By Blair Childs, Premier Senior Vice President of Public Affairs
As one of the leading advocates pushing for open health information technology (HIT), members of Premier are extremely pleased to see CMS’s new focus on interoperability to improve flexibility, relieve burden and emphasize electronic information exchange, as proposed in the FY19 IPPS rule. As we have been saying for years, healthcare providers’ ability to manage integrated, holistic care delivery and realize ROI from their extensive IT investments requires the ability to move data in and out of electronic health records. With this proposal, we are finally seeing momentum that will better enable providers to unlock data and move it across platforms and settings to improve quality, efficiency and outcomes. We look forward to providing comments in this area, because we believe that a critical success factor for this effort will be provisions that hold EMR vendors feet to the fire and ensure they are accountable for providing open, interoperable systems.
In addition, we also applaud CMS for finally taking a more holistic approach its quality measurement requirements by removing Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) and Value-Based Purchasing measures that either overlap with other value-based payment programs, or those where the cost of compliance outweighs any potential quality gains. We have long felt that all of the five hospital quality and payment programs overseen by CMS need to be mutually exclusive to ensure that hospitals are not inappropriately hit with double or triple penalties for the same event. With this proposed rule, we’ve finally taken a giant leap forward toward harmonizing measurement around indicators that truly matter, and avoiding duplication across programs.
-By Blair Childs, Premier Senior Vice President of Public Affairs