We had another strong year for NEMPAC and remain very pleased with the work the NEMPAC Board and staff have done to get input from a consultant and develop innovative new approaches for making NEMPAC successful. Our PAC is highly respected. I want to thank all of you who are putting your money where your mouth is for advocacy and particularly those of you donating at the Give-A-Shift level.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 33 – No 12 – December 2014
On your next dues invoice, you’ll notice that we’ve raised the suggested giving amount for NEMPAC and EMF to $200 each. This is a voluntary donation amount. It is hoped that this will stimulate increased giving to NEMPAC and EMF.
ACEP Working on a Qualified Clinical Data Registry
One of the most important things ACEP will do this year is work to develop a qualified clinical data registry (QCDR). Our specialty has been the most successful in medicine in reporting on quality measures under the existing Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). ACEP has worked diligently with the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) and with funding from the EM Action Fund to develop quality measures as required by PQRS. As you may know, CMS is eliminating numerous PQRS measures, including a number of them for emergency medicine. We have had to scramble to develop additional quality measures to keep our members from being harmed in their reimbursement.
The quality environment is changing rapidly, moving from a pay-for-reporting system to one that is more pay-for-performance using a value-based modifier. In years to come, there will not be incentives, but there will instead be increasingly heavy penalties for physicians who do not report and show improvement. Demonstration of quality improvement will be the new coin of the realm not only for federal and state governments but eventually for private payers as well.
Groups and individuals are currently permitted to report in the current traditional system using claims data. Many of our ED groups are doing this through group reporting, known as the GPRO reporting option. CMS and virtually every health policy and quality expert we speak with say that option will be coming to an end in the not-too-distant future.
ACEP is in the minority among major national medical specialties because we do not have a QCDR at this point. Creating one will be a relatively complex and expensive undertaking. We believe, however, it will position us to develop quality measures that will resonate with our members and will actually make a difference to improve quality. We can develop measures that apply to patients beyond the Medicare population. If we have our own QCDR, we can control the playing field and develop measures we believe are appropriate without having to submit them to the National Quality Forum for other groups to approve. Rather than having measures imposed on us, we will drive the measures ourselves.