The American Hospital Association (AHA) advises that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently removed outpatient quality measure OP-16 from the calendar year 2013 hospital outpatient quality reporting program, due to patient safety concerns.

Measure OP-16 is used to report troponin results received for heart attack and chest pain patients within 60 minutes of arrival in the emergency department.

Hospitals began collecting data for this measure in January for payment determination in calendar year 2013.

In July, the FDA recalled several point-of-care (POC) testing kits, including those for troponin, due to false results. "While OP-16 does not specify which type of laboratory equipment should be used to obtain Troponin results, hospitals may be using these POC tests in order to expedite results," CMS said. "In view of the recent Class I recall, CMS is concerned that continued collection of the measure may potentially impact patient safety because of the high probability of false results associated with such equipment. CMS will not publically report, validate or use in CY 2013 payment determination any data collected on this measure."

Due to constraints on the CMS data processing system, hospitals in the outpatient quality reporting program must continue to submit a number for the measure, but may simply plug a "dummy" number into the field.

[Source: AHA]