The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has extended the deadline to March 16 for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals to submit electronic clinical quality measure data for the Inpatient Quality Reporting program and to attest to Meaningful Use of electronic health records for Calendar Year 2017.

The original deadline had been February 28.

“CMS understands that some hospitals and their health information technology (IT) vendors need additional time to submit their eCQM data and attest for Medicare EHR Incentive Program requirements,” states the agency’s announcement. “This extension is intended to reduce reporting burden and is part of CMS’ continued commitment to ensuring successful data submissions to the Hospital IQR and Medicare EHR Incentive Programs.”

According to the agency, this extension applies to the eCQM submission requirement for the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program and all attestation submission requirements for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for eligible hospitals and CAHs. However, all other aspects of eCQM reporting requirements remain the same for 2017 reporting.

Also See: CMS tweaks processes for attesting to EHR meaningful use

CMS points out that “successful submission continues to be defined as reporting on at least four eCQMs utilizing a combination of Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) Category I files, zero denominator declarations, and/or case threshold exemptions,” and that this information should be reported through the QualityNet Secure Portal.

Bloomberg/file photo

Instead of using the Medicare EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System, hospitals started attesting for Meaningful Use in 2017 through the QualityNet Secure Portal. CMS transitioned Medicare hospitals to the portal because most of the hospitals are familiar with it and already used it for secure communications and for quality data exchange with the agency.

“For hospitals participating in the Hospital IQR Program, the deadline for submitting an Extraordinary Circumstances Exceptions (ECE) request for CY 2017 reporting remains April 1, 2018,” states the announcement. “The Medicare EHR Incentive Program has a separate hardship exception process.”

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