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2023 # 374 Closing the Referral Loop: Receipt of Specialist Report


CMS Measure ID: #374

Collection Type: CQM

Reporting Frequency: Once per patient per year

Outcome: No

High Priority: Yes

NQS Domain: Communication and Care Coordination

Measure Age: > 2 years


This measure is to be submitted a minimum of once per performance period for the first referral for all patients during the measurement period. This measure may be submitted by Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians who perform the quality actions described in the measure for the patients for whom a referral was made during the measurement period based on the services provided and the measure-specific denominator coding. The clinician who refers the patient to another clinician is the clinician who should be held accountable for the performance of this measure. . All MIPS eligible clinicians reporting on this measure should note that all data for the reporting year is to be submitted by the deadline established by CMS, however, only first referrals made between January 1 – October 31 (the measurement period) will count towards the denominator to allow adequate time for the referring clinician to collect the consult report by the end of the performance period. When clinicians to whom patients are referred communicate the consult report as soon as possible with the referring clinicians, it ensures that the communication loop is closed in a timely manner and that the data is included in the submission to CMS.

NOTE: Patient encounters for this measure conducted via telehealth (e.g., encounters coded with GQ, GT, 95, or POS 02 modifiers) are allowable.

Measure Submission Type:
Measure data may be submitted by individual MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, or third party intermediaries. The listed denominator criteria are used to identify the intended patient population. The numerator options included in this specification are used to submit the quality actions as allowed by the measure. The quality data codes listed do not need to be submitted by MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, or third party intermediaries that utilize this modality for submissions; however, these codes may be submitted for those third party intermediaries that utilize Medicare Part B claims data. For more information regarding Application Programming Interface (API), please refer to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website.


Percentage of patients with referrals, regardless of age, for which the referring clinician receives a report from the clinician to whom the patient was referred

2023 Benchmarks (from 2021 CMS data)


Topped out: Yes
Capped at 7: Yes

Decile 0: 0 – 0.89
Decile 1: 0.9 – 30.42
Minimum: 30.43 – 66.93
Decile 3: 66.94 – 84.37
Decile 4: 84.38 – 95.11
Decile 5: 95.12 – 99.99
Decile 10: 100 – 100


Topped out: No
Capped at 7: No

Decile 0: 0 – 0.49
Decile 1: 0.5 – 4.84
Minimum: 4.85 – 11.35
Decile 3: 11.36 – 17.3
Decile 4: 17.31 – 23.47
Decile 5: 23.48 – 30.49
Decile 6: 30.5 – 38.82
Decile 7: 38.83 – 50.5
Decile 8: 50.51 – 66.56
Decile 9: 66.57 – 85.7
Decile 10: 85.71 – 100


Number of patients, regardless of age, who had an encounter during the performance period and who were referred by one clinician to another clinician on or before October 31

DENOMINATOR NOTE: If there are multiple referrals for a patient during the measurement period, use the first referral.  

*Signifies that this CPT Category I code is a non-covered service under the Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). These non-covered services should be counted in the denominator population for registrybased measures.

Denominator Criteria (Eligible Cases):

Patients regardless of age on the date of the encounter 


Patient encounter during the performance period (CPT or HCPCS): 92002, 92004, 92012, 92014, 99202, 99203, 99204, 99205, 99212, 99213, 99214, 99215, 99381*, 99382*, 99383*, 99384*, 99385*, 99386*, 99387*, 99391*, 99392*, 99393*, 99394*, 99395*, 99396*, 99397*


Patient was referred to another clinician or specialist during the measurement period: G9968


Number of patients with a referral on or before October 31, for which the referring clinician received a report from the clinician to whom the patient was referred


Referral: A request from one clinician to another clinician for evaluation, treatment, or co-management of a patient’s condition. This term encompasses “referral” and consultation as defined by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Report: A written document prepared by the eligible clinician (and staff) to whom the patient was referred and that accounts for his or her findings, provides summary of care information about findings, diagnostics, assessments and/or plans of care, and is provided to the referring eligible clinician.

NUMERATOR NOTE: The consultant report that will successfully close the referral loop should be related to the first referral for a patient during the measurement period. If there are multiple consultant reports received by the referring clinician which pertain to a particular referral, use the first consultant report to satisfy the measure.

The clinician to whom the patient was referred is responsible for sending the consultant report that will fulfill the communication. Note: this is not the same clinician who would report on the measure.

Numerator Options:

Performance Met:

Clinician who referred the patient to another clinician received a report from the clinician to whom the patient was referred (G9969)


Performance Not Met:

Clinician who referred the patient to another clinician did not receive a report from the clinician to whom the patient was referred (G9970)

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