Hospitals gearing up to meet meaningful use criteria in 2011 must still consider how to comply with current and new quality measure reporting obligations through the federal government’s Hospital Compare website.
In January, providers will be required to include on the site cases in which patients acquired infections in the hospital, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced. Known as hospital-acquired conditions, such infections are considered by federal guidelines to indicate harm to the patient and low-quality care. Hospitals already report a number of process and outcome measures on Hospital Compare.
Also starting next year, hospitals that want to qualify for stimulus funding will be required by the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, or EHRIP, to demonstrate they are following specific meaningful use criteria. Among those criteria is reporting on 15 quality measures pertaining to the patient care process and its outcomes. The CMS oversees both the meaningful use program and information for the Hospital Compare site.
This range of requirements could get confusing for hospitals. Hospital Compare’s quality measures differ from those within the meaningful use program. And providers submit administrative data on those quality measures, instead of clinical data from patients’ EHRs. In addition to managing two data sources for a variety of measures, hospitals are not currently required to report to Hospital Compare using electronic sources.