Last year, AOA MORE (Measures and Outcomes Registry for Eyecare) celebrated a milestone—surpassing the 7,000—mark for number of doctors of optometry enrolled.
That's 7,000 doctors who will be leveraging the secure database to improve patient outcomes with evidence-based best practices. There were other milestones in 2017, as data started flowing to a growing number of doctors of optometry.
Yet, members of the AOA Quality Improvement and Registries Committee, which oversees AOA MORE, are expecting more in 2018, as it helps doctors leverage their registry data under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) launched a year ago.
Zachary McCarty, O.D., chair of the AOA's Quality Improvement and Registries Committee, and Jeffrey Michaels, O.D., immediate past chair, share what lies ahead for AOA MORE.
What are the immediate goals of the AOA MORE registry?
Dr. McCarty: To onboard as many doctors of optometry as possible and help these enrollees with meeting the current MIPS Quality and Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIA) requirements for doctors of optometry to show their participation in overall public health initiatives and avoid any penalties in 2019. Meeting the Centers' for Medicare & Medicaid Services CPIA measures is the mere tip of the iceberg. The committee intends to use AOA MORE to help collect real-world data that can then be used to formulate optometry-specific quality measures; collect data on patient outcomes; provide surveillance on potential infectious outbreaks; and gain data to use in advocating on behalf of the profession.
Dr. Michaels: AOA MORE was developed to help optometry improve overall eye health and vision care. Analyzing how we care for glaucoma, amblyopia, contact lens care and other conditions we see every day and then finding ways to improve on that care—that's the big-picture view of AOA MORE.
What value does the registry bring to doctors of optometry and their patients?
Dr. McCarty: The registry allows doctors of optometry to compare their practice patterns with others across the U.S. and use that information to help transform how they practice. In the future, it also will help to highlight best practices associated with AOA's evidence-based practice guidelines, such as the ones already released on diabetes, adult eye care and pediatric eye examinations. For patients, the registry will give the profession access to information on what works best for patient care.
Dr. Michaels: Doctors of optometry will have the ability to quickly view analytics on their practice, including patient demographics, medications prescribed, and quality data instrumental for MIPS. Future updates in AOA MORE will look to more quickly analyze glaucoma care and other advanced scope techniques.
Why should doctors enroll in AOA MORE if they aren't required to participate in MIPS?
Dr. McCarty: Even if a doctor of optometry is not required to participate due to MIPS, 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. It is about optometry advocating for optometry and not letting others write the narrative of our important role within public health.
Dr. Michaels: Every doctor chose this profession because he or she wanted to help people in some way. Participation in AOA MORE helps the profession improve how we care for patients—it's at the heart and soul of why every individual became a doctor. The AOA will use AOA MORE to help the public, legislators and our patients better understand the care that doctors of optometry provide.
What questions will be answered with the data from MIPS?
Dr. Michaels: Individual doctors of optometry will be able to see how they are performing on quality measures within MIPS. The quality component of MIPS is the highest weighted category, which means you need to perform well in quality to achieve the highest possible MIPS scores. AOA members will see their MIPS quality measures updated weekly on their AOA MORE dashboard. You also can use AOA MORE as your activity for the CPIA and for portions of the Advancing Care Information section.
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.
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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.