1. CMS has published the Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQM) Annual Update Pre-Publication Document, which describes changes in the standards and code system versions used in the updated eCQMs for potential use in CMS quality reporting programs for the 2022 reporting/performance period. The Pre-Publication Document is designed to help health information technology (IT)/electronic health record (EHR) developers, Eligible Professionals/Eligible Clinicians, and Eligible Hospitals/Critical Access Hospitals prepare for the 2022 reporting/performance period through transparent pre-release of expected standards and code system versions.
  2. CMS invites vendors and stakeholders to review and provide feedback on draft eCQM specifications that include logic and header changes for eCQMs under consideration for CMS quality reporting and payment programs.

This opportunity will allow CMS to learn from electronic health record (EHR) vendors and stakeholders who have the technical capabilities to review the draft measures in the Clinical Quality Language (CQL) standard for logic expression and test the Health Quality Measure Format (HQMF) code by directly consuming machine readable XML files for eCQMs. Testing will help CMS to identify instances in which the XML code produces errors so that issues can be resolved prior to posting the fully specified measures in spring 2021. The draft measures in HTML, XML, and JSON formats are available for questions and comments February 8, 2021 through February 19, 2021, on the ONC Project Tracking System (Jira) eCQM Issue Tracker via the Jira tickets:

  • CQM-4412: Annual Update for the 2022 Reporting Period: Draft Preview of Eligible Hospital and Critical Access Hospital eCQMs
  • CQM-4413: Annual Update for the 2022 Performance Period: Draft Preview of Eligible Professional and Eligible Clinician eCQMs

Please report questions and comments regarding the draft measure packages to the eCQM Issue Tracker tickets listed above.

Updated eCQMs for 2022 Reporting/Performance Periods

CMS updates Eligible Hospital/Critical Access Hospital and Eligible Professional/Eligible Clinician eCQMs annually for potential inclusion in these programs:

  • Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program
  • Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals
  • Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals
  • Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program for Eligible Professionals
  • Quality Payment Program (QPP): The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APMs)
  • Advanced APM: Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+)
  • Advanced APM: Primary Care First (PCF)

The updated eCQMs will be available on the Electronic Clinical Quality Improvement (eCQI) Resource Center in spring 2021. The measures will be expressed using CQL logic and will continue to use the Quality Data Model (QDM) as the conceptual model to express clinical concepts contained within eCQMs. Refer to the QDM v5.5 Guidance Update and current version of the CQL standard to better understand how they work together to provide eCQMs that are human readable, yet structured for electronic processing. Measures will not be eligible for the 2022 reporting/performance period unless and until they are proposed and finalized through notice-and-comment rulemaking for each applicable program.

To find out more about eCQMs and CQL, visit the eCQI Resource Center. Please sign up for and follow the eCQI Resource Center, CMS, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) listservs to receive updates and announcements on the eCQM specifications’ publication and related content.

Please submit questions or comments regarding the standards being used or the upcoming eCQM annual update to the eCQM Issue Tracker.

About Author

Healthcentric Advisors
As the New England Quality Payment Program Support Center, Healthcentric Advisors assists New England-based physician and other eligible clinical practices to prepare for and participate in the new Quality Payment Program (QPP), established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).