CMS Seeks to Broaden Use of Health IT Reports

Agency wants to use data to improve quality of care.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is asking hospitals and electronic health record vendors for advice on how hospitals can use EHRs to electronically submit required reports measuring the quality of clinical services.

In a request for information filed Friday in the Federal Register, CMS says it wants hospitals to be able to use the same certified EHR technology now required for reporting under the EHR incentive program to automatically report patient-level data under its Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting program.

The information is to be reported by hospitals for calendar year 2014 using the Quality Reporting Document Architecture category 1, CMS notes.

CMS says its goals include streamlining quality reporting, reducing the administrative burden on hospitals and developing a single set of electronic specifications for clinical quality measures adopted under multiple quality reporting programs.

Among questions CMS asks:

  • How well are EHR-based reporting and hospital quality reporting programs aligned?
  • If hospitals and vendors foresee problems meeting criteria for reporting clinical quality measures electronically for the EHR incentive program, what challenges stand in the way?
  • When are hospitals planning to adopt EHR technology meeting 2014 Edition certification criteria?
  • Are hospitals planning to electronically report data on venous thromboembolism, stroke and emergency department measures under the Medicare EHR incentive program in fiscal 2014?
  • Do hospitals plan to report data using any state health information exchange initiative, or the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) Exchange, now known as the eHealth Exchange?
  • Are there operational challenges to electronically reporting quality data, and if so, how do hospitals plan to overcome the challenges?
  • What are the top three operational challenges facing EHR vendors over the next three years?
  • How are vendors planning to assess the accuracy and reliability of clinical process of care quality data using QRDA category 1 standards?

Comments are due by Jan. 22.