AQAF Chosen to Provide Support for Small Practices in CMS Quality Payment Program

BIRMINGHAM, February 23, 2017 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded a contract to Qsource to help small practices in Tennessee and Alabama prepare for and participate in the new Quality Payment Program, established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation (AQAF), in partnership with Qsource, will provide technical assistance in Alabama, authorized and funded under MACRA, bringing direct support to Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians in small practices with 15 or fewer clinicians, including small practices in rural locations, health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas. The direct technical assistance is available immediately, free to all MIPS eligible clinicians, and will deliver support for up to a five-year period.

AQAF’s chief executive officer, D. Wesley Smith, MD, emphasized the tailored training and education his organization will be able to provide small and even solo physician offices.

“We all want access to patient-centered, well-coordinated healthcare,” said Smith. “In Alabama, small and rural area medical practices are absolutely crucial to our overall healthcare delivery system. Very often though, these physician practices are the ones most in need of additional support.”

“We’re excited to assist Qsource in this effort by working directly with Alabama’s doctors, nurses and clinicians to help identify and implement the most efficient and cost-effective ways to deliver quality healthcare services. We’re looking forward to helping them succeed in the CMS Quality Payment Program,” Smith said.

AQAF will provide customized technical assistance to MIPS eligible clinicians as a part of the Small, Underserved and Rural Support (SURS) program, which may include, but is not limited to, the following:

- Conveying the MIPS expectations and timelines
- Explaining the MIPS feedback report
- Creating a MIPS-score improvement plan
- Evaluating practice readiness for joining an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM)
- Assessing and optimizing Health Information Technology
- Supporting change management and strategic planning
- Developing and disseminating education and training materials
- Enabling peer-to-peer learning and local partnerships

For more information on the Quality Payment Program, visit or contact the Quality Payment Program by calling 1-866-288-8292 or emailing