ExtremitiesSports Medicine

National Joint Replacement Registry Certified as CMS Qualified Clinical Data Registry

Worcester, MA – FORCE-TJR, the most comprehensive national registry for total hip and knee joint replacement patients and their surgical outcomes, is now certified as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR).

In meeting QCDR requirements, FORCE-TJR has successfully collected and tracked more than 30,000 TJR patients across the U.S. in more than 150 provider institutions.  The FORCE-TJR registry continues to expand, providing patient and disease tracking, implant performance, patient-reported outcomes and quality monitoring of TJR.

With this QCDR certification, FORCE-TJR is able to complete the collection and submission of PQRS quality measures on behalf of member hospitals and physicians, allowing FORCE-TJR members to avoid the 2016 payment adjustment (2.0%). According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, nearly 40% of health care providers treating Medicare patients will have their payments docked 1.5% this year because they didn’t submit data on patients’ health to the government. Many doctor groups say the programs are confusing and time-consuming. According to the same article, in a survey of 1,000 practices by the Medical Group Management Association last year, 83% of respondents said the programs detracted from their ability to care for patients.

“The value of being involved in a registry such as FORCE is that I can concentrate on my patient and my practice,” said Courtland Lewis Orthopedic Surgery Chief, Department of Orthopedics at Hartford Hospital and core member of FORCE-TJR. “FORCE makes it easy to capture and report this data to QCDR and PQRS for incentive payments, internal quality monitoring and improving the value of the care we provide to patients and insurance plans.”

As part of this certification, FORCE-TJR has developed new non-PQRS measures which include:

  • Pain and functional status assessment for hip and knee replacements
  • Improvement in pain and function after hip and knee replacements
  • Mental health assessment for patients who undergo hip and knee replacements
  • Assessment and improvement on patients with osteoarthritis in the hip or knee

“The new QCDR designation allows FORCE-TJR to define new quality measures, including patient-reported outcomes, and to submit these data to CMS on behalf of our members- without any additional data collection. The data serve both their internal quality monitoring and meet the CMS mandate,” said Patricia Franklin, MD, FORCE-TJR’s registry director.

FORCE-TJR, originally a 4-year, $12 million national research project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is the first registry for total joint replacements to identify risk-adjusted national benchmarks, including patient risk factors, and other clinical measures, to guide surgeon and patient decisions regarding timing of surgery and optimal patient selection.

A consortium of more than 150 surgeons from representative practices across the U.S., led by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, collected information from more than 30,000 diverse TJR patients to establish a statistically significant cohort for the AHRQ-funded registry.

FORCE-TJR is now serving as a comprehensive orthopedic registry, expanding to enroll surgeons and hospitals beyond the original AHRQ-funded cohort.  In addition to assisting in reporting requirements and securing quality incentive payments, the FORCE-TJR registry provides access to national TJR benchmarks, real-time patient-reported outcome scoring and comprehensive, comparative arthroplasty practice feedback and data to improve patient care, and compare performance to peer surgeons/institutions.

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