AOA MORE reports first patient data, helps MIPS providers attest
'AOA MORE than measures' is an apt explanation of how optometry's registry is not only helping doctors meet Medicare quality requirements, but also advocating for the profession, one dataset at a time.
That's the positive message Zachary McCarty, O.D., AOA Quality Improvement and Registries Committee chair, delivered at AOA's House of Delegates during Optometry's Meeting® in June: AOA MORE (Measures and Outcomes Registry for Eyecare) is aggregating critical data nationwide that underscores the profession's primary care role, protecting payments under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) new Quality Payment Programs (QPPs) and, more importantly, ensuring quality patient care.
"Each physician should want to help contribute to the data that will support the evidence of the important role optometry plays in patients' eye care and vision health," Dr. McCarty says. "It is about optometry advocating for optometry and not letting others write the narrative of our important role within public health."
In that regard, AOA MORE's first release of patient aggregate data shows optometry is letting the data speak for itself; more than 1.2 million patients and 650,000 patient encounters from 2,150 providers nationwide are already logged in the registry. That dataset is just the 'tip of the iceberg' when it comes to information optometry can use to advocate for the profession.
Below are several trends already identified by AOA MORE.
AOA MORE: Top 10 diagnoses
- Type 2 diabetes, without complications.
- Regular astigmatism.
- Nuclear cataract.
- Dry eye.
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
AOA MORE: Top 10 prescribed medications
More on MIPS
Developed to help optometry improve overall eye health and vision care, AOA MORE is recognized by CMS as a clinical qualified data registry (QCDR) that can help eligible providers meet Medicare quality reported measures required under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
In 2017, 601 doctors of optometry used AOA MORE to complete their first 2017 MIPS data submission and attestation, helping them avoid at least $721,000 in penalties, Dr. McCarty said. That's because AOA MORE, itself, supports two Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIAs) -participation in a QCDR that promotes use of patient engagement tools and participation in a QCDR that promotes collaborative learning network opportunities that are interactive. Additionally, AOA MORE assists MIPS-eligible doctors of optometry with a dashboard that scores doctors' MIPS quality measures scores, helping doctors assess their current performance.
Although fewer doctors of optometry are required to participate in the 2018 MIPS reporting cycle due to CMS' changes to the eligibility threshold, AOA estimates 4,793 doctors of optometry are still required to report MIPS data or face a 5% penalty assessed in 2020. Unsure of your Quality Payment Program participation status? Access CMS' lookup tool and enter your 10-digit National Provider Identifier number to see if you're required to submit and attest data.
Those MIPS-eligible doctors of optometry can access AOA's dedicated MIPS Support Team for assistance, education and newly updated guidance for the 2018 cycle, including:
- The 2018 MIPS Guidebook: A Road Map to Success for Doctors of Optometry
- The 2018 MIPS Guidebook for Non-EHR Users: Evaluating and Tracking your Progress
Want additional MIPS resources? Contact the AOA MIPS Support Team by emailing email@example.com and adding "MIPS Support" in the subject line.
"This support alone provides enough value to be an AOA member," Dr. McCarty echoed the comments of a MIPS-eligible doctor using the AOA hotline.
Are you using AOA MORE?
Almost 7,500 AOA member doctors are enrolled with AOA MORE, leveraging its reporting power in MIPS and contributing crucial patient health data that helps support the important role optometry plays in Americans' eye care and vision health. AOA MORE provides clear, solid evidence that the profession is delivering robust patient care at a time when data is the crux of public health strategies and initiatives.
The AOA will use the time to evaluate its collection efforts and create a registry for the future that is most useful to improving eye health and vision care. The AOA launched the registry in 2015.
Even if you’re choosing to disengage, today’s politics have a way of finding you. What are the ground rules for approaching political debates in the practice?
Under new rules for the 21st Century Cures Act, doctors of optometry will need to prepare for changes going into effect April 5. Doctors should check in with their health IT vendor in order to make sure they meet the new requirements.