David Letterman may be gone from regular late-night television, but his Top 10 shtick is still a favorite well past a time when the younger crowd cannot recall who made it popular.  What’s not going away is the Quality Payment Program (QPP) and thankfully, it includes Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDR) to personalize and optimize the quality measure reporting experience.  QCDRs primarily support specialty provider types for whom the general, non-specific measures of QPP are neither relevant nor meaningful to the type of patients or medicine practiced.

So, if QPP measures for your practice are wanting, take heed the “Top 10” reasons you and your practice should be using a QCDR.

#1:  It beats the hell out of hoping to find a useful measure.

AKA The square peg in a round hole conundrum.  This is the core issue.  Many specialties are poorly represented in the general QPP measure offerings.  Find a QCDR that speaks your specialty’s language and offers measures to put you in the driver’s seat.

# 2:  It’s better than letting your EMR do it for you—or NOT!! 

EMRs can for QPP report on 64 quality measures.  There are over 270.  EMRs don’t do real-time reporting AND their reporting frameworks are not customized.  No customization and no way during the year to know whether you are succeeding… And, did I mention, they know when the year is done if you passed.  Nutty option.

#3: Using the carrot vs. stick metaphor, these are homegrown carrots.  

Successfully report more measures and make more money. That is a good carrot. Successfully report measures designed for the way you practice medicine that improves patient outcomes while demonstrating efficacy of care modalities lacking scientific evidence… carrot number two. A QCDR is your partner to make more money but maybe, more importantly, demonstrate value and evidence-based outcomes. 

#4:  It’s not just plug and play and hope.

Your QCDR works for and with you.  At the risk of being redundant, any QCDR worth their salt knows your specialty, your needs, and provides (for you) real-time feedback so you and your team can make necessary clinical adjustments to improve care and outcomes. Real time reporting (vs. end-of-year data-dumping) gives instant feedback on which to take corrective clinical action.  That’s the goal, that’s a reality, why do anything else?

#5:  Don’t like what’s on the menu—we’ll make something just for you.  

Homemade food is the best.  Eating what you love makes the experience even better.  If you can’t find a measure that really works for you, work with a QCDR to author customized measures. It really can be that simple.  

#6:  You don’t like being told “no.” Often, national quality committees create the measures.  

The likelihood of the whole committee agreeing to adjust it is slim to none.  Don’t take “no” for an answer. Write your own measures.  Better yet, tell your friends and colleagues so they can use them too.  If you think a measure is missing, you’re likely not alone and with QCDR can control reporting destiny.

#7:  Being in control is more fun.  

Seriously folks, who doesn’t like being in charge?  Control your destiny and land at the front of the pack to get bonus money by using a QCDR to manage outcomes reporting and data analytics.  You like being in control.  It’s ok…we understand and we like it.

# 8:  You have a favorite clinical obsession, but are too embarrassed to talk about it.  

QCDRs are typically more nimble than a registry and more skilled at adapting to client needs. If a special measure gets you excited, don’t be embarrassed to let a QCDR partner in on your little secret.

#9:  You got burned in your last relationship.  

Transparency… in any relationship… is a must. Too many providers were unsuccessful at Meaningful Use, PQRS, and other government programs. Burned once, hesitance is normal. Especially in 2017 with “participate at your own pace” options, it is easier than ever to get back in the QPP game, And, with even just one QCDR element that is meaningful to your unique practice, improve care while mitigating payment penalty.

#10:  You like to know where you stand in a relationship.  

Knowing your partner’s expectations helps create a well-managed communication system.  AND it makes the ability to understand one another, a priority.  Ongoing, real-time reporting/feedback with benchmarks against peers… over an extended period of time… allows the QCDR relationship to blossom.

In the end, leaving MIPS/QPP reporting to chance is akin to not paying attention to your job, schoolwork, or any relationship. Lack of attention or focus can result in the outcome being surprising, negative, and costly.  Avoid costly, negative, or surprising performance by working with a QCDR to master customized measures, targeting your specialized clinical competencies. Free yourself to focus on patients and identifying clinical areas that make a positive impact within your practice and on the local healthcare community.