Registry 101: Optometric registry coming in 2013December 19, 2012
By Jeff Michaels, O.D., chair of the AOA Registry Committee, and Coby Ramsey, O.D., Registry Committee member
Editor’s note: This is the first of a four-part series.
The AOA has been evaluating the potential for a health care registry in eye care since 2008. Health care registries have been used to improve patient outcomes, and their use in health professions has been expanding for years. Medicare has indicated reporting to registries is an integral part of improving population and public health in all health professions and has broadened registry use for future meaningful-use requirements.
What is a registry?
In simplest terms, a registry is a database. More comprehensively, a registry provides a systematic way of collecting information that allows health care to be evaluated to improve outcomes and procedures. This information helps determine best practices based on evidence. Medicare allows registries to be used to submit quality measures in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).
Why do I need a registry?
The goal of a registry is to improve health care outcomes. Registries can determine disease prevalence for your own patient population and best treatment options available per disease.
Registries can also help identify populations or conditions that may be underserved in specific locations, allowing for an individual OD’s expansion of service.
Registries offer evidence-based clinical decision support to assist optometrists in their patient settings. And registries help benchmark one (without identifying doctor or patient data) with his or her peers.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has stated that PQRS reporting through registries yields higher reimbursement than standard paper claims.
Who is using registries?
Registries have many general applications: marriage registries; baby registries; sex-offender registries; canine registries. Health care organizations are using registries to improve patient outcomes and doctors’ ability to provide care.
The National Cancer Institute, American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology are some examples of health care association registry users. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) uses a registry for PQRS data submission. In fact, the AAO has created registry-only PQRS codes for cataract surgery outcomes that were approved by the CMS and are limited to ophthalmologists’ use. An optometry registry is designed to assist doctors in real-time with clinical decisions, quality improvement, tracking outcomes and patient retention.
The AOA Clinical Resources Group with the assistance of the Registry Committee is currently developing the optometric registry, expected to be released in 2013. Stay tuned for part two of this four-part series. For more information, contact Danette Miller, AOA manager of Quality Improvement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.