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AAPM&R Attends QCDR Advocacy Session with CMS

Feb 12, 2019

As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) prepares to draft rules, stakeholders and regulators brainstormed solutions.

Qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs), including AAPM&R's Registry, play a critical role in quality measurement reporting – so getting the ground rules right matters.

To that end, on February 6, AAPM&R joined the Council for Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), the Physician Clinical Registry Consortium (PCRC) and about two dozen other QCDR sponsors in a “Whiteboarding” session with officials of CMS.

The goal: Helping CMS and the QCDR community better understand and address each other’s concerns and identify opportunities to improve processes and policies to better support improved quality measurement and outcomes.

“What’s most significant about this very productive meeting is its timing,” said Marjorie Rallins, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.

“Raising these issues with CMS before they write the 2020 QPP proposed rule means we’re more likely to end up with a rule that better supports quality measure reporting. Following up with engagement and educational events means we are building an effective coalition with our members, our partners at CMSS PCRC, and QCDR sponsors everywhere that is likely to produce long-term benefits for everyone,” Dr. Rallins added.

Most issues are still very much in the early talking stage, and CMS is not bound by any recommendations the whiteboarding session participants made. Nonetheless, the February 6 meeting itself is evidence of the agency’s commitment to collaborating to improve Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP), Dr. Rallins noted. Important issues discussed included:

  • Possibly extending measure review periods from one year to two
  • Better defining topped out measures
  • Clarifying measure approval criteria and processes
  • Strengthening and clarifying the “Measures 101” curricula
  • Developing criteria and processes for measure harmonization
  • Clarifying measure licensing requirements

CMS will soon begin drafting the 2020 Quality Payment Program proposed rule, which will likely be published in July. Stay tuned to aapmr.org as more information is released and learn about your Academy's QCDR