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    Quality initiatives: How to participate—and benefit

    Quality improvement efforts will impact your bottom line under MIPS

     

    Choosing the right QI project for your practice

    The first goal of participating in QI initiatives is to improve quality. But the key for urologists is to participate in those programs that will most benefit their practice and patients.

    Brian R. Stork, MDDr. StorkUrologist Brian Stork, MD, says his Muskegon, MI-based West Shore Urology practice has been involved in a number of different quality incentive programs over the years.

    Related: First national urology-wide registry gathers steam

    “I’ve previously questioned the value of many of these programs. Aside from additional income, the data we’ve received back from these programs hasn’t resulted in any meaningful changes in the day-to-day care of our patients or the management of our practice,” Dr. Stork said.

    “Participation in MUSIC, however, has been markedly different. By participating in the collaborative, we receive actionable outcomes data—both individually and as a group. Individual surgeons also receive feedback directly from their patients.”

    In general, Dr. Chrouser says urologists should focus on addressing issues that frustrate them most “because if a particular problem matters to you, that will motivate you,” she said.

    Other considerations include starting with a program that fits into the practice’s work flow and attacking problems that will present a win-win for physicians and patients, according to Dr. Wolf.

    Also see: Most robotic RPs performed at low-volume hospitals

    For example, he says, a QI initiative that focuses on reducing the no-show rate in the outpatient clinic has a clear benefit to patients (by improving access) and also is a win for practices. On the other hand, a QI program aimed at increasing active surveillance for prostate cancer could have negative financial consequences for some practices when viewed in a narrow context, and this might be a barrier to such a QI program, Dr. Wolf says.

    “Some barriers to QI exist only because of our perverse reimbursement system that rewards volume over value. We’re heading into a time in the future when that’s going to change. For now, though, urologists should look for projects that align everyone’s interests,” Dr. Wolf said.

    Next: Seeing the forest

    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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