4 Reasons to Use Patient Registries in Value-Based Healthcare

Thursday, July 28th, 2011
This post was written by Patricia Donovan

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure!” reports one respondent to our live survey on health registry use. At the midpoint of the survey response period, diabetes patients are the principal targets of registries, report three-fourths of respondents. The same percentage expect that registries will eventually be required for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement.

Dr. Gregory Spencer, chief medical officer with Crystal Run Healthcare, offered some compelling reasons for using registries — really just another name for a list, he says — during a recent webinar on Patient Registries: A Cornerstone in Creating and Delivering Accountable Care:

Registries in general; why bother? You hear about them and think that they’re something that you read about in studies or something that the state maintains, but they’re actually useful for you. They help you get an idea of specific populations of patients you care for. One of the things that the ACO and value-based healthcare is driving for, in addition to taking care of the patient in front of you, is to start thinking about groups of patients that you’re caring for, higher risk groups. So it’s useful clinically right from the beginning to think about a bigger picture view of your practice.

First, the NCQA and the patient-centered medical home actually require that you develop registries. A secret is a registry is another name for a list of patients who meet a certain criteria, usually for a high risk or an important condition. If you think about it that way it’s really not as intimidating. We’ve been a Level 3 Medical Home for about two years and registries are a requirement to get an idea of the important populations that you care for.

A second tangible benefit of the use of registries is in quality efforts, specifically in identifying groups of patients who need certain tests performed. A very seasonal registry that we have are the people that are due and eligible for flu shots. That registry or that group changes every year but we’re able to gather this group with a criteria and then reach out to them with an automated call script through our automated appointment reminder system.

A third important use of registries is risk; identifying people that are at high risk for bad things happening to them or spending money if you’re in a more risk-based situation. About two years ago, we formed our own malpractice company, our own risk retention group and we think about risk a lot more since it’s more tangible and real to all the partners that they’re not more on the hook for things that happen. Registries are useful in that capacity.

And finally, registries will play a major part in the accountable care organization (ACO). CMS is currently headed by the individual who created the Institute for Health Improvement’s Triple AIM: the experience of care (how the patient thinks you are doing); the per capita cost (how much you’re spending to do it so the value you’re delivering for what you’re getting); and looking at the whole population, not just individual patients. Certainly the registry is a direct hit on that pillar.

Respond to HIN’s survey on Using Registries for Quality Improvement by August 8, 2011 and receive a free executive summary of results once they are compiled.

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