The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offer incentive programs for eligible healthcare providers who use certified electronic health records (EHR) systems in a meaningful way. These financial incentives were established to encourage EHR adoption because of the technology’s many benefits, which include reduced errors, easier access to health records, ePrescribing and automated alerts, among many others.
In order to qualify for Meaningful Use incentives, eligible professionals (EPs) are required to meet at least 20 out of 25 Meaningful Use objectives and to report certain clinical quality measures (CQMs). According to CMS, a clinical quality measure is a way to assess the degree to which a healthcare provider is accurately, efficiently and safely delivering clinical services that are appropriate for a patient. Monitoring the quality of patient care is important to CMS because it helps drive improvements in overall healthcare. CQMs serve as a quantifiable benchmark for the performance of healthcare professionals and facilities, helping to point out areas that need improvement and facilitating care coordination between different providers.
Eligible physicians, hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) have to report CQMs specific to their medical setting in order to demonstrate Meaningful Use. Eligible professionals and practices have to report on six CQMs – three required core measures or alternate core measures as needed, and three additional measures. The three core measures are blood pressure measurement for hypertension; preventive care, screening and cessation intervention for tobacco use; and adult weight screening. EPs can choose the additional measures most closely related to their specialty, including options such as asthma assessment and prenatal screening for HIV — among 38 other CQMs. CMS provides downloadable information about all of the clinical quality measures, each with a specific outline of what the CQM entails and the standard for measurement.
Eligible hospitals and CAHs have different CQM requirements than physician practices. They must report on all 15 CQMs outlined for their medical setting. Two of these CQMs focus on emergency department throughput, seven apply to care for stroke patients and six apply to care for patients with venous thromboembolism.
An ONC-ATCB certified EHR solution helps healthcare providers easily document and report on clinical quality measures, enabling them to meet the requirements for demonstrating Meaningful Use. Care360 EHR incorporates the tools necessary for providers to easily keep track of the required CQMs.
Providers can run a report at any time to compare their current performance with the CMS requirements, so they can adjust their level of care in each area accordingly. They also have the ability to pull a list of patients who are not compliant so that office staff can reach out to them to schedule appointments.
For more detailed information, visit the new Clinical Quality Measures section of the CMS site. You can also refer to the CMS EHR Incentives page on our website to learn more about the incentive programs and how Care360 EHR can help you qualify.