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ACO Task Force to Gather Recommendations for Better eCQM Reporting

News  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   April 11, 2022

The National Association of ACOs has put together a task force of healthcare executives aimed at helping ACOs improve their data-gathering to meet electronc quality measures supported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Several healthcare executives have joined a task force aimed at improving the collection of data in accountable care organizations (ACOs) to meet federal benchmarks on digital quality.

The National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) has created the task force, aimed at developing recommendation to meet electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) recommended by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The goal is challenging for ACOs who often work with a variety of electronic health record (EHR) platforms and healthcare sites. A NAACOS survey taken last year found that more than three-quarters of ACOs are working with at least six EHRs, and 37 percent are using data from at least 15 EHRs.

“Our EHR systems today have not yet achieved the real-world interoperable state needed to easily combine non-standardized patient data from various providers, a future requirement of CMS’s quality reporting for Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs,” Katherine Schneider, MD, chair of the NAACOS Digital Quality Measurement Task Force and past NAACOS board chair, said in a press release.

“ACOs have broader concerns about the eCQM program as currently constructed, especially many unintended implications and consequences of mandating data reporting on total patient populations instead of just the MSSP as has been done since program inception a decade ago,” she added. “Nonetheless, we know digital quality reporting in general is the direction we need to move in, but we need to get it right, ultimately for the benefit of the momentum of value-based care and for patients, including those cared for by safety net providers. As of today, digital quality reporting presents major financial and operational challenges, requiring significant investment by vendors, practices, and ACOs for readiness according to the current timeline.”

ACOs not only target cost savings through collaboration, but improved clinical measures through adherence to quality standards, for which they are evaluated. The task force is scheduled to develop recommendations that will be published later this year, then confer with CMS, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and vendors to discuss those recommendations.

The task force includes:

  • Maria Alexander, Mount Sinai
  • Jim Barr, MD, Atlantic ACO
  • Lindsey Bryan, The Ohio State Health ACO
  • Paula Burleson, Novant Health
  • Aaron Clark, DO, The Ohio State Health ACO
  • Rob Fields, MD, Mount Sinai
  • Chris Elfner, Bellin Health Partners ACO
  • Josh Israel, MD, Aledade
  • Jessica Landin, Evolent Health
  • Stephen Nuckolls, Costal Carolina Quality Care
  • Ashish Parikh, MD, Summit Health
  • Megan Reyna, Advocate Aurora Health
  • Anna Taylor, MultiCare Connected Care
  • Jessica Walradt, Northwestern Medicine

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.

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