VQI Pulse Vol 7
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In the December 2016 issue we highlight the following topics:

December Webinar: Preparing Your Practice for Medicare’s New Quality Payment Program

As part of a series of webinars on quality improvement and value in vascular care, the SVS PSO is pleased to present a webinar on the new Quality Payment Program (QPP) under Medicare and one of the options for physicians called MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System).  The webinar will be led by Jill Rathbun, a consultant to the SVS, on quality of care and payment issues.  The webinar will highlight:
  • Step-by-step processes for vascular surgeons to prepare for MIPs
  • How physicians can Go at their Own Pace for 2017 reporting
  • How to avoid a 1% - 4% penalty and increase opportunities for bonus payments
  • Physicians from academic medical centers and large health systems: Questions you should ask
  • How the VQI can help you meet MIPS requirements
Tuesday December 13, 2016 at 7pm Eastern, 6pm Central, 5pm Mountain and 4PM Pacific
Thursday December 15, 2016 at 1pm Eastern/12 noon Central/11am Mountain/10am Pacific  
CLICK HERE for Webinar Registration


New 2016 Detailed Annual Report 

The SVS PSO has developed a new Detailed Annual Report with in-depth explanation of the VQI activities and analyses for members and for individuals and organizations that want to learn more about vascular services and improvement programs. It includes useful background information for external audiences and new users; information on how the VQI drives QI projects with improved outcomes and a page highlighting the benefits of VQI for key stakeholders. The on-line version is bookmarked for easy reference and includes expanded Appendices. In particular, the Clinical Registry Tables in the Appendices provide summary data for the 12 VQI Registries.

Click here to view the 2016 Detailed Annual Report.

QI Stories, Tools and Reports 

PSO seeking QI case studies, tools and stories for VQI@VAM 2017. A highlight of the 2016 VQI@VAM meeting was the QI case studies and panel presentations from member hospitals.  We would like to feature more examples from hospitals this year at the VQI Annual Meeting and have more information on these examples for the regional meetings.  Please fill out the End of Year Survey that includes questions about your QI projects.
Save the date for VQI@VAM for 2017
Date:    Tuesday, May 30, 2017 (half day) through Wednesday, May 31st (full day)
Place:    San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA
Launching Two National QI Initiatives in 2017
The Arterial Quality Committee led by Adam Beck, MD, and the Communications Committee under the leadership of Glenn Jacobowitz, MD, are working together to launch two national quality initiatives in 2017 on discharge medications and on imaging at one year follow-up for EVAR procedures. Information on QI implementation and tools, best practices and ‘how-to’ webinars will be provided at the regional meetings, via webinars and other on-line resources, beginning in January 2017.  
New on-line QI resources are available within VQI M2S PATHWAYS in the Resources Section:
  1. Leading Change webinar slides and audio transcripts on change management by Dr. Ted James
  2. Slides from all of the VQI@VAM 2016 presentations
  3. Digital QI Project Guide – a ‘soup to nuts’ guide for QI project implementation.

American Journal of Medicine article, Recognizing Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Activities in Academic Promotion in Departments of Medicine: Innovative Language in Promotion.
This article provides guidelines for faculty promotion around quality improvement (QI) and patient safety (PS) work and helps organizations document QI and PS excellence. It highlights best practices and promotion criteria including an explicit framework in the promotions process for evaluating and recognizing activities in quality and safety.  Examples of activities that supports promotion include, ”Demonstrated impact of practice initiatives on improved quality” (Oregon Health Sciences) and “Development of QI projects or comparative effectiveness studies that improve patient care or outcomes” (U. of Texas Houston).  The recognition of QI activities encourages continued physician leadership in QI initiatives. Am J Med. 2016 May;129(5):540-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.01.006. Epub 2016 Jan 29. Recognizing Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Activities in Academic Promotion in Departments of Medicine: Innovative Language in Promotion Criteria. Staiger TO1, Mills LM2, Wong BM3, Levinson W3, Bremner WJ4, Schleyer AM4.


