AOA MORE receives CMS’ Qualified Clinical Data Registry designation

AOA MORE receives CMS’ Qualified Clinical Data Registry designation

Earning a crucial Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) distinction, AOA's newest member benefit delivers a quality measures reporting tool that saves users immeasurable time and money.

"Doctors of optometry give great care, now AOA MORE helps them to report that great care seamlessly through their EHR."

AOA MORE (Measures and Outcomes Registry for Eyecare), by Prometheus Research, received CMS approval as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) for the 2016 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) reporting year. This important recognition places AOA MORE in the same category as other medical professions' clinical data registries.

Jeffrey Michaels, O.D., AOA Quality Improvement & Registries Committee chair, says this CMS acknowledgement is a great accomplishment for AOA—one that ensures members will be able to participate in quality initiatives for PQRS and future quality reporting initiatives.

"Doctors of optometry—who have EHR systems integrated into AOA MORE—can simplify their lives by registering for our QCDR and allowing it to process their PQRS measures," Dr. Michaels says.

He adds, "QCDR covers quality measures across multiple payers and is not limited to Medicare. We are seeing commercial medical insurance strive for quality-driven payments, and this registry will seat our members at the center of that paradigm change."

CMS defines a QCDR as an approved entity that collects medical and/or clinical data for the purpose of patient and disease tracking to foster improvement in the quality of care provided to patients. A QCDR will complete the collection and submission of PQRS data on behalf of doctors, helping them satisfactorily report and avoid penalties. Those who satisfactorily report for the 2016 program year will avoid the 2018 PQRS negative payment adjustment of -2.0 percent.

The QCDR designation means AOA MORE will seamlessly integrate data from users' EHR and submit that 2016 PQRS data to CMS on doctors' behalf. By doing so, doctors will no longer have to report additional "claims-based" codes or be forced to report measures that may not be applicable to their practice based on EHR limitations. As long as doctors properly document in their EHR, AOA MORE is programmed to appropriately report PQRS measures. Users will be required to formally "agree to submit" this data to PQRS when it's time to do so—for 2016, this occurs during the first 60 days of 2017—and AOA MORE will notify doctors of this deadline. It should be noted that if the EHR system a doctor uses is not yet integrated with AOA MORE, other methods of reporting should be used to avoid any future payment penalties. Doctors can use EHR-based reporting, claims-based reporting, qualified registry reporting or one of the Group Practice Reporting Options to meet the CMS PQRS reporting requirements. AOA MORE will eventually have most EHR systems integrated so doctors of optometry will be able to easily use the registry for reporting in future years.

Click here to read frequently asked questions regarding AOA MORE and PQRS.

Ahead of a Feb. 29, 2016, enrollment deadline to demonstrate "active engagement" in a specialized data registry for the 2016 EHR Incentive Program year, more than 6,500 active AOA-member doctors enrolled with AOA MORE—more than half the number of physicians currently enrolled in the American Academy of Ophthalmology's IRIS® Registry, which launched in 2014, in less than half the time.

The immediate response from doctors of optometry to AOA MORE reflects the profession's determination to maintain a leading-edge role in patient care and to be a force into the future on health care quality improvement.

"Medicare and other payers are stressing quality care, quality reporting and quality outcomes," Dr. Michaels says. "Doctors of optometry give great care—now AOA MORE helps them to report that great care and those outcomes seamlessly through their EHR."

Miss the Feb. 29 deadline? What to do now

  • New to meaningful use? You may still have time. If 2016 is a doctor's first year participating in the EHR Incentive Program, then they still have until Dec. 1, 2016, to register with AOA MORE. The CMS deadline for registering with a registry is 60 days into the doctor's reporting period. For doctors new to the program, the deadline would be 60 days into the doctor's chosen 90-day reporting period. The final reporting period of the year will begin on Oct. 2, 2016, which would make Dec. 1, 2016, the last day to register with AOA MORE for the 2016 reporting period.

    For doctors who previously participated in the EHR Incentive Program (in any other year), Feb. 29, 2016, was 60 days into the required, full-year reporting period.

  • If I missed the 60-day deadline, what can I do? To attest to meeting the EHR Incentive Program requirements, doctors must demonstrate "active engagement" with a registry. There are three options for demonstrating "active engagement:"

    1. Doctors must register within 60 days of their reporting period to submit data to the registry. This was accomplished by signing up for AOA MORE before Feb. 29, 2016.

    2. Doctors must be in the process of testing and validating the electronic submission of data. This is done by signing up for AOA MORE and starting the process of testing EHR data submission to the registry.

    3. Doctors must complete testing and validation of the electronic submission and are electronically submitting production data to the registry. This is done by signing up for AOA MORE, sending data to the registry and viewing data on doctors' own AOA MORE dashboard.

    Once a doctor is registered with AOA MORE, AOA will reach out to the doctor to begin the testing and validation process. The kickoff of testing and validation may take a few days or months depending on the doctor's EHR system and their status with AOA MORE. Once testing and validation occurs, AOA will notify doctors of key milestones that must be met in accordance with CMS' EHR Incentive Program requirements. As AOA MORE integrates with additional EHRs, AOA will work to move doctors into the testing and validation stage or the data production stage. Therefore, members who missed the Feb. 29 deadline to register may still be able to meet the specialized reporting measure through options 2 or 3. Register now and work with AOA MORE to test, validate or submit data in the coming months.

  • Prepared for 2017? By signing up for AOA MORE in 2016, doctors can meet the meaningful use specialized registry reporting requirement for 2017. Signing up in 2016 allows doctors to continue to be engaged with AOA MORE as a specialized registry for any meaningful use year that follows.

Even if AOA MORE doesn't currently support doctors' EHR, it's important to enroll as new vendors will be brought online according to member demand. Here's what doctors need to know about enrollment.

Click here to read about five steps to take once you're enrolled with AOA MORE.

April 7, 2016

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