ONC Health IT Testing

Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) Testing for ONC Health IT Certification

Overview

As part of becoming a Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), organizations that process electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM) must undergo testing to validate that they calculate the measures accurately.

NCQA is an approved ONC Authorized Test Lab (ATL). This means that NCQA’s testing method can be used by health information technology (health IT) developers for applicable ONC Health IT Certification Program eCQM certification criteria.

NCQA’s eCQM tool is the only industry-developed testing method for health IT currently approved by ONC for use in the program.

Why test eCQMs?

Organizations use eCQMs to track and monitor the quality of care delivered by providers that use electronic clinical data. Testing ensures that the measure code meets current standards, improves the accuracy of reporting measures and produces reliable and comparable results.

CMS requires that any health IT system processing eCQMs used as part of its quality reporting programs must undergo testing through an authorized method.

For more information about testing, contact us through My NCQA.

How does it work?

  • NCQA creates unique sets of sample data, or “test decks,” for each eCQM, developed from randomly generated synthetic patient-level test data.
  • You process a test deck using your measure code.
  • NCQA compares your results to the expected results to determine if your software’s code computes the measure correctly.
  • NCQA also validates the software’s ability to report the correct results in the standard QRDA Categories I and III document formats.
  • Multiple test decks are available for each measure, so you can correct errors.
  • A measure is fully tested when it passes all test cases.
  • When your measures have passed testing, you will be issued a report that will also be sent to your preferred Authorized Certification Body (ACB) so you can earn certification.

Learn more about the process.

Why Test With NCQA?

  • NCQA’s testing methodology is among the industry’s most rigorous for testing eCQMs, helping ensure better accuracy.
  • The same eCQMs that are used for CMS Quality Payment Program (QPP) reporting will also be submitted for NCQA PCMH Recognition.
  • In the future, only measurement data from sources certified by NCQA through eCQM testing will be accepted for NCQA PCMH Recognition.
  • NCQA’s HEDIS and CMS Medicare Stars reporting programs can use certified eCQM data for performance measurement.
  • Certified data in the approved QRDA format can be used as supplemental data and added to records used to calculate HEDIS measures at the health plan level. As a result, health plans can reduce the number of costly chart reviews.

Resources

  • Online Scoring Program: This web-based tool compares submitted eCQM results in QRDA format with NCQA’s expected results, and generates a discrepancy report.
    Note: You must apply for testing to be given access to the OSP.
  • eCQI Resource Center: Resources that support electronic clinical quality improvement (eCQI).
  • ONC Health IT Certification Program:Information about ONC’s health IT certification program.

NCQA is NVLAP Accredited

NCQA has earned NVLAP Accreditation and is now an approved ONC-Authorized Testing Lab (ONC-ATL).

NVLAP Lab Code 600170-0

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