The Improvement Activities category is a new concept under the Quality Payment Program (QPP). This category awards clinicians for participating in activities related to the following goals:

  • Achieving health equity
  • Behavioral and mental health
  • Beneficiary engagement
  • Care coordination
  • Emergency response and preparedness
  • Expanded practice access
  • Patient safety and practice assessment
  • Population management

Clinicians and groups have the option of participating in the activities that are most relevant to their practice and patient population.


The Improvement Activities category applies to all eligible clinicians and group practices under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). For an activity to count toward individual-level reporting, a clinician must participate in the activity for at least 90 days. For an activity to count toward group-level reporting, at least one clinician under the group's taxpayer identification number (TIN) must participate in the activity for at least 90 days.

Objectives and Measures

CMS has finalized a list of 93 activities that will count toward credit during the 2017 performance year. Clinicians and groups have the option of participating in any of the recognized activities; they are not required to participate in any specific activity.


Each activity is assigned a weight of high (20 points) or medium (10 points). Most clinicians and groups are required to perform a combination of activities that equals 40 points.

Groups with fewer than 15 eligible clinicians or clinicians and groups in a rural or health professional shortage area only need to attest to a combination of activities equaling 20 points.

Participants in certain Alternative Payment Models (APMs) who are participating in MIPS may automatically earn full or half credit for performing the activities required by their APM.

For most MIPS-eligible clinicians and groups, Improvement Activities count for 15 percent of the MIPS composite performance score.

MIPS Composite Performance Score

Quick Tips to Prepare for Improvement Activities Participation

  • Review the list of 2017 Improvement Activities. Determine which activities you may already be participating in and which activities you may want to engage in.
  • Determine if you are in an APM, small practice or rural practice that may qualify for flexibility in this category.
  • ACC's PINNACLE and Diabetes Collaborative Registry, a Qualified Clinical Data Registry, may be able to help you meet several Improvement Activities. Determine if the registry is a good fit for your practice.
  • The ACC has other quality improvement initiatives that may qualify as Improvement Activities activities. The College is currently seeking guidance on what activities may count. In the meantime, get up-to-speed on ACC's offerings under the Quality Improvement for Institutions program.

Additional Resources

As of 12/19/2016