HIMSS Submits Letter on eCQMs to CMS

In a May 30, 2018 letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma, HIMSS offered comments to CMS in response to the CMS electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) and quality reporting strategy for eligible hospitals and eligible clinicians. In this letter, HIMSS leverages its members’ expertise in offering feedback the future state of federal quality measurement and reporting, and they look forward to a continued dialogue with CMS on quality reporting within the healthcare IT community, especially around CMS continuing transition of the Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program, the Promoting Interoperability (PI) program, the Quality Payment Program (QPP), Hospital Acquired Conditions Reduction Program (HACRP), and the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP).

HIMSS appreciates the work undertaken by CMS and its stakeholders to reduce the administrative burden, and improve the value proposition and actionable nature of federal quality reporting requirements. The effort to minimize burden and improve the value proposition of quality reporting requires balancing the needs of stakeholders across multiple settings (hospitals, clinicians, vendors, measure developers, and patients) to ensure that every quality measure meets the criteria associated with the Meaningful Measures Initiative and past HIMSS guidance recommending that eCQMs accurately reflect the quality of care delivered and are meaningful.   

HIMSS proposes in the letter for CMS to incentivize hospital and provider participation in the measure development and testing process. HIMSS recommended that CMS consider a scoring bonus for the IQR and QPP Advancing Care Information criteria for hospitals and eligible clinicians that participate in collaborative testing of new eCQMs. The development and testing process should ensure that every new eCQM generates an accurate reflection of care delivered, is meaningful and actionable to drive improved quality outcomes, and is not overly burdensome to collect as part of a normal care delivery workflow.

HIMSS also encourages CMS to explore avenues for promoting data visualization on quality performance. Through the HIMSS Davies Award Program and the HIMSS Value Suite collection, HIMSS has learned that end user access to real time quality outcomes performance data is a critical driver to improving care quality.