MIPS Scores Highlight Exceptional Value of the Academy’s IRIS Registry

Posted 8/17/18 (Fri)

It wasn’t long ago that the Academy made a significant investment to deliver to ophthalmology a new landscape of data and connectivity. The Academy’s IRIS® Registry is the result of this investment. Today, we’re pleased to share how ophthalmology’s registry is helping you succeed in the federal value-based payment program, particularly the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.

An overwhelming number of MIPS-eligible clinicians who reported via the IRIS Registry for 2017 performed exceptionally well, with 99 percent receiving some bonus.  

Because the majority of all U.S. ophthalmologists participate in the IRIS Registry, these preliminary* results are exciting. They verify the exceptional value that the IRIS Registry provides to our profession. They also reinforce why CMS consistently cites ophthalmology’s registry as an example for other medical specialties to follow.

These bonuses are only half of the story. All IRIS Registry participants avoided financial penalties for 2017 MIPS. This relief from penalties will save ophthalmologists an estimated $186 million.

CMS’ feedback shows that the IRIS Registry helped many participants succeed with the highest possible scores. Among IRIS Registry participants with electronic health record-integrated submissions, 91 percent were eligible to earn MIPS’ exceptional bonus of up to 2.02 percent.

Your colleagues are weighing in
Your fellow ophthalmologists and their staff are giving credit to the IRIS Registry for their high scores:

"The IRIS Registry was crucial in allowing our practice to achieve a mean MIPS score of 99.4, resulting in [high] Medicare bonuses … " according to John D. Thompson, MD, of Retina Specialists in Maryland.
“Due to our reporting through the [IRIS] Registry, we and many others will receive 2.02 percent more for our Medicare services next year,” said Ann M. Hulett, chief executive officer of EyeHealth Northwest PC in Portland, Ore.

Other ophthalmologists said the registry’s ease of use was a major factor in boosting their practices to near-perfect scores.

“Once set up, the IRIS Registry takes almost zero physician time to scan our records nightly and do all our reporting for the quality performance category. We were fortunate to score 99/100 on our 2017 MIPS data and get a 2 percent bonus for 2019,” said John M. Haley, MD, an ophthalmologist at Garland Eye Associates in Texas. “I think we will continue to do well on this new world of quality. Thank you, AAO.”

Some practices have reported that they might have earned an even higher bonus had they not participated in an accountable care organization (ACO). ACOs report on a set of primary care quality measures, and their final scores are not determined by performance on specialty measures.

Academy seeks to protect and sustain your success
The Academy understands that the health care landscape is ever-evolving. Today’s success is not assured for the future, which is why our advocacy focuses on ensuring that federal policies continue to support the IRIS Registry’s ability to serve ophthalmology. We regularly update CMS and members of Congress on how the IRIS Registry is helping ophthalmologists deliver the highest-quality eye care to our patients.

It’s not too late to come aboard
If you have never used the IRIS Registry, you can still register by Oct. 31 to manually report 2018 MIPS data. Practices that are registered can also stop by the IRIS Registry desk in the Academy Resource Center, Booth 508, at AAO 2018 in Chicago to report for the MIPS improvement activity category. This alone can help you avoid the 5 percent penalty under the 2018 MIPS program.

If you have not yet integrated your EHR system with the IRIS Registry and plan to participate in 2019, contact Academy staff at The Academy serves as ophthalmology’s expert in MIPS and eye-care measures and provides members and IRIS Registry participants with free guidance.

About the IRIS Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight)
Since launching in 2014, the IRIS Registry has demonstrated a solid track record for success under MIPS and the Physician Quality Reporting System that MIPS replaced. IRIS Registry participants are expected to see continued success in future years with the MIPS program. The IRIS Registry is the preferred method of reporting for ophthalmologists. As a free member benefit for U.S.-based Academy members and the nonophthalmologists in their practices, the registry is one good reason to renew membership.

For the 2017 reporting period, the IRIS Registry made 19,286 submissions identified with National Provider Identifier (NPI) and Tax Identification Numbers (TIN). Participants include ophthalmologists, optometrists and other eligible clinicians employed by ophthalmologists.

* This feedback is preliminary, because the agency only gave final scores directly to participants and must still confirm the size of a practice for small-practice scoring.

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