| | More

October 23, 2006

2006

October 23, 2006

HEADLINE

CMS Releases Proposed Measures for Physician Voluntary Reporting Program

This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a list 86 potential quality measures for use in the Physician Voluntary Reporting Program (PVRP).  Under the PVRP program, participating physicians will submit compliance data on a set of quality metrics.  The data, submitted via CMS created G-codes or level II CPT codes, will be collected by CMS and providers will be provided with confidential reports evaluating their compliance with the quality metrics. 

The measures selected by CMS were culled from quality metrics developed by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance (AQA).

The initial launch included 16 quality measures – none of which were directly pulmonary related.  The additional 86 measures posted by CMS this week include the following four pulmonary-related measures and two critical care measures:

Pulmonary Measures

 (COPD)

(1) Patients with spirometry results documented with either FEV1 (forced expiratory vital) capacity value or FEV1/FVC (forced vital capacity) value

 (COPD)

2) Symptomatic patients who were prescribed an inhaled bronchodilator

Asthma: Symptoms Evaluation

(3) Percent of patients who were evaluated during at least one office visit during the reporting year for the frequency (numeric) of daytime and nocturnal asthma symptoms

Asthma: Pharmacologic Treatment

(4) Percent of patients with mild, moderate, or severe persistent asthma who were prescribed either the preferred long-term control medication (inhaled corticosteroid) or an acceptable alternative treatment

Critical Care Measures

Myocardial Infarction

(1) Aspirin at arrival for acute myocardial infarction (AMI)

Myocardial Infarction

(2) Beta blocker at arrival for acute myocardial infarction (AMI)

All four pulmonary measures also appear in the quality metrics for internal medicine, family practice, and general practice, while the asthma measures apply to pediatrics and allergy immunology. 

A complete list of the measures can be found at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PVRP/Downloads/qualmeasures.pdf

While CMS currently does not have concrete plans to link quality reporting and performance to Medicare reimbursement, a number of legislative proposals before Congress would link Medicare reimbursement bonus to participation a quality reporting program and eventually link payments to meeting quality bench marks. 

RESEARCH

ATS Participates in VA Genomics Meeting

Last week, ATS Research Advocacy Committee Chair Judy Neubauer, PhD represented the ATS at a public meeting of the VA Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee.  The committee, chaired by Dr. Wayne W. Grody, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and pediatrics at the University of California, is being charged by VA Secretary Nicholson to recommend policies to gather and use both genetic and other medical information for medical care and research.  The committee is expected to help lay the groundwork for future development of a comprehensive genomic medicine program for VA.

Points of Contact

Gary Ewart Senior Director, Government Relations
Nuala Moore Senior Legislative Representative
Joe Kirby DC Office Administrator