CMS Issues 2016 Update for Electronic Clinical Quality Measures

May 6, 2015 in News

On Tuesday, CMS released new electronic clinical quality measures that providers will use in 2016 for CMS’ quality reporting programs, EHR Intelligence reports.

CMS updates the measures annually so that the reporting requirements align with modern clinical guidelines and code systems.

Update Details

The updated measures will be used for CMS programs that track electronic quality data, including the:

  • Inpatient Quality Reporting Program;
  • Meaningful use program; and
  • Physician Quality Reporting System (Gruessner, EHR Intelligence, 5/5).

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Specifically, CMS has provided:

  • 29 updated measures for eligible hospitals; and
  • 64 updated measures for eligible professionals.

According to Health Data Management, all of the 29 eligible hospital updates and eight of the 64 eligible professional updates are episode-of-care measures, which are used to evaluate care during a patient’s encounter with a provider. The majority of eligible professional quality measures are patient-based, meaning they are used to assess patient care and categorize the patient in one or more populations (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 5/5).

ONC officials say the new measures will be certified with open-source Cypress testing tools (McCann, Healthcare IT News, 5/5).

In a release, CMS said it “strongly recommend[s]” that those using and interested in using the electronic quality measures “review this document along with the electronic specifications for the [measures], which include human-readable descriptions and XML files, to build a complete understanding of each measure’s intent and operation prior to any implementation” (Health Data Management, 5/5).

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