Today’s health care environment demands more than ever of surgeons and the hospitals they work in. Payors, including Medicare, increasingly refuse to pay for treating complications deemed preventable, such as surgical site infections. A growing movement aims to tie reimbursements to outcomes—and publicly report the results. At the same time, hospitals face staffing shortages and financial pressures, trying to do more with less. A surgical quality improvement program so effective that each year a hospital uses it, on average, it has the opportunity to:
– Prevent 250–500 complications
– Save 12–36 lives
– Reduce costs by millions of dollars
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) is the leading nationally validated, risk-adjusted, outcomes-based program to measure and improve the quality of surgical care in the private sector. ACS NSQIP has the tools, training, customization options and, most importantly, data, to keep different hospitals ahead of the curve.
In order to provide proven and stronger quality information, the ACS has partnered with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow ACS NSQIP registered hospitals across the country the opportunity to report surgical outcomes to Hospital Compare, the CMS website that provides quality information to healthcare consumers. The program provides hospitals participating in the ACS NSQIP Adult Program Options the chance to voluntarily, publicly report on one or any combination of three National Quality Forum (NQF)-endorsed measures — elderly surgery, colon surgical and lower-extremity bypass outcomes. The Lower-Extremity Bypass Surgery is a surgical bypass that treats patient’s narrowed (or enlarged) arteries by directly creating a detour, or bypass, around a section of the artery that is blocked or enlarged. The outcome measure in Lower-Extremity Bypass Surgeries for Patients for most of the hospitals is recorded as ‘average’ in this study.
Information on the Hospital Compare website will explain the rigors of ACS NSQIP so that patients better understand what the measures mean; the importance of accurate, risk-adjusted data; and how to use the information in making their care decisions. Because ACS NSQIP is based on the best available data—clinical, risk- and case-mix–adjusted, nationally benchmarked and audited 30-day patient outcomes—the program provides arguably the most valid and reliable look at surgical quality. It provides a better gauge of quality than many other public measures, many of which are based on compliance with process measures or based on administrative data.