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CMS HQR System Now Accepting CY 2020 eCQM Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is notifying hospitals and vendors that the Hospital Quality Reporting (HQR) system is now accepting electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) data for the calendar year (CY) 2020 reporting period. The HQR System has been updated to accept Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) Category I test and production files utilizing the CY 2020 requirements.

Note: Test QRDA Category I data submissions are considered practice and do not count towards CMS program credit. Production QRDA Category I data submissions are provided by hospitals or by health IT vendors on the hospital’s behalf as final data submissions intended to fulfill the eCQM reporting requirements for the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) and the Medicare portion of the Medicare and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Programs.

What are the CY 2020 eCQM reporting requirements?

Hospitals are required to submit at least four of the available eight eCQMs for one self-selected quarter of CY 2020 data (Q1, Q2, Q3, or Q4) by the reporting deadline of March 1, 2021, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT). The successful submission of eCQMs includes any combination of QRDA Category I files with patients meeting the initial patient population of the applicable measure(s), zero denominator declarations, and/or case threshold exemptions. Use of the zero denominators and case threshold exemptions only apply if the hospital has electronic health record (EHR) technology certified to report the eCQMs. The eCQM reporting requirements are posted on the QualityNet website.

Where are the technical materials for reporting eCQMs for the CY 2020 reporting period?

The Electronic Clinical Quality Improvement (eCQI) Resource Center is the one-stop shop for the most current resources to support electronic clinical quality improvement. Reference materials available for download include an eCQM annual update implementation checklist, CY 2020 QRDA Category I Implementation Guide (IG), Schematron and sample files, eCQM specifications, eCQM Flows, and the eCQM value set addendum. In addition, the Measure Collaboration Workspace offers the eCQM Data Element Repository for users who need additional clarification regarding definitions and clinical focus for all eCQM specification data elements.

Where can I learn about changes to the CY 2020 QRDA Category I IG for HQR and updates to the Health Level Seven (HL7) base standard?

Visit the archive of the Quality Reporting Center website to review materials from the CMS QRDA Category I Implementation Guide Changes for CY 2020 Hospital Quality Reporting webinar. The presenter outlined the IG changes, showed document-level template changes, and provided a high-level overview of updates to the HL7 base standard.

The Pre-Submission Validation Application (PSVA) Tool was retired this summer; what resources are available for us to test our QRDA Category I files prior to submission?

The community was notified during the week of August 3, 2020, that the PSVA tool was retired summer 2020. Submitters are able to perform all functions for a thorough review of QRDA Category I files in the test portion of the HQR System. Users have simultaneous access to the test and production portions of the HQR System for eCQM reporting until the March 1, 2021, 11:59 p.m. PT submission deadline.

Will there be a webinar to demonstrate how to submit eCQM data now that an updated user interface exists for eCQM reporting to the HQR System?

A webinar is being coordinated for December 2020 that will clarify the eCQM data submission process for CY 2020 reporting. The registration information will be communicated using a variety of outlets once a final date has been determined. Visit the events calendar of the Quality Reporting Center website for details.

For further assistance regarding the information contained in this message, please contact the Inpatient Value, Incentives, and Quality Reporting (VIQR) Outreach and Education Support Team at CMS ServiceNow Q&A Tool or (844) 472-4477.

Last Updated: May 24, 2023