While it’s not absolutely necessary, hospitals that have enough resources should prepare themselves to report clinical quality measures electronically to CMS in 2014. That, at least, is the advice two Advisory Board Co. consultants had to share in a recent blog post, Information Week reports.
Doing so will save them a great deal of time on manual chart abstraction. What’s more, it will prepare them for the electronic reporting mandate CMS is expected to issue after 2014, according to consultants Robin Raiford and Anantachai Panjamapirom.
Choosing the electronic reporting option for next year has other some advantages, too. Hospitals that do so are taking the next step in aligning the reporting of CQMs in the CMS Inpatient Quality Reporting program and Meaningful Use, they remind us.
Hospitals that choose to report electronically next year can submit patient-level data digitally on the 16 CQMs required for Meaningful Use; meanwhile, they’ll have that data count toward the IQR requirement that they report on 57 CQMs that include those 16 measures.
Not only that, they’ll only have to report electronically on the aligned measures for a single quarter, though the IQR reporting. Is the full calendar year.
As the consultants point out, hospitals can continue to report CQMs separately for each program. But it multiplies the work they must do. In that case, they’ll have to use manual chart abstraction to collect data for all the CQMs in the IQR program. And they’ll have to submit aggregated quality data by attestation to the Meaningful Use program.
The reward for submitting electronically can be great. According to CMS’s own calculations, in the 2014 final rule for the Inpatient Prospective Payment System, hospitals that report electronically will save 800 hours on average over those that engage in manual chart abstraction.
In theory, Information Week notes, this should be a “no-brainer” for hospitals, but at least during the Meaningful Use Stage 1 reporting period, many hospitals found it difficult to impossible to harvest the quality data they needed electronically.
But now, with hospitals at Meaningful Use Stage 2, data harvesting problems have largely been resolved, Raiford told the magazine. By the fiscal fourth quarter, Raiford expects to see far more hospitals reporting electronically.