Benefits beyond MIPS

While physician anesthesiologists recently completed their first year submitting Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Payment Program, some practices are going beyond just submitting data to meet CMS requirements.

Practices and physician anesthesiologists submitting data through Quality Concierge of the Anesthesia Quality Institute’s National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR) are finding they can use the data for business development, hospital performance goals and managed care contracts. They are also becoming more efficient in local quality improvement processes too.

NACOR benchmarking allows practices to report their billing and administrative data, as well as continue to report quality measures (MIPS and QCDR) without submitting to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Submitting data will help build consistent, year-over-year quality and outcomes data that will help you:

  • Negotiate contracts with hospitals
  • Report quality data to private insurers to negotiate fee increases
  • Benchmark performance against 20,000 participants
  • Provide support for mergers, sales and acquisitions

MIPS Improvement Activities account for 15 percent of score

For the 2018 performance year, Improvement Activities will again account for 15 percent of the total Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) score for eligible clinicians (ECs)/groups. MIPS-eligible clinicians will have more than 100 Improvement Activities to choose.

It is in the best interest of ECs/groups to report on all required MIPS components, including Improvement Activities, to be eligible to receive a positive payment adjustment. Review ASA’s Recommended Improvement Activities for Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine.  

It’s never too late to start sending quality data to NACOR

Quality reporting deadlines for the 2018 performance year are still months away, but practices are encouraged to start sending quality data to AQI. Reviewing and submitting data on a monthly or quarterly basis and knowing NACOR minimum data field requirements on a monthly or quarterly basis will make the reporting process easier.

All National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR) participants and vendors must upload complete (merged and formatted) data files to AQI’s data submission portal through ePreop. Quality data from January through November 2018 must be submitted by January 31, 2019. All 2018 data must be submitted by February 15, 2019.

Practices interested in registering for 2018 NACOR Quality Reporting can now begin the enrollment process by completing the new online order form. For more information about submitting quality data, or with assistance in merging or formatting data, email

NACOR dashboard 2018 enhancements expected in June

The AQI NACOR dashboard is now being updated for 2018 and should be completed in June. For more information about the NACOR dashboard, email

Next Office Hours in July

Looking for answers to your quality reporting questions? AQI is hosting its regularly scheduled Virtual Office Hours at 11 a.m. Central, Tuesday, July 10. Miss last month’s Virtual Office Hours? Check out the May Office Hours here.


2018 MACRA MIPS Information

Register for 2018 NACOR quality reporting

2018 NACOR pricing

2018 NACOR Data Definitions

2018 QCDR Measure Booklet

2018 Recommended Improvement Activities

Office Hours FAQs

Question: What is the code for Quantum 31?

Quantum 31 is a licensed measure for MEDNAX and it has no AQI Measure ID. The denominator includes CPT procedure codes, not ASA codes. This measure should be reported by providers who actually place the central line, not by providers who provide anesthesia for central line placement. Since MEDNAX is the measure steward for Quantum 31, all questions should be directed to MEDNAX.

Question: Have measure specifications changed from 2017 to 2018?

Yes, the QCDR measure specifications have changed from 2017 to 2018. For more details, refer to the new 2018 QCRD Measure booklet.