Understanding the QCDR

Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDR) were established so that providers could create and choose quality measures that would be more aligned to their specialty. To be used for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting under the Quality Payment Program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) must approve each QCDR quality measure not currently listed under the MIPS program.

The QCDR will collect data from an individual MIPS-eligible clinician, group and/or virtual group and submit the data to CMS on their behalf. QCDRs are typically owned by specialty societies or regional collaboratives. No individual specialty group, like a large practice, can “own” or create a QCDR.

What is the difference between a QCDR and a Qualified Registry?

Qualified registries cannot create their own measures. They are like a QCDR in the fact that they will:
 
  1. Submit quality data to CMS on behalf of the participants,
  2. Share the same registry decile scoring (which is different from claims reporting or EHR reporting), and
  3. Usually have a cost associated with participating through a registry or QCDR (which should be posted)

The QCDR can have up to 30 non-MIPS measures approved by CMS and are typically more specialty driven. CMS has a list of their approved QCDRs, which is updated on an annual basis.

What you need to know about using a QCDR.

CMS will establish deciles and score measure performance after the first year of data is submitted. The scoring will be based on performance compared to the other participants (who meet the completeness requirement) for the same measure. There may also be some specific data sharing requirements like the ability to export data from an EHR. The QCDR may conduct data audits to verify the performance measure’s validation with CMS.