eHealth: Aligning Quality Measurement at CMS

By Patrick Conway, MD, MSc

Stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs

The next step on the path of meaningful adoption of health information technology (HIT) for providers—will launch later this year for hospitals and next year for eligible professionals. How will this next phase improve health care and reduce the burden on providers?

Achieves Electronic Data Reporting

With the increase in adoption of EHRs, we are moving away from technology as an end goal and towards the use of technology as a key tool in health care quality improvement. The next phase of the EHR Incentive Programs will encourage the adoption of broad scale electronic reporting of quality data.

Aligns of Quality Measurement

One of the foremost goals of Stage 2 is the alignment of quality measure reporting across CMS programs. CMS has worked with partners and representatives from industry to identify and finalize a set of unified quality measures which meet the requirements of multiple programs, such as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Physician Value-Based Modifier, in addition to meeting EHR Incentive Programs requirements.  Accountable Care Organizations can also report quality measures from their EHRs to meet reporting requirements for participating eligible professionals.

The quality measure set—released by CMS last October—includes only measures that have been field tested, meet validation standards, and align with the National Quality Strategy, which outlines improvement goals for health care.

How Providers Benefit

For providers, program alignment means:

  •  Using a single submission method to report on a unified set of quality measures
  •  Choosing the submission method most suited to their unique needs

For example, eligible professionals may submit through a data-submission vendor or submit reports generated from their certified EHR technology directly to CMS.

As we look toward full implementation of meaningful use Stage 2 in 2014, CMS is committed to continuing to improve processes, support program alignment, facilitate interoperability and feedback to providers, and focus on the strategic use of health IT to drive quality improvement in our health care system and better outcomes for patients.

Learn more at HIMSS

We encourage you to learn more about CMS’ efforts during the CMS Quality Measurement Session at HIMSS13 today.

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