CMS tests IT systems for heart disease, diabetes quality measures

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has selected six healthcare IT suppliers to participate in a project that will test IT solutions to facilitate the submission of Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) measures data gathered from EMRs.

The testing project will use the data elements needed for five PQRI measures, three related to diabetes, one to coronary artery disease and one to heart failure. The submission of data gathered from EMRs may serve as one of several alternative ways eligible professionals choosing to report PQRI measures could submit their quality data in preparation for EMR-based submissions in the future, according to CMS.

The PQRI provides financial incentives to healthcare professionals who report quality data on services provided under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The agency said the initative is the first step toward linking healthcare professionals’ payments to quality across the United States.

Twelve data registries and EHR systems from six vendors will be part of the PQRI pilot, according to CMS. The registries will work with CMS to collect data for 119 measures on quality; however, physicians are not required to report on all of the measures to qualify for financial incentives.

EHRs will collect data on five measures for diabetes, coronary artery disease and heart failure, while the registries will focus on Medicare beneficiary data, such as claims and demographics related to the measures. The federal government has about 28 different quality initiatives, each of which has its own reporting requirements, CMS said.