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CMS Releases Exemptions for Physicians and Facilities Affected by the California Wildfires

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting certain healthcare facilities, including ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and physicians participating in MIPS impacted by the California wildfires, an exemption from certain quality reporting requirements. The affected counties designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the California Wildfires include Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura.

Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program

CMS is granting an exemption to ASCs located in the counties described above for the following reporting requirements under the ASCQR program:

  • Data collection and submission requirements that apply for all measures during the annual submission period of January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018. These exemptions apply to measures submitted via the QualityNet Secure Portal web-based tool, including claims-based measures calculated from submitted Quality Data Codes (QDCs). This exemption does not apply to claims-based measures that do not utilize QDCs for calculation purposes.

MIPS-Eligible Clinicians

MIPS-eligible clinicians in FEMA-designated areas affected by the California wildfires will be automatically identified, and no action is required. However, if you submit data for two or three performance categories (Quality, Improvement Activities, and/or Promoting Interoperability), you will be scored on the performance categories for which you submitted data. Your payment adjustment will be determined by your final score. Under the automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy, the Cost performance category will always be weighted at 0% and will not affect your final score, even if you submit data for the other performance categories.

Additional Assistance

For additional information or assistance about the exemption for the ASCQR program, please contact Quality Net at or 866-800-8756.

For more information about the MIPS-eligible clinician exemption, please contact or call 877-715-6222.

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