Going for Gold: Strategies for Crossing the 2019 MIPS Finish Line

By Erica Arias, Director, Customer Success, SA Ignite
Twitter: @saignite

The first half of the year has flown by so quickly. You’ve already wrapped up submission and implemented key strategies to be successful in the current performance year for MIPS.

I like to think of the MIPS performance year as a marathon. Right about now, you are just hitting 20-mile mark, and the final six miles will test your mental and physical endurance. Reaching the ultimate goal of the finish line will come down to your preparation, training, and how well you stick to the racing strategy you planned in your head. How many miles did you put into training for the race? At what pace did you envision yourself running? Did you eat the right carbs the day before, and are you drinking enough fluids while you run?

Like marathon training, the MIPS investments, goals, and processes you’ve implemented need to carry you to the finish. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these contributes to your success.

Most people do not wake up one morning and decide to go race a marathon that day. Instead, they rely on the right equipment and months of training before they even get to the starting line. These resources provide stability and endurance. For the MIPS performance year, your equipment is technology, while the people using the technology and leading the initiatives are the training required to finish strongly.

As discussed in our recent ABCs of the QPP webinar, many of the customers we support have dedicated teams to manage the MIPS program and coordinate necessary resources and stakeholders. These organizations often have quality steering committees that routinely meet to discuss performance, needs and next steps. These committees spearhead the communications and develop action plans to help clinicians finish out the performance year successfully.

Goal Setting
Before you develop your goals, you need to ensure you have narrowed the focus on which performance measures to prioritize. We discussed some ways our customers are selecting measures during our recent ABCs of the QPP webinar.

The second part of measure selection is setting achievable goals. Just like a marathon, you need to pace yourself. If you do not set goals for clinicians and measures, you might push too hard in Q1 and have no steam left by Q4. Additionally, most people need to understand what they are working towards to define “success”. If you’ve already set goals in Q1 and Q2, Q3 and Q4 are about continuing to monitor performance and narrowing down last-minute opportunities. This could include pushing for increased performance on select measures because there is an opportunity to maximize your MIPS score. Perhaps you have specific clinicians that impact a goal more than others, and you need to focus heavily on their performance.

You’ve set your pace; now how do you meet your end of the year objectives? What’s your process for sharing performance, and who is responsible for delivering the information? Many organizations utilize scorecards to share performance—not only to let individual clinicians know how they’re doing, but also to let them see how they stack up against their peers. This type of transparency can foster a healthy competition and motivate individuals to improve. It’s like having a training partner or race buddy that encourages you to keep moving.

It is equally important to share that performance with your stakeholders across the organization and/or steering committee, so each person understands how they impact the overall goals set at the beginning of the performance year.

Finally, we have seen many organizations implement processes around performance-based compensation models. Everyone wants to cross the finish line and earn the medal.

Each strategy contributes to the overall success of the organization and increases the likelihood of success. Without investing in resources, you will have a hard time maintaining let alone improving performance. Without a clear vision, you won’t know if you are successful. And without a plan to get there, you’re just lost at the 20-mile mark. Now that it’s nearly the sixth month of the 2019 MIPS performance year, it’s time to rely on those strategies to carry you to the finish line.

This article was originally published on SA Ignite and is republished here with permission.