CMS Proposes Rule to Align Timelines in EHR Incentive and IQR Programs | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

CMS Proposes Rule to Align Timelines in EHR Incentive and IQR Programs

May 15, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a rule this week that would align the reporting of clinical quality measures (CQMs) for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program with timelines in the Hospital IQR Program.

Currently, the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program, which rewards hospitals that report designated quality measures a higher annual update to their payment rates, and the EHR Incentive Program have different reporting and submission periods for CQMs. Hospitals report data to the Hospital IQR Program based on calendar year deadlines while the EHR Incentive Program is based on fiscal year deadlines. Furthermore, the Hospital IQR Program requires quarterly reporting and submission of data for chart-abstracted measures while the EHR Incentive Program requires annual submission of clinical process of care measure data.

The proposal from the CMS would align reporting and submission periods for CQMs for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and the Hospital IQR Program on a calendar year basis, starting with the 2015 calendar year. The proposal, which can be read fully in the federal register, would have an incremental shift of the Medicare EHR Incentive Program reporting and submission periods. In 2015 and 2016, they would require calendar year reporting, but for the first three calendar quarters.

“This proposal will allow us to align data reporting and submission periods without shifting the EHR incentive payments,” CMS says in the proposed rule. They also note that hospitals demonstrating meaningful use for the first time in 2015 or 2016 would still be required to report CQMs by attestation for a continuous 90-day period in FY 2015 or 2016.

The goal of this would be to: "avoid possible confusion, reduce provider burden, and strengthen our commitment to aligning programs," CMS wrote in the rule.

As part of the proposed rule, CMS also updated policies on the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, and the Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program. They also updated policies around long-term care hospitals (LTCH), and indicated they wanted to better understand the current state of EHR adoption and use of health information exchange (HIE) in the LTCH community.

Get the latest information on Meaningful Use and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Survey: By 2019, 60% of Medicare Revenues will be Tied to Risk

Medical groups and health systems that are members of AMGA (the American Medical Group Association) expect that nearly 60 percent of their revenues from Medicare will be from risk-based products by 2019, according to the results from a recent survey.

83% of Physicians Have Experienced a Cyber Attack, Survey Finds

Eighty-three percent of physicians in a recent survey said that they have experienced some sort of cyber attack, such as phishing and viruses.

Community Data Sharing: Eight Recommendations From San Diego

A learning guide focuses on San Diego’s experience in building a community health information exchange and the realities of embarking on a broad community collaboration to achieve better data sharing.

HealthlinkNY’s Galanis to Step Down as CEO

Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.

Email-Related Cyber Attacks a Top Concern for Providers

U.S. healthcare providers overwhelmingly rank email as the top source of a potential data breach, according to new research from email and data security company Mimecast and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.