CMS Awards Bellese Technologies Contract Extension for Hospital Quality Reporting (HQR)

(OWINGS MILLS, MARYLAND) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that Bellese Technologies was awarded a 12-month extension for its Hospital Quality Reporting (HQR) contract.

Under the direction of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ) and the Information Systems Group (ISG), Bellese’s work continues to evolve from 2017 when it originally won the work. While the initial focus was to make HQR more efficient, they took a human-centered approach to modernization to ensure they addressed the various user needs from start to finish.

Since the new features went live in 2018, Bellese reports the overall burden in terms of the time hospitals spent submitting data was reduced by over 10,200 hours. As HQR is a vehicle to facilitate a hospital’s ability to report their quality metrics, any reduction in time submitting is precious time hospital staff can spend on their main job – running a hospital and caring for patients.

“We believe we won this contract originally because of our commitment to human-centered design and understanding the users’ needs,” said John Duclos, Co-Owner of Bellese Technologies. “The feedback we learned has shaped our strategy for modernization, and it is creating efficiencies. We are seeing some great metrics already. We are excited to continue our partnership with CMS and improve the ability of data to drive healthcare quality.”

The modernization of HQR is part of a larger initiative being undertaken by CMS, Patients over Paperwork. This initiative seeks to increase efficiencies and improve the experience for end-users. And with that, lower the overall burden.

At Bellese this process begins with user research, led by the requirements of the Product Team. But it comes alive with the User Experience (UX) Team.

“The redesign of this system is significant from the UX point of view simply because UX is at the center of everything we do, “ said Kent Porter, Bellese’s Human-Centered Design Lead on HQR. “One of the things we’re doing with the HQR redesign is to reduce the amount of paperwork and bureaucracy involved in getting these quality of care measures implemented. With COVID-19, it feels super pertinent right now. Hospitals are absolutely strapped – they’re full, they’re pressed for time. Creating a system that would allow them to enter their quality of care data and get the necessary evaluation quickly is super important right now. We want to take the time factor down, and make the convenience factor go up. The new features seem to be resonating with the users – especially the new file submissions tool, featuring Drag & Drop functionality. Due to the ease of submitting, one program had 100% submissions before the deadline – the first time that has ever happened.”

More than 30 modules and applications, 65 reports, and over 5 million lines of code comprised the HQR system when the project began. Bellese continues to implement a more usable solution that reduces the cost to maintain.

The majority of these applications support multiple programs within the HQR community: Inpatient Quality Reporting, Outpatient Reporting, Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Quality Reporting, PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting, and Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting.

Bellese’s partnership with CMS and modernization work on the HQR system is a reflection of Bellese’s mission to improve the healthcare journey with civic innovation. With this extension, Bellese will be the Application Development Organization (ADO) for HQR through August 6th, 2021.



Founded in 2009, Bellese Technologies is a human-centered service design company in the Baltimore metro area. Bellese partners with health and human services clients in the public and private sectors. The firm leverages modern technology, human-centered design, and silo-busting collaboration to help its clients expand and accelerate the positive impact they have on society. Currently, Bellese works with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, supporting price transparency, Medicare payment system modernization, and quality of care initiatives.

Bellese holds the GSA IT 70 Schedule and two CMS agile blanket purchase agreements (BPA) — the Medicare Payment System Modernization (MPSM) BPA and the Agile Delivery to Execute Legislative Endeavors-Quality Related Initiatives (ADELE-QRI) BPA.

Bellese was recently recognized as a “Best Place to Work” by the Baltimore Sun for the second year in a row. Visit for more information on careers at Bellese.

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