The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted the electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) specifications for the 2022 reporting period for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs), and the 2022 performance period for eligible professionals and eligible clinicians. CMS updates the specifications annually to align with current clinical guidelines and code systems so they remain relevant and actionable within the clinical care setting. These updated eCQMs are to be used to electronically report 2022 clinical quality measure data for CMS quality reporting programs. Measures will not be eligible for 2022 reporting unless and until they are proposed and finalized through notice-and-comment rulemaking for each applicable program.

CMS has updated eCQMs for potential inclusion in these programs:

  • Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program
  • Medicare Promoting Interoperability Programs for eligible hospitals and CAHs
  • Quality Payment Program (QPP): The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APMs)
  • Advanced APM: Primary Care First (PCF)

Where to Find the Updated eCQM Specifications and Materials

The updated eCQM specifications are available on the Electronic Clinical Quality Improvement (eCQI) Resource Center for Eligible Hospitals and CAHs and Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinicians pages under the 2022 Reporting/Performance Year. Other eCQM resources, including the Guide for Reading eCQMs, eCQM Logic and Implementation Guidance, tables of eCQMs, and technical release notes, are also available at the same locations. CMS updated the Guide to Reading eCQMs, eCQM Logic, and Implementation Guidance based on end user feedback and continues to update these guides to assist stakeholders in understanding and implementing eCQMs.

Where to Find the 2022 eCQM Value Sets, Direct Reference Codes, and Terminology

The 2022 reporting/performance period eCQM value sets are available through the National Library of Medicine’s Value Set Authority Center (VSAC). The value sets are available as a complete set, as well as value sets per eCQM. The direct reference codes specified within the eCQM HQMF files are also available in a separate file for download on the VSAC Downloadable Resources page.

Pre-Rulemaking Information

The eCQI Resource Center includes information about CMS pre-rulemaking eCQMs. CMS pre-rulemaking eCQMs include measures that are developed, but specifications are not finalized for reporting in a CMS program. These measures will not be eligible for CMS quality reporting until they are proposed and finalized through notice-and-comment rulemaking for each applicable program. Please visit the Pre-Rulemaking eCQM pages for eligible hospitals and CAHs and for eligible professionals and eligible clinicians to learn more.

Hospital Hybrid Measures Information

The eCQI Resource Center includes information about CMS hybrid measures for eligible hospitals and CAHs. A hybrid measure is a quality measure that uses both claims data and clinical data from electronic health records for calculating the measure. Please visit the Hybrid Measures page on the eCQI Resource Center to learn more. The hybrid measure value sets for use in the hybrid measures are available through the VSAC.

Eligible Professional/Eligible Clinician Telehealth Guidance

CMS has posted guidance on the allowance of telehealth encounters for the eligible professional and eligible clinician eCQMs used in CMS quality reporting programs for the 2022 performance periods. The guidance provided applies to eCQMs used in each of these programs:

  • QPP: MIPS and Advanced APMs
  • Advanced APM: PCF

Where to Find the Guidance on Allowance of Telehealth Encounters

The guidance is available on the eCQI Resource Center under the 2022 Performance Period in the Telehealth Guidance for eCQMs for Eligible Professional/Eligible Clinician 2022 Quality Reporting document and with the Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinicians table of eCQMs on the Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinician page for the 2022 Performance Period.

For More Information

To find out more about eCQMs, visit the eCQI Resource Center. Visit the eCQM Data Element Repository which is a searchable module that provides all the data elements associated with eCQMs in CMS quality reporting programs, as well as the definitions for each data element. This information is intended to improve clarity for those implementing eCQMs.

For Questions Regarding eCQMs

To report questions or comments on the eCQM specifications, visit the eCQM Issue Tracker. Note that an ONC Project Tracking System (Jira) account is required to ask a question or comment.

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).