It’s a bona fide first. So, we thought it was worth sharing the news and some healthy accolades.
We are pleased to tell you a health information exchange organization has earned the NCQA eMeasure Certification. Earlier this year, Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NEHII) submitted its electronic clinical quality measure software to us for the most rigorous tests available. And NEHII earned NCQA’s eMeasure Certification.
It proved—under tough, tough tests—that its software can produce accurate and reliable results.
NEHII is is the first Health Information Exchange to face NCQA’s eMeasure testing laboratory. Our lab was just approved by Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). As an ONC-Authorized Testing Lab, NCQA can test quality measures as part of the government’s Health IT Certification program. NCQA is the only approved alternative to this government-based electronic quality measure testing procedure.
Why First Matters
Why is being first important? Well, this is a stride forward in the race to improve quality measurement. The aim is to make health information easier to collect, in a more immediate fashion. We want to be sure the information is accurate and relevant—that it can inform better care for those it’s meant to serve. Patients. People.
“As the country continues to move from fee for service to fee for value, valid performance measurement is all the more important. NCQA’s rigorous certification program is designed to ensure that the algorithms to calculate quality performance rates are valid,” said Rick Moore, Chief Information Officer, NCQA. “We applaud the Nebraska Health Information Initiative as the first HIE organization to hold itself to the highest standards of eMeasure testing the industry has to offer.”
NCQA and Health Information Technology
With NCQA eMeasure certification, health IT and data vendors can use the NCQA generated test decks for two certifications; ONC HIT Certification for use in reporting electronic clinical quality measures to CMS for the Quality Payment Program; as well as NCQA eMeasure certification for use in NCQA’s recognition for Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and as a standard supplemental dataset in support of Health Effectiveness Data Information Set (HEDIS) reporting.
“NEHII is thrilled to take this important step for health information exchanges across the country”, Jaime Bland, Chief Executive Officer, Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NEHII). “Our analytics partners, KPI Ninja, were key in the success of this project and allowed both NEHII and KPI Ninja to prove the concept that HIEs are best positioned to be the solution to the challenge of interoperability and bringing disparate data sources together to improve quality of care and improve efficiencies. Providers and payers should be looking to HIEs to be a key enabler of population and value-based initiatives across the country.”
Health plans using NCQA-Certified vendors save time by eliminating the primary source verification portion of the HEDIS Compliance Audit.
We’re thrilled that NEHII is leading the way for its colleagues and competitors. We’re encouraged for the road ahead with this milestone completed.
Matt Brock is the Director of Communications at NCQA. After more than two decades working in broadcast journalism, Matt now leads NCQA’s efforts to develop unique content that engages and informs consumers as well as providers, plans and policymakers via this blog, our website, NCQA.org and numerous social media platforms. Matt’s goal is to educate consumers and to direct them to the best resources when considering quality in their health care decisions.