ACR Seeks Practices to Test Quality Measures

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imageThe ACR is seeking volunteer practices to help the college test quality measures—including several PQRI measures—previously developed in collaboration with the American Medical Association/Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI).

As explained by Judy Burleson, MHSA, director, metrics, the American College of Radiology, most of the performance measures developed in collaboration with specialty societies were rushed into use, with the caveat that they be tested within 2 to 3 years of introduction. All interested practices willing to share at least 60 charts for each measure are welcome to fill out the survey, but those that represent multiple practice settings—community hospital, academic, outpatient imaging—would be most helpful, Burleson says.

“If they are already participating in PQRI, it will help them understand their processes a little better,” Burleson says. “They will get a patient level feedback report to help interpret the performance rates that they have. If they are not participating in PQRI, it certainly is a way to begin developing processes and awareness in their group to start participating.”

Though reporting is currently voluntary, practices that do not report measures will be penalized in 2015, when the incentive goes away and a 1.5% penalty will be imposed on practices that do not report on the measures.

Burleson says that many physicians harbor misconceptions about the PQRI measures, believing that they were developed by CMS. They were, in fact, primarily developed by the PCPI, with significant input from specialty societies, including the ACR and a workgroup of radiologists representing relevant subspecialties.

“The results of measure testing will help inform improvement of the measures and potentially allow for easier, less burdensome reporting,” Burleson says. “Testing sites will play a role in that improvement process. They will also be identified as testing partners and may be invited by the AMA/PCPI to participate in a focus group.”

The ACR is collaborating with PCPI, the Society of Nuclear Medicine, the American Academy of Neurology to test several radiology-specific performance measures related to stroke and neurologic imaging, the use of fluoroscopy, mammography, and nuclear medicine bone studies. After the measures are tested, they will be re-evaluated by the National Quality Forum for full endorsement, where they were previously time-limited. Moving forward, when measures are proposed, they will be tested prior to being put into use.

Burleson says the college will seek sites that can provide the data electronically as well as paper-based practices, because one of the goals is to test the feasibility of submitting the measure data electronically. “We want to be able to test that and compare it to paper chart extraction,” Burleson says.

Deadline to complete the survey is September 24. The project will begin in late October and is expected to take six months. Contact {encode=" jburleson@acr-arrs.org " title="Burleson"} with questions.