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ASCQR Program Updates: Flu Vaccination Measure Must Soon Be Reported

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For the first time since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) implementation of the Ambulatory Surgical Quality Reporting Program (ASQRP), ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) must begin reporting measure ASC-8, Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Healthcare Personnel. The reporting period opens October 1, 2014, for ASCs to report their vaccination status for the 2014-2015 flu season.

Unlike most CMS quality measures, ASC-8 is report directly to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), the nation’s most widely used healthcare-associated infection tracking system, rather than to CMS. Also, the data for this measure relates to ASC employees rather than patients.

To successfully report the measure, facilities must report vaccination data for three categories of healthcare personnel (HCP): employees on payroll; licensed independent practitioners (who are physicians, advanced practice nurses, and physician assistants affiliated with the hospital but not on payroll); and students, trainees, and volunteers aged 18 or older. All HCP physically working in the facility for at least one day or more between October 1 and March 31 should be counted. Data on vaccinations received at the facility, vaccinations received outside of the facility, medical contraindications, and declinations are reported for the three categories of HCP.

To report vaccination data, ASCs must register with the NHSN using their CMS certification number (CCN). (Enter an ASC’s National Provider Identifier (NPI) into the CCN Look-Up Toolif the CCN is not known.) The relevant reporting information will be reported back to CMS using the CCN number. (Note that the requirements for healthcare personnel influenza vaccination reporting to the NHSN for ASC Quality Reporting requirements do not preempt or supersede any state mandates for NHSN reporting.)

According to the ASC Support Team, the registration process for reporting data to the NHSN can be lengthy. ASC administrators should begin the registration process as soon as possible to ensure the ability to submit data for ASC-8 before the proposed deadline of May 15, 2015 (to be finalized in November 2014).

The CDC is offering two live training webinars that will cover requirements for collecting and entering HCP influenza vaccination summary data. The identical sessions will be held at 1 pm ET, Monday, August 18, 2014, and at 3 pm ET, Wednesday, August 27, 2014. Participants need to attend only one session, and each is limited to 1,000 participants. Click on the following link to register:  http://www2.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/nhsn/.

ASC staff not able to attend one of the live webinars can watch a recording of the webinars and slides which will be posted approximately 1-2 weeks after they occur at the registration page linked above.

For further information about the HCP influenza vaccination summary reporting, please send an e-mail to NHSN@cdc.gov and include “HCP Flu Summary” and “ambulatory surgical center” in the subject line.

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Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a freelance writer and editor who provides communications and marketing services for CIPROMS. She is responsible for creating, editing, and managing all content, design, and interaction on the company website and social media channels in order to promote CIPROMS as a thought leader in healthcare billing and management.

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