In an apparent effort to increase transparency, improve the Meaningful Use program and engage more stakeholders, CMS has invited public comment on the new clinical quality measures (CQMs) for eligible professionals in Stage 3 of the program.
The solicitation for public comment, published Oct. 28, welcomes all comments, but CMS notes that it is particularly interested in relevance of the measures to the mission of public reporting under the EHR Incentive Programs for eligible professionals, usefulness of the measures to improve quality of care for patients, and the feasibility of data collection via EHRs for public reporting.
Comments due by Nov. 25, 2013, are to be submitted via the CMS JIRA tool. JIRA can be confusing; to submit comments, one needs to first log onto JIRA, creating an account if need be. Once logged on, commenters need to select "projects" in the top middle of the home screen, select "comments on eCQMs under development" project and then select "create issue" (the orange button) to enter comments into the data fields. Once inputted, hit "create" to submit the comment, CMS advises.
It is expected that Stage 3 of the program will significantly raise the Meaningful Use bar, with new standards and more stringent requirements. ONC's HIT Policy Committee's Meaningful Use workgroup recently recommended that the Stage 3 objectives also need link functionality to outcomes and Meaningful Use to HHS' initiatives and new payment models. CMS has also issued a solicitation for a contractor to make recommendations regarding which behavioral and social data should be added to the program.