The ticking clock seems silent now and the day-to-day calendar progression is slow and long, like the humid summer days most of the country is experiencing as July gets started. Summer vacations? Much-deserved, hard-earned time off? Sure, that should be a focus before the second half of 2019 gets in full swing with back-to-school time just around the corner.
This is also exactly the time for Accountable Care Organizations, clinicians, and health system leaders to begin preparing for the next round of CMS Web Interface (CWI) reporting of quality measures in early 2020.
But why NOW?
The first two years of MIPS/CWI reporting showed us that ACOs and clinicians that put their reporting plans and teams together earlier were more prepared - and successful - than those that waited until November or December. Or later. In other words, the ticking clock will be a foreboding gong and the calendar days and pages will turn alarmingly fast by the time the fourth quarter rolls around.
There are also some important, significant changes for 2019 CWI reporting. For starters, the number of quality measures to report has decreased from 15 to 10, but that doesn't mean the process will be a breeze now. To the contrary, the other metrics we're now familiar with will be the same: 248 charts completed (out of 4,000 or more) for each of the 10 data measures. and more than 1,000 combined staff hours to handle the average ACO's/clinician's workload for one reporting season.
But here is the most pressing reason to begin CWI planning now. NOW is the time to plan for improved scores - which, subsequently, will mean additional revenue. We know that one of the most pressing challenges providers face as they try to meet reporting requirements – and the biggest quality reporting challenge most teams will face during the upcoming reporting season – is completing the work on time.
Here are some points and numbers that highlight just how difficult it can be to complete reporting within the allowed window:
- In 2019, teams will have only a few weeks to abstract and report data from charts that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) will identify in early January.
- It typically takes from 1,000 to 1,200 combined staff hours to handle the average provider’s workload for one reporting season.
- Teams that use CMS Web Interface to submit data likely will need to work through 4,000 or more charts. That’s because CMS Web Interface requires teams to complete 248 charts for each of the 10 data measures. However, teams will need to touch many more charts than that because some of their charts will not qualify or won’t have the needed data.
Ample time is needed to complete data abstraction and analysis, and then submit reporting data to CMS on time. Staff that is inexperienced may need extra time to complete reporting tasks.
And there is always that challenge of trying to balance abstraction and reporting time with regular daily responsibilities and caring for patients. Staff members are often pulled in different directions as reporting and normal job duties compete for the top of the priority list.
Planning ahead, managing time.
If you have struggled with reporting in the past and worry about how you will handle the workload of the next reporting season, you may want to consider outsourcing your quality reporting. Outsourcing can alleviate a lot of stress and free your staff to use their time for higher priority work.
When teams work with Primaris, we can perform all data abstraction and reporting tasks. We also support teams by:
- Analyzing samples of your data to see whether you are capturing the data points necessary for reporting.
- Performing mock audits to predict how you will score against quality measures.
- Working to identify issues and locate all sources of data in order to optimize reporting results.
Primaris streamlines the quality reporting process by:
- Increasing abstraction efficiency.
- Reducing abstraction errors.
- Providing real-time measure performance feedback.
- Analyzing opportunities for improvement.
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge related to quality reporting is not having enough time. As a result, outsourcing quality reporting can be a wise move to eliminating that pain during reporting season.