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Qualified Clinical Data Registry Reporting

The qualified clinical data registry (QCDR) reporting mechanism was introduced for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) beginning in 2014. A QCDR will complete the collection and submission of PQRS quality measures data on behalf of individual eligible professionals (EPs) and PQRS group practices. For 2016, a QCDR is a CMS-approved entity that collects medical and/or clinical data for the purpose of patient and disease tracking to foster improvement in the quality of care provided to patients. Individual EPs and PQRS group practices who satisfactorily participate in 2016 PQRS through a QCDR may avoid the 2018 negative payment adjustment (-2.0%). To be considered a QCDR for purposes of PQRS, an entity must self-nominate and successfully complete a qualification process.   

The 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule includes the finalized, detailed information regarding this reporting mechanism. Please note: A QCDR is different from a qualified registry in that it is not limited to measures within PQRS; please refer to the documents referenced below for more information.   

Note: The QCDR (QRDA III) data submission deadline for 2016 PQRS has been extended to March 31, 2017. For more information, view the “2016 EHR Submission Deadline Extension Notification” on the PQRS Spotlight webpage.

2016 PQRS

2016 PQRS Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) Training Guide

The 2016 PQRS QCDR Training Guide is an intermediary-level resource that provides information to EPs (individuals and group practices participating via GPRO) and QCDR vendors about reporting 2016 PQRS via QCDR. This document provides EPs with information about what a QCDR is and the benefits of participating via QCDR. The document also provides QCDR vendors with information about the Submission Engine Validation Tool (SEVT), Production Submission and lessons learned from previous program years.

2016 QCDR Specifications

Qualified Clinical Data Registries may use the QCDR XML file to submit data for PQRS or the QRDA III file to submit data for PQRS and the EHR Incentive Program. QCDRs may submit test and production data for the 2016 program year using the 2016 QCDR XML Specifications or  The 2016 CMS QRDA Implementation Guide for Eligible Professional Programs and Hospital Quality Reporting available on the eCQM Library web page.

2016 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS): Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) Participation Made Simple

For EPs and PQRS group practices interested in using a QCDR to avoid the 2018 PQRS negative payment adjustment, the 2016 PQRS QCDR Participation Made Simple is a beginner-level document that describes QCDR reporting and outlines the steps that an individual EP or group practice should take in selecting a QCDR for the 2016 PQRS program year.

2016 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS): Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) Criteria Toolkit

CMS has posted a criteria toolkit for entities that are interested in becoming a 2016 QCDR. The "2016 PQRS: QCDR Criteria Toolkit" includes detailed information regarding the self-nomination and qualification requirements. Entities wishing to participate as a QCDR in the 2016 PQRS should review the documents in this toolkit. The following documents pertaining to the 2016 QCDR participation are included in the zip file titled 2016 PQRS: QCDR Criteria Toolkit:

  • 2016 QCDR Criteria - Provides guidance to prospective QCDRs on successfully completing the self-nomination process to become a 2016 QCDR.
  • 2016 QCDR Data Validation Plan Criteria - Assists entities interested in participating as a QCDR with the process of submitting a data validation plan that meet the requirements as outlined by CMS in the 2016 Medicare PFS final rule.
  • 2016 Self-Nomination User Guide - Guides prospective vendors wishing to participate as a QCDR through self-nominating as a vendor for 2016. It addresses the data needed to fully populate and submit a self-nomination.
  • QCDR Non-PQRS Measure Submittal Tool Guidance on Submitting Measures and Measure Specification Elements - Provides measure data elements guidance to prospective QCDRs when submitting non-PQRS measures for consideration during self-nomination.
  • 2016 Qualified Clinical Data Registry Criteria Addendum - Provides clarification on the due date of the 2016 Data Validation Execution Reports due following 2016 submission.

2016 Qualified Clinical Data Registries

This document contains a listing of 2016 Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs) including detailed information of the services each QCDR offers, the cost incurred by their clients, as well as the measures they are supporting in PY 2016. These entities have self-nominated and indicated that they meet the requirements as outlined by CMS in the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule. Eligible professionals wishing to participate using the Qualified Registry reporting option should review this document by clicking on the following link: 2016 Qualified Clinical Data Registries.