Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals: Submit Meaningful Use Data to the Hospital Quality Reporting System (HQR) via the QualityNet Secure Portal in 2018

CMS has issued the following guidance regarding the notice “Submit Meaningful Use Data to the Hospital Quality Reporting System (HQR) via the QualityNet Secure Portal in 2018” issued on August 7, 2017.

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System will NOT be available for hospitals after December 31, 2017. Hospitals attesting to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will register and attest in the HQR system. However, the Quality Net Secure Portal is not yet setup to accept attestations for CY 2017. Hospitals will attest to their 90 day reporting period for 2017 starting on January 2, 2018 through February 28, 2018. More information, including a user guide will be made available by CMS closer to January. All hospitals will need to update their log-in information to include Meaningful Use (MU) in Quality Net. This will be available in October and additional details will be released closer to the date.

The following CMS FAQs may be helpful:

Q: Some hospitals already have a Quality Net account as they have submitted electronic Clinical Quality Measures in the past. Will they need to create a separate log-in for HQR to attest to MU or will their previous log-in suffice for MU attestation too?
A: It is our understanding that registration to the site will only occur one time and that hospitals will be able to utilize their already established login information. However, for official confirmation, we recommend that hospitals submit this question by logging into the QualityNet Secure Portal and clicking submit this question to the QualityNet support team via the portal, contacting the QualityNet Help Desk at 1-866-288-8912 (TTY 1-877-715-6222), or emailing the QualityNet help desk at

Q: Will hospitals that have never submitted eCQMs to Quality Net previously need to create a new account in order to attest to MU?
A: Yes, correct.

Q: How long do you anticipate the registration process will take and are there instructions on how hospitals will do so?
A: All users requesting access to the QualityNet Secure Portal must be individually approved and verified. This mandatory registration process is used to maintain the confidentiality and security of healthcare information and data transmitted via QualityNet. Providers can register here and must select the appropriate user classification. The QualityNet Security Administrator facilitates the registration process for other users at the organization. Typically, an organization designates two Security Administrators. Providers submitting data via the QualityNet Secure Portal (or using a vendor to submit data on their behalf) are required to designate a Security Administrator. All other registered QualityNet users in an organization are considered basic users. The QualityNet website lists instructions regarding registration, sign-in instructions, password rules, etc. on the left side of the screen.

Q: For 2017, will hospitals continue to be able to submit Clinical Quality Measures via aggregate reporting as they did within the CMS Registration and Attestation System in the new HQR system?
A: The data receiving system is accepting submissions of QRDA Category I (patient level files) test and production files for the Hospital IQR and the Medicare EHR Incentive programs CY 2017/Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 electronic reporting requirements. The system was updated to accept QRDA Category I test and production files utilizing the CY 2017 requirements.

Technical Specifications for CY 2017 Reporting

Eligible Hospitals (EHs) and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) that seek to report eCQMs under the Hospital IQR and the Medicare EHR Incentive programs must use the following:

  • An EHR system certified to either the 2014 or 2015 Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) standards.
  • The eCQM specifications published in the 2016 eCQM Annual Update for CY 2017 Reporting and the January 2017 addendum.
  • The 2017 CMS Implementation Guide for QRDA Category I for Hospital Quality Reporting and the 2017 CMS QRDA I Schematrons and Sample Files for Hospital Quality Reporting (100kb zip file) to format QRDA Category I files.

Since the Registration and Attestation System will no longer be available after December 31, 2017 we encourage you to print out documentation from previous participation years to maintain for your records.