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NLM VSAC Publishes Updated Electronic Clinical Quality Measure Value Sets for 2018 Reporting

On May 5, 2017, The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Value Set Authority Center (VSAC), in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), published the 2017 annual update for the electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) value sets for eligible hospitals, eligible professionals and eligible clinicians. Providers may use these updated eCQM value sets to electronically report 2018 quality data for CMS quality reporting programs. Measures will not be eligible for 2018 reporting unless and until they are proposed and finalized through notice-and-comment rulemaking for each applicable program. CMS updates the specifications annually to align with current clinical guidelines and code systems so they remain relevant and actionable within the clinical care setting. CMS has re-specified all the updated measures using Quality Data Model (QDM) 4.3 based- Health Quality Measures Format (HQMF) version R 2.1.

VSAC eCQM Value Set Resources

Where to Find the Updated eCQM Value Sets

Access to the VSAC suite of tools requires a free Unified Medical Language System® Metathesaurus License.

  • Downloadable Resource Table: Prepackaged downloads (.xlsx and .xml) for the entire set of the most recently updated and released eCQM value sets, as well as for previously released versions. Accessible from the Download tab on the VSAC Web page.
  • Application Programming Interface (API): Programmatically retrieve value sets. Find VSAC API documentation in the VSAC Support Center.
  • VSAC Web Page: Browse and download specific eCQM value sets. Filter by specific CMS eMeasure ID, QDM Category, or CMS clinical quality measure type (Eligible Hospitals, or Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinicians). Accessible from the Search Value Sets tab on the VSAC Web page.
  • Binding Parameter Specification (BPS): The Value Set Binding Parameter Specification (BPS), generated by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), is a record of the value set binding information that defines the value set code lists specified by released CMS eCQMs. Measure implementers can use the BPS to track the parameters that define the value set code lists for each eCQM release. The BPS contains the same information as the Data Element Catalog (DEC), as well as additional parameters, and it will replace the DEC in all subsequent releases. (login not required)
  • Data Element Catalog (DEC): Data element names (value set names) required for capture in electronic health record (EHR) technology certified under the 2014 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria. Note: This is the final publication of the DEC, to be replaced in future updates by the BPS. (login not required)
  • Questions about accessing eCQM value sets? Contact NLM Value Set Authority Center Help.

VSAC Collaboration Tool: Interactive and centralized collaboration among VSAC authors and collaborators. Find VSAC Collaboration documentation in the VSAC Support Center.

Electronic Clinical Quality Measure Resources

CMS has updated eCQMs for potential inclusion in the following programs:

  • The Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program
  • The Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)
  • The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program for EPs, Eligible Hospitals and CAHs
  • Quality Payment Program: The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for MIPS Eligible Clinicians and Alternative Payment Models

Where to Find the Updated eCQM Measure Specifications

The updated measure specifications are available on the Electronic Clinical Quality Improvement (eCQI) Resource Center for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals, and Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinicians.

Note: The eCQMs and supporting materials are no longer available on the eCQM Library webpage of cms.gov. CMS plans to migrate all information on the library webpage to the eCQI Resource Center later this year.

Provide Feedback on the Updated Measures

To report questions and comments regarding the updated measures, visit the ONC CQM Issue Tracker.

For More Information

To find out more about eCQMs, visit the eCQI Resource Center.

Since its founding in 1836, the National Library of Medicine https://www.nlm.nih.gov has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice and is a leader in information innovation. NLM is the world's largest medical library, and millions of scientists, health professionals and the public around the world use NLM services every day.

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