Feds seek feedback on health IT certification, quality measures

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT are seeking public comment on required quality measures and the certification of health information technology used for them, the agencies announced this week.

The request for information, published Thursday in the Federal Register, seeks feedback on the health IT products for programs including the electronic health record incentive program, the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program, the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and others.

CMS and ONC ask how often to require recertification, the number of CQMs a certified health IT module should be required to certify to, and ways to improve testing of certified health IT modules in order to reduce the burden of government requirements on providers, hospitals and health IT developers.

"We understand that standards for electronically representing CQMs continue to evolve, and believe there may be value in retesting certified Health IT Modules periodically to ensure that CQMs are being accurately calculated and represented, and that they can be reported as required," the RFI states.

Comments may be submitted through Feb. 1, 2016.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has called the certification program a "laudable goal," but says its scope may affect the availability of certain health IT modules. CHIME says ONC should make certification optional for certain types of care or practice settings.

ONC published the certification criteria in October, as well as some corrections and clarifications earlier this month.

To learn more:
- read the RFI