We continue to believe that if we engage in the quality movement in the right way and help to steer its adoption appropriately, we will improve the care of rheumatology patients without penalizing rheumatologists financially.
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Explore This IssueNovember 2006
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In our member poll, we received some important feedback. First, members wholeheartedly support the ACR’s position that, by virtue of the expertise of its membership in studying and treating rheumatic disease, the College is the entity that should be leading the quality effort on behalf of rheumatology patients and those who care for them.
Draw on the Voice of Experience
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The second piece of feedback—perhaps the most important at this juncture—is that our members look to the ACR to inform and educate them on how the quality movement is taking hold and entering into our practices. In this issue of The Rheumatologist, we have provided the perspectives of four rheumatologists who have lived with quality for a while now. (See “Control Quality Anxiety,” page 24). Each of them has had different experiences, which have informed their perspectives and given them a strong appreciation for the benefits and risks associated with quality.
We are lucky to have these rheumatologists among our band of volunteers who are actively participating in the committees and subcommittees that guide our quality-related initiatives. Importantly, these volunteers represent our general ACR membership. They represent the perspectives of community-based rheumatologists (large and small), academic rheumatologists, and those working in hospital-based systems.
As you read their opinions, I’m sure you will appreciate that, while the ACR believes the quality movement will reduce gaps in disparity of care and improve treatment for patients with rheumatologic disease, our committee members are also cognizant of members’ concerns. In addition to developing quality indicators, guidelines, and treatment algorithms, ACR quality activities are designed to provide support to all rheumatologists. ACR is addressing the business issues, such as the price tag of systems, data entry burdens, pressure from payers, and conflicts between cost and quality care.
Ultimately, we know that our members’ primary concern is for their patients and we are determined to promote and defend the ability of rheumatologists to provide quality care to their patients.