How the measures work
What exactly are these “measures” and how are they used?
Simply put, to earn the incentive payments—and to avoid penalties—providers must send data to CMS by March 31, 2018 explaining how the practice used EHR technology. Providers who do so can earn their incentive payments or payment adjustments in 2019.
The electronic measures developed by Dr. Mehlhaff and Parker on behalf of LUGPA can be used as templates to make the reporting process easier.
“Depending on the service, the physician puts in information and the EHR translates it to a code,” Parker said. “For example, if a patient has diabetes out of control, the template will exclude him from the measure. A man with BPH has voiding symptoms, but so do diabetics and it may not necessarily be due to their prostate. The urologist doesn’t want to go into great detail about their diabetes, so this template automatically excludes them. You just do that with a data entry and it’s automatically carried forward so the physician doesn’t have to keep entering that information.”
Using the bone density evaluation measure, the urologist can easily indicate whether or not a bone density scan was performed on a patient on androgen deprivation therapy, Dr. Mehlhaff explained.
“It’s a relevant measure because the vast majority of urologists didn’t learn about osteoporosis, but we are actually creating it,” he said. “So it’s valid that we would manage this. I view this as a relatively simply measure to comply with, and I would guess that urologists are fairly amiss at paying attention to this currently.”
“CMS likes you to look at things that are preventive,” added Parker, “because that reduces disease, poor outcomes, and cost.”
By doing this scan and identifying osteoporosis, you’re preventing fractures, reducing cost, reducing pain. After all, when our patients have fractures, their lives can spiral downward quickly.”
The bladder cancer measure helps providers report accurately on the treatments provided to these patients, she added, explaining that it automatically excludes patients whose immune systems have been compromised or if they have active tuberculosis, for example.
“The important thing here is that these eClinical Quality Measures are being developed by urologists regarding things that are pertinent to urologists,” said Dr. Mehlhaff. “And since we are doing this in conjunction with LUGPA, they are measures that every urologist in the country can use and take advantage of.”
Dr. Shore added, “LUGPA has made it a priority to continue leading initiatives in value-based care in order to advance all of our urology colleagues whether practicing within independent or academic practice settings.”
For more details on the Quality Payment Program, visit qpp.cms.gov.
More from Urology Times:
Subscribe to Urology Times to get monthly news from the leading news source for urologists.