Just When We Think We Understand eCQMs….it all changes!

Written by Cindy Paul, Consultant, Professional Services

Many hospitals are gearing up to start another reporting period for electronic Clinical Quality Measures. As you may know, with proposed CMS changes released in April, the requirements were reduced for 2017 reporting. The final rule is not out, but historically CMS follows through with proposed rules, so we can plan for these changes.

Originally, CMS required reporting 8 eCQMs for a full calendar year in 2017. The proposal alleviates this burden to include only 6 eCQMs reported for two calendar year quarters. The quarters do not have to be consecutive, which was decided by CMS in order to assist hospitals changing EMR vendors or implementing an existing EMR upgrade. For instance, a hospital implementing a new EMR may choose to report quarter 1 with their previous vendor, and quarter 4 with their new vendor system. Others may simply choose to report quarter 3 and 4 data.

Regardless of the reporting period selected, hospitals continue to experience many difficulties in the process of generating a QRDA file. Every year, CMS changes CQM specifications. This includes new Value Sets, Sno-Med and LOINC codes, and even some changes to the measure requirements itself. IT departments are then faced with the task of reviewing current data capture and nomenclature mapping then comparing to the new CMS specifications — often proving a tedious and time consuming task!

MEDITECH and other vendors have updated processes to create QRDA reports with the new CMS specs. This also requires installing or upgrading new software and report configurations. And you can’t forget validation and testing with Quality Net and CMS. Correcting errors and generating QRDA reports with accurate data is a challenge!

I suspect you may be burdened with several IT projects. Perhaps you have changed or upgraded EMR vendors since last year’s reporting. If you’d like help keeping up with eCQMs or tackling these projects, the Iatric Systems Professional Services team would like to lessen your burden and help you prepare to report eCQMs successfully and with ease.

We'd be happy to have you join us for the upcoming live webinar "2017 eCQM Reporting Guidelines with QRDA Files for MEDITECH Hospitals" on June 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Topics: CMS, eCQMs, Quality Management, QRDA

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