Why quality reporting is important to ASCs

high quality and low cost

Having the ability to compare quality measures for procedures such as a colonoscopy to a national average is an invaluable tool that can provide ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), endoscopy centers and physicians with quantitative proof that they are the best option when it comes to patient care.

“GI is kind of unique because they have, for a long time, worked on establishing standard quality measures for GI,” said Kathy Wilson, vice president of clinical quality services, “So they are well ingrained in having common quality metrics that everybody is familiar with.”

Through AMSURG’s collaboration with GIQuIC, centers and physicians can report and compare quality measures on gastrointestinal (GI) procedures, creating a standard of excellent care provided to patients.

GIQuIC formed in 2005 as an affiliation between the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) to establish a quality registry for GI. Registries are data repositories which can be analyzed to detect patterns and trends that can improve the process and outcomes for patient care.

AMSURG started collaborating with GIQuIC in 2011, and established a special relationship for AMSURG physicians by creating a standard process for centers to be added to the GIQuIC registry.

“We were kind of the first line of technology support for our centers that would go on GIQuIC,” Wilson said. “We have more than 60 centers [on GIQuIC], and our records are almost 25 percent of the whole record base in GIQuIC.”

The GIQuIC registry has rapidly grown in the past few years from only 100,000 procedures in 2012 to a 1.5 million procedures today. The data in GIQuIC provides a benchmark for physicians and ASCs and sharing this data with the doctors can drive improvement in quality. Research from the American Journal of Gastroenterology suggests that distribution of report cards and establishment of standards of practice can significantly improve quality measures such as adenoma detection rates.

Adenoma detection rate (ADR) is a standard measure that is considered one of the most important for GIs. The higher a physician’s adenoma detection rate, the more likely he or she will detect and remove a precancerous polyp during a colonoscopy. A high detection rate also usually means that a physician produces higher quality colonoscopy with fewer cases of colon cancer among his or her patients. It has been reported that each one percent increase in adenoma detection rate is associated with a three percent decrease in the risk of cancer (Adenoma Detection Rate and Risk of Colorectal Cancer and Death).

“Consumers don’t know what they need to know regarding quality,” said Rich Palumbo, vice president of field marketing. “We have a rare opportunity to frame the conversation. Consumers don’t know what ADR is or what it means, but we have the ability to educate and compare ours to national averages.”

With the data available on GIQuIC AMSURG is also able to show managed care payers very concrete data to prove quality and to use that to better compete in a pay for quality environment and to drive business to AMSURG centers and physicians.

“Without [data from GIQuIC], it will be difficult to compete for preferred status in tiered or narrow networks,” said Mark Wainner, vice president of financial operations and revenue management. “We have to educate [payers] on the value of our data because we know which indicators are most important. We can utilize the data to better compete in an environment where better outcomes differentiate ourselves from the competition.”

AMSURG encourages their centers to give the physicians their own report cards, as well as post their overall GIQuIC results in the center.  AMSURG is also including some GIQuIC information in benchmarking reports that go out to all ASCs.

“They’ll know how they compare to other centers, but most of the improvement really comes from the physicians knowing what their results are and maybe establishing standards for their own practice or for their center,” Wilson said.