Alliance member organizations are committed to providing patients with access to the highest quality specialty care available. The Alliance's specialty association members are actively engaged in the process of developing evidence-based and clinically relevant quality measures and establishing data registries through initiatives within their own specialty and/or through the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement. Alliance member physicians are active participants in a number of quality improvement programs, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service's (CMS) Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and support meaningful efforts to improve quality through reporting and guideline development.
In addition, Alliance members support comparative effectiveness research (CER) that focuses on transparency, public input and patient safeguards. The Alliance believes CER should enhance information about treatment options and outcomes for patients and physicians, helping them to choose the care that best meets the individual needs of the patient. CER must recognize the diversity, including racial and ethnic diversity, of patient populations and subpopulations and communicate results in ways that reflect the differences in individual patient needs. CER should not be a vehicle for making centralized coverage and payment decisions or recommendations.
Finally, Alliance members are engaged in both public and private health information technology (HIT) initiatives. Through collaborative efforts with the medical specialty community, the Alliance has successfully advocated for modifications to CMS' Electronic Health Record (EHR) and E-Prescribing Incentive Programs, including changes that would allow specialists to demonstrate "meaningful use" by reporting quality data through clinical registries supported by Alliance member societies and provide exclusions from criteria not specific to specialty medicine. The Alliance continues to work with federal agencies and advisory committees to help shape future requirements, ensuring that these programs are relevant and meaningful to specialists and do not create undue administrative burdens that take away from direct patient care.
Alliance member societies also engage with other HIT-focused organizations and participate in private initiatives that aim to promote interoperability among disparate health information technologies, including the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), Health Level 7 (HL7), and the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS).
The following documents represent the Alliance’s position on quality improvement through PQRS, CER, HIT and other proposals:
Statement from the Alliance of Specialty Medicine in reaction to HHS Report on
National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care
2012 Alliance comments on EHR proposed rule
Alliance letter to Honorable Darrell Issa, Chairman Committee on Oversight and Government Reform