AAOS Now

Published 7/1/2014

AJRR Designated as Approved QCDR

The American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), the nation’s largest orthopaedic registry, is one of 37 organizations recently designated as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide expanded, comprehensive medical procedure outcome information, including patient safety data. This centrally compiled information will include physician and patient observations and data and will highlight joint replacement concerns, advance orthopaedic learning, and ultimately, improve patient care and outcomes.

The AJRR is an independent nonprofit organization, created to optimize patient outcomes through the collection of data on primary and revision total joint replacement procedures in the United States.

The QCDR program is part of the CMS Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), a data collection effort that uses reimbursement incentives to encourage the reporting of patient outcomes. Currently, Eligible Professionals (EPs) (primarily physicians) provide data and information directly to CMS. With the new program, physicians will provide information directly to a designated QCDR.

In addition, patients will be encouraged to provide online feedback to the QCDR on the success, side effects, and other outcomes pertaining to their specific treatment and device. Beginning in 2015, EPs who send outcome data to an appropriate and accredited QCDR will receive higher CMS reimbursements.

Initially, AJRR will provide a broad range of data on hip and knee replacement outcomes. AJRR receives data from 1,800 orthopaedic surgeons performing more than 100,000 procedures at 170 hospitals in 48 states. Next year, AJRR hopes to expand its data collection to include more than 250,000 procedures and to include both physician and patient feedback on outcomes.

Through this new program and accreditation, “more orthopaedic surgeons will provide a broader range of data, and encourage their patients to do the same, on important hip and knee replacement outcomes, including side effects, pain relief and postoperative mobility,” said William J. Maloney, MD, chair of the AJRR board of directors. “The collection of this information through one central registry has the potential to significantly improve orthopaedic outcomes, including patient safety.”

“These registries put patients first,” said AAOS President Frederick M. Azar, MD. “Patients need to know that there is a platform for sharing their joint-replacement perceptions and experiences. The AAOS looks forward to working with AJRR to expand the number of procedures included in the data compilation shared with CMS to provide safer, more successful and cost-effective orthopaedic care.”