Fiscal Cliff Boosts Clinical Data Registries, But Cuts Some Health Care Payments

CQ HealthBeat reports on a provision of the fiscal cliff law intended to encourage physicians to submit data to registries that could be a tool to promote better quality care. The Medicare NewsGroup analyzes another provision that changes how payments are calculated for end stage renal disease drugs.

CQ HealthBeat: Fiscal Cliff Deal Seen Boosting Use Of Clinical Data Registries
Cardiologists, thoracic surgeons, gastroenterologists and oncologists are likely to take advantage of a new provision of the fiscal cliff law intended to spur doctors to submit more data to registries that could be a powerful tool to promote more efficient, higher quality care. That's the view of Kavita Patel, a Brookings Institution scholar who is a leading researcher on the topic of clinical data registries, which collect information on the characteristics of patients, patterns of care and the outcomes of medical treatments. One example of the power of registries: A Duke University research team discovered by analyzing data in a registry maintained by an arm of the American College of Cardiology that more than 20 percent of patients who received implants of costly cardiac defibrillators should not have gotten them (Reichard, 1/9).

The Medicare NewsGroup: Fact/Fiction: The Fiscal Cliff Deal Will Cut Payments For Illnesses That Disproportionately Impact Minorities
Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) said in a written statement, following the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, that the Band-Aid used to avoid cuts to physicians from the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), or "doc fix," was "paid for by cutting provider payments for treating illnesses disproportionately impacting minorities, including end stage renal disease and diabetes." ...This is fact (Solana, 1/8).

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