report for MIPS as a group, or as individuals? Comparing performance reports can help you decide. Physicians who want to join a virtual group for MIPS reporting in 2018 can do so by electing to do so between Oct. 11 and Dec. 1, 2017.
  • Learn about advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) options and requirements if you’re considering that pathway.
  • Be sure you're not exempt: If you're in your first year of Medicare, care for 100 or fewer Medicare Part B patients, or have less than $30,000 in Medicare Part B revenues annually, you're exempt from participating in MIPS.
  • Share your thoughts about the new payment system. The AOA has submitted a comment letter about MACRA and is engaged in ongoing conversations with the CMS. To share your concerns and recommendations, please email



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