CMS Issues Updated Electronic Clinical Quality Measure Specifications

CMS has released updated specifications for electronic clinical quality measures used by eligible hospitals in 2014 under meaningful use Stage 2, as well as a new tool for measure developers, Health Data Management reports.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 4/7).

Details of Specifications

According to Clinical Innovation & Technology, the new specifications are the result of a collaborative effort among:

  • CMS;
  • The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT;
  • The National Library of Medicine; and
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 4/7).

Details of New Tool

In addition, CMS announced the availability of a new tool, called Bonnie, which is intended to help developers working on electronic clinical quality measures (Health Data Management, 4/7).

The tool will enable developers to:

  • Change measure definitions into a format that allows measure logic to be executed;
  • Independently export quality measure definitions from the Measure Authoring Tool;
  • Quickly create synthetic test patients; and
  • Give expected results for the test patients and determine if the defined logic performs as anticipated (Clinical Innovation & Technology, 4/7).

In a "Health IT Buzz" blog post, Kevin Larsen, medical director of meaningful use at ONC, said vendors could use Bonnie to create a test patient deck that will help assess implementation of electronic clinical quality measures. Vendors also can use test decks created by electronic clinical quality measures developers (Health Data Management, 4/7).

Source: iHealthBeat, Tuesday, April 8, 2014

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