I recently received this email from the California Society of Anesthesiologists. It's headlined, "Setting Up PQRS Reporting Through the ASA QCDR (NACOR)." Huh? What the hell did I just read? It looks like some toddler had just randomly lined up a bunch of alphabet letter blocks. Am I supposed to make sense of this?
Alas, these abbreviations are all important initiatives doctors have to know in order to receive their already compensation from the government. Medicare demands that doctors prove they are giving their patients high quality services or their reimbursements will be penalized. Thus we have the Patient Quality Reporting System, the Qualified Clinical Data Registry, and the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry established by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. I won't even go into the details of TIN levels, NQS, or AQI.
This goes to show how inconsequential doctors now are when Washington makes healthcare policies. Medical students and residents are too busy studying real medicine. There are thousands of facts to memorize before one is conferred a medical degree. Yet they are taught none of these acronyms as part of their medical school curriculum. But these letters are actually more important to their careers as doctors than knowing which erectile dysfunction drug is the longest acting. No matter how smart a doctor you are, or how much your patients love you, the feds will cut your income unless you can document you are giving "quality" care. Quality as defined by them, not you, your colleagues, or your patients.
Maybe med schools should devote a semester to teaching future physicians about how to survive in a government run healthcare world. It will certainly be more practical and beneficial than memorizing the Krebs cycle.