CMS shares IT requirements for CPC+ program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, on a webinar Thursday, laid out IT requirements for practices and vendors looking to participate in the agency's Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) initiative, announced earlier this month.

According to Patrice Holtz, with the CMS Innovation Center, for practices in Track 2--those "poised to increase the comprehensiveness of care" via health IT--there are six health IT requirements listed in the agency's application request form. They include:

  1. Identify and flag patients with complex needs
  2. Produce and display electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) results at the practice level to support continuous feedback
  3. Assess patients' psychosocial needs and inventory resources and support those needs
  4. Document and track reported patient outcomes
  5. Enable practices to assign each patient to a care team or practitioner and sort and review those patients by assignment
  6. Establish a patient-focused plan to guide care

Holtz stressed that CMS wants to see "two-way communication" demonstrated between vendors and practices.

"We believe [IT vendors] will gain an accelerated understanding of the health IT needs of primary care practices that are on the forefront of delivering advanced primary care," Holtz said.

CMS plans to publish a list of vendors participating and their contact information on its website.

All practices in both tracks must adopt certified electronic health record technology to participate. By the start of the 2017 performance year, practices must adopt certified technology to report on the CPC+ measure set.

Additionally, those in Track 2 must adopt 2015 Edition CEHRT for "Care Plan" and "Social Behavioral and Psychological Data" by the end of the program's second year.

Alex Baker, a project manager with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, confirmed that vendors have an option to only support Track 1.

Holtz, meanwhile, said that CMS is "definitely" targeting more than just EHR vendors for the program.

For more information:
- here's the CMS application (.pdf)

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