Updated eCQM Specifications and New eCQM Reading Guide Now Available

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) (@CMSGov) has posted the eCQM annual update for the 2019 reporting period for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), and the 2019 performance period for Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinicians. CMS updates the specifications annually to align with current clinical guidelines and code systems so they remain relevant and actionable within the clinical care setting. These updated eCQMs are fully specified and are to be used to electronically report 2019 clinical quality measure data for CMS quality reporting programs. Measures will not be eligible for 2019 reporting unless and until they are proposed and finalized through notice-and-comment rulemaking for each applicable program.

CMS has updated eCQMs for potential inclusion in the following programs:

  • The Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program
  • The Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program (formerly known as the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program)
  • The Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program (formerly known as the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program)
  • Quality Payment Program: The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APMs)
  • Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+)

What’s New for 2019 Reporting/Performance
Use of Clinical Quality Language (CQL) – eCQMs for 2019 reporting will be expressed using the new CQL standard for logic expression and will continue to use the Quality Data Model (QDM) as the conceptual model to express clinical concepts. Refer to the QDM v5.3 Annotated version and current version of the CQL standard to better understand how they work together to provide eCQMs that are human-readable and structured for electronic processing.

Guide to Reading eCQMs – This updated resource assists stakeholders in interpreting and understanding eCQMs. The guide provides information on eCQMs such as file naming conventions, understanding an eCQM human-readable rendition, QDM data criteria, value sets, and more.

Where to Find the Updated Measure Specifications
The updated measure specifications are available on the eCQI Resource Center for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals and Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinicians under the 2019 Reporting/Performance Year.

Where to Find the 2019 eCQM Value Sets
The 2019 Reporting/Performance Period eCQM value sets are available through the National Library of Medicine’s Value Set Authority Center (VSAC). The value sets are available as a complete set, as well as value sets per measure.

Provide Feedback on the Updated Measures
To report questions and comments regarding the updated measures, visit the eCQM Issue Tracker. Note that an ONC Issue Tracking System account is required to ask a question or comment.

For More Information
To find out more about eCQMs, visit the eCQI Resource Center.