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CMS Mulls Use of Specialty Registries for Quality Data

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 16, 2013

Other organizations responding to CMS' request include major professional groups such as the American College of Cardiology, which also has an expansive quality reporting database for stent procedures; American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons; the American College of Physicians, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, which began a smaller database last year; the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the American Medical Association.

The American College of Cardiology's National Cardiovascular Data Registry, which began in 1997 to monitor quality of cardiac catheterization procedures, now "captures data on the majority of percutaneous coronary intervention procedures performed in this country," said the letter by ACC President John Gordon Harold, MD. It now keeps seven registries, all for different procedures including carotid endarterectomies and implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

Large hospital organizations such as Kaiser Permante, the Cleveland Clinic, and Gundersen Lutheran Health System also sent in responses about how they view any change in the current quality reporting system.

"At the hospital level Cleveland Clinic participates in a significant number of clinical registries," wrote Robert S. White, MD, the clinic's Associate Chief Medical Information Officer.

"This included STS, ACC, NSQIP, GWTG (the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines) and Cerner Critical Outcomes. In addition to these registries, Cleveland Clinic participates in specialty registries coordinated by the specialty boards. These registries currently may not be physician specific currently, but can be altered to meet the reporting needs of physicians."

Within orthopedics, AAOS President, John Tongue, MD, wrote "a growing number of AAOS members participate in the American Joint Replacement Registry, which collects data that would be useful in quality reporting."

His organization has concerns, however, saying, "the relationship between the current generation of quality measures and actual patient outcomes has not been established. Thus, AAOS does not believe existing quality measures will make a meaningful contribution to the public domain of provider performance data, and that misleading information could be used in medical liability actions."

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