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AQUIRE Questions

Questions & Answers

What is a clinical registry?

A clinical registry is an organized system that collects uniform data (clinical and patient-reported) to evaluate specified outcomes for a population defined by a particular condition. With the increasing usage of EHRs, registries have emerged as valuable solutions for harnessing the power of information technology to capture statistically-relevant, evidence-based data to aid in decisions regarding the most optimal patient care. Such registries are already being successfully used within other medical specialties and medical associations, including the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

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Why is AUGS providing this technology resource?

AUGS is committed to continually improving and innovating patient care for women suffering with pelvic floor disorders. With the increasing adoption of EHRs and other advances in technology, physicians now have the ability to perform their own data analysis to inform better clinical decision-making. Using disease registries in this manner is the future of medicine, as evidenced by the success of the registries developed by the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The timing is right for urogynecologists to be among the early adopters in strategically deploying information technology to drive quality improvement.

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Is AQUIRE being developed as part of the Accountable Care Act or other government mandate?

Clinical data registries pre-date healthcare reform by two decades. They are not mandated as part of health care reform, however with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implement the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2016 which will move physician payment more to quality and value-based payments, participation in a quality-focused registry will help health care providers in reporting quality data to CMS for these programs. Registry participation will still be voluntary for the Medicare program, however; it will provide you with clinical data that allows you to benchmark your performance and drive improvement in patient outcomes.

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Is AUGS capable of delivering a quality information technology solution?

AUGS is partnering with FIGmd, Inc. to develop AQUIRE, the AUGS Urogynecology Quality Registry. FIGmd, specializes in integrating EHRs with registries, and has developed and maintained registries for the American College of Cardiology and the AUA and has completed integration projects for more than 50 major EHRs and is capable of working quickly with new EHR systems.

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How will it affect my practice workflow?

AQUIRE has been designed to minimize your participation overhead and time spent on data entry while immediately delivering valuable tools that your practice can use. Many clinical registries include laborious data entry, confusing technology and little immediate return on effort. AQUIRE avoids these problems.

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What data would I have access to as an AQUIRE participant?

AQUIRE allows you to run quality reports that provide clinician-, practice- and national-level results for all measures. Each participant has access to their own performance data. In addition, registry participants can compare their performance and outcomes to similar practices at the regional and national level. It is also possible to generate comparative analysis within a physician’s own practice.

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Is it necessary to have an EHR system to participate in AQUIRE?

At this time, the AQUIRE Registry does not integrate with any Electronic Health Record systems but it is a user-friendly, web-based data entry tool designed to reduce the burden of data entry. We anticipate the AQUIRE Registry to integrate with EHRs by 2019. 

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Can the registry data be used for the Merit Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting?

Yes. For calendar year 2017 AQUIRE is approved as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) to help practices report clinical quality data for increased physician reimbursement.

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How can AQUIRE inform me about my patient population?

You'll be able to monitor patient care, track interventions and evaluate outcomes at a population level. AQUIRE allows users to run queries based on the demographics of your patient population for those conditions addressed in AQUIRE.

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What identifiable points will be associated with my data?

Practices/providers that join AQUIRE enter into an agreement with FIGmd, which includes a HIPAA-compliant Business Associate Agreement. Personal Health Information and identifiable provider information will be captured and stored by AQUIRE in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations, though AQUIRE will not have read access to any identifiable provider or practice data.

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Who will have access to my data?

AQUIRE collects, stores and reports data on a provider’s behalf, taking every measure possible to safeguard it. AUGS' technology partner, FIGmd, is compliant with all local and federal regulations governing these areas, including HIPAA provisions and the recently updated provisions as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.

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How will AUGS use the data in AQUIRE?

Based on the aggregate data, AUGS will be able to publish benchmarks that can be used to assess a urogynecologists’ outcomes, practice patterns and utilization of new technology to look at overall trends in the patient population. AQUIRE data will begin to identify gaps in practice patterns which will provide AUGS with insights into future educational programming and service offerings for members.

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Can or will data from AQUIRE be used by any health plans to evaluate physician performance?

This is not a planned feature.

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