ARLINGTON, VA.—The ACR held its third annual Quality Stakeholders’ Summit in September to get an update on how different groups within healthcare are addressing quality improvement and the national quality movement. The summit included presentations from six medical societies, as well as from vendors and insurers. Some of the invited societies have organizational experience developing measures, while others are now working with members to implement data collection and reporting.
You Might Also Like
Explore This IssueDecember 2008
Also By This Author
Most medical specialty societies—including the ACR—are actively dealing with these issues on behalf of their members, and “this is our first effort to begin to cross-pollinate with each other,” says Stanley Cohen, MD, clinical professor of rheumatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and president-elect of the ACR.
“Physician specialty societies are the natural home for developing [quality] guidelines,” says Timothy Ferris, MD, MPH, medical director of Massachusetts General Physicians Organization at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The ACR agrees, taking the position that rheumatologists should define what true quality care for rheumatic disease patients looks like rather than having it defined for them by those outside the subspecialty.
“Although some rheumatologists are hesitant about the adoption of new quality measures, it serves the specialty well to pay attention to them,” says Daniel Solomon, MD, MPH. Dr. Solomon is associate professor of medicine and chief of clinical research in rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, chair of the ACR’s Committee on Quality of Care, and a member of The Rheumatologist’s editorial board.
“Because of measure gaps in the quality of care, there is a real need to measure performance. While there are some rheumatologists who have already accepted this, others are more reluctant,” says Dr. Solomon.
CMS is not the only organization to track quality and outcomes via its pay-for-performance program (P4P) and the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative, which allowed physicians to choose from approximately 120 quality measures in 2008. Some insurers are using physician performance “report cards,” and some hospitals are undertaking large-scale efforts with their physicians to measure outcomes. Groups such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance, which had a presence at the summit, work with physicians who want to proactively show their superior care through performance measurement with the use of evidenced-based standards.
The Institute of Medicine’s reports, “To Err Is Human”1 and “Crossing the Quality Chasm,”2 turned the public’s eye on quality indicators, notes Dr. Ferris.
Physician specialty societies are the natural home for developing [quality] guidelines.
— Timothy Ferris, MD, MPH