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MIPS: How to Earn Bonus Points in the Promoting Interoperability Category


Practices may have the opportunity to secure bonus points in the Promoting Interoperability category with Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting as long as your practice is using e-prescribing for controlled substances and your electronic health record (EHR) vendor is able to track the measures.

Clinicians, groups and virtual groups can earn five bonus points each for the submission of these optional measures:

  • Verify Opioid Treatment Agreement
  • Query of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)

For each of these bonus opportunities, practices or eligible clinicians will have to report a full numerator and denominator for the measure, but a numerator of at least one will earn the full bonus point.

The bonus points for addressing the Verify Opioid Treatment Agreement reads as follows: For at least one unique patient for whom a Schedule II opioid was electronically prescribed by the MIPS-eligible clinician using certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) during the performance period, if the total duration of the patient’s Schedule II opioid prescriptions is at least 30 cumulative days within a six-month look-back period, the MIPS-eligible clinician seeks to identify the existence of a signed opioid treatment agreement and incorporates it into the patient’s electronic health record using CEHRT.

This bonus measure requires your practice to Verify Opioid Treatment Agreement where at least one patient must sign the agreement (many agreements can be found online or through specialty societies) if he is being prescribed opioids for at least 30 cumulative days during the performance period. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will only count prescriptions if they are sent via an e-prescribing functionality and they were written for 30 days or more during the six-month look back.

For the Query of PDMP bonus, the MIPS-eligible clinician uses data from CEHRT to conduct a query of a PDMP for prescription drug history. While the query of the PDMP does not need to occur within the EHR, it must occur prior to the electronic transmission of the prescription. Practices will be required to supply additional documentation if the query was not done within the EHR, but it is advised that practices check with their EHR vendors to ensure your PDMP has been integrated with your system.

Many states are moving toward making EPCS and PDMP mandatory, so understanding what the requirements are by state is important. Practices can find that information through an interactive map at

While these are strictly bonus measures in 2019, there has been discussion of requiring one or both measures in the Promoting Interoperability category in future years for MIPS reporting.

If you have questions about the bonus opportunities or any reporting of your MIPS data, contact