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CHIME: CMS Doesn’t Understand Burdens of Electronic Quality Data Reporting

January 29, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), expressing concern that hospitals will not be able to put forth complete, accurate quality data via their EHRs. The comments were in response to a request for information (RFI) on hospital and vendor readiness for the submission of electronic quality data, as part of the CMS’ Inpatient Quality Data Reporting (IQR) program.

Essentially, CHIME is worried that the technology and workflow burdens for healthcare CIOs will make accurate and complete quality data reporting through the EHR nearly impossible.

“CHIME has long-advocated for HHS to take a lead role in CQM harmonization – extending through (1) the specific CQM, (2) how the CQM is reported, and (3) to whom it is reported,” leaders of CHIME said in the comments. 

“While we are encouraged by recent efforts by CMS, AHRQ and others, we worry that workflow and technology implications of complete and accurate electronic quality reporting are not fully understood.  Data used by abstractors are often found in dictated reports or free form progress notes, not as structured data in the electronic health record.  And it has been the experience of our members that without making the entire record structured, discreet data or having mature text recognition software in place, one cannot extract all the data needed on every patient to create accurate quality metrics.”

CHIME did have positive comments for CMS, saying it did a great job in for establishing a volunteer pilot program for hospitals to submit CQM data electronically as part of the EHR Incentive Payments program. It hopes CMS will expand this program so more hospitals can use it.

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