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In April 2015, the N


QOD became an approved Centers

for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 2015 Physician

Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Qualified Clinical Data

Registry (QCDR), marking NPA’s third year as a PQRS

registry vendor and its first as a QCDR. NPA obtained

final approval on 21 novel, “non-PQRS” (i.e., not existing

PQRS) measures. Importantly, these measures are the first

specialty-specific measures for neurosurgery approved for

public reporting and will provide a meaningful method for

neurosurgeons to use in programs such as PQRS.

“Securing QCDR status for N


QOD is a tremendously

important accomplishment for our specialty. This exciting

development gives neurosurgeons, for the first time, a set

of specialty-specific measures for use in public quality

reporting programs. This will ensure that data collected

through our registries and used for PQRS is meaningful

for neurosurgeons, their patients and other stakeholders,”

commented Anthony L. Asher, MD, FAANS, N



director and vice-chair of NeuroPoint Alliance. Asher

added, “Neurosurgery is ‘all in’ with the goal of substantively

advancing the health-care quality paradigm.

“What we’re really looking forward to is applying the

information gleaned from the registry to positively impact

outcomes,” continued Asher. “Beyond clinical data collection,

there has to be a commitment to quality improvement. As a

specialty, we are dedicated to practical application of N



data to encourage iterative improvements in care and facilitate

enhanced patient outcomes.”

Other notable projects conducted by the NeuroPoint

Alliance in 2015 include the EC-IC Bypass Study and the

Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy (CSM) Surgical Trial.

The ECIC Bypass Study is a prospective registry evaluating

EC-IC bypass for carotid occlusion with persistent or

unstable symptoms failing medical management. The study

is accruing 80 patients from 11 centers, over three years

with 24-month follow-up. Investigators are completing

the testing period and expect to begin to accrue patients

by summer 2015. Funds for the project were donated by

a patient and matched by the Wallace Foundation. The

purpose of the CSM-S study is to determine the optimal

surgical approach for patients with multi-level cervical

spondylotic myelopathy. There are no established guidelines

for the management of patients with CSM, which

represents the most common cause of spinal cord injury and

dysfunction in the U.S. and in the world. The study will

include 300 patients from 20 centers, over six years. The

NPA has partnered with Acesis, Inc., for data collection for

both of these projects.

Established in 2008 by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons to collect,

analyze and report on nationwide clinical data from neurosurgical practices, NPA is

supported by other neurological societies, including the Congress of Neurological

Surgeons (CNS), Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) and the American Board

of Neurological Surgery (ABNS). NPA is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) corporation that

coordinates a variety of national and international projects.

Efforts of the data coordinators from N


QOD participating centers are instrumental to the registry’s

success. This group forms the Practice Based Learning Network (PBLN), which collaborates with

surgeons and VIMPH in the development of education and training materials, mentoring to new

data coordinators and assisting in the recruitment of new participating centers. This year the PBLN

was led by Jennifer Beswick (University of Louisville), Darlene Brewer (Semmes Murphey),

Melissa Mehrlich (Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates), Cita Read (Winchester Medical

Center-Valley Health) and Bonnie Weiss (Atlantic Neurosurgical Specialists).