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Ingenious Med's IM Quality Measures(TM) Delivers Insight About Hospitalist Performance
Date:6/10/2008

ATLANTA, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Information technology has the power "to transform data into information, and information into insight," former Hewlett-Packard Co. executive Carly Fiorina once explained.

Her words aptly describe the power of Ingenious Med's IM Quality Measures(TM), a software package that enables physicians and practice administrators to document, capture, report, and submit quality performance metrics. Physicians and practices that track quality performance can enhance revenues, improve clinical care, and prove practice value to employing hospitals, payors and patients. IM Quality Measures(TM) also helps physicians participate in "pay-for-reporting" and "pay-for-performance" initiatives such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service's (CMS) Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI).

The value of data-to-information-to-insight transformation was demonstrated recently when IM Quality Measures(TM) data helped convinced CMS to preserve several PQRI measures critical to establishing hospitalists as a recognized specialty and positioning them to receive PQRI "pay-for-reporting" bonuses.

CMS does not yet recognize hospital medicine as a specialty. However, the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) wanted hospitalists to have the opportunity to participate in the PQRI. SHM successfully lobbied CMS to get several 2007 performance measure specifications changed so that hospitalists could report on them, said Patrick J. Torcson, MD, MMM, FACP, chairman of the SHM Performance and Standards Committee.

"PQRI performance measures originally were not created with hospitalists in mind so SHM has been very proactive in trying to include measures relevant to hospital medicine," said Torcson, the director of Hospital Medicine at St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington, LA.

But when CMS began updating the performance measurement specifications for 2008, several specialty societies requested that specifications for three cardiac measures be revised to cover outpatient but not inpatient reporting.

The three measurements were:

-- Prescribing Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitor or

Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARB) Therapy for adult patients with a

diagnosis of heart failure and left ventricular systolic dysfunction

(LVSD);

-- Prescribing oral antiplatelet therapy for adult patients with a

diagnosis of coronary artery disease; and,

-- Prescribing beta-blocker therapy adult patients with a diagnosis of

coronary artery disease and prior myocardial infarction (MI).

"That's where Ingenious Med and IM Quality Measures(TM) came in," said Torcson. "There were other PQRI performance measures related to stroke and advanced care plans available for hospitalists, but the cardiac measures were the most commonly reported and also harmonized with the Joint Commission Core Measures already reported by hospitals. SHM was given an opportunity to present a position paper to CMS and make a case for keeping the three cardiac inpatient measures. Using data from IM Quality Measures(TM) provided by Ingenious Med, SHM was able to show that these were not only pertinent measures, but also were the most common measures reported by hospitalists and that these inpatient measures harmonized very nicely with hospital-level performance measures."

CMS decided not to change the specifications. This decision was very favorable for hospital medicine, Torcson said.

"Hospital medicine as a distinct specialty really rose out of the drive for efficiency, particularly on the inpatient side," he explained. "Hospitalists operate in an environment that is focused on performance measurement and improvement. It is the basis of what hospitalists do. Now that we're at the beginning of the era of pay-for-performance, we wanted hospitalists to develop their performance reporting skills, and the cardiac measures are very important to that agenda. It's also important that hospitalists have the opportunity to get the same 1.5% PQRI reporting bonus as other specialties. It was nice to be able to call on Ingenious Med and get the data to make our case."

But the value of IM Quality Measures(TM) extends beyond the PQRI. For example, Scottsdale Inpatient Specialists in Scottsdale, Arizona, a rapidly expanding practice, anticipates that documenting outstanding quality measures will lead to enhanced reimbursement by non-government payors.

"We started using IM Quality Measures(TM) because it is the right thing to do from a quality standpoint," explained Scottsdale Inpatient Specialists Medical Director Bruce Waldon, MD, FACP. "A reminder on IM Practice Manager(TM) is a safety net and helps us make sure we do not miss something. Our goal has been to have 100% compliance with the medical core measures and we've hit 100% on all of them since November of 2007."

Waldon thinks the focus on quality will result in enhanced reimbursement from private payors.

"It should help us in the long run," he said. "If we can demonstrate that our outcomes are better and that we reduced re-admissions, we can negotiate better terms with payors. It allows us to say, 'we're saving you money by doing things right and we should get paid for doing the right things.'"

About Ingenious Med: Ingenious Med was founded in 1999 by a group of practicing hospitalist leaders and has a customer base comprising thousands of users in over 500 facilities across the United States. Ingenious Med's flagship product, IM Practice Manager(TM) is an Internet-based application that enables inpatient physicians to capture charges, improve their quality of care, and communicate digitally with their peers and administrators. In addition, the program aggregates management data separately from the hospital information system, so individual physician and total department performance can be accurately evaluated. Nationwide, they are the leader in inpatient practice management solutions, and have recently responded to increasing demand for their product-lines in specialty groups. For more information about Ingenious Med, visit http://www.ingeniousmed.com or call (404)-815-0862.


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SOURCE Ingenious Med
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