The American Hospital Association (AHA) has recommended changes to an interim Stage 2 final rule, with a focus on easing clinical quality measure reporting for certain hospitals, officials announced Tuesday.
The group is pressing the Centers for Medicare
) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to exempt hospitals having a low number of relevant cases from reporting on certain clinical quality measures (CQMs).
By 2014, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs)
must electronically report on 16 out of 29 approved CQMs to CMS. These measures include reporting the average time it takes for a patient admitted to the emergency room to be discharged; seven measures surrounding the treatment and number of ischemic stroke patients; the number of births with no complications; the proportion of births that have been screened for hearing loss, three measures on surgical patients reporting; three measures surrounding patients with acute myocardial infarction; and six measures on patients with venous thromboembolism.
However, according to rule revisions submitted in December, CMS proposed that a case threshold for hospitals would be in effect fiscal year 2013 as opposed to 2014, which was proposed earlier. "Eligible hospitals and CAHs with 5 or fewer discharges during the relevant EHR
reporting period, or 20 or fewer discharges during the year…would be exempted from reporting on that CQM," reads the December 7 Federal Register notice
Come 2014, however, eligible hospitals and CAHs would need to "qualify for the case threshold exemption for more than 13 out of 29 CQMs" to be exempt from reporting fewer than 16 CQMs.
AHA officials also expressed concern over the current process for developing and testing electronic CQMs and advised CMS to improve the process before they are finalized, calling the timeline "rushed."
"Hospitals are investing considerable financial and human capital in implementing EHRs and need certainly that the technology supports the development of valid, reliable and feasible automated measurement," wrote Rick Pollack, executive vice president of the AHA, in a statement