ASCQR Deadline Looms Large
Begin the process now to ensure compliance by May 17 and avoid a 2 percent cut to your FFS Medicare reimbursements
BY KARA NEWBURY AND GINA THRONEBERRY | APRIL 2021
On a call with ASC Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program support staff last week, ASCA staff learned that 2,000 ASCs still have not registered to report their Medicare quality data and the registration process can take several weeks. The reporting deadline is May 17, 2021—because May 15 is a Saturday this year—but even with a couple of extra days, you must start the process now to ensure you have time to complete all of the necessary steps required before data can be entered. ASCs that fail to report by the deadline are subject to a 2 percent cut to their fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare reimbursements for the following year.
Healthcare Quality Information System (HCQIS) Access Roles and Profile (HARP)
HARP, a secure portal provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), protects the patient data an ASC submits to CMS. All ASCs will need a HARP account to view and submit data.
You must have a HARP account before you can move forward with any other registration process including becoming a security official (SO). The SO is the updated name for the security administrator but the role itself has not changed.
When setting up a HARP account for the first time, users will be prompted to set up their two-factor authentication for security purposes by entering one or more authentication devices.
Setting Up a HARP Account
To set up your HARP account, go directly to the Create an Account page and complete all steps including:
- profile information;
- account information; and
- proofing or identity verification.
You also can access the information by starting on the QualityNet home page and then:
- In the top right corner, select the “Register” icon.
- On the next page, you will see all HARP resources available. These resources will direct you in detail on how to initiate a HARP account. In the second paragraph, select the “HCQIS Access Roles and Profile (HARP)” hyperlink to get to the HARP login page.
- Scroll down to “Don’t have an account?” (bottom of the white box) and select “Sign Up.” This will take you to the "Create an Account” page.
Registration could take 5–15 minutes depending on how quickly user data is proofed and verified.
Security Official Registration
Once you have a HARP account, you can register to be your ASC’s security official (SO). On April 20, CMS launched a new Access Request Form for Ambulatory Surgical Centers in the Hospital Quality Reporting (HQR) system. Effective immediately, individuals must request SO access through the Access Request Form, which is replacing the Electronic Access Request (EAR). Please note: ASCs that started the process filling out the EAR but have not yet received access to report, must go through the process listed below.
- Go to the HQR system home page.
- In the top right corner, select “Your Name” and "My Profile."
- Select "Create Access Request." Search for your organization by typing the business name or National Provider Identifier (NPI) into the "Organization" search bar. If found, select the name of the organization. Information on your facility will auto-populate. Most ASCs should be in the system unless they are new facilities.
- If your organization is not found, select "Create Access Request" and submit the form. You will need to fill out more information if your ASC is not in the system, including your CMS Certification Number (CCN).
- Select "Security Administrator/Official" and then select "Continue."
- Review the SO request and select "Submit."
The security official cannot self-authorize. You will need to provide a phone number and email address for an individual with the highest authority at your facility who will then receive a phone call from Identity Access Management (IAM) from QualityNet. Select an individual who is readily accessible and let them know that this communication is coming.
Once IAM has confirmed with the highest authority in the facility that access should be granted to the security official, the request will be approved and you will receive a confirmation email.
Once the first SO has been given access, that individual can log in and manage other access requests and users in the HQR platform. It is recommended that facilities have at least two active SOs for backup purposes.
Logging In and Reporting
Watch this space for how and what to report once you have access to the system. If you need assistance, please call the QualityNet Help Desk at 866.288.8912 or contact ASCQR Program support through the Quality Question and Answer Tool.