The CMS has proposed 10 mostly process-oriented quality measures and is seeking comment on another 30 more that hospital outpatient departments must report on beginning next year or face a financial penalty.
In its proposed Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System rule, the CMS said that it would require outpatient departments to report on quality data starting Jan. 8, 2008, or otherwise be penalized with a 2% payment cut. More measures are expected over the next couple of years, the CMS said.
In the short term, the first five measures deal closely with outpatient care in the emergency department, dealing almost exclusively with adult heart-attack patients. Those five measures are in line with the National Quality Forums reporting program. In addition to those, the CMS proposed five more measures, including one related to the treatment of heart failure, two that relate to surgical-care improvement, one that addresses treatment of community-acquired pneumonia and another that relates to diabetes care.
The CMS is currently refining the measures and expects to release the final specifications later this fall. The agency also expects to submit the measures for endorsement by the forum. -- by Matthew DoBias
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