Home Health Agencies (HHAs)
Action Required by December 23, 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is upgrading the current Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES) to make the system more reliable, secure, accessible, and scalable. The enhanced system, referred to as the Internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (iQIES), reduces provider burden and enhances the CMS’ ability to serve customers.

Special Edition (SE) article SE19025, which is available at: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/se19025-0 notifies HHAs that they need to onboard to iQIES by establishing a Healthcare Quality Information System (HCQIS) Access, Roles and Profile system (HARP) account and selecting an iQIES role.

The rollout of iQIES will not require providers or vendors to change current processes related to submission of data. However, iQIES will require a new user management system because Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and CMSNet are no longer needed to access this system. All users will have to create an account and establish credentials in HARP, which is a secure identity management portal provided by the CMS.

The CMS strongly encourages HHAs to request iQIES access now, even though assessment submission and reporting functionality will not be available until January 1, 2020. Failure to obtain access to iQIES by December 23, 2019, will impact HHAs’ ability to submit assessment data needed for claims matching purposes after January 1, 2020. Claims that cannot be matched to assessments will be returned to the HHA, delaying Medicare payment.

HHAs can find an introduction to iQIES, how to onboard, and what steps are required to initiate a HARP account (among other information) in the iQIES Onboarding Guide, which is available at:  https://qtso.cms.gov/system/files/qtso/iQIESOnboardingGuide-WebVersion_0.pdf .
For more information or assistance with the topic of how to establish access to the iQIES for HHAs, please contact Rick Snyder, Billing and Reimbursement Consultant, rick.snyder@actcpas.com