- HHS released two metrics last week for evaluating "widespread interoperability" as required by the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
- Almost 100 comments from healthcare and health IT groups were received regarding ways to measure interoperability, a Health IT Buzz blog post stated. The comments related to four topics: Burden, scope, outcomes, and complexity.
- The focus on outcomes will increase in the long-term and measurement efforts will be expanded, the blog noted.
"MACRA specifically calls on HHS to establish metrics for the exchange and use of clinical information to facilitate coordinated care and improve patient outcomes between participants in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs and others nationwide," wrote Seth Pazinski and Talisha Searcy, both at the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Analysis at ONC.
HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) concluded these two measures are the most appropriate for fulfilling the MACRA's requirements as well as incorporating feedback the agency received:
- Proportion of healthcare providers who are electronically engaging in the following core domains of interoperable exchange of health information: Sending; receiving; finding (querying); and integrating information received from outside sources; and
- Proportion of healthcare providers who report using the information that they electronically receive from outside providers and sources for clinical decision-making.
The authors noted the measures were made as to not add reporting burdens for providers who participate in Medicare or Medicaid. Thus, the measures come from "existing national surveys of hospitals and office-based physicians."
"Ultimately, these metrics will help inform the wide range of efforts underway to achieve a learning health system where information flows seamlessly and securely." the authors wrote.