Most of the new quality measures the CMS included in its proposed inpatient hospital rule for fiscal 2009 arent ready to be reported on yet, the American Hospital Association wrote in comments to the agency.
The proposed rule contained language to increase to 72 from 30 quality measures that hospitals need to report to Medicare to receive full reimbursement. Hospitals that fail to report on all of the quality measures would receive an update of only 1%, which would equal the full update minus 2 percentage points. One current measure is being proposed for retirement.
Of these 43 new measures, only 10 have been adopted by the Hospital Quality Alliance, and many have not been endorsed by the National Quality Forum, wrote AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack in a letter to acting CMS Administrator Kerry Weems accompanying the AHAs comments. We do not believe the other 33 measures proposed by CMS are ready for reporting at this time, he wrote.
Adding such a large number of measures provides no direction to hospitals on quality improvement priorities, Pollack wrote. Comments on the rule are due by June 13. The final rule is usually released on or before Aug. 1. -- by Jennifer Lubell