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CMS Extends eCQM Deadline for EHR Incentive Programs

The eCQM reporting deadline has been extended from February 28 to March 13 to give eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals more preparation time.

By Sara Heath

CMS has extended the deadline for electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) reporting for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals participating in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting and EHR Incentive Programs.

According to a blog post by Kate Goodrich, MD, Director of the CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals now have until March 13 to submit CQMs for the two programs. Previously, that deadline had been February 28.

CMS reportedly extended the deadline to allow hospitals to better prepare eCQM submissions, which will affect payment determinations in FY 2018.

CMS is also responding to industry feedback on eCQM requirements included in the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS), with changes coming in the FY 2018 proposed IPPS ruling.

“Specifically, in the FY 2018 IPPS proposed rule, CMS plans to address stakeholder concerns regarding challenges associated with hospitals transitioning to new EHR systems or products, upgrading to EHR technology certified to the 2015 Edition, modifying workflows, and addressing data element mapping, as well as the time allotted for hospitals to incorporate updates to eCQM specifications in 2017,” Goodrich said.

CMS is also reportedly considering changes to the number of required eCQMs and the length of reporting period.

According to Goodrich, these overtures are a part of the agency’s commitment to not only improving quality care for patients, but also the reporting burden for providers.

“We believe that these efforts reflect the commitment of CMS to create a health information technology infrastructure that elevates patient-centered care, improves health outcomes, and supports the healthcare providers who care for patients,” Goodrich concluded.

“We continuously strive to work in partnership with hospitals and the provider community to improve quality of care and health outcomes of patients, reduce cost, and increase access to care.”

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