Data center accepted as Qualified Clinical Data Registry by CMS

trudy and cecilia
Trudy Krause, Dr.P.H. (left), and Cecilia Ganduglia Cazaban, M.D., Dr.P.H.

HOUSTON – The Center for Healthcare Data at UTHealth School of Public Health has been accepted as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

A QCDR is a CMS-approved entity, such as a registry, certification board or collaborative, that collects data to track patients and disease, and to improve the quality of care provided to patients. Under Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), eligible clinicians and group practices may contract with a QCDR to submit quality measures and improvement activities to CMS on their behalf.

“This designation is important for our center, as it allows us to serve as a reporting entity for physician groups for annual quality reporting, which ultimately affects their reimbursement rates for Medicare,” says center co-director Trudy Krause, Dr.P.H., associate professor in the Department of Management, Policy and Community Health.

“The QCDR will reduce the burden of data collection, analysis and reporting currently experienced by provider groups,” adds Cecilia Ganduglia Cazaban, M.D., Dr.P.H., who co-directs the center.

In June, the center was certified as a CMS Qualified Entity (QE), enabling it to receive Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D claims data to evaluate health care provider performance. The center is the first CMS-certified organization in the country to focus on claims data from Texas and southern states. Additionally, it is the only academic-based QE and QCDR in the nation.

The Center for Healthcare Data is housed in the Department of Management, Policy and Community Health at UTHealth School of Public Health. The center’s goals include research, information dissemination to inform the public, providers and policymakers, and the application of data to reduce healthcare costs and improve healthcare quality. Designation as a QE and a QCDR advances this mission, Krause says.

The center maintains several administration datasets that cover health care utilization for more than 75 percent of Texans with health insurance. It also holds healthcare data from electronic medical records, surveys, workers compensation claims, and provider billing data for Texas and the nation.

Written by Anissa Anderson Orr