Unlocking iQIES: What you need to know

Ken BellLTC News, Secure News, SimpleAnalyzer, Training2 Comments

UPDATE (Sep 1, 2022): CMS announces official SNF transition date to iQIES 

We have received communication from CMS regarding the official transition to iQIES for SNFs. The transition will now occur in January 2023 for MDS transmission, patient assessments, and CASPER reports. CMS has not provided an official date yet, but we confirmed directly from CMS that this transition will occur in January. It is not clear yet when the transition will occur for PBJ. We will keep looking for communication from CMS regarding PBJ and iQIES.

This update means the transition for MDS and CASPER will occur earlier than the expected Aug. 1, 2023 date. Simple is prepared to transmit data through iQIES today so you can be confident we are ready to support your organization. Registration is now open for all regions. Please see information below regarding the registration process and deadlines to help your organization prepare for the iQIES transition.

On-demand iQIES webinar: What you need to know NOW 

Ensure a successful transition for your organization. Learn how iQIES changes will impact your SNF, how to ensure a smooth transition without compromising your data, the importance of a Provider Security Officer (PSO), and more.


Ready or not, iQIES is officially on the way!

CMS is upgrading the Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES) to a new, enhanced system called iQIES (internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation System) for all providers.

While this transition will involve a change in your typical workflow, there are several ways you can prepare in advance and take this shift in stride.

Please see IMPORTANT details below regarding registration deadlines from CMS.

What can I do to prepare?

IMPORTANT: iQIES Registration Deadlines


Every organization will need to select at least one Provider Security Official (PSO) by the CMS deadline according to their region. See deadlines below. The PSO will approve or reject iQIES access requests for their respective organizations. Consider appointing at least two PSOs to ensure someone is always available to approve or reject requests. 

PLEASE NOTE: Simple will also need to be established as a PSO under your provider CCN to continue transmitting your data to CMS via iQIES.

Just prior to the registration deadline, Simple will request access for a PSO role. Your PSO can approve our request at that point. The PSO request for Simple will come from our Chief Privacy Officer, Jason Jones.

If you haven’t established a PSO by that time, our request will make Simple the first PSO for your organization. In that case, we will work together to ensure you have another PSO established. You can still register your PSOs using the standard process at any time following the deadline.

Follow these steps to register your Provider Security Official (PSO):

  1. Identify at least one individual who will be the Provider Security Official (PSO).
  2. Each individual will need to register for iQIES login credentials by creating an account in the HCQIS Access Roles and Profile (HARP) system at: https://harp.cms.gov/register
  3. Set up MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) for your account and complete the Identify Proofing process.
  4. Access iQIES using your HARP ID and password: https://iqies.cms.gov/
  5. Initiate your Provider Security Official (PSO) role request using your provider CCN.
  6. Once your request has been submitted AND approved, you will receive an email notification. At this point, you will have authority to approve/deny requests for iQIES access and role types.

    CMS has provided videos explaining the registration process with HARP.

    Is Simple ready for this change?

    Yes. The Simple team has been anticipating this update for a few years. We have already set up access in iQIES to transmit OASIS batches for home health agencies. We learned a lot in that process and are prepared to replicate it successfully for our skilled nursing customers.

    What is iQIES?

    iQIES is an internet-based system that will be used for all submissions and communications to and from CMS, including MDS submissions, surveys, and certifications. For official iQIES manuals from CMS, please visit: https://qtso.cms.gov/software/iqies/reference-manuals

    CMS has been planning this transition for a few years. iQIES is already underway for home health agencies. In the skilled nursing space, the transition was delayed due to COVID.

    CMS recently announced that Aug. 1, 2023, will be the official transition date to iQIES for skilled nursing. At this point, all transmissions to CMS will go through iQIES. The transition will occur in separate phases for different regions. We don’t have the details on those phases yet, so look for more updates to come.

    What else should I look out for?

    New security measures

    Due to new federal security requirements, the process for accessing iQIES will be managed through the HCQIS Access Roles and Profile system (HARP). Before accessing iQIES, users will need to create an account and credentials in HARP (https://harp.cms.gov/). HARP account creation will require Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and Identify Proofing through Experian. This is essentially a credit background check that asks a series of questions from your credit report.

    Once they have a HARP account, users will then be able to login to the iQIES site using their HARP credentials and request an iQIES role.

    Account creation process

    Other than the PSO, the access levels in iQIES will be similar to the current QIES roles. All personnel will need to create new accounts through HARP and iQIES. Only individuals (not entities) can create accounts.

    Be prepared for possible hesitation from individuals at the background credit requirement. These additional steps are new but add a beneficial layer of security to everyone’s data.

    Working with Simple

    Customers will need a Provider Security Official (PSO) account with access to their provider CCN to re-establish our transmission access. Follow the instructions from CMS to make sure your organization’s access is established. Look for more updates from us in the future with instructions about how to approve our access requests within iQIES and ensure seamless connectivity for your MDS transmissions and CASPER report access.

    Conclusion

    Change is constant in our industry. But with months of advance notice regarding the iQIES change, you can start planning for this new process today and be confident in your process when the transition is official. We will be monitoring news from CMS and providing additional updates when available.

    Look for more communication from Simple as each registration deadline approaches. We will reach out with these steps before each deadline.

    2 Comments on “Unlocking iQIES: What you need to know”

    1. I was wondering if there was a corporate level access. One login can access multiple facilities.

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