The blanket data reporting exceptions and extensions implemented in March across Medicare quality reporting and value-based payment programs for hospitals expired July 1.

Specifically, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services made it optional to submit data from the fourth quarter of 2019 (October through December) and the first two quarters of 2020 (January through March, and April through June); and will not use claims data from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2020 to calculate performance in its quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs.

CMS expects hospitals to collect and report data for the third and fourth quarters of 2020 in accordance with regular program requirements.

“We are currently considering options to address providers’ concerns that we’ve heard from directly and through the COVID-19 inbox that the data may be impacted by the flexibilities and public health emergency,” CMS said in an update yesterday. “These options could include a change to the way voluntarily reported Q1 and Q2 2020 data are used in some of these programs. CMS intends to address this issue further in a future rule. Even though flexibilities were provided for reporting Q4 2019 data to meet spring 2020 reporting deadlines, we note that we still received very robust data reporting (>95% for most measures) for that quarter.”

While CMS’s blanket reporting exception has ended, hospitals unable to meet third and/or fourth quarter 2020 data collection and reporting requirements under the hospital quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs due to COVID-19 or another event beyond their control may use the programs’ existing policies to request an exception within 90 calendar days of the extraordinary circumstance.

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