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The What, When, and How of eCQM Reporting

Written by Cindy Paul, Consultant, Professional Services

It’s hard to believe QTR 4, 2016 is well under way. Hospitals are starting to validate QRDA data for reporting electronic Clinical Quality Measures (CQM). The alignment of CQM reporting for the EHR incentive program and Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program has not come without many challenges, including several months of preparation and changes to make it happen.

What: QRDA Category 1 files are the required format for reporting eCQMs. Hospitals must report 4 eCQMs in 2016, with an additional 4 eCQMs in 2017. A Zero Denominator is fine, and results will not be reported to Hospital Compare. But, please be aware that CMS will require Public Reporting and validation of data in future years. All of these changes reflect the alignment of quality reporting programs including IQR and the CMS EHR Incentive Program for Meaningful Use.

When: For 2016, hospitals must submit 4 eCQMs by February 28, 2017 using either Q3 or Q4 data. CMS didn’t give us a break in 2017! The reporting period is a FULL calendar year. So remember, eCQM data capture must be in place on January 1, 2017 to meet CMS compliance. A full year of data is collected to submit by February 28, 2018.

How: How many times have you awakened with QRDA Cat 1 dancing through your head? The struggle and challenges are real! Changing workflows, new EHR data capture, and staff compliance have been hurdles for every hospital. What have you done to make it work in your environment?

Every EHR vendor has best practices and a systematic approach to create QRDA files. Unfortunately, generating reports comes with a bit of anxiety, watching the counter tick down, and holding your breath there are no X ERRORS!

Once the QRDA reports are generated without error, validation with QualityNet and CMS testing begins. This is a nail biting process of reviewing reports, correcting errors, and through it all, the only thing to go by is the documentation and interpretation that oftentimes is as clear as mud.

You may ask, why do I need 2015 CMS Specifications and Value Sets for 2016 eCQMs? And now there are 2016 CMS Specifications and Value Sets for 2017.

How in the world can you keep track of all of this?

The great news is you don’t have to go at it alone. Iatric Systems Professional Services consultants have been working with hospitals to meet eCQM requirements and save you from the headache and lost sleep. Our consultants offer expertise in interpreting CMS Specifications, creating QRDA files, and QualityNet’s validation and testing process. Let Iatric Systems Professional Services guide you through the process to achieve success with Quality Reporting.

Topics: CMS, eCQMs, Value-based Care, Analytics, Quality Management, QRDA, Quality Measures, QualityNet

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