NCQA approved as ONC-Authorized Testing Lab

The lab will offer IT and data vendors two certifications for quality reporting capabilities.
By Mike Miliard
02:51 PM
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NCQA approved as ONC-authorized testing lab

The National Committee for Quality Assurance's eMeasure testing laboratory has been approved by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to be the newest ONC-Authorized Testing Lab for the IT Certification program.

Technology and data vendors can now use NCQA generated test decks for two certifications, officials say.

The first is ONC's certification for reporting electronic clinical quality measures to CMS for the Quality Payment Program. The second is eMeasure certification for use in NCQA’s recognition for patient-centered medical home and as a standard supplemental dataset in support of HEDIS reporting, according to the group.

[Also: HIMSS-IIP testing tool gets green light as alternative to ONC-approved method]

NCQA’s lab uses the only approved alternative eCQM testing method for health IT currently approved by ONC, officials point out, offering an option for data vendors seeking to certify quality measures as part of the ONC's IT certification program. It bills its testing methodology as the most rigorous available, "producing hundreds more test cases per measure to validate all measure logic paths and parameters."

The approval as testing lab comes after NCQA was accredited as an eMeasure certification program by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program, a third-party accreditor that tests health IT systems. NVLAP accreditation is required before an entity can become an ATL.

Rick Moore, chief information officer at NCQA, said the certifications for technology systems used to track performance are critical to success in the era the of value-based care.

"We believe our 20-year history of producing HEDIS, the most widely used nationally comparable performance measurement set, offers vendors an assuredness that when they pass our testing, their system is ready to accurately select the correct records for reporting," said Moore in a statement.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com