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Top Challenges Faced by Hospitals Implementing eCQMs

Written by Karen Pursch, Director, Patient Privacy Solutions

If you are a nurse or involved with quality at your healthcare organization, you know that quality reporting is complicated. Your primary responsibility is to provide the best quality care, but you have the additional task to report on value-based care to CMS.

CMS Highlights - The Facts

For the past two years, CMS has offered hospitals the option to submit Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) to meet part of their Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program requirements. Few hospitals have taken advantage of eCQM reporting, preferring instead to continue manual abstraction. Electronic submission of data for four eCQMs is now required for Calendar Year (CY) 2016 reporting. The good news is that this submission will also fulfill the eCQM reporting requirements in the Meaningful Use program. Failure to submit 2016 data may result in an up to 2 percent payment penalty applied in FY 2018.

Recent Survey from The Joint Commission

In March of this year, leaders at The Joint Commission distributed a survey to 886 randomly selected accredited hospitals in order to gather information specific to the challenges healthcare organizations are experiencing in meeting these new IQR program requirements. The results found that 86% of hospitals will be submitting eCQMs, but 87% have not yet successfully submitted eCQM patient level data.

In addition to not having the experience in submitting eCQM patient level data (QRDA Cat-1 file), other challenges surfaced in the survey including:

  • Timeline to have it successfully transmitted and ensuring the data accurately reflects the quality of care
  • IT work, priority, mapping for accurate data
  • Significant unplanned expenses for resources of IT, clinical staff, and training of new workflow
  • Cost and maintenance
  • EMR development for discrete charting requirements eCQM needs while not compromising care at the bedside
  • Changing EMR systems

After seeing these results and hearing the same concern from our customers, I would like to invite you to watch an on-demand educational webcast — “How to Prepare for eCQMs and QRDA-1” presented by my colleague, Cindy Paul, who is a registered nurse with years of experience in clinical nursing. 

I believe you will find it outlines the steps necessary to produce a QRDA-1 file, and it will give you a clear roadmap to submit your eCQMs to CMS by February 28, 2017.

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

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