The federal government is seeking easier ways for hospitals to report data under the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program.

Quality data measures reported under the program are used to inform consumers of hospital quality scores via the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Compare Web site. Now, CMS has issued a request for information on ways that hospitals can report data on a subset of measures using the same certified electronic health records systems that are used to report quality measures under the EHR meaningful use program.

The RFI, available here, is part of a continuing initiative to streamline reporting programs through automatic collection and reporting of data on clinical quality measures using certified EHRs, according to CMS. “We envisage that hospitals will be able to switch primarily to EHR-based reporting of clinical data for many measures that are currently manually chart-abstracted and submitted to CMS for the Hospital IQR Program,” the agency states in the notice.

CMS seeks answers from hospitals, EHR vendors and other stakeholders on 17 questions covering hospitals’ status and plans for the meaningful use program, the degree to which hospitals participate in current electronic reporting pilot programs, whether hospitals plan to electronically report certain measures electronically under Stage 2, and whether data will be reported leveraging health information exchanges or the nationwide health information network, among other issues. There’s also a question on whether the C-level has prioritized electronic reporting of quality data. Comments on the RFI are due on Jan. 22.

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