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American College of Physicians Launches Quality Measures Tool in PIER

Helps Physicians Understand and Navigate the “Starter Set” of AQA Quality Measures

PHILADELPHIA – (July 27, 2006) The Physicians' Information and Education Resource (PIER), published by ACP, now includes the PIER Quality Measures Tool. This new PIER feature is designed to help physicians understand and navigate the approximately 26 "starter set" measures issued and approved by the Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance (AQA).

The measures were developed in an effort to improve preventive health services and patient outcomes when managing such conditions as asthma, coronary artery disease, diabetes, depression, falls, and heart failure. The PIER tool provides a list of quality measures, the criteria for applying them, and links to supporting recommendations and evidence in PIER.

According to David Goldmann, MD, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of PIER, “The new PIER tool was developed to help physicians by consolidating the list of AQA quality measures with supporting administrative and clinical information in one easily accessible place.”

PIER is available as a free benefit to the approximately 120,000 members of the American College of Physicians. For more information on PIER go to pier.acponline.org.

ACP Congressional Testimony on Capitol Hill

The PIER Quality Measures Tool is an important step toward helping physicians participate in a reimbursement system that pays based on quality outcomes, the subject of congressional hearings on July 25th and July 27th. ACP will further its ongoing effort to improve the quality of patient care by testifying on Thursday, July 27, on Capitol Hill at the Medicare Physician Payment House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings titled "Medicare Physician Payment: How to Build a Payment System that Provides Quality, Efficient Care for Medicare Beneficiaries."

In September 2004, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Physicians (ACP), America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), joined together to create a voluntary organizational alliance that is dedicated to developing methods that will most effectively and efficiently measure and improve performance in the ambulatory care setting. This alliance, named the Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance (AQA) soon identified a "starter set" of measures for assessing ambulatory care.

PIER – ACP's Physicians' Information and Education Resource, a point-of-care, web-based decision-support tool – now contains 425 modules that provide guidance and information on more than 300 diseases and conditions. PIER modules also contain information on ethical and legal issues; complementary and alternative medicine; and screening, prevention and procedures.

ACP (Doctors of Internal Medicine. Doctors for Adults.) is the nation’s largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group. Membership includes physicians who provide comprehensive primary and subspecialty care to tens of millions of patients, including taking care of more Medicare patients than any other physician specialty. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults. ACP works to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine.

Contact: David Goldmann, MD, FACP, 215-351-2677, dgoldmann@acponline.org

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