Healthmonix Media Coverage

CMS Identifies Telemedicine Quality Tracking Measures

Posted by Healthmonix on Sep 20, 2020 4:00:00 PM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is providing more detailed guidance for how healthcare providers should report electronic clinical quality measures for telehealth encounters. A total of 39 electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) were recently published for the 2021 performance period.1

Any eligible professionals or eligible clinicians participating in CMS quality reporting programs for the 2020 performance period can use these updated telehealth-eligible CQMs for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and Advanced Alternative Payment Models, Comprehensive Primary Care Plus, Primary Care First, and the Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program for Eligible Professionals, according to CMS.

CMS notes “there may be instances where the quality action cannot be completed during the telehealth encounter by eligible professionals and eligible clinicians. Specifically, telehealth-eligible CPT and HCPCS codes may be included in value sets where the required quality action in the numerator cannot be completed via telehealth.” It is the eligible professionals’ and eligible clinicians’ responsibility to make sure they can meet all other aspects of the quality action “within the measure specification, including other quality actions that cannot be completed by telehealth,” CMS says.

CMS has identified 50 telehealth-eligible CQMs and 42 telehealth-eligible eCQMs for clinicians for 2020 performance period reporting, says Lauren Patrick, president of Healthmonix, a healthcare analytics company based in Malvern, PA. These are measures that represent quality actions that can be performed remote to the patient, Patrick explains.

Some examples of these measures include Advance Care Plan, Pneumococcal Vaccination Status for Older Adults, Documentation of Current Medications in the Medical Record, Screening for Depression and Follow-Up Plan, and Controlling High Blood Pressure.

These are quality measures that existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and were developed to include telehealth visits in their patient population. Because of the shift to telehealth in 2020, there has been a renewed interest in understanding which measures can and should be tracked for these visits.

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Topics: MACRA & MIPS, COVID-19, Telehealth