CMS Pledges Future Reporting Via EHRs

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is pledging that in a few years hospitals no longer will have to abstract from patient charts quality measures required under the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting program.

"We believe that at a future date, such as 2015, CMS and hospitals will be able to switch to complete EHR-based reporting of all chart-abstracted measures to CMS for the Hospital IQR Program, and we intend to work diligently toward this goal," the agency contends in a proposed rule published May 5 in the Federal Register. The rule proposes changes to the hospital inpatient payment system and long-term care prospective payment system for fiscal 2012.

For the time being, significant work by organizations owning the quality measures and software developers remains, CMS says. "This includes completing electronic specifications for measures, pilot testing, reliability and validity testing, and implementing such specifications into EHR technology to capture and calculate the results, and implementing the systems."

CMS in the rule invites public comment on a number of new quality measures and topics being considered as it seeks to limit the need for chart abstractions in the near future.

--Joseph Goedert


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