- The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) announced the development of new quality improvement tools for meeting federal regulations and reporting requirements in an article published in its eponymous journal.
ABFM developed the revised Performance Improvement Activity (PIA) platform after receiving an influx of requests for more flexible options in data reporting that support a wider range of quality domains.
“In addition, with the development of the PRIME registry, ABFM needed a vehicle for accepting electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) for use in [eligible clinicians] performance improvement activities as well other reporting needs (e.g., Physicians Quality Reporting System, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System),” wrote ABFM Senior Vice President Michael Hagen, MD.
The PRIME clinical data registry is designed to satisfy MIPS data submission requirements for 2017 and also functions as an approved Qualified Clinical Data Registry for both individual eligible professionals and GPROs in Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).
Apart from the Qualified Clinical Data Registry for eCQMs, the PRIME registry system also includes an extraction tool to pull data from EHRs and data warehouses for storage.
To further assist clinicians in meeting reporting requirements, the revised PIA platform works in conjunction with PRIME to support a varied spectrum of quality domains and comes with instructional materials informing users of quality improvement methods.
“We worked with consultants from Case Western Reserve University to develop these materials, and we have integrated them into the product to provide contextually appropriate guidance throughout,” stated Hagen. “The platform provides tools and resources for identifying performance gaps, developing and implementing quality improvement plans, and accomplishing the reporting needs described earlier.”
Eligible clinicians not yet participating in the PRIME registry can also make use of the platform through manual data entry.
Currently, the PIA platform supports 49 eCQMs aligned with measure codes according to CMS for Physicians Quality Reporting System reporting.
The platform also offers clinicians web-based resources for implementing quality improvement plans.
“The platform organizes these resources by category included in the Chronic Care Model: clinical information systems, decision support, delivery system design, self-management support, and community resources and policies,” wrote Hagen. “
Clinicians can enter the system and select the measures necessary for creating a performance improvement project and developing an intervention plan based on available resources.
ABFM is also in the process of developing a population health management assessment tool (PHAsT) through a collaboration with the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The population health management tool will be added to the platform to address social determinants of health among the patient population that could potentially impact quality improvement efforts.
According to ABFM, PIA development will be an ongoing, ever-evolving process.
“We anticipated that family physicians and their organizations would develop increasing knowledge of and facility with quality improvement methodology over the years, and that the PIA platform could likewise evolve to support these more sophisticated efforts,” added Hagen.
ABFM’s development of tools to assist eligible clinicians working on quality improvement activities and meeting federal reporting requirements comes at a crucial point.
The improvement activities performance category within MIPS is the only entirely new category introduced to providers this year.
CMS already anticipates providers will need a little extra guidance to understand and meet the requirements of this category. The federal organization issued a fact sheet earlier this year offering clinicians additional insight into what the MIPS improvement activities performance category entails.
The PIA platform and its accompanying web-based resources advising providers on proper implementation of quality improvement plans is a positive step toward mitigating any confusion.