The AHA today urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to extend the March 13 deadline for submitting electronic clinical quality measure data for the 2016 reporting period for the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting and Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs, or forgive the payment penalties that would be imposed on hospitals unable to successfully submit data. Hospitals and health systems have reported several issues with the programs’ data submission system and with vendors’ certified technology, putting at risk their successful completion of their IQR reporting and meaningful use attestation, wrote Ashley Thompson, AHA senior vice president for public policy analysis and development. “We appreciate the Jan. 17 announcement that extended the eCQM submission deadline to March 13 in the Hospital IQR program and the Feb. 6 announcement that extended the EHR Incentive Program deadline to align with the Hospital IQR,” the letter adds. “However, we believe that additional time is required for hospitals to successfully meet the eCQM data submission requirements and for CMS to successfully manage the influx of eCQM data files. Failure to successfully submit eCQM data to both programs places hospitals at risk for an annual payment reduction equal to the applicable market basket update in a future payment year (25% reduction under the IQR program and 75% reduction under meaningful use).”