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You may have already heard that the CSWA Webinars on the Merit-Based Incentive Payments (MIPS) which were to be held on November 29 and 30 have been canceled. This post explains why.
Clinical social workers were among the 12 additional practitioner groups that were to be included as eligible providers (EPs) for the MIPS bonus of 2% a year in 2019 if reports on quality, cost, improvement in treatment, and increased use of health care records were met. There were some options that would have allowed LCSWs to be eligible if they had less than $90,000 in Medicare claims and less than 200 Medicare beneficiaries as clients with less reporting. Most LCSWs who are sole practitioners would be in this category. There would have been no penalties for LCSWs who did not submit data in the areas described above.
Two weeks ago CMS took LCSWs off the list of EPs who would be included in 2019 for the bonus. While this certainly will cut down on the administrative work MIPS would have required, it also takes the option for a bonus away from LCSWs. So is the glass half empty, or half full? That depends on how you feel about the loss of the bonus option.
One other note of interest: it appears that there will be a 2-3% increase in reimbursement for psychotherapy services in 2019. The exact amount will vary by region.
In January, CSWA will be presenting a webinar on the ins and outs of Medicare, a complicated topic about which I receive questions regularly. Watch for the announcement next month on “Everything LCSWs Need to Know about Medicare Practice”.
Please let me know if you have any questions on the MIPS changes.
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