DENVER – “On April 3, AOA MORE was able to attest and submit data for AOA members – 600 optometrists – to CMS,” Zachary McCarty, OD, chair of the AOA MORE Quality Improvement and Registry Committee, reported here at the American Optometric Association’s House of Delegates.
“This helped us avoid penalties of at least $721,000,” McCarty said at Optometry’s Meeting.
AOA MORE (Measures and Outcomes Registry for Eyecare) is a clinical data registry (QCDR) launched by the AOA in 2015 to facilitate participating optometrists’ Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) measures, according to the AOA’s website.
McCarty said 7,492 AOA members are registered with MORE.
“As a member benefit of AOA, we should have more members enrolled than this,” he said. “Even if your EHR is not included, you can still use AOA MORE to report Improvement Activities for MIPS and avoid a penalty in 2020.”
Vendor partners include Compulink, Crystal Practice Management, EyefinityEHR, MaximEyes, OfficeMate, Practice Director and RevolutionEHR, according to McCarty.
“We continue to add vendor partners,” he said, “and we’d like to add more. We can only do this as requested by members.”
For 2018, optometrists who bill more than $90,000 in Medicare Part B allowable charges and see more than 200 unique Medicare Part B patients in a year are required to participate in MIPS, according to the AOA website.
“Based on this change, in 2018, we estimate that 4,793 ODs are required to report MIPS data or face a 5% penalty in 2020,” McCarty said. “For 2019, CMS has proposed even more changes to the MIPS program that impact doctors of optometry.”
He said the AOA’s MIPS support team provides quarterly newsletters, webinars, email support, phone support and attestation guides.
“One of our members who called the AOA office to receive support told our staff that this support alone provided enough value to be an AOA member,” McCarty told the delegates.
He said that the AOA MORE registry currently includes 7,492 unique providers, 2,359 practices, 1.2 million patients and 650,000 patient encounters.
“This is merely the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
The gender distribution is predominantly female by a small margin, McCarty said. Top diagnoses are the typical refractive diagnoses (presbyopia, myopia, hyperopia) diabetes without retinopathy, cataracts, pseudophakia, glaucoma, dry eye and allergic conjunctivitis. The top 10 prescribed medications are for glaucoma, antibiotics, steroids and dry eye.
“Can this data get more interesting?” McCarty asked. “I say yes. Looking at patients in the registry diagnosed with hypertension, what are their top 10 prescribed medications by optometrists? I see a lot of glaucoma medications on the list. Correlation does not necessarily equal causation, but are there areas to research here? We’re just getting started.”
McCarty said, “AOA MORE than measures. We report for MIPS, but it is a method to protect our patients that helps provide the best patient care possible. It helps protect our reimbursement and our profession. We all know that only optometry can advocate for optometry. The only way to do that is by having everyone’s data in AOA MORE to show we are the primary eye care profession. The data truly matters.” – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO
Disclosure: McCarty is chair of the AOA MORE Quality Improvement and Registry Committee.