2024 MIPS Measure #486: Dermatitis – Improvement in Patient-Reported Itch Severity

Quality ID 486
High Priority Measure Yes
Specifications Registry
Measure Type Outcome
Specialty Dermatology

Measure Description

The percentage of patients aged 8 years and older, with a diagnosis of dermatitis where at an initial (index) visit have a patient-reported itch severity assessment performed, score greater than or equal to 4, and who achieve a score reduction of 3 or more points at a follow-up visit.



This outcome measure is to be submitted each denominator eligible visit for patients with a diagnosis of dermatitis seen during the performance period. This measure may be submitted by Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians who perform the quality actions described in the measure based on the services provided and the measure-specific denominator coding.

NOTE: Patient encounters for this measure conducted via telehealth (including but not limited to encounters coded with GQ, GT, 95, or POS 02, POS 10) 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.



All patients aged 8 years and older, with a diagnosis of dermatitis with an initial (index visit) Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), Visual Rating Scale (VRS), or ItchyQuant assessment score of greater than or equal to 4 who are returning for a follow-up visit


Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) for Pruritis – The “NRS” is comprised of one item and represents the numbers 0 (“no itch”) to 10 (“worst imaginable itch”). Patients are asked to rate the intensity of their itch over the last 24 hours.

Visual Rating Scale (VRS) for Pruritis – The “VRS”, is comprised of one item and represents the numbers 0 (“no itch”) to 10 (“worst imaginable itch”). Patients are asked to rate the intensity of their itch over the last 24 hours. Note: This scale is intended for patients 18 years and older.

ItchyQuant – An illustrated numeric rating scale for itch severity and represent the numbers 0 (“no itch”) to 10 (“worst itch imaginable”). Patients are asked to rate itch severity over the past 7 days.

DENOMINATOR NOTE: The initial (index) assessment and the follow-up encounter for assessment must occur during the measurement period.

*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 MIPS CQMs.

Denominator Criteria (Eligible Cases):

Patients aged ≥ 8 years on the date of the encounter


Diagnosis for Atopic Dermatitis (ICD-10-CM): L20.82, L20.84, L20.89, L20.9


Diagnosis of Irritant Contact Dermatitis (ICD-10-CM): L24.0, L24.1, L24.2, L24.3, L24.4, L24.5, L24.6, L24.7, L24.81, L24.89, L24.9


Diagnosis of Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ICD-10-CM): L23.0, L23.1, L23.2, L23.3, L23.4, L23.5, L23.6, L23.7, L23.81, L23.89, L23.9, L25.0, L25.1, L25.2, L25.3, L25.4, L25.5, L25.8, L25.9, L56.0, L56.1, L56.2


Diagnosis for Nummular Dermatitis (ICD-10-CM): L30.0


Diagnosis for Other/Unspecified Dermatitis (ICD-10-CM): L30.1, L30.2, L30.3, L30.8, L30.9


At least two patient encounters during the performance period (CPT): 99202, 99203, 99204, 99205, 99211, 99212, 99213, 99214, 99215, 99242*, 99243*, 99244*, 99245*, 99441, 99442, 99443


Initial (index visit) Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), Visual Rating Scale (VRS), or ItchyQuant assessment score of greater than or equal to 4: M1204



Patients who achieve an assessment score that is reduced by 3 or more points (minimal clinically important difference) from the initial (index) assessment score

Numerator Instructions:

To successfully report this measure, the physician(s) and/or provider(s) of the same clinical practice must use the same assessment tool for both the initial (index) AND follow-up assessment using one of the validated tools (NRS, VRS, or ItchyQuant). If a patient has multiple follow-up visits within the measurement period, the last (most recent) visit should be used. Eligible providers who develop the care plan for the patient at the initial (index) visit will be eligible to report this measure.

To satisfy this measure, a patient must achieve any of the following score reductions:

Table 1: Initial Assessment Score Difference

Initial (Index Visit) Assessment ScoreMinimal Clinically Important Difference (3pts)
107 or lower
96 or lower
85 or lower
74 or lower
63 or lower
52 or lower
41 or lower

Numerator Options:

Performance Met: Itch severity assessment score is reduced by 3 or more points from the initial (index) assessment score to the follow-up visit score (M1205)


Performance Not Met: Itch severity assessment score was not reduced by at least 3 points from initial (index) score to the follow-up visit score or assessment was not completed during the follow-up encounter (M1206)



Various types of dermatitis are chronically pruritic and are tremendously burdensome. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic skin disease in which pruritus is responsible for much of the disease burden and morbidity borne by patients (Eichenfield, 2014). It is estimated that in the U.S. alone, 31.6 million people have symptoms of AD, with 17.8 million meeting the criteria for AD. The effects of this disease are substantial; with direct costs estimated to be between $1 and $4 billion (Hanifin, 2007).

Other types of dermatitis, such as contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis (SD) are also chronic, pruritic conditions which greatly affect patients. Approximately 6 million people in the U.S. have SD with direct and indirect costs estimated to be $230 million (Goldenberg, 2013).

These various forms of dermatitis also greatly impact the quality-of-life patients have. In one study looking at the patient burden in adults with moderate to severe AD, 85% reported problems with the frequency of their itch and 41.5 percent reported itching for 18 hours or more a day. With this persistence of itching, 55 percent of patients showed AD-related sleep disturbance 5 days a week or more and 21.8 percent showed clinically relevant anxiety or depression (Simpson, 2016).

In another study, investigators quantified pruritic burden in a cross-sectional analysis investigating chronic pruritus and pain. They demonstrated that the quality-of-life impact was due to the severity of the symptom, rather than whether the symptom was pain or pruritus. Moreover, they elucidated a mean health utility score of 0.87 from CP patients, meaning that on average, a patient would give up 13 percent of their life expectancy to live without pruritus (Kini, 2011). Additionally, studies of CP have shown patients to have a 17 percent higher mortality risk as well as being strongly associated with poorer general health (Ständer, 2013).

Moreover, data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (1999-2009) found that a total of 77 million patient visits for itch were made during the 11-year time period. This was an average of 7 million visits per year, which represented approximately 1 percent of all outpatient visits. Also, further analysis showed that although the majority visits (58.6 percent) were for new instances of itch, almost a third (32 percent) were for chronic pruritus (Shive, 2013).

This measure aims to improve pruritus in patients who carry a large burden with this disease; by assessing itch and aiming to make the symptom more manageable.


Clinical Recommendation Statements

Evidence-based guideline: Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis.

Recommendation: It is recommended that clinicians ask general questions about itch, sleep, impact on daily activity, and persistence of disease, and currently available scales be used mainly when practical.

This measure enhances compliance of the guideline by routinely assessing pruritus in dermatitis patients. For patients with moderate and severe pruritus symptoms, the measure looks to reduce pruritus burden by a minimal clinically important difference (3 or more points).

Peak Pruritus Numerical Rating Scale: psychometric validation and responder definition for assessing itch in moderateto-severe atopic dermatitis (Yosipovitch, 2019) and Tools to study the severity of itch in 8- to 17-year-old children: Validation of TweenItchyQoL and ItchyQuant (Kong, 2021).

Both the NRS and ItchyQuant are validated severity tools for pediatric patients aged 8 and older. This measure assesses pruritus in both pediatric and adult populations.

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