By Alex Ruoff
NEW ORLEANS--The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched a new program to consolidate reporting requirements for its various health information technology incentive programs at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Annual Conference March 5.
The eHealth Initiative will align a number of the quality reporting measures across the agency's various incentive programs, where possible, and allow health care providers and hospitals to report for multiple programs at the same time, Kate Goodrich, acting director for the Quality Measurement & Health Assessment Group in CMS's Center for Clinical Standards & Quality, said.
The eHealth Initiative will also combine CMS assistance efforts geared toward helping health care providers and health IT developers comply with the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, coding system (ICD-10), Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (Hospital IQR), “meaningful use,” and electronic prescribing incentive program requirements, Robert Tagalicod, director of CMS's Office of E-Health Standards and Services, said.
In coming years, CMS will implement a “unified, aligned set of electronic clinical quality measures and e-reporting requirements” to integrate the reporting requirements of these programs, Goodrich said.
“The goal is to report once,” she said.
CMS officials did not provide a timeline for the consolidation of these programs. Goodrich said CMS will convene stakeholders for the consolidation process.
For hospitals, the IQR, Hospitals Value-Based Purchasing (HVBP), and the Electronic Health Record Incentive programs will be aligned into a unified reporting program.
For providers, the PQRS, Physician Value Modifier, Medicare Shared Savings (ACO), and EHR Incentive programs will be aligned into a unified reporting program.
ICD-10 requirements and deadlines will not change as a result of the eHealth Initiative, Chris Stahlecker, director of CMS's Administrative Simplification Group, said.
CMS, through the eHealth Initiative, will premiere an electronic reporting system for these consolidated programs, she said.
The assistance efforts of the initiative will be used to show health care providers and hospitals the best methods for consolidating efforts to comply with these disparate programs, he said. By combining their assistance efforts, CMS hopes to get better results.
“Our goal is to transform health delivery and payment in this country, and it is through these programs that we are going to achieve this transformation,” Tagalicod said.
The initiative was launched with a website and email service, which CMS will use to provide updates and technical guidance on the programs.
In coming months, Tagalicod said, CMS will use the eHealth Initiative to engage groups of health care providers, physician associations, health payers, and health IT technology developers “to address the challenges they face.”
The focus on the stakeholder groups will be to create a “roadmap” for successful integration of electronic health records, operating standards, and health care quality management, he said.
The eHealth Initiative website is at http://www.cms.gov/eHealth/about.html.