Quality Program Changes

While CMS is proposing several changes to the hospital quality reporting and payment programs, none of these changes represent significant structural or procedural changes to the programs. 

Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR)
CMS is proposing the following adjustments to the program:
* Adopt two opioid-related eCQMs (Safe Use of Opioids – Concurrent Prescribing and Hospital Harm – Opioid-related Adverse Events).
* Adopt the Hybrid Hospital-Wide All-Cause Readmission (Hybrid HWR) measure, beginning with two voluntary reporting periods running from 7/1/2021 to 6/30/2022 and from 7/1/2022 to 6/30/2023.
* Remove the Claims-based Hospital-Wide All-Cause Unplanned Readmission measure (HWR claims-only measure) beginning with the FY2026 payment determination.
* Extend current eCQM reporting and submission requirements for both the CY2020 reporting (FY2022 payment) and the CY2021 reporting (FY2023 payment) periods.
* Change eCQM reporting and submission requirements for the CY2022 reporting (FY2024 payment) period, such that hospitals would be required to report one self-selected calendar quarter of data for three self-selected eCQMs and the proposed Safe Use of Opioids eCQM.
* Continue requiring that EHRs be certified to all available eCQMs used in the Hospital IQR program for the CY2020 and subsequent reporting periods.

Hospital Value Based Purchasing (HVBP)
CMS is proposing that the HVBP program use the same data used by the HAC program for purposes of calculating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Health Safety Network (NHSN) Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) measures beginning with the CY2020 data collection, when the hospital IQR program will no longer collect data on those measures.

CMS is not proposing to add or remove any measures for the FY2022 and FY2023 program years. However, CMS is proposing to establish new performance standards for FY2024 and FY2025.

Hospital Readmission Reduction (HRR)
CMS is proposing the following adjustments to the program:
* Adopt a measure removal policy that aligns with the policies for other quality programs.
* Update the definition of “dual-eligible” as a beneficiary who has full benefit status in both the Medicare and Medicaid programs for the month the beneficiary was discharged, except for those beneficiaries who die in the month of discharge, who will be identified using the previous month’s data.
* Adopt a process to make nonsubstantive changes to the payment adjustment factors, which would include updated naming or locations of data file or minor discrepancies, but which would not include different methodologies to use data or the use of a different component in the methodology.
* Update 42 CFR 412.152 and 412.154 to reflect policies finalized in previous Rules.

Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC)
CMS is proposing the following adjustments to the program:
* Adopt a measure removal policy that aligns with the policies for other quality programs.
* Clarify policies for validating CDC NHSN HAI measures.
* Adopt the collection periods for the FY2022 program year.
-CMS PSI 90 measure – 24-month period from 7/1/2018 to 6/30/2020
-CDC NHSN HAI measures – 24-month period from 1/1/2019 to 12/31/2020.
* Update 42 CFR 412.172(f) to reflect policies finalized in the FFY2019 IPPS Final Rule.
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