Data Submission

Hospitals - Inpatient

Hospitals participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) quality improvement initiatives must submit specified data in the prescribed format by the transmission deadlines established by CMS. Refer to the Specifications Manual pages for further information.

Transmission via QualityNet

Unless otherwise specified, all data and files—whether submitted by a provider or third-party data vendor acting on the provider’s behalf—must be transmitted via the QualityNet Secure Portal. All files and data exchanged via QualityNet are encrypted during transmission and are stored in an encrypted format until they are downloaded to the recipient. Transmission via QualityNet is the only CMS-approved method for the electronic exchange of private healthcare data between providers and CMS.


A third-party vendor may submit data on a provider’s behalf if previously authorized by the hospital. Hospitals utilizing a vendor must first complete the online Vendor Authorization application process via the QualityNet Secure Portal. Vendor authorizations remain in effect until the hospital modifies the authorization.
Note: Vendors must be specifically authorized to submit each measure set. In order for a vendor to be able to submit data on a hospital’s behalf for a new measure set, the vendor must first be authorized to do so for that measure set.

Submission details

Submission of chart-abstracted clinical data submission for the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program is accomplished via the use of either:

  • CMS Abstraction & Reporting Tool (CART)–Inpatient, an application for the collection and analysis of quality improvement data. Through data collection, retrospective analyses, and real-time reporting, CART–Inpatient enables hospitals to comprehensively evaluate and manage quality improvement efforts. CART–Inpatient assists in meeting the aligned CMS and The Joint Commission measurement specifications for performance monitoring and data collection within a single application. It also maintains security of patient data to comply with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The application is available at no charge to hospitals or other organizations. Refer to the Data Collection (& CART) pages for further information.

  •     OR

  • a third-party vendor able to meet the Measurement Specifications for data transmission (XML file format) via the QualityNet Secure Portal to the CMS Clinical Warehouse. Hospitals using CART do not need to complete a vendor authorization to report data.

Refer to the Clinical Warehouse Edits Documents page for a description of possible edit (error) and measure messages in reports regarding data submitted.

For additional data submission details, visit the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program pages.

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