On behalf of the rheumatology community, the ACR recently submitted an entry for a rheumatology-specific Clinical Practice Improvement Activity (CPIA) that, if accepted, will be included in the 2018 performance year. The CMS put a call out to the public for CPIAs in an attempt to make MACRA more meaningful for participating providers. The ACR submitted an activity titled Improving Patient Outcomes in RA: Disease Activity Measurement to Optimize Treating to Target.
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Why This Focus?
Treatment goals in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have historically focused on reducing pain and joint symptoms. Fortunately, the past two decades have witnessed dramatic improvement in treatment options for patients with RA, and disease remission is now considered a realistic goal for many. Synthetic and biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can reduce symptoms, and prevent disability and continuing bone and cartilage damage. Surrogate measures of outcome, such as disease activity measures, can facilitate clinical decision making, and studies in RA show treating to a target improves outcomes.
The ACR’s submitted activity, a rapid-cycle performance assessment activity that uses the ACR’s Rheumatology Informatics System for Effectiveness (RISE) Registry, is a component of a three-part educational initiative designed to allow preliminary and ongoing performance assessments, as well as the implementation of improvement plans based on information gleaned during assessment. One noteworthy innovation of Improving Patient Outcomes in RA is the ability to complete an improvement plan in as few as one or two weeks, depending on the practice environment. Additionally, learners may choose to complete several cycles, varying the measures used in each.
RISE Utilization & ACI Bonus
Knowledge of performance measures and subsequent awareness of a practice gap at the point of care lead learners to make change(s) at the patient encounter. The RISE benchmarking tool, developed as part of Improving Patient Outcomes in RA, will allow learners to view and measure outcomes of their patient populations in comparison to aggregate data from other participating rheumatologists.
Because this activity can be completed only with the use of EHR technology, the ACR has also elected for this activity to contribute to an Advancing Care Information (ACI) bonus. ACI is replacing the EHR Incentive Program in MACRA (i.e., Meaningful Use).
How to Join RISE
The ACR anticipates that it will know if this activity has been approved by the end of summer 2017. But you can enjoy the benefits of the ACR’s Registry now by joining RISE today. If you have questions, please email RISE@rheumatology.org.