American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Consumers

Society Successfully Stops CMS QCDR Licensing Proposal

Following pressure from ASPS, advocacy groups and Congress, CMS rescinded a rule proposal that would require Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) measure owners to enter into licensing agreements with CMS. These agreements would permit the Agency to allow any other approved QCDR to submit data on the licensed measure for purposes of Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting, beginning with the 2021 MIPS payment year.

ASPS had serious concerns over this proposal when initially introduced and joined the Physician Clinical Registry Coalition in encouraging Congress to pressure CMS to withdraw its proposal. Letters were sent to committees with jurisdiction over CMS, including the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways & Means Committee and House Energy & Commerce Committee.

QCDR measures are complex to implement, and measure owners must provide a significant amount of technical assistance and support to third parties using their measures. The Society believes the proposal would have taken away a QCDR's ability to ensure that only qualified third parties use their measures and that the measures are used appropriately.

Furthermore, CMS's proposal to remove QCDR's ability to license measures would have prevented medical society QCDR owners - who have made considerable investments of time, effort, and resources in developing their measures - from offsetting the cost of measure development. QCDR measures also clearly constitute works of authorship that are subject to copyright protection. By imposing mandatory licensing in this manner, CMS would have undermined the intellectual property rights of QCDRs in their measures.