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    Quality initiatives: How to participate—and benefit

    Quality improvement efforts will impact your bottom line under MIPS

    Changes in health care have made quality improvement (QI) program participation more than a good idea. Today, QI activities are part of the alphabet soup of regulations impacting provider pay. For example, a practice’s participation in QI activities, known as Improvement Activities (IAs), accounts for 15% of its Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) score for CMS. Practices that choose not to send any 2017 QI data may be subject to up to a negative 4% payment adjustment, while those that do participate are eligible to receive a positive payment adjustment, according to CMS (qpp.cms.gov/).   

    QI programs are popping up locally and nationally to help urologists and others meet the requirement. The problem for many practices, however, is how best to get started, according to J. Stuart Wolf, Jr., MD, professor of surgery and perioperative care at Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin.

    Also see: A snapshot of recent urology QI programs

    Kristin L. Chrouser, MD, MPHDr. ChrouserQuality improvement is a formal analysis of performance, and it includes a systematic effort to improve it, according to Kristin L. Chrouser, MD, MPH, assistant professor of urology, University of Minnesota and Minneapolis VA, in Minneapolis, who presented the take-home messages on QI and patient safety at the AUA annual meeting in Boston.

    “Some people think, isn’t all research quality improvement?” said Dr. Chrouser, who for the last 6 years has served on the AUA’s Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee. “Globally, it is. But when people talk about ‘QI,’ they’re talking about a specific look at some aspect of performance or outcome, how we got there, and what we’re going to do to fix it.

    “It tends to be on a relatively small scale, so the vast majority of QI projects are local. It’s only recently where you’ve seen some collaboratives that are doing some more innovative QI interventions on a larger scale.”

    Next: Urologists' choices for projects

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...

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