Experience. Integrity. Advocacy.
Experience. Integrity. Advocacy.

AQI’s Data Registry Approved as a PQRS Qualified Clinical Data Registry

The Anesthesia Quality Institute’s (AQI) National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR) was recently designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR).

New for 2014, the QCDR is a reporting mechanism that allows entities to collect and submit PQRS quality data on behalf of individual Eligible Professionals (EPs). While satisfactory participation via a QCDR allows eligible providers to earn the 2014 incentive payment (0.5%) and avoid the 2016 payment adjustment (2.0%), it differs from the traditional PQRS qualified registry by offering quality measures other than those outlined in the PQRS program. To be considered a QCDR for purposes of PQRS, an entity must self-nominate and successfully complete a qualification process.

According to Jane C. K. Fitch, M.D., President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), a key benefit QCDR status is the pivotal role the ASA will now play in developing and guiding quality reporting for their specialty. Previously, only three PQRS measures applied to anesthesiology; AQI’s QCDR has a total of 19 measures. “Now we can use more than a dozen additional anesthesia-related measures through the QCDR option to meet the evolving federal requirements,” Fitch said in a May 19, 2014, letter to members. “Further, we will have the ability to add additional measures in coming years, to cover subspecialty areas and related disciplines such as pain medicine and critical care. The goal is to enable every physician anesthesiologist to readily report on outcomes that matter to them and their patients.”

Throughout 2014, AQI will work with a diverse group of practices to develop methodologies for collecting data. Also, measures used in 2014 can be added to, removed, or modified based on the results of this pilot year. Descriptions of the 2014 measures are available on the AQI website at: http://www.aqihq.org/PQRSReporting.aspx.

Practices wishing to use NACOR and the QCDR mechanism to report individual eligible providers’ PQRS data in 2014 should notify Lance Mueller, director of the Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI), at l.mueller@asahq.org or call (847) 825-5586, ext. 190 before the July 1, 2014, deadline. AQI anticipates no additional charge for this service for ASA members in 2014, but reserves the right to charge additional fees for non-members wishing to report through this mechanism.

Individuals and groups also can use AQI’s qualified registry to report 2014 PQRS data. Practices reporting as a group must register/self-nominate with CMS for the qualified registry by September 30, 2014. Eligible providers reporting as individuals do not need to register.

CIPROMS began submitting data to AQI’s NACOR on behalf of participating anesthesia clients earlier in 2014. In addition to the option of reporting PQRS through the QCDR mechanism, another benefit of reporting data to NACOR is the data reports provided back to participants that can be used to improve care and meet various regulatory requirements.

More information about performance reporting and the QCDR mechanism via AQI is available at www.aqihq.org/PQRSReporting.aspx.

You also can review CMS’s “QCDR Made Simple” Fact Sheet or the CMS “Registry Reporting Made Simple” Fact Sheet for information about participating in PQRS via the two different registry options.

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Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a freelance writer and editor who provides communications and marketing services for CIPROMS. She is responsible for creating, editing, and managing all content, design, and interaction on the company website and social media channels in order to promote CIPROMS as a thought leader in healthcare billing and management.

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