Hospitals participating in the electronic health records meaningful use initiative could satisfy criteria for reporting outpatient clinical quality measures during payment year 2012 by participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program Electronic Reporting Pilot, according to a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The rule, proposing annual changes to the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system, is available now and will be published on July 18. The rule encourages hospitals and critical access hospitals to test an electronic infrastructure that supports the use of EHRs to meet various reporting requirements.

"Through this pilot, we have encouraged hospitals to take steps toward the adoption of EHRs that will allow for reporting of clinical quality data from EHRs to a CMS data repository," according to the proposed rule. "We expect that the submission of quality data through EHRs will provide a foundation for establishing the capacity of hospitals to send, and for CMS, in the future, to receive, quality measures via hospital EHRs for the Hospital IQR Program's measures. Hospitals that choose to participate in the EHR Incentive Program by means of this pilot for the purpose of meeting the CQM reporting requirement of Meaningful Use will be taking those first steps toward reporting clinical quality data in such a way."


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