2010-04-16 20:17:09 UTC

GI Quality and Practice Management News February Editorial

April 16, 2010

After a brief holiday season respite, the first month of 2010 has been filled with much excitement and activity for the AGA Center for Quality:

HHS released two proposed regulations regarding the incentive payment program and the meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs), as authorized in 2009 by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health section of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The AGA is working with our physician and health information technology experts who participate with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement® (PCPI), Physicians' Electronic Health Record Coalition and other organizations to present an AGA members-only Webinar regarding the EHR proposals and their impact on gastroenterology practices. We hope you will join us for the What GI Practices Need to Know About Meaningful EHR Use Webinar on Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. ET. Register now.

The work of the AGA Digestive Health Outcomes Registry™ continues to move forward. A team of physicians and practice administrators representing a diversity of practice settings have been meeting weekly to develop the first set of registry measures on guidelines-driven management of IBD and effective strategies for colorectal cancer prevention. The registry, which is on target for release this spring, will allow physicians to monitor and improve the care they provide to patients, while also generating data to compare the efficacy of treatments and potentially increase reimbursement. If you have any suggestions about future measures or the registry, contact Deborah Robin, MSN RN CHCQM, senior director for quality, at drobin@gastro.org or 301-941-2615.

The annual changes and updates to the CMS Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) program bring questions and interesting conversations with many practices across the country. The Center for Quality is working with AGA’s IBD Measures Work Group, including international experts and representatives from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, to develop measures and metrics for IBD through AMA’s PCPI independent measure development process. The intent is that these measures will be included in the registry and future PQRI measure sets.

The AGA Center for Quality and AGA Center for Practice Management are assisting members who have been impacted by the recent changes from CMS regarding the revised standards for history and physical examinations, infection control, building safety and life safety compliance in an ambulatory surgical center, and the updated standards for administration of anesthesia and analgesia in the hospital setting. Stay tuned for updates on these topics. All of these activities also mean a lot of work for our Clinical Practice and Quality Management Committee, chaired by John Inadomi, MD, AGAF, which oversees the work of the Center for Quality. We appreciate and are grateful for the time, effort and guidance from our committee members.

As 2010 unfolds, the AGA Center for Quality will continue to keep you informed on issues related to the quality of gastroenterological care and patient safety. Please continue to communicate with us about your questions and concerns on these topics.


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