86% of hospitals expect to submit electronic clinical quality measures by February deadline

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The first deadline for hospitals to submit measurements for the hospital inpatient quality reporting program is Feb. 28, and most providers feel confident in their ability to meet this deadline, according to a Joint Commission survey. However, respondents indicated they still have a lot of work to do to meet the deadline.

The Joint Commission partnered with the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals to survey more than 300 hospitals regarding their perceived importance of electronic clinical quality measures, barriers to reporting measures and what tools and resources would be helpful as they prepare.

Here are seven key findings from the survey.

1. Of the surveyed hospitals, 98 percent are required to report data to CMS as part of HIRP, and 86 percent said they would be ready to report the electronic clinical quality measures data by the Feb. 28 deadline. Nearly 3 percent said they will not report and risk their ability to earn an incentive payment, and less than 1 percent said they would request an extraordinary circumstances waiver. The remaining 10 percent were either unsure or said they had "other" plans.

2. More than 78 percent of respondents said they need to do some or a lot of work before they will be ready to successfully submit eCQM data to CMS. Nearly 18 percent said they are in good shape but need to make some improvements, and nearly 2 percent said they could submit data tomorrow.

3. Hospitals were also optimistic about receiving support from their EHR vendors, with more than 51 percent indicating as such. Nearly 35 percent disagreed their vendors would provide support, and nearly 18 percent said they didn't know.

4. Hospital respondents were pretty even split on perceptions of cost associated with implementing technology to report eCQMs. Nearly 37 percent of hospitals believe it is more costly to accept a payment reduction than to implement and report eCQMs, while 30 percent do not agree with that statement. More than 32 percent said they did not know if accepting payment reduction would be more costly than implementing and reporting eCQMs.

5. However, the majority of respondents (about 64 percent) indicated they can afford to purchase the health IT needed to report eCQMs. Nearly 21 percent said they could not afford to purchase the IT needed, and about 15 percent said they don't know.

6. The majority of respondents (68 percent) said they have not successfully submitted eCQM patient-level data to CMS before. More than 13 percent said they have, and 18 percent said they don't know.

7. Forty-three percent of hospitals said they can generate quality reporting document architecture category 1 documents, yet just 21 percent of hospitals have successfully generated QRDA 1 documents to date. However, 48 percent of  hospitals said they plan to submit eCQM data to CMS using QRDA files generated from EHR. Thirty-seven percent plan to submit data through a third party vendor, and nearly 12 percent don't know.

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