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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded a contract to Altarum Institute to help small practices in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Minnesota prepare for and participate in the Quality Payment Program, established by the Medicare Access and Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). 

In partnership with Altarum, the Chicago Health IT Regional Extension Center (CHITREC) based at Northwestern University in CHIP provides this technical assistance. We provide direct support to thousands of providers eligible for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in small practices with 15 or fewer clinicians, including small practices in rural locations, health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas across the country. The direct technical assistance is free to all MIPS-eligible clinicians and is available for up five years. 

Technical assistance in Illinois is offered through the Quality Payment Program of Illinois and includes: 

  • Conveying MIPS expectations and timelines 
  • Explaining 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 

Principal Investigator:
Theresa Walunas

Project Team:
Lacey Gleason, Project Management
Sam Ross, Practice Facilitation
Jennifer Potempa, Practice Facilitation
Mercedes Nodal, Outreach and Engagement
Richard Chagnon, Data Management
Eva Winckler, Communications 

The current project year runs through February 15, 2022. 

Northern Illinois University
Altarum Institute
Medical Advantage Group (MAG)
Purdue Healthcare Advisors
Stratis Health
University of Kentucky

For Illinois-specific assistance, email or call 844-QPP-DESK (844-777-3375).
For more information on the Quality Payment Program, visit

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