Developer Tools

The Quality Payment Program is creating Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to help software developers begin to build customized reporting tools. This will be a long term and iterative process that depends on developer feedback, so that the API fits the needs of developers and participants in the Quality Payment Program.

We'll initially release two APIs:

  • Measurement API (November 2016) - This API allows you to connect your site to the list of 2017 Measures and get updates.
  • Submission API (Early 2017) - This API will allow you to submit data to CMS with XML or JSON (industry standards for data transmission). It will deliver realtime feedback on the content and accuracy of your submission.

You can find more information about these APIs below.

What is an Application Program Interface (API)?

An Application Programming Interface, or API, is a set of software instructions and standards that allows machine to machine communication. An organization can use an API to make data available to developers in a way that allows them to use that data in their own tools. For example, if you see Google Maps appear on a real estate site, that company is using the Google Maps API to show maps for their properties. Instead of creating the maps themselves or updating them manually, the real estate company is using the API to pull data directly from Google Maps.

How Can I Share Feedback?

We encourage you to try these APIs and let us know what you think.

Measurement API

What Can I Do With This API?

The Measurement API allows you to connect your site or tool to the measures list and get updates. You could use this API to create customized sites or tools for different kinds of practices. TheExplore Measurespage is one example of how this API can be used to display information about the measures in different ways.

Why Would I Use This API?

Previously, if you were building a site with the current list of measures, you'd need to manually add each measure to the site. When CMS updated the measures, the information on your site would be out of date. With this API, you can set up your site so that it requests just the measures you want to display. When CMS makes updates to the measures you've requested, your site will be updated as well.

Submission API

What Can I Do With This API?

The Submission API will allow developers to submit data to CMS programmatically, instead of manually. You'll be able to submit and update data throughout the reporting period.

The API will also provide feedback on the content and accuracy of your submission. It will also provide you the score for your submission, based on the finalized policy.

Current submission process compared to submission process with an API

Will Other Reporting Options Still Be Available?

Yes, you may still use other reporting options.

For submitting all categories of data, the Quality Payment Program will support the following formats:

  • Established HL7 QRDA3 (Quality Reporting Document Architecture -- Category 3) format, with reference to the instructions in the updated CMS implementation guide.The specifications are now available for your review and feedback.
  • The CMS-defined file format that combines and extends the standards previously developed for Quality Clinician Data Registries (QCDRs) and registries. We're calling this 'Quality Payment Program data format' for convenience. A draft of this format will be available in early January.

For submitting quality data through claims submissions:

  • Claims-based quality data submission will stay the same for groups who reported using this method under the Physician Quality Reporting System. (This submission method is commonly referred to as using "g-codes".)

For submitting beneficiary-level quality data:

  • Groups of more than 25 clinicians will still be able to submit data in a similar manner they used for the Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO).
  • Groups who want to submit beneficiary-level quality data will need to register between April 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017. This reporting option includes a web interface for editing data in the browser (similar to the GPRO Web Interface) and an XML upload (similar to the XML upload available in the GPRO web interface).
  • Submission APIs for submitting beneficiary-level data will also be available.

Clinicians not using a Registry or QCDR, can use a combination of their certified EHR to generate their quality data (QRDA3) and upload it manually the the QPP website as well as log into the portal and manually "attest" to IA and "attest" and submitting measures for ACI. There is no web reporting interface for quality data for groups > 25.

What Format Does My Data Need to Be In?

The 2017 version of the API will accept measure data in JSON or XML, the same formats accepted for QCDR and registry submission. A draft of this format will be available in early January.

When Will This API Be Available?

Full documentation for this API is underway and will be released in early 2017.

API documentation timeline

Need help?

Have other questions about these APIs?

Need Help

The Quality Payment Program Service Center is available to help.


TTY: 1-877-715-6222

Available Monday – Friday, 8:00AM – 8:00PM Eastern Time


Send us your questions about the Quality Payment Program.

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