Urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid to Reinstate Infection Reporting
Peggy Lillis Foundation is asking supporters of transparency in healthcare and patient safety to sign on to our public letter urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reinstate collecting and reporting requirements for the Quality Payment Program.
On March 22, 2020, CMS announced that it would grant exemptions and extensions of reporting requirements for clinicians, providers and facilities participating in Medicare quality reporting programs including the 1.2 million clinicians in the Quality Payment Program and on the front lines of America’s fight against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Specifically, CMS announced it is granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs with respect to upcoming measure reporting and data submission for those programs.
The announcement stated that the "pause" in reporting would end on June 30, 2020. More recently, CMS has indicated that it will continue these exemptions and extensions so long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. This is untenable.
As the pandemic continues, the data on how it impacts quality healthcare delivery is critical to our ability to learn from this catastrophe and better prepare for the next. We know that one of the beneficial impacts that reporting infections has is a keeping a sustained focus on prevention as well as making antibiotic stewardship a priority. In one study, bacterial co-infections have been shown to be a factor in 50% of COVID-19 deaths.
We disagree with CMS’ claim that foregoing reporting provides meaningful relief to clinicians and facilities. In fact, by obscuring how SARS-COV 2 is creating downstream effects on care delivery will likely result in failure to address systemic weaknesses that made us vulnerable to the pandemic, especially in minority communities that are disproportionately affected by the virus.
Therefore, we ask you to join us in urging that CMS to instruct healthcare facilities to resume collecting and reporting quality measures from July 1, 2020 forward. To do so, please sign on to our letter by Monday, August 10, 2020.
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