stethoscope on the ECGThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved two new Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) measures and 16 non-PQRS measures developed by the American Society of Anesthesiologists and its affiliate, Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI). That brings the total to 36 reporting measures physician anesthesiologists can now choose from when participating in the ASA Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR).

“The new measures empower physician anesthesiologists to report on measures that matter to their patients and their practices,” said ASA President J.P. Abenstein, M.S.E.E., M.D. “In a health care world that is moving quickly toward quality-based payment, this is an important step for the Society to help its members and anesthesia professionals everywhere.”

These changes allow physician anesthesiologists to report on things like pain assessment, patient temperature management before, during and after surgery, timely administration of antibiotics, completion of surgical safety checklists prior to anesthesia, and patient follow-up.

The QCDR registry, called ASA QCDR, is one of only 40 entities to achieve the designation where participants select performance measures aimed at improving patient care and safety. CMS certified AQI’s National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR) as a QCDR in 2014.

NACOR tracks patient and disease data to improve quality of care and report physician performance.

“The QCDR designation has been pivotal to improving quality reporting,” said AQI Executive Director Richard Dutton, M.D., M.B.A. “ASA can now select and develop its own physician performance measures, rather than being limited to the measures approved by CMS. With 36 measures covering a variety of anesthesia cases and patient types, ASA and AQI are well positioned to help providers improve patient care, as well as avoid penalties for 2015 reporting.”

Physician anesthesiologists who don’t satisfactorily report PQRS in 2015 will receive payment penalties of 2 percent in 2017 with an additional negative 2-4 percent Value-Based Payment Modifier (based upon practice size) assessed on their claims for the year.