CMS establishes new quality reporting system for long term care hospitals

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is establishing a new electronic records system for quality reporting by long term care hospitals. The new program, created by the Affordable Care Act, will use this system to compile and eventually publish data measuring the quality of care provided to patients in long term care hospitals, according to a notice published Feb. 6 in the Federal Register.

CMS created the system, called the Long Term Care Hospitals' Quality Reporting Program, to house the data sets needed for the program. The data is required to be valid, meaningful, and feasible to collect, and to address symptom management, patient preferences and avoidable adverse events. The first quality measure data set for which the agency plans to compile data is the percentage of patient residents with new or worsened pressure ulcers.

Routine uses of the records will include support of research, CMS contractors and grantees, accrediting organizations and the Department of Justice. Data published on the Internet will be in aggregate form and not personally identifiable.

CMS is seeking to make quality reporting less burdensome for hospitals and physicians in various ways, including via the automatic collection and reporting of data, and has issued requests for information on how to align and simplify some of these processes. Several provider commenters such as the Federal of American Hospitals and the College for Healthcare Information Management Executives have already expressed concern that current EHR technologies can't support some of the quality reporting contemplated by the agency.

To learn more:
- read the Federal Register notice