• linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Quality initiatives: How to participate—and benefit

    Quality improvement efforts will impact your bottom line under MIPS


    Urologists’ choices for projects

    “There are lots of potential quality improvement projects going on all over the country,” said Dr. Wolf, who chairs the AUA Science and Quality Council.

    In the bucket of current national and regional programs for urologists to consider: programs offered under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Urologists can visit the CMS.gov website to to find a list of improvement activities that have been proposed (qpp.cms.gov/mips/improvement-activities). (Also see, “Urology-specific quality measures are coming.")

    Read: Burnout: How can it be prevented?

    J. Stuart Wolf, Jr., MDDr. Wolf“Practices’ participation in these contribute to that 15% of MIPS, which could give them a financial benefit,” Dr. Wolf said. “That’s an easy way to get started.”

    Another option for urologists is to get involved in a national quality registry. The AUA Quality (AQUA) Registry, which is designated a qualified clinical data registry (QCDR) by CMS, is an excellent one, according to Dr. Wolf. The AQUA Registry reports data back to member practitioners, so they can do quality improvement, he says.

    “We are developing a quality improvement structure built into the AQUA Registry,” he said.

    The AUA also will offer customized QI services tailored to individual practice needs, training webinars to educate members on principles of QI, an online community to foster information sharing among practices, urology-specific quality resources, as well as report assessments and action plans to improve quality of care.

    There are regional robust QI programs for urologists and other specialties, including Pennsylvania Urology Regional Collaborative, or PURC, and Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MUSIC). MUSIC, a 5-year-old quality improvement collaborative, is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Ninety percent of the state’s practicing urologists are MUSIC members, according to Khurshid R. Ghani, MD, MS, assistant professor of urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and MUSIC’s co-program director.

    Also see: Burnout rate lower than believed, but still too high

    On a more local level, urologists can turn to ongoing QI programs at hospitals and health systems or start one on their own.

    “Oftentimes, as physicians we react negatively to quality improvement initiatives that are kind of forced onto us because they don’t feel very organic. They don’t feel like they’re really speaking to how we want to take care of our patients,” Dr. Wolf said. “The advantage of a home-grown quality improvement initiative is that you can design it the way you want.”

    Next - Getting started: The steps

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


    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • No comments available