The Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a massive transition in the medical domain. CMS will now be using Clinical Quality Language or CQL standard (a level seven health standard) in place of the earlier e-CQM structure for logic expressions. CMS stated that the change is backed up by one year of testing and regular inputs and suggestions from implementer communities.

The CQL offers a key advantage by coupling the logic expression for both-CQM and Clinical decision Support CDS. The quality Data Model or the QDM is used as the conceptual model for the CQL standard. Such a structure will now allow the data to be present in the human-readable form as well as suitable for electronic processing.

The transition will begin in the year 2019, (considered as the performance period). The transition will initially involve Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs),Eligible Hospitals, and Eligible Clinicians, Eligible Professionals (EPs). CMS will also be launching following new programs to support the transition process:

  • Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program
  • Medicaid EHR Incentive Program
  • Quality Payment Program
  • Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program


Available Resources and Tools:

Following are the tools and resources made available by the CMS for supporting the transition:

  • CQL-based Health Quality Measure Format (HQMF) Implementation Guide
  • CQL Formatting and Usage Wiki
  • Measure Authoring Tool
  • Bonnie Testing Tool
  • CQL Git-Hub Tools Repository

In addition to these guides and tools, CMS will also offer multiple educational sessions to teach the use of CQL.