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CMS Launches mHealth Platform Competition to Support MIPS

CMS has challenged mHealth developers to create a mobile health platform that educates healthcare providers on the upcoming MIPS program under MACRA.

By Jacqueline LaPointe

- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has challenged healthcare developers to create a mobile health platform that will educate providers on the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), according to a notice on the Federal Register.

CMS challenged developers to create mHealth platforms that educate providers on MIPS

CMS will award $25,000 to the final challenge winner for the mHealth platform. The agency will also give $10,000 to the top three to five winners of the creation and innovation round of the challenge.

“This notice launches a challenge related to the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program, which will assist the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in accelerating the transition from the traditional fee-for-service payment model to a system that rewards health care providers for giving better care, not just more care,” explained the notice. “This challenge will address one of the most important aspects of our programs, which is educating and providing outreach to the potential 1.2 million MIPS eligible clinicians.”

CMS launched the competition to increase communication between healthcare providers and the agency. The mobile platform is intended to educate physicians, data vendors, hospital support staff, and other healthcare stakeholders about MIPS.

Under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), CMS must redesign MIPS to support the transition to value-based care. The new program will integrate aspects of the Physician Quality Reporting System, the Value Modifier, and the EHR Incentive program into one system.

Healthcare stakeholders have also been urging the agency to improve channels of communication and provide more access to assistance for CMS programs, explained the notice.

Through the competition, CMS aims to support MIPS clinicians and affiliated parties by giving them access to key information about the new program. The mHealth application will ideally decrease the burden of reporting to MIPS and increase user satisfaction with the new value-based care program.

According to the notice, application developers are tasked with creating a mobile health platform, such as a mobile site or application, which provides resources on MIPS.  

“Due to the multiple user types and facets of the MIPS program we are looking at utilizing a mobile platform, which could be a mobile site or application to determine how to best keep our customers/end users informed and meet their specific needs,” explained the notice. “We also want to provide the capability to access assistance to help MIPS clinicians learn and get help with specific areas.”

CMS has divided the MIPS mobile challenge into two sections based on innovation and development.

The first phase will focus on the innovation and creation of a mobile health platform. Developers should create a site or application that communicates educational resources to healthcare providers or promotes collaboration among users to foster education.

CMS has asked competitors to create storyboards, wireframes, mobile screen mock-ups, and initial usability assessments on format and user experience. Competitors will also work with potential users to receive input from healthcare stakeholders.

In the second phase, competitors will develop the mHealth platform using the features and user experience results from Phase I. Developers will also submit the finished product as well as the source code and product description.

To be eligible to win the final challenge, the mobile site or application must meet the output requirements in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and include detailed instructions on installation, use, and system requirements.

CMS noted that Phase I competitors are able to participate in Phase II even if their design was not chosen as a Phase I winner.

An expert panel of judges with relevant experience in CMS reporting systems will evaluate the mHealth platforms based on ease of use, evidence that user feedback was incorporated in the final product, innovation and design, and format. Phase II participants will also be judged on the functionality and accuracy of the MIPS mobile platform.

CMS expects to announce the Phase I winners on July 30 and the final challenge winner is tentatively scheduled to be revealed on October 15.

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