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The Uniform Data System (UDS) is a standardized reporting system, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), that collects quality performance data from health centers providing health care services to underserved communities and vulnerable populations. HRSA uses this collected data to assess the quality of care delivered by designated health centers, and to promote data-driven quality improvement. UDS+ is part of HRSA’s UDS modernization project and takes UDS a step further by requiring Patient-Level Submission of a health center’s data. A major function of UDS modernization is to improve UDS tracking and drill down quality care reporting.

UDS Patient-Level Submission (UDS+) aims to streamline reporting components of the UDS. It does this by adhering to current interoperability standards and leveraging new capabilities of healthcare IT. The broader transition to UDS+, currently targeted for early 2024, will result in significant changes for health center reporting requirements.

Under UDS+, healthcare organizations will submit de-identified patient-level data instead of aggregated data. This is significant since submission of de-identified patient-level data will provide robust information about patients receiving their care at health centers without compromising their privacy. UDS+ also allows data to be submitted using methodology employing Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) technology.

The transition to UDS+ represents an important advancement for population health initiatives and will ultimately help inform programmatic decisions about HRSA’s Health Center Program to better serve patients and improve clinical outcomes.

How will UDS+ help your healthcare organization?

Make more efficient use of funding: With UDS+ reporting, organizations can streamline reporting, improve data accuracy, and ensure regulatory compliance, all of which can help make more efficient use of funding. This can free up resources that can be redirected towards expanding services and outreach to underserved populations, furthering better healthcare outcomes across your community.

Achieve higher quality care: By leveraging the real-time data and analytics provided by UDS+ reporting, you can identify opportunities for improvement and make data-driven decisions about how to expand your services or reach new populations. This can help you achieve better outcomes for your patients and provide high-quality, affordable healthcare to underserved communities.

Foster collaboration: UDS+ reporting is designed to support collaboration between Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and other healthcare providers, which can help you leverage resources and expand your reach across your community. By working together, you can better serve communities and provide accessible healthcare to all.

Reduced reporting burden: UDS+ aims to minimize some of the burden of reporting by simplifying it, which has long been an issue for many organizations, particularly when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid.

Am I prepared for UDS+?

Wondering if you are ready for UDS+ reporting changes at your healthcare organization? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you prepared to handle quality management, moving from health center-level to patient-level data?
  • How are your administrative, financial, and clinical teams collaborating to ensure a balanced approach to governance and patient care?
  • How will you provide more information than ever before when your clinicians are already overburdened?
  • How will your IT staff meet these growing demands?

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John Ellis, DO

Vice President of Regulatory & Clinical Affairs at NextGen Healthcare

Dr. Ellis is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who serves as the Vice President of the Regulatory & Clinical Affairs team at NextGen Healthcare. His previous experience includes working as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and serving as the Chairman of the Family Medicine Department at Arrowhead Abrazo Community Hospital. Dr. Ellis founded his own family medicine practice in Arizona and has been using EHR’s since 2003.