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  • Washington Highlights

    CMS Outlines 2018 Priorities at NQF’s Annual Conference

    Phoebe Ramsey, Director, Physician Payment & Quality

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ) and Chief Medical Officer Kate Goodrich, MD Mar. 13 provided details on CMS’ priorities for 2018 during a presentation to the National Quality Forum (NQF) annual conference in Washington D.C. Dr. Goodrich followed up on CMS Administrator Seema Verma’s announcement of new CMS interoperability initiatives in remarks to the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference last week.

    Priorities and updates included:

    • CMS’ new focus on interoperability, which may be part of an overhaul of meaningful use rules for Certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) Technology (CEHRT) in future years, and could result in additional proposals to reduce the number of required EHR quality measures and thresholds. This work will also include the work around the newly launched MyHealthEData initiative as part of a push to get health care information into the hands of patients.
    • Additional details on CMS’ Meaningful Measures framework, including that the process will involve a broad overview of measures currently in use by CMS in quality reporting programs and that they will balance the removal of low value or topped out quality measures with the development and implementation of new measures that fill gaps in the framework. CMS intends to work closely with health information technology organizations, data registries, and clinicians to reduce the burden of quality measurement.
    • Reiteration that CMS is focusing attention and resources on the transition to more patient-centered outcome measures in its quality reporting programs, including a funding opportunity to develop such measures for CMS’ Quality Payment Program announced last week.