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    How to measure up for value-based care

    Peer comparisons and benchmarking through specialty registries are essential for physicians as healthcare transitions to value-based payment models. More importantly though, leveraging the insight offered through registries will not only earn government incentives through the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), it will help elevate physician performance and provide the best quality care for patients.

    Because quality data is critical to physician ranking in value-based care, electronic health records (EHRs) and information exchange platforms that support participation in specialty registries are important. Few industry resources can deliver the depth of data related to a specific specialty, disease or condition as a registry; providers increasingly need access to this information for population health initiatives and quality outcome comparisons.

    As they develop a framework for value-based care, physicians should follow four key steps to incorporate data:

    Step 1: Identify which types of data are submitted to specific registries. 

    Registries accept many outcome measurements for comparison. However, metrics that have a direct impact on value-based payments now are those associated with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and MIPS. The size of a physician’s MIPS performance bonus is based on the performance of her or his peers, so registries can offer insight into how much the physician may collect from Medicare in coming years. (Just be aware that not all registries accept MIPS quality data yet.)

    Step 2: Search registries relevant to your specialty.

    Most, but not all, clinical specialties have a registry that is typically managed by a leading specialty society. Search specialty association websites and research groups for help locating registries relevant to your practice.

    Step 3: Choose a quality metric and compare scores at the individual provider level.

    Whether it is for MIPS, another value-based care program or just outcomes performance improvement, physicians can use registry and benchmarking data as a tool to transform their practice. Remember to return to the site often to gauge progress.

    Step 4: Leverage industry benchmarks to develop a quality-reporting framework.

    Based on strengths and weaknesses compared to industry benchmarks, practices can set clear targets to help their physicians confidently and efficiently improve performance. A practice can also configure its EHR to drive workflow interventions—such as alerts or new documentation requirements—to help keep quality performance improvement in the forefront. 

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