The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has named the UCLA Faculty Practice Group a qualified data registry under the 2009 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), a Medicare pay-for-reporting program. The UCLA group is one of only 10 organizations in the nation affiliated with teaching or academic medical centers to achieve this designation. Designed to promote quality improvement in the Medicare fee-for-service program, the 2009 reporting initiative consists of 153 quality measures focusing on specific health conditions most prevalent among Medicare patients. Through the initiative, professionals receive a 2 percent incentive on total allowed charges for services delivered in 2009 when they successfully report data on quality measures to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The UCLA Faculty Practice Group began PQRI reporting with many departments in 2007 through an older claims-based reporting system. To become a qualified data registry, the UCLA Faculty Practice Group demonstrated its ability to develop a database infrastructure adequate to support the project and selected a number of quality indicators to measure. For registry reporting, the group will begin with UCLA's Community Physician Network, as well as the UCLA departments of medicine, radiation oncology and radiology, to measure, report and improve quality related to preventive services, diabetes care, oncology care and imaging in stroke patients. The group will expand these efforts as it gains more experience with the PQRI registry program. "We're not afraid to tackle something new, and the PQRI program fit in with our quality agenda," said Dr. Samuel A. Skootsky, medical director of the UCLA Faculty Practice Group, who leads the PQRI effort on behalf of the organization. With the PQRI registry, Medicare patients who have certain conditions or who require specific preventive care services can be systematically reviewed. Care gaps can be corrected and appropriate quality-of-care indicators reported to CMS in early 2010. Providers not using a registry must report the quality-of-care data at the time each claim is submitted. According to Skootsky, the new registry program has greater potential to improve quality by enabling providers to systematically evaluate patient care. "A project like this one is not easy to undertake, but we are confident that we will successfully measure, report and improve quality for Medicare fee-for-service patients because we have many years of experience doing this for the managed-care HMO population," Skootsky said. He added that the UCLA Faculty Practice Group and the entire UCLA Health have always been early adopters of health care quality measurement and transparency. Quality performance reports for UCLA FPG are available at www.uclahealth.org/quality.