The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has posted its annual update of 2014 electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) for eligible hospitals and eligible professionals. There are 29 updated measures for EHs and 64 updated measures for EPs.

Eight of the 64 EP measures are episode-of-care measures, as are all of the 29 EH measures. Episode-of-care measures evaluate the care during a patient-provider encounter—called an episode of care—and assign the episode of care to one or more populations. However, the vast majority of the EP eCQMs are patient-based measures, which evaluate the care of a patient and assign the patient to membership in one or more populations.

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Providers will use these updated measures to electronically report 2016 quality data for CMS quality reporting programs, including the Physician Quality Reporting System, Inpatient Quality Reporting Program, and the Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs.

“This document provides guidance for those interested in understanding, using, and/or implementing the clinical quality measure electronic specifications,” states the update. “We strongly recommend that you review this document along with the electronic specifications for the eCQMs, which include human-readable descriptions and XML files, to build a complete understanding of each measure’s intent and operation prior to any implementation.”

The logic and data elements for the eCQMs are specified using the Quality Data Model (QDM) version 4.1.2 published in July 2014. QDM describes clinical concepts in a standardized format to enable consistent electronic clinical quality measurement.

The updates to the electronic specifications of the clinical quality measures approved for submission in CMS programs can be found on the eCQM Library website.  

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