Federation of American Hospitals: EHR data reporting faces 'technical challenges'

Yet another major health industry stakeholder has weighed in on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' plan to use electronic health records to collect and report clinical quality measure data, with the Federation of American Hospitals expressing concern that launching such a program would be premature.

FAH, responding to a request for information about the Inpatient Quality Data Reporting program, noted in its comments dated Feb. 1 that it strongly supports the goals of aligning quality measure and reporting across reporting programs. However, the letter said that there are "technical challenges" that need to be surmounted and that neither hospitals nor vendors are ready to proceed.

FAH also stated that the e-measures in the Meaningful Use program "have not been tested and were not developed with the capability of an EHR in mind." FAH pointed out that that CMS itself is not yet ready for these changes, as it appeared that it did not yet have the infrastructure to facilitate the collection of data.

A more robust infrastructure, field testing and standardized data collection methods for the same quality measures should be in place before proceeding, according to FAH. 

Other industry groups, such as the American Hospital Association and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives have expressed similar concerns about the readiness of the electronic quality reporting program.  

CMS is seeking to make quality reporting less burdensome for hospitals via the automatic collection and reporting of data. The request for information was published in the Federal Register Jan. 3.

To learn more:
- read the FAH's comments (.pdf)