AUA Quality Registry (AQUA) Program Information
A Physician-Friendly Disease Registry
The AQUA Registry is a physician-friendly registry that utilizes data extracted directly from an electronic health record (EHR). Patient information and clinical data are automatically extracted, transformed and loaded into the AQUA Registry from the practice sites' EHR systems, thus resulting in little data entry burden for participating physicians.
How AQUA Registry Data Will Be Used
National and comparative data generated by the AQUA Registry supports guideline-informed physician practice, and evidence-based decision support mechanisms. It also provides participating urologists feedback regarding their individual- and/or practice-level performance on a range of process and outcome quality measures, benchmarked against their peers at national and regional levels. For physicians, these data will help them meet both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) reporting and potentially regional and national certification requirements. For government policy-makers, the AQUA Registry will provide further understanding around patient safety, costs of care and system effectiveness.
Identifiable patient information collected by the AQUA Registry is stored on a secure Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant cloud server. Each practice will receive a private report showing their performance with benchmarking comparisons of national or regional statistics.
To participate in the AQUA Registry, your urology practice must:
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Be a Prostate Cancer Care Provider
While initial focus of the registry is on prostate cancer, plans are underway to expand to other urological conditions.
Use an EHR System
The Registry is designed to fit seamlessly into your clinical practice workflow and minimize the time spent on data entry.
Sign a Business Associate/Data Use and Registry Participation Agreement
Business associate/data use and Registry participation agreements address HIPAA requirements for the collection of patient data as well as outline what the AUA and the participating practices agree to provide.
Benefits of participating in the AQUA Registry include:
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Physician Reimbursement Support
As healthcare in the United States continues its rapid transition to a value-based system in which providers are paid based on treatment outcomes, quality of care, efficiency and patient satisfaction, the AQUA Registry will provide a means for providers to track these parameters.
The AQUA Registry was developed to meet CMS Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDR) and the traditional PQRS requirements. In 2016, the AUA will apply for QCDR/PQRS status and users will be able to submit quality measures more easily to CMS and other private insurers for reimbursement should they choose to do so.
PQRS was introduced by CMS to evaluate patient outcomes and quality of care. PQRS and QCDRs are key vehicles to automate the reporting of data to qualify for Medicare reimbursement. Private payers are also moving to collect these quality measures to evaluate providers.
The AQUA Registry qualifies as a specialized registry as defined by CMS under Objective 10, measure 3.
AQUA Registry allows eligible professionals to meet the measure under the public health objective of Stage 2, objective 10 under measure 3 pertaining to active engagement to submit data to a specialized registry.
Provider must be in active engagement to submit data.
Levels of Active engagement options:
- Option 1: Completed registration
- Option 2: Testing and validation
- Option 3: Production
Eligible professionals (EPs) will receive meaningful use credit by completing AUA’s business associate/data use and Registry Participation agreements.
Physician Performance Reports
The AQUA Registry will enable users to view their performance based on clinically validated, comparative and patient-reported outcome data.
Treatment and Outcome Association
The AQUA Registry will aid physicians in the reporting and tracking of treatment outcomes, quality of care, and patient outcomes through quality measures.
National Benchmarks for Diagnosis and Treatment
To date, there are no national urologic disease registries. Prostate cancer registries exist at the University of California, San Francisco (the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor, aka CaPSURE), and the University of Michigan (the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative, aka MUSIC).
As of November 2015, the AQUA Registry covers providers from 33 US States and territories from private practices to large health systems and academic centers and is the only specialty-wide urologic registry that can generate national benchmarks.
Patient-Reported Outcomes (PRO)
The AQUA Registry is the only urologic repository that will collect and report patient-reported outcomes as a reliable source of data to measure patient outcomes and care quality.
Cross-specialty Practice Pattern and Outcome Comparison
National data from the AQUA Registry will be used to generate regular reports summarizing local practice patterns and treatment outcomes and compare each practice's patterns with others across the nation. The reports could also be used to identify process-of-care variables that may correlate with key patient outcomes. Plans are underway to publish a national report, Prostate Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment and Outcomes in the United States.
Data are stored on a secure, protected server and comply with all applicable regulations. The AUA's utmost priority is to maintain the confidentiality of patient information.
The AQUA Registry currently does not charge for participation. However, this is subject to change at the discretion of the AUA Board of Directors. Any fee introduced in the future would be communicated in advance through the AUA and may be used to cover individual user access to the information system or mapping to EHR data fields.