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AQA Invitational Meeting Summary

Pilot Projects Update

Nancy Wilson, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

AHRQ's Nancy Wilson provided an update on the pilot projects and said that the workgroups' activities would be very helpful in representing the intent of the AQA in implementing and operationalizing the pilot projects. The goal, she said, would be to measure individual physician, group, and systems performance and to aggregate data from multiple sources. Wilson added that the pilots offer a great opportunity to understand how best to provide consumers and patients with access to information.

Wilson summarized activities to date and presented a tentative timeline. She noted that there would be a kickoff meeting in Washington, DC, on May 10. As part of that meeting, the core members from each of the six community coalitions would meet with the technical advisory group and relevant contractors to finalize task prioritization and assess which tasks would be handled by which coalitions. They would also develop a mechanism to provide feedback on the quantitative analysis plan. Data collection would begin in June. Wilson said that goal was to have attribution rules established by November, with physician feedback reports starting in February 2007 (and either quarterly or semiannually after that). Public reports on physician practices would be released in each of the six communities by April 2007 (and either quarterly or semiannually after that). The goal is to start testing physician payment models by January 2008.

Next, Wilson noted that the pilots will test the hypothesis that providing valid, comprehensive, timely, and salient feedback to physicians will lead to significant improvements in patient outcomes. The pilots will also test the hypotheses that public reporting of physician practice performance will help consumers, and that payment strategies based on achieving performance improvements will lead to significant improvements in patient outcomes.

Wilson also highlighted some of the key project activities, including the following:

  • Assessing and exploring the relationship among clinical quality, cost of care, patient experience, and health status.
  • Aggregating Medicare, Medicaid, and private sector claims data every 6 to 12 months.
  • Establishing and exploring attribution rules to produce physician-centric panels of patients (so, she said, we can know that this physician or team of physician is actually taking care of all these patients) and patient-centric panels (so, she said, that for this patient, this team of physicians is around them).
  • Generating timely reports for physicians that provide them with feedback.
  • Publishing and disseminating reports in the six communities.
  • Testing physician payment strategies.

Wilson concluded by stressing that the ultimate goal is to accomplish all these tasks at the level of the individual physician.

Following Wilson's remarks, there was a question about frequency of reports and the danger of flooding people with information. Wilson stressed that the goal was give consumers and patients access to reliable and salient information on quality and costs, and to give physicians information on quality and costs that they could use to improve their practices.

Carolyn Clancy closed the meeting by thanking participants for their hard work. The next meeting of the full AQA will be October 24, 2006.

Current as of August 2006

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Internet Citation:

AQA Invitational Meeting. Summary. August 2006. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

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