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CMS to Update eCQM Value Sets for 2017 Reporting Period

The eCQM value set updates will account for ICD-10 code updates made earlier this year.

By Sara Heath

- CMS will issue an addendum to electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) value sets as a result of changes in the October, 2016, ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS updates, according to a public statement.

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Although these the ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS codes typically update each year, CMS put those updates on hold to assist providers in transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 which took place in October, 2015. Because of that pause, the codes had not been updated since 2013.

“Updating of these codes traditionally occurs on an annual basis, however, during the immediate years leading up to the ICD-9 to ICD-10 transition there was an extended freeze to code updates to support a smooth transition,” CMS explained. “Therefore, for fiscal year (FY) 2017, updates and revisions include changes since the last completed update (October 1, 2013).”

To account for these changes, the agency will issue an addendum to the 2016 eCQM Specifications outlining the eCQM value sets for the 2017 reporting year. These updates will affect the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program, the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals, and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for eligible clinicians.

CMS emphasizes that the addendum will only concern the eCQM value sets, and that the Health Quality Measure Format (HQMF) specifications, the value set object identifiers (OIDs), and the measure version numbers for 2017 eCQM reporting will not change.

Specifically, the addendum will get rid of expired codes and will add in relevant replacement codes.

“Newly available codes that represent concepts consistent with the intent of the value set and corresponding measure(s) will also be added. CMS is prioritizing these ICD-10 updates,” the agency explained.

According to CMS, eligible hospitals, eligible clinicians, and critical access hospitals do not need to take any action and should wait until the reported January, 2017 release date for the eCQM value sets addendum.

Following that release, CMS says measure implementers should review best practice materials to ensure successful eCQM reporting for their respective programs.

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