Today’s Top Story
CMS releases reports on 2015 PQRS feedback and quality and resource use.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its 2015 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Feedback Reports and 2015 Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRUR). The 2015 PQRS feedback reports reflect data from Medicare Physician Fee Schedule claims received with dates of service from Jan. 1, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2015, that were processed into the National Claims History by Feb. 26, 2016. The feedback reports will include all measures reported by the National Provider Identifier for each submission mechanism used. The 2015 QRURs outline how solo practitioners and groups performed in 2015 on the quality and cost measures used to calculate the 2017 Value Modifier. To obtain copies of the reports, an Enterprise Identity Management account with the appropriate role is required. Read more…
Learn more about the PQRS…

Other News

Study: Early viscosupplementation following ACL reconstruction may not be linked with significant improvement in clinical scores.
Findings from a study published in the October issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine suggest that early postoperative viscosupplementation may not be linked with significant improvement in clinical scores after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. The authors conducted a randomized, controlled trial of 60 patients with primary, chronic, and symptomatic ACL tear requiring surgical reconstruction. Patients received either a single injection of 3 mL hyaluronic acid (HA) or 3 mL saline solution the day after the procedure, following removal of surgical drains. They noted no severe adverse events after early viscosupplementation. At 15-, 30-, 60-, and 180-day and 12-month follow-ups, they found no significant difference across cohorts in Short Form–36 Health Survey, International Knee Documentation Committee subjective score, visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, VAS for general health status, and Tegner score. The authors noted that patients in the HA group displayed greater improvement in transpatellar circumference at 60 days and in active range of motion at 30 days postoperative, compared to those in the control group. Read the abstract…

Study: Hydrocortisone treatment may not reduce risk of septic shock for adults with severe sepsis.
According to a study conducted in Germany and published online in The Journal of the American Medical Association, treatment with hydrocortisone may not reduce risk of septic shock for adults with severe sepsis. The researchers conducted a double-blind, randomized trial of 380 patients with severe sepsis who were not in septic shock, and who were randomized to receive a continuous infusion of 200 mg of hydrocortisone for 5 days followed by dose tapering until day 11 (n?=?190) or placebo (n?=?190). Of 340 patients available at 180-day follow-up, the researchers found that septic shock had occurred in 36 of 170 patients (21.2 percent) in the hydrocortisone group and 39 of 170 patients (22.9 percent) in the placebo group. In addition, the researchers found no significant difference between cohorts in time until septic shock, mortality in the intensive care unit or in the hospital, or mortality at 28, 90, or 180 days. In the hydrocortisone vs. placebo groups, 21.5 percent vs. 16.9 percent had secondary infections, 8.6 percent vs. 8.5 percent had weaning failure, 30.7 percent vs. 23.8 percent had muscle weakness, and 90.9 percent vs. 81.5 percent had hyperglycemia. Read the abstract…

Study: Cam deformity and acetabular dysplasia linked to increased risk of hip OA.
Data from a study conducted in The Netherlands and published online in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology suggest that patients with cam deformity and acetabular dysplasia may be predisposed to hip osteoarthritis (OA), independent from other known risk factors. The research team reviewed information on 4,438 participants aged 55 years or older without OA at baseline. At mean 9.2-year follow-up, they found that individuals with cam deformity and acetabular dysplasia each had a two-fold increased risk for developing OA, compared to those without deformity. The research team notes that pincer deformity was not associated with increased risk of OA. Read the abstract…

Study: Wide variation in Medicare episode payments for rescued patients with perioperative complications.
A study published online in the journal JAMA Surgery finds substantial variation across hospitals regarding Medicare episode payments for rescued patients with perioperative complications, noting that higher Medicare payments may not be associated with improved clinical performance. The researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study of Medicare claims data for four procedures, including 307,399 patients who underwent total hip arthroplasty (THA). They found that among patients who experienced complications, those who were rescued had higher price-standardized Medicare payments than those who died. Overall, payments for patients who were rescued at the highest cost-of-rescue hospitals were two to three times higher than at the lowest cost-of-rescue hospitals ($41,354 vs. $19,028 for THA). In addition, compared with lowest cost-of-rescue hospitals, highest cost-of-rescue hospitals had higher risk-adjusted rates of serious complication, with similar rates of failure to rescue and overall 30-day mortality. Read more…
Read the abstract…

OIG calls for UDI info on future Medicare claims forms.
In a letter to the acting administrator of CMS, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) has called for the device identifier portion of the Unique Device Identifier (UDI) for implantable devices to be added to the next version of Medicare claims forms. Current health insurance claim forms include only information on procedures performed, as well as device failures and recalls, notes the inspector general, making it difficult to determine which specific devices have been implanted or whether replacement devices were the result of a device recall or a device failure. “We believe that CMS should collaborate with the Accredited Standards Committee X12 to include the device identifier (DI) portion of the [UDI] for implantable devices on the next version of the claim forms,” he writes. Further, he argues that, “As the UDI system evolves, we believe that including the [production identifier] portion(s) of the UDI on the claim forms could also help identify and track Medicare’s aggregate costs related to recalled or defective devices and would provide patient safety benefits by enabling the identification of specific batches and lots of recalled devices.” Read more (PDF)…

Last call: Program Committees.
Oct. 10 is the last day to submit your application for a position on a Program Committee. Members of Program Committees grade symposia in May and abstracts in June and July, and may serve as moderators for paper sessions at the AAOS Annual Meeting. The following openings are available:

  • Adult Reconstruction Hip (chair, 13 members)
  • Adult Reconstruction Knee (eight members)
  • Hand & Wrist (chair, two members)
  • Musculoskeletal Tumor & Metabolic Disease Program (chair, two members)
  • Pediatrics (chair)
  • Practice Management/Rehabilitation (five members)
  • Spine (six members)
  • Trauma (chair, five members)

Applicants for member positions must be active fellows or international affiliate members with a practice emphasis in the relevant area. Applicants for chair positions must be active fellows. Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)