ICD-10 updates prompt CMS to offer safe harbor for PQRS

ICD-10 updates prompt CMS to offer safe harbor for PQRS

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week it won't penalize in 2017 and 2018 healthcare providers who meet 2016 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) standards.

Because several years of coding updates were released in October 2016 (start of fiscal year 2017), CMS wasn't able to process all quality measures in the fourth quarter of 2016.

"Eligible professionals" can submit fourth quarter eCQM data according to 2015 specifications.

CMS offered these questions and answers for guidance:

What Changes Will Be Included In The Addendum?

The changes to the ICD-10 value sets will consist of deletion of expired codes and addition of relevant replacement codes. Newly available codes that represent concepts consistent with the intent of the value set and corresponding measure(s) will also be added. CMS is prioritizing these ICD-10 updates. Updates for other terminologies will take place during the 2017 Annual Update.

Where Will The Addendum Be Posted?

All changes to the eCQM value sets will be made available through the National Library of Medicine’s Value Set Authority Center (https://vsac.nlm.nih.gov/) starting in early to mid-January 2017. Measure implementers should review these changes to ensure their submissions comply with the updated requirements. CMS will provide a follow-up communication announcing the availability of the addendum and educational materials.

What Do I Need To Do?

At this time, no action is required. The addendum, available in January 2017, will include actionable steps for successful program participation.

Where Do I Go For Assistance?

Questions regarding the addendum, eCQM value sets, appropriateness of mapping, and non-ICD-10 code system updates should be reported to the ONC CQM Issue Tracker available at http://jira.oncprojectracking.org/browse/CQM/.