CMS proposes reducing eCQM, meaningful use reporting requirements

A new CMS proposal, developed in response to feedback from the healthcare industry, contains guidelines to reduce the EHR reporting burden on providers.
By Jessica Davis
12:03 PM
CMS reduces reporting requirements

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed new provisions for collecting and submitting quality data via electronic health record systems. The guidelines, which would affect 2017 and 2018 reporting, would provide flexibility for collection periods.

The rule, published April 14, proposes that hospitals be required to choose six of the electronic clinical quality measures included in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program measure set for the 2017 reporting period and 2019 fiscal payment determination. The former requirement was eight eCQMs.

The proposed changes affect hospitals and long-term care hospitals required to collect eCQMs as part of the Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs and prospective payment system.

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CMS said the changes are meant to "relieve regulatory burdens, support the patient-doctor relationship in healthcare and promote transparency, flexibility and innovation in the delivery of care."

The proposal would also ease the meaningful use attestation period for both physicians and hospitals to any continuous 90-period in 2018.

CMS also intends to reduce the requirements of providers using technology that has been decertified due to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's certification program. The proposed change adds an exception that removes the penalty for being unable to meet the requirements – a change mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act.

The proposed changes also cover 2018 Medicare payments for inpatient services, while relaxing eCQM reporting requirements. Further, CMS wants to limit the eCQM reporting requirements for physicians to 90 days, while joining the program with the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.

The rule was published in conjunction with an RFI for other federal health policies and responds to recent urging from healthcare industry leaders to reduce Meaningful Use and quality data reporting requirements.

In addition to its proposed changes, CMS is seeking feedback for solutions to create a more transparent, simplified reporting system.

"We would like to start a national conversation about improving the health care delivery system, how Medicare can contribute to making the delivery system less bureaucratic and complex and how we can reduce burden for clinicians, providers and patients in a way that increases quality of care and decreases costs," said CMS officials in a statement.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
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