Session Provides In-Depth Look at Quality Measures, Public Reporting

Vinay Badhwar, MD

STS is well known for its leadership in reporting surgical outcomes, primarily stemming from the STS National Database, which was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons.

The Database continues to expand, and a Monday afternoon session will review the latest updates. “Redefining Practice Through Quality and Evidence: What’s New?” will be from 1:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Room 127ABC.

“This forum will provide a focused look at the clinical practice guidelines, national risk model development, public reporting, and quality initiatives that currently and soon will shape how we’re assessed and judged in a rapidly changing health care marketplace,” said Vinay Badhwar, MD, Director of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Heart and Vascular Institute, Chair of the STS Public Reporting Task Force, and member of the STS Quality Measurement Task Force. Dr. Badhwar will co-moderate the session with Jeffrey P. Jacobs, MD, Chair of the STS Workforce on National Databases.


Jeffrey P. Jacobs, MD

For Dr. Jacobs, the science of analyzing outcomes to improve the quality of cardiothoracic surgical care is rapidly evolving.

“As cardiothoracic surgeons, it’s our professional responsibility to become experts in these topics so that we can take better care of our patients. With this session, we felt we had an opportunity to really improve cardiothoracic care throughout the country by providing data and information related to outcomes, quality, patient safety, and evidence-driven medicine,” said Dr. Jacobs, Professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins University and Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Director of the Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program, and Surgical Director of the Heart Transplantation and Extracorporeal Life Support Programs at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute, All Children’s Hospital, and Florida Hospital for Children, St. Petersburg and Orlando.

The program will begin with John D. Mitchell, MD, Chair of the STS Workforce on Evidence-Based Surgery, providing an update on STS clinical practice guidelines for total arterial revascularization, temperature management during cardiopulmonary bypass, lobectomy for lung cancer, and surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation.

After a presentation on local and regional quality collaboratives, discussion of scientific abstracts, and a talk on quality measures, there will be two public reporting presentations, including one with Dr. Badhwar.

“It’s important for STS to transparently provide information about outcomes and activities, not only for physician and hospital consumption, but also for public consumption. We consider this a moral obligation for our professional society,” said Dr. Badhwar, adding that work in adult and congenital cardiac surgery is progressing now into excellence in general thoracic surgery public reporting.

After attendees take in a presentation on STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database risk models, Dr. Jacobs will share updates on three national quality initiatives—the National Quality Forum (NQF), the American Medical Association-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Physician Compare website.

“It is important that STS has a seat at the table as these national quality agendas evolve,” Dr. Jacobs said. For example, he noted that the Society’s commitment to quality is exemplified in the NQF’s endorsement of multiple STS performance measures.

“STS is the steward for more NQF-endorsed measures than any other specialty-based medical professional organization,” Dr. Jacobs said.

The Chair of the AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee, Peter K. Smith, MD, Durham, N.C., will conclude the session with an update on physician reimbursement, including CPT and the RUC.

“What Peter has accomplished in advocating for our profession to assure fair strategies for assessing the value of physician work is important and legendary in our field,” Dr. Jacobs said.