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Standards and Certification Regulations

Clinical Quality Measures

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uses clinical quality measures (CQMs) in a variety of quality initiatives that include quality improvement and public reporting. ONC certifies that electronic health record (EHR) technologies are capable of accurately calculating the electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) results for several incentive programs.

Quality Measure Code Sets

The eCQM used by the HHS EHR incentive program are comprised of definitions, measure logic, data elements, and value sets. Four federal agencies - the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), CMS, the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and ONC are providing these components in various formats so that technical, non-technical, and clinical consumers can understand them.

Information on eCQMs and their use in electronic clinical quality improvement (eCQI) efforts can be found in the eCQI Resource Center.

ONC Issue Tracking System:

JIRA – Clinical Quality Measure Feedback System

CMS & ONC Release Request for Information: Certification Frequency and Requirements for the Reporting of Quality Measures under CMS Programs

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in conjunction with the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), published the Request for Information: Certification Frequency and Requirements for the Reporting of Quality Measures under CMS Programs. It can be found on the Federal Register. The RFI displayed in the Federal Register on December 30, 2015. The RFI was published on December 31, 2015.

As outlined in the RFI, CMS and ONC seek public comment on several items related to the certification of health information technology (IT), including Electronic health record (EHR) products used for reporting to the:

  • EHR Incentive Programs; and
  • Certain CMS quality reporting programs such as, but not limited to, the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program and the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). 

CMS and ONC request feedback on how often to require recertification, the number of CQMs a certified Health IT Module should be required to certify to and ways to improve testing of certified Health IT Module(s).  The feedback will inform CMS and ONC of elements that may need to be considered for future rules relating to the reporting of quality measures under CMS programs.  This request for information is part of the effort of CMS to streamline/reduce Eligible Professional (EP), eligible hospital, critical access hospital (CAH), and health IT developer burden around government requirements.

The RFI has a 45-day comment period. Comments are due February 16, 2016. Please visit the RFI for instructions on how to submit comments. We want to hear from you and value all input received from our stakeholders.