FAQ: Precepting PA Students as a MIPS Improvement Activity

Certain preceptors of PA students are now eligible to claim credit towards a positive payment adjustment to their annual Medicare Part B reimbursements. On November 2, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a new rule that made precepting students a “practice improvement activity” under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for Medicare Part B providers. The rule went into effect January 1, 2018, following a PAEA-led grassroots campaign that saw more than 300 PA education advocates submit comments during the open comment period for the 2018 proposed rule. For more information on improvement activities read this CMS fact sheet. Clinical coordinators are encouraged to inform all preceptors about this new incentive as soon as possible.


Who is eligible to claim improvement activity credit for precepting PA students?

In the final 2018 regulation, CMS elected to restrict eligibility to “community practices in small, underserved, or rural areas” and specifically excluded providers in metropolitan areas. PAEA is continuing to advocate for eligibility to be expanded to all practice settings in future regulations.

Are all types of clinicians eligible for this improvement activity?

All MIPS-eligible clinicians, including physicians, PAs, and NPs, are eligible to claim credit under this improvement activity. Please note, however, the restriction mentioned above, regarding the need to be practicing in “small, underserved, or rural areas” to be eligible for the credit. For a full list of eligible providers, click here.

How many improvement activities do MIPS-eligible providers need to perform?

To receive full credit towards a positive Part B payment adjustment, providers in practices with fewer than 15 clinicians and those located in a rural area or a designated Health Professions Shortage Area are required to complete one “high-weighted” or two “medium-weighted” improvement activities. The preceptor improvement activity is considered high-weighted, meaning eligible clinicians would only have to complete this activity to earn full credit.

Can current preceptors receive credit for this improvement activity?

MIPS-eligible clinicians who meet the criteria regarding practice area are eligible to claim credit for precepting PA students, effective January 1, 2018.

How do preceptors claim credit for precepting students?

MIPS-eligible clinicians may submit improvement activity data via attestation, Qualified Clinical Data Registry or other qualified registry or through electronic health records systems. For more information on the data submission process, visit the CMS Quality Payment Program Resource Library.

For more information or with additional questions, please contact Director of Government Relations Tyler Smith at tsmith@PAEAonline.org.