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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.




The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information (including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information) and to allow 60 days for public comment on the proposed action. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding our burden estimates or any other aspect of this collection of information, including the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.


Comments must be received by August 14, 2017.


When commenting, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in any one of the following ways:

1. Electronically. You may send your comments electronically to Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) that are accepting comments.

2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number ___, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

1. Access CMS' Web site address at​Regulations-and-Guidance/​Legislation/​PaperworkReductionActof1995/​PRA-Listing.html.

2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to

3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

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William Parham at (410) 786-4669.

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This notice sets out a summary of the use and burden associated with the following information collections. More detailed information can be found in each collection's supporting statement and associated materials (see ADDRESSES).

CMS-10652 Virtual Groups for Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)

Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires federal agencies to publish a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice.

Information Collection

1. Type of Information Collection Request: New collection of information request; Title of Information Collection: Virtual Groups for Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS); Use: CMS acknowledges the unique challenges that small practices and practices in rural areas may face with the implementation of the Quality Payment Program. To help support these practices and provide them with additional flexibility, CMS has created a virtual group reporting option starting with the 2018 MIPS performance period. CMS held webinars and small, interactive feedback sessions to gain insight from clinicians as we developed our policies on virtual groups. During these sessions, participants expressed a strong interest in virtual groups, and indicated that the right policies could minimize clinician burden and bolster clinician success.

This information collection request is related to the statutorily required virtual group election process proposed in the CY 2018 Quality Payment Program proposed rule. A virtual group is a combination of Tax Identification Numbers (TINs), which would include at least two separate TINs associated with a solo practitioner TIN and National Provider Identifier (TIN/NPI) or group with 10 or fewer MIPS eligible clinicians and another solo practitioner (TIN/NPI) or group with 10 or fewer MIPS eligible clinicians.

Section 1848(q)(5)(I) of the Act requires that CMS establish and have in place a process to allow an individual MIPS eligible clinician or group consisting of not more than 10 MIPS eligible clinicians to elect, with respect to a performance period for a year to be in a virtual group with at least one other such individual MIPS eligible clinician or group. The Act also provides for the use of voluntary virtual groups for certain assessment purposes, including the election of practices to be a virtual group and the requirements for the election process.

Section 1848(q)(5)(I)(i) of the Act also provides that MIPS eligible clinicians electing to be a virtual group must: (1) Have their performance assessed for the quality and cost performance categories in a manner that applies the combined performance of all the MIPS eligible clinicians in the virtual group to each MIPS eligible clinician in the virtual group for the applicable performance period; and (2) be scored for the quality and cost performance categories based on such assessment.

CMS will use the data collected from virtual group representatives to determine eligibility to participate in a virtual group, approve the formation of that virtual group, based on determination of each TIN size, and assign a virtual group identifier to the virtual group. The data collected will Start Printed Page 27258also be used to assign a performance score to each TIN/NPI in the virtual group. Form Number: CMS-10652 (OMB control number: 0938-NEW); Frequency: Annually; Affected Public: Private Sector: Business or other for-profits and Not-for-profit institutions and Individuals; Number of Respondents: 16; Total Annual Responses: 16; Total Annual Hours: 160. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Michelle Peterman at 410-786-2591.)

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Dated: June 8, 2017.

William N. Parham, III,

Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.

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[FR Doc. 2017-12229 Filed 6-13-17; 8:45 am]