HIMSS requests rethink of CMS proposals

The Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) electronic health record (EHR) association has requested that proposals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Serivces (CMS) for the submission of patient-level data as part of clinical quality measures (CQM) be reviewed, according to FierceEMR.

The call for the proposals to be revised is primarily due to the additional burden that such procedures would place upon medical informatics providers. The association remarked that the existing reporting measures are needlessly complex, and that such protocols would make submission of data to CMS more difficult.

“Our comments on these lengthy proposed rules focus on issues related to electronic health records,” said Mark Segal, vice president, government and industry affairs at GE Healthcare IT, as quoted by Healthcare IT News. “Although we’re supportive of many of the proposed changes, we have serious concerns about the complexity and overhead of reporting discrete patient-level data for quality measures, rather than summary data, as is the case today.”

Concerns have been raised over CMS’ decision to not use the established Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) XML format to submit CQM data. The procedures currently in place have not been widely introduced to report information. Some of the HIMSS EHR association’s 42 member organizations are concerned that the complexity of the information requested for submission by the CMS and the relatively new reporting system could lead to additional work, as well as higher potential for reporting errors.

Leigh C. Burchell, vice president of government affairs for medical informatics vendor Allscripts, told the news outlet that reporting methods have to be well-established to minimize uncertainty and to ensure that prior technological investments were being utilized to their full potential.

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