Astrata and Smile CDR NCQA Certification

Author:  Smile CDR

eMeasure is one of the first digital HEDIS® engines to be recognized by NCQA

PITTSBURGH, PA and TORONTO, ON - July 12, 2022

Astrata, a market innovator in Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS1) natural language processing (NLP) and healthcare quality solutions, and Smile CDR, a leading health data and integration company, announced today that their Digital HEDIS solution, eMeasure, is one of the first digital HEDIS engines to earn the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Certification for new digital measures. NCQA Certification programs evaluate systems and processes that support data collection, surveys and quality improvement. This initial Certification, which includes the breast cancer screening (BCS-E) and colorectal cancer screening (COL-E) measures, follows successful beta-testing of the new Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®)-based digital measures by the Astrata team in collaboration with NCQA.

In 2020, Astrata and Smile CDR partnered to develop and release eMeasure, a digital measure engine that natively uses FHIR and Clinical Quality Language (CQL), inherent standards to the new digital measures. With their new premier partnership, their game-changing solution is focused on supporting health plans as they move to HEDIS digital quality measurement, an important step in the transition to value-based care.

“Certification of eMeasure is an exciting milestone for our partnership as it provides external validation of the major advances we are making towards #BetterGlobalHealth,” said Duncan Weatherston, CEO, Smile CDR. “As the leading provider of FHIR solutions in healthcare, we are thrilled to be part of the industry’s overall effort to modernize quality measurement in support of improving patient care and health outcomes across populations. Astrata’s innovative HEDIS solution and thought leadership makes them an excellent partner in the pursuit of digital transformation in healthcare.”

“We know this is going to be an important and challenging transition for the industry,” said Dr. Rebecca Jacobson, President of Astrata. “Digital quality measurement offers so much promise for the future – it’s going to be faster, more accurate, and more useful to healthcare organizations in managing the care of populations and individual patients.”

eMeasure is purpose-built to easily incorporate clinical data from electronic health record systems, resulting in more timely quality data, reduced manual and paper-based processes, decreased administrative costs, and the ability to refocus resources on quality improvement, both from a surveillance and intervention perspective. 

As NCQA continues to drive towards digital quality, new requirements will produce new technologies as well as new opportunities for health plans to improve their quality measurement.  

“NCQA is committed to work with the industry to help move to digital measurement within roughly 5 years. We expect many innovations will emerge to help health plans meet these new requirements,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. 

The move to FHIR is an important step in the transformation of quality measurement because it will enable more seamless interoperability between providers and payers, a notable pain point in today’s current quality landscape. 

“The use of Health Level Seven International (HL7®) FHIR is foundational to the future of quality measurement,” said Dr. Viet Nguyen, Chief Standards Implementation Officer for HL7 International. “We are excited to see native FHIR and CQL products begin to emerge in the marketplace.” 

Astrata and Smile CDR continue to focus on ensuring that its solution set manages real operational workflows while also increasing interoperability across systems. Together, the companies hope to work towards improving the world through greater interoperability and better health outcomes.

1 HEDIS®, a set of standardized performance measures designed to ensure that purchasers and consumers have the information they need to reliably compare health care quality, is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

About Astrata

Astrata is a digital quality company specializing in natural language processing (NLP) and advanced analytics. Astrata’s mission is to transform the way the industry measures healthcare quality using proven, HEDIS-specific NLP tools and the first FHIR-native HEDIS engine. A spin-off of UPMC, Astrata guides customers in planning and implementing digital quality initiatives that increase efficiency, cut costs, and use data effectively to improve population health. For more information, visit www.astrata.co.

For more information, check out the full press release.