The American Urological Association’s (AUA’s) Quality Department is responding to the increasing emphasis by both the federal government and private insurers on the use of quality performance measurement for reimbursement. Through the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) Committee, the AUA has been instrumental in the formulation of urologic-specific measures. Prostate cancer measures are now included in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Measures on stress urinary incontinence are in development in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the AUA is collaborating with other organizations on additional measure development. Moreover, QIPS has designed and gathered a series of resources to help urologists participate in quality reporting programs such as PQRS.
The AUA’s Data Department is a new component of the recently created Division of Science and Quality. Its focus is on the collection and analysis of data on quality measures to support the practice of urology and to document the effectiveness and value of urologic procedures/interventions/practices in improving public health. The Department is comprised of highly experienced staff working under the direction of the AUA Data Committee, a group of approximately 10 urologists with expertise in data analysis, research and quality improvement projects. The Committee identifies project priorities, including both short-term studies and longer-term initiatives, such as a patient registry and exploration of several databases appropriate for urology.
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