On Friday, February 17, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced awards totaling $20 million to 11 organizations for technical assistance to small and rural providers for the implementation of the Quality Payment Program (QPP).
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) provided $100 million over five years for awards to help small (under 15 clinicians), rural, and providers in historically under-resourced communities, health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas to implement the new law. The idea is that these 11 local, experienced, community-based organizations will provide hands-on training to help thousands of small practices with resources to implement QPP—at no cost to eligible clinicians and practices.
The selected organizations will provide customized technical assistance to clinicians and practices to help them be successful in QPP. For example, clinicians will receive help choosing and reporting on quality measures, as well as guidance with all aspects of the program, including supporting change management and strategic planning and assessing and optimizing health information technology.
CMS awarded contracts to the following organizations to provide the on-the-ground training and education to small practices:
- Georgia Medical Care Foundation (GMCF)
- Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG)
- Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI)
- Quality Insights (West Virginia Medical Institute)
- TMF Health Quality Institute
The US will be divided up regionally among these 11 organizations:
As part of that outreach effort, CMS also launched a new telephone helpline for clinicians seeking assistance with the Quality Payment Program. Clinicians may contact QPP by calling 1-866-288-8292 from 8AM – 8PM EST or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.