Feature July 14, 2021 John Bernot, MD

5 tips to improve patient-reported outcomes data collection to increase payments under CJR

Here are 5 tips to help your orthopedic practice increase responses to post-op surveys.

Under the CMMI Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model, payment for total hip arthroplasty and/or total knee arthroplasty (THA/TKA) is directly linked to quality measures derived from patient-reported outcomes (PRO) and risk variable data.1

The postoperative data must be collected 9 to 12 months after surgery. Yes, you read that right — 9 to 12 months after surgery. 

Contacting patients is challenging enough in the few weeks leading up to surgery, and now you’re being asked to gather information nearly a year later? 

Since the quality measures informed by the PRO determine how much (or little) you will be paid under the CJR pay-for-performance model, effective data collection is essential to increasing revenues for your practice.

Read on to learn more about PROs and get my five tips to improve data collection from your patients to maximize payments under CJR. 

What are patient-reported outcomes?

The National Quality Forum defines patient-reported outcome (PRO) as “any report of the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or anyone else.”2 

Collecting data from patients is a critical component in the transition from fee-for-service to pay-for-performance. 

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), PRO provides the best measure of value and is the best tool for identifying quality improvement.3 

5 ways to improve PRO data collection from your patients

Here are five ways to increase responses to post-op surveys: 

  1. Enable your patients to respond to surveys online. Social desirability research has found that patients are more honest and forthcoming in answering online instead of responding in-person or over the phone.4
  2. Deliver the right information at the right time throughout their surgical journey. If you communicate effectively with your patients from the weeks leading up to their surgery and up to one year later, patients are more likely to respond to surveys. Delivering the right information at the right time using your patients’ preferred mode of communication is most effective. 
  3. Leave no room for error. Provide patients with definitions and supporting material to help them understand the questions being asked. Don’t assume they know what you’re asking or why you’re asking it.
  4. Supply reference materials in a variety of formats. Some people prefer to read educational materials, while others favor watching videos. Throughout the patient’s journey, it’s critical that you meet the health literacy needs of your patients. This will likely increase their ability and willingness to respond to a post-op survey 9-12 months later. 
  5. Send reminders. While post-op surveys are important to you, they’re not on the top of your patients’ to-do list. Having an efficient way to send your patient reminders to complete surveys can go a long way to increasing response rates. 

Maximize payments for joint replacement surgery

Providers with a composite quality score of good or excellent receive a higher reconciliation payment and have less repayment responsibility.

As your practice seeks to increase profits in a changing healthcare reimbursement landscape, understanding how to maximize payments under the CJR model can be a source of significant revenue. 

Learn how Ayva can help your practice collect patient-reported outcomes and drive higher value-based payments.

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