Registry and Planned Program Updates 

VQI data submission deadline
All data for the upcoming regional reports are pulled through December 31, 2016.  The reports will be available in ‘share a file’ in February 2017.  Please print the reports or bring your computer to view them electronically during the Spring Regional Meetings.
Update for Carotid Artery Stent Registry
The Carotid Artery Stent (CAS) Registry was updated and released in November 2016.  The focus of the changes was to be more inclusive of all stents to meet CMS certification requirements. Additional revisions to the Registry were incorporated to facilitate reimbursement from CMS for TCAR in medically high risk symptomatic or asymptomatic patients, if entered into the VQI CAS Registry and for one year follow-up. The goal of the TCAR Surveillance Project is to generate real-world data for future decisions about coverage of TCAR as distinct from trans-femoral CAS.


VQI Committee Activities – Arterial Quality Committee

The Arterial Quality Committee (AQC) discussed term limits and succession planning for VQI Registry Chairs and Vice Chairs and recommended:
  • Three  year terms renewable every year for one year
  • The Vice Chair should be prepared to accept the Chair position when the Chair steps down
  • The Chair can rejoin the committee after stepping down
  • The AQC Chair has the right to ask a Chair or Vice Chair to step down if the Registry Chair or Vice Chair is unable to fully participate
Registry Chairs were requested to examine existing research projects to help identify two to three quality improvement projects that may lead to best practice recommendations for procedures included in each Registry.


Special Projects – TCAR Surveillance Project

TCAR Surveillance Project – Reimbursement from CMS for Asymptomatic Patients. The TCAR Surveillance Project (TSP) is an initiative of the Society for Vascular Surgery Patient Safety Organization (SVS PSO). The Project is designed to monitor the safety and effectiveness of transcarotid stents placed directly into the carotid artery while reversing blood flow within the carotid artery to reduce stroke risk.  It will compare this less-invasive surgical procedure with standard carotid endarterectomy in centers that participate in the VQI.  For more information on the TCAR Surveillance Project, please click the link below:
TCAR Surveillance Project Description


Research Corner

We have two new clinical improvement projects available in the PVI Registry
Bard® LifeStent® Popliteal Stent Project
Click here for questionnaire
Click here for additional information  

Medtronic IN.PACT™ Admiral™ DCB ISR Project
Click here for questionnaire 
Click here for additional information 

VQI Quality Research Listings
Latest Quality Research Listings


Technology Updates

This fall, enhancements were made to two VQI registries. The new Peripheral Vascular Intervention (PVI) registry was released in September and the new Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS) registry was made available in mid-November. The first Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) procedure for the TCAR Surveillance Project was entered into the new CAS registry shortly after the release.

Looking ahead to 2017…
The PVI Clone Data Feature, which will allow users to copy data from a patient’s pervious procedure, will be released in Q1 of 2017.The IVC filter retrieval report will also be released in early 2017. We are busy preparing for the 2017 QCDR Program and helping you maximize your MIPS Composite Score using the VQI.


Latest VQI Participation and Volume Statistics

Cumulative Procedure Volumes by VQI Registry, November 2016

VQI Summary Slides, November 2016 

Number of Procedures in All VQI Registries 337,222
Total VQI Centers 393
Number of Procedures added (Sep - Nov) 25,317
Total Regional Quality Groups 17
New Members and Regional Quality Groups (Sep - Nov) Allegheny Health Network – Great Lakes
Confluence Health – Pacific Northwest
Covenant Health - Canada
Lahey Hospital and Medical Center - VSGNE
Lutheran Hospital of Indiana (IOM Health  System) – Midwest Vascular
MidMichigan Medical Center – Michigan Vascular
Radiology Associates - Fox Valley – Upper Midwest
University of Kentucky/UK Healthcare -    Midwest Vascular
University Surgical Associates – Mid-South
Western Vascular Institute – Rocky Mtn.
If you’d like to know more about any of our recent activities, or have suggestions on other topics, please email

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