5 Compliance Reasons to Adopt eCC Pathology Synoptic Reporting
There are many reasons to adopt electronic Cancer Checklists (eCC) in your pathology reporting - standardization of results reported, ease of reading for the referring physician, structured data easily sent in to cancer registries. One of the best reasons to adopt the eCC in creating reports for your lab is compliance - not just complying with data standards but also to comply with occupational standards that can result in accreditation and better compensation for your lab and your pathologists.
Recently, College of American Pathologists (CAP) posted a piece outlining various ways that complying with eCCs can qualify your lab and your pathologists for additional funding and privileges. We've parsed out the points that CAP made to better help you understand the importance of eCC pathology synoptic reporting.
Here are 5 Ways that Adopting eCC Pathology Synoptic Reporting will Result in Greater Compliance for You and Your Lab:
- American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer requires >90% of cancer resection reports contain all required data elements defined by CAP Cancer Protocols
Starting in 2004, the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer (CoC) started issuing requirements for cancer treatment programs seeking CoC accreditation (or seeking to remain CoC accredited). One of those requirements is that no less than "90% of eligible pathology reports that include a cancer diagnosis will contain the scientifically validated data elements outlined on the surgical case summary checklist of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) publication Reporting on Cancer
Specimens." If your lab isn't adhering to these protocols - then your cancer program cannot be CoC accredited. No one wants to be the weak link that invalidates the accreditation of your cancer program. Not to mention that such an invalidation can lead to a drop in referrals, less work, less money, etc.
- The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program contains a similar requirement
Using eCCs ensure that your lab conforms to CAP standards of reporting and formatting - which is key for labs seeking CAP accreditation (or seeking to retain that accreditation). CAP published this anatomic pathology checklist requirement, ANP 12350, as a part of their accreditation process as a way of ensuring a standard of data reporting and also encourage best practices adopted nationwide. This accreditation will again lead to more business for your lab. If the choice for a facility is between using a CAP accredited lab or one that isn't, they will go with the accredited organization that bears a seal of approval for capturing and reporting on cancer cases in the manner that is nationally recognized as being the best and most thorough. And the best way to conform to eCCs correctly and fully is to utilize synoptic reporting solutions.
- Joint Commission standards for medical staff stipulate that staff members undergo Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation (OPPE) more often than every year. Completeness of cancer reporting has been suggested as one measure suitable for OPPE
The Joint Commission has implemented two measures - MS.4.15 and MS.4.40 - in their standards for credentialing and privileging facilities. MS.4.15 is meant to make privileging a more "evidence-based process" that consists of "criteria to determine practitioner’s ability to provide care are established and used consistently" with an evaluation that "should include data being collected on an ongoing basis." eCCs are a great way to ensure completeness of reports while allowing practicioners to clearly demonstrate what data is being collected and how it is consistently captured.
MS.4.40 is the Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation (OPPE) that seeks to evaluate a staff member's performance on a recurring basis using consistent standards and measurable data. Cancer reporting is a possible method for this evaluation, due to its tendency to conform to these standards laid out by Joint Commission, CoC and CAP.
- CMS pay-for-performance standards for pathologists provided incentives for inclusion of specific elements in colon, breast, and prostate cancer reports
As outlined in H.R. 6111, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) can increase reimbursement by up to 1.5% for pathologists that participate in Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). In order to qualify, pathologists need to submit 80% of their applicable colon and breast resections. As detailed in Dark Daily's e-briefing, "the bonus payment is equivalent to 1.5% of a practice’s TOTAL Medicare allowed charges—NOT just breast and colon cancer resections!" eCCs cover the information needed for quality initiatives, and the formatting allows for easy exporting and presentation to conform to the CMS standards. By adopting these eCC pathology synoptic reporting standards, facilities can comply with this initiative and receive this bump in reimbursement.
- It’s the current standard of practice
By adopting eCC synoptic reporting for pathology, facilities are conforming to standards that strengthens risk management against any malpractice claims. They are alligning themselves with an objective practice that referring physicians prefer, displaying pathology results in a clearer and more concise way while capturing the most important prognostic indicators.