Another value of the measures groups for otolaryngologists could be to fulfill Part IV of the American Board of Medical Specialties” Maintenance of Certification (MOC), which focuses on using data from a practice to improve outcomes. In particular, required components of ABOto’s Part IV include patient surveys on their experience with the diplomat, a professional survey, and completion of a practice improvement module.
Explore This IssueFebruary 2015
“There are a lot of different ways to fulfill Part IV, and our board has taken the approach that if we can add value to Part IV by fulfilling PQRS and fulfilling the MOC requirement at the same time, that’s really win-win,” Dr. Weber said. “I think we’re going to learn a lot from this initial measure group, and if it’s widely endorsed by the appropriate group of otolaryngologists who see patients with these clinical problems, then it would be easier to incorporate it into Part IV of MOC.”
After the new groups can be properly evaluated, it will be time to build more measures groups, Dr. Denneny said. In fact, the AAO-HNSF is already working on a “prioritized list” to be ahead of that process. “We’re looking at doing something with thyroid disease for the head and neck surgeons, which we could combine with multiple specialties like general surgery and some of the others,” he said. “We have a prioritized list, which hoarseness is on. So what we have to do with our limited resources is put the most common forth, but there is a list that we’re working on and will continue to work on as we go forward, so we’re not stopping with these two.”
One complicating factor is that otolaryngology isn’t the only specialty pushing for additional measures groups. Other groups are rightfully pushing for rules beneficial to their specialties. But, as Dr. Denneny said, the continued efforts by the AAO-HNSF and others show that progress is being made.
“This is a step in the right direction,” Dr. Denneny added. “Physicians have the ethical responsibility and the ethical desire to do the best they can for their patients, just like our academy and the other medical associations do…. This allows them comfort in knowing that this is what their colleagues do, that this has been vetted by experts in the field, and this is the best way to do it.”
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.