Hospitals, critical access hospitals and eligible professionals may continue to report clinical quality measures for meaningful use via attestation in 2012, just as they must do in 2011, according to two proposed rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Also, just like 2011, the measures must be calculated using meaningful use-certified electronic health records.

The provision, with varying language, is in separate proposed rules setting Medicare's hospital outpatient prospective payment policies and the physician fee schedule for 2012. Both rules are available here now with the hospital rule being published on July 18 and the physician rule on July 19.

CMS, when publishing the final rule for Stage 1 of the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in July 2010, said clinical quality measures would be electronically submitted in 2012. However, that final rule left the door open for another year of attestation if CMS wasn't ready to accept electronic measures.

"We also stated in the final rule that certified EHR technology will be required to calculate the clinical quality measure results and transmit under the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative Registry XML Specification," the proposed physician fee schedule rule notes. "Since the publication of the final rule, we have determined that it is not feasible to receive electronically the information necessary for clinical quality measure reporting based solely on the use of PQRI 2009 Registry XML Specification content exchange standards as is required for certified EHR technology." Similar language is in the hospital payment rule.

While hospitals and eligible professionals may attest to clinical quality measures in 2012, CMS in both proposed rules encourages voluntary participation in pilot programs next year under which participants will report clinical quality measures electronically.

 

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