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Coronavirus: CMS urges use of Quality Payment Program in clinical trials


Participation in COVID-19 clinical trials and reporting information can earn a clinician credit in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.

trials, clinical testing, coronavirus vaccine, COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pushing clinicians to participate in the Quality Payment Program to contribute scientific research and evidence to aid in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

According to a news release, those who participate in COVID-19 clinical trials and report information may now earn credit in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) by attesting to the new COVID-19 Clinical Trials improvement activity. This is designed to provide vital data driving improvement in patient care and developing best practices to manage the spread of the disease in communities.

“The best scientific and medical minds in the world are working night and day to find treatments to combat Coronavirus,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma says in the release. “But without solid data, their efforts are liable to run up against a brick wall. At the direction of President Trump, CMS is supporting efforts of researchers to obtain solid, actionable data to accelerate the development of new treatments and our understanding of the coronavirus.”

To receive MIPS credit for the COVID-19 Clinical Trials improvement activity, physicians must attest that they participate in a COVID-19 clinical trial using a drug or biological product to treat patients infected with the disease and reporting their findings through a clinical data repository or data registry for the duration of their study, the release says.

This change will provide flexibility in the type of clinical trial whether it is a double-blind placebo-controlled trial or an adaptive or pragmatic design. The change also carries a high weight in scoring, enabling physicians to earn half the total credit needed to earn a maximum score in the MIPS improvement activities performance category by reporting this activity, the release says.

“Today’s action encourages clinicians to report data that will help us monitor the spread of the virus, find innovative medical solutions, and unleash scientific discovery as we seek to overcome this terrible disease,” Verma says in the release.

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Jennifer N. Lee, MD, FAAFP
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health