At the September meeting, the feature topic was hospital data reporting and pay- for- performance initiatives. There are a number of efforts under way at CMS to encourage hospitals to voluntarily report up to 22 quality measures, as well as the Premier pay for performance project in which participating Premier hospitals are paid increased reimbursement if they meet certain quality of care standards. These are only two of a number of quality data reporting projects under way as a result of the Medicare reform bill. In each of these initiatives, there are significant technology challenges as hospitals and physicians seek to comply and keep up with the demands that additional data collection and reporting require. It is an area where theory and practice may not always coincide.
To address this topic, we had an excellent panel that included Trent Haywood, MD, JD, Director of CMS's Quality Measurement and Health Assessment Group; Diana Birkett of the Senate Finance Committee Staff; William Varani, MD, JD, Medical Director of the Bon Secours Health System; and Michael Polisino, Northeast Regional Sales Director of Premier (which is the hospital alliance that has contracted with DHHS to conduct the pay for performance program).