June 24, 2021
ASA Cautions CMS on Moving to Digital Quality Measurement by 2025
On June 24, 2021, ASA submitted comments to the recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) request for information on digitizing hospital-based quality measures by using Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) based application program interfaces (APIs).
CMS intends to leverage the interoperability data requirements set by the 21st Century Cures Act and the CMS Interoperability and Patient Access rule to move fully to digital quality measurement for quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs by 2025. CMS believes that digitized quality measures would improve data exchange among stakeholders and provide hospitals, anesthesiologists, and other stakeholders with more accurate and actionable quality data.
ASA believes this timeline for moving hospitals to digital quality measure (dQM) reporting is aggressive and does not align with interoperability timelines laid out in regulation. Specifically, ASA pointed out that a rapid transition would create additional burden for most anesthesiologists since our specialty has limited access to, and control over, the aggregated data stored in hospital and facility electronic health records (EHRs). For groups with limited resources, ASA stated that, “Anesthesiologists working on paper records may be at a significant disadvantage in demonstrating how their clinical actions can improve a hospital’s performance on digital quality measures” and our specialty would “encounter significant obstacles in deploying fully integrated EHRs to meet the FHIR-based standard by 2025.”
ASA will continue to collaborate with CMS and stakeholders to facilitate greater connection between hospital-based data and measures, and the specialty measures that contribute to better outcomes, lower health care costs, and increased interoperability.
Read the ASA’s letter to CMS.
Contact the ASA Department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs for more information.