Healthcare Industry

Feb 15th is coming! How to Conquer UDS Season 2020

We know it’s UDS crunch time for FQHCs, and we love to see you excel at communications, reporting, and keeping their patients healthy. That’s why, this UDS season, we want to support your efforts in preparing for the February 15th deadline with a few tips and some key insights into changes for this coming year. 

Tips for UDS Calendar Year 2019

Since the UDS modernization initiative began in 2016, FQHCs have seen ongoing efforts from HRSA to simplify reporting, pull in stakeholders, and improve testing of proposed updates. Because of these changes, it’s important that FQHCs review the most recent literature for the 2019 calendar year season. Here’s a look at this year’s schedule:

Submission dates: January 1- February 15, 2020

Review periods: February 15 - March 31, 2020

Corrected submission deadline: March 31, 2020

You can find this year’s reporting instructions here, but we’ve also pulled together a few additional tips for your organization. 

Tip #1: Coordinate with QI Leadership

Now is the perfect time for a quick, final check to make sure key leaders are working in unison. 

Your organization's head of quality (e.g. chief quality officer, clinic QI director, etc.) will likely be central to ensuring everything is flowing smoothly for this year’s reporting period. Since this role owns the development, presentation, and monitoring of internal quality measure initiatives, they will have the most insight into this stage of the UDS reporting process.

They will also already understand existing challenges around staff and management, issues from previous years’ reporting, and how to best implement any last minute challenges that emerge. Since they are responsible for maintaining UDS measures and data, any changes or issues that come up will ultimately need to be reported back to them. They will be the point person for issues including:

  • Entry of patient data into your practice management system (PMS)

  • Tech issues around pulling data from your EHR, PMS, and other systems

  • Reviewing summary data

  • Last minute meetings and accuracy checks

Tip #2: Optimize Your Time

We’re down to the last few weeks before the submission deadline. You can use this time to make sure your 2020 UDS submission is as strong as possible. 

If you’ve had to provide corrected submissions in the past, leverage this period to review any mistakes you don’t want to revisit with a reviewer. This is also a good time to check for new findings from UDS trainings your team has attended throughout the year. Additionally, if you’ve added any clinical services that will be new to your reporting, they’ll be worth checking before submission. Finally, keep an eye out for common mistakes like errors in reporting patient-related revenue. 

Tip #3: Review 2019 Changes

UDS reporting is going through constant improvements, so make sure you’re up to date on changes for the 2019 reporting year. These include:

  • Workforce development data

  • Reporting virtual visits
    Updates of quality of care measures to align with eCQMs: tables 6B and 7 (including revision of childhood immunization status, cervical cancer screening, tobacco use screening, and controlling for high blood pressure)

  • Addition of mental health and substance use disorder tables by provider

  • Removal of table 5A (tenure of health center staff)

You can review the complete list as published in the 2019 HRSA program assistance letter here.

Looking Forward to 2020

If you’ve taken advantage of the Preliminary Reporting Environment or have completed your 2019 reports, congratulations! Now is a great time to get ahead of proposed changes for 2020. 

UDS 2020 Proposed Changes

For next year, or this year’s Preliminary Reporting, keep an eye on

  • Updates to quality of care measure alignment with e-CQMs (tables 6B and 7)

  • Retirement of the asthma measure

  • Addition of the depression remission at the 12 months measure

  • Revision of the HIV linkage to care measure, and addition of the HIV screening measure

A complete list of the proposed changes is available in the 2020 program assistance letter here

At CareMessage, we’re looking forward to a successful and educational UDS season. If you’d like to learn more about aligning your patient communication strategy with your UDS reporting goals, we want to invite you to review this webinar. Make sure to contact us through the form below to learn more about how text messaging can help reduce no-shows and fill in gaps in care at your FQHC. 

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