CMS sought more feedback on certifi cation and testing of EHRS.

Nursing homes were allowed a 30-day window last month to give the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services a piece of their mind about the way the agency certifies and tests electronic health record products.

Working with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, CMS hopes to use the feedback to make improvements, including the frequency at which it requires recertification, as well as the number of clinical quality measures EHRs report on.

CMS hopes provider comments will help regulators improve information exchange and electronic data sharing among providers and health systems, said Kate Goodrich, M.D., M.H.S., director of CMS’ Center for Clinical Standards & Quality, in a December blog post.

The agency also wants to increase opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback, and “enhance mechanisms for the capturing of clinical information in EHRs, registries, and other systems to assist with quality reporting and care coordination.” 

Nursing homes in particular are feeling the heat to provide better data to CMS through such means as front-end edits and measure-specific clinical algorithms, noted a 2015 national impact assessment of the agency’s quality measures.

Congress has authorized incentive payments under Medicare and Medicaid for the adoption of, and meaningful use of, certified EHR technology by certain non-LTC operators. Similarly, “downward payment adjustments” are to be put into effect Medicare for failure to demonstrate “meaningful use.”

As recently as 2010, only 17% of residential care communities in the United States used electronic health records, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.