On July 1st, the Joint Commission kicks off its new Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery program (ACSS); they are committed to recognizing organizations delivering the highest quality spine care and helping to elevate their services “with the evidence-based proof of clinical quality sought by patients and payors alike.”
To best support our partners in achieving Advanced Certification, the Force team attended the Joint Commission’s ACSS workshop earlier this month to ensure we stay abreast of best practices and program guidelines.
As organizations start to plan for Advanced Certification, it’s important to understand the program’s central requirements. To help guide these efforts, we’ve outlined below our key takeaways from the Joint Commission’s workshop.
Furthermore, as we’ve seen from over 10 years of assisting our partners in applying for and achieving Advanced Orthopedic Certifications, it’s essential to have a validated technology partner that can help satisfy data and reporting requirements, standardize care delivery, and offer expert advice throughout the process.
1) Standardized Care is a Must-Have
2) Performance Measures and Registry Requirements
- Providing clinical care consistent with evidence-based practice is at the heart of the ACSS program. Eligible spine programs (those completing 200 or more surgeries per year) must demonstrate standardized care delivery, meet rigorous data collection and reporting requirements, and participate in the American Spine Registry (ASR).
- Force is well-equipped to help our partners meet these requirements. At the heart of Force is our commitment and proven ability to help standardize and improve patient care and outcomes: we do this by scaling the patient experience with automated touch points and clinically-validated care pathways, which in turn frees up FTE resources to care for patients who truly need individual attention.
3) Preparing for the ACSS Onsite Review
- Programs also need to adopt the Joint Commissions’ spine-specific performance measures; among these measures are pre- and post-op PROs, including PROMIS, VR-12, Oswestry Disability Index, and Neck Disability Index. Data collection for ACSS needs to begin at least 4 months prior to the onsite review, so it’s critical that spine programs start to assess their PROs collection capabilities now.
- Today, Force is already collecting these core outcomes forms to provide our partners with ample insights into their outcomes and areas for care improvement, and to ensure their eligibility for certification programs and national programs of distinction.
- Another key component of ACSS is the American Spine Registry (ASR). The ASR’s goal is to collect unique clinical data demonstrating real-world spine practice to drive high-quality, high-value care. In the future, Force will be able to ship level III patient-reported data directly to the ASR to strengthen these efforts on behalf of our partners. The added benefit of submitting PROs to ASR is that it will also help programs further qualify for national distinction programs (like Aetna or Blue Distinction) and Medicare programs, such as BPCI-A.