January/February 2014

Quality Conundrums

Healthcare.gov — A Quality Conundrum?

Regardless of your politics, we can all agree that leveraging technology in some way to enhance the quality and decrease the cost of health care is a logical approach. Although disagreement remains, recent articles suggest that EHR implementation does enhance quality of care, at least with regard to the provision of preventive services and management of some common chronic diseases. Whether EHR use reduces the direct cost of care is less clear. And clearly the use of other technologies increases the cost of care. So, is there an opportunity for technology to decrease health care cost while supporting improved quality and access? The jury is out.

An article in Businessweek in April 2013, “The Reason Health Care Is So Expensive: Insurance Companies,” reprises some old statistics regarding the 19 to 24% of health care dollars spent on administrative expenses, with recent updates showing an even higher percentage. We do know that technology, with regard to shopping for and purchasing services, can facilitate product selection while decreasing cost. (Amazon.com is one example of a service that uses technology to facilitate cost effective purchase and delivery of a product; there are many others.) While many of us, including me, would consider the selection of a health care provider to be very different from the purchase of a book or toy, we might not feel that way about insurance coverage. Comparing products and prices is what the Internet seems ‘born’ to do. And decreasing the administrative cost and burden of health care financing would quickly and substantially decrease cost, without engaging in controversial debates over limiting the provision of care.

The spectacular debacle of healthcare.gov’s debut is so disturbing because using the Internet to decrease administrative costs, an important and non-controversial goal, should be a no brainer. And it wasn’t! Was this a failure of leadership? Of design? Of desire?

At least for now, healthcare.gov seems a high-profile quality conundrum. We should all insist on a quick solution so that the bigger question of what is, should, and can be the role of technology in improving the value of health care doesn’t get lost in political debate over something that just should have been done better.

Read the article here: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-10/the-reason-health-care-is-so-expensive-insurance-companies.

Please send inquiries and comments to rwillog@abqaurp.org, please include
Quality Column in the subject line.
We look forward to your participation in this new column.

ABQAURP’s 37th Annual Health Care Quality & Patient Safety Conference
ABQAURP’s 37th Annual Health Care Quality & Patient Safety Conference

Getting Paid for Innovation and High Value Outcomes:
The Path to Cost Effective, Accessible Health Care for All

Friday, May 2, 2014
Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, Lake Buena Vista, FL

We are delighted to present these innovative sessions* providing attendees information on current strategies being employed and the “tools they can use” to be compensated for innovation, outcomes, and the full scope of care they are providing.

  • Baldrige Criteria as the Bridge Between Process Improvement and World Class Results
  • The Value of Customer Service
  • The Journey to Population Health
  • Physician Alignment and Compensation/Stark Laws
  • Mental Health Care in a Turbulent Environment
  • Documentation and ICD-10 Implementation
  • Patient Safety Organizations: A Vehicle to Quality Improvement
  • Accountable Care Organizations–Medical Staff Issues, Coping, and Transcending Barriers

Learn more: http://www.abqaurp.org/orlando-2014.asp
Register now for the Best Conference Prices!
Early Registration discount of $100 expires 1/31/2014.

*Conference topics are tentative and subject to change.



ABQAURP welcomes applications for joint sponsorship of educational activities for continuing education credit. ABQAURP accredits a variety of activities, including:

Live Activity
Enduring Material
Journal-based CME
Internet Activity Live
Internet Activity Enduring Material
Performance Improvement

ABQAURP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians and is accredited by the Florida Board of Nursing to sponsor nursing contact hours. As an accredited provider, ABQAURP is here to work with each joint sponsor organization to ensure the accreditation process runs as smoothly as possible. Benefits of working with ABQAURP include: one-on-one assistance, on-site assistance, contact for speakers and commercial supporters, evaluation compilation, one-time mailing list to drive attendance, website placement, and advertising in Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare magazine.

For more information, please call Deborah Naser at
(800) 998-6030, ext. 118.


Health Care Quality and Management (HCQM) Certification

ABQAURP is pleased to collaborate with the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) in the administration of the 2014 exam. ABQAURP is dedicated to assuring a high quality certification process with definable standards; the NBME involvement reinforces that dedication. Together, we consult on the planning, development, analysis, and scoring of the certification exam, bringing examinees an exam experience based on a vast array of knowledge and expertise.

We are now accepting applications for
HCQM Certification in 2014!

Exam Window will be open August 15 – October 15
Don’t delay, seating is limited!

When deciding on a credential, you want the best, most comprehensive certification that covers the entire health care quality continuum. Choose the provider with the experience that has come to define the field of Health Care Quality and Management.

Upcoming ABQAURP Accredited Events

To accredit your educational events for continuing education credit, contact Deborah Naser at 800-998-6030, ext. 118.


37th Annual Health Care Quality & Patient Safety Conference
Getting Paid for Innovation and High Value Outcomes: The Path to Cost Effective, Accessible Health Care for All
Friday, May 2, 2014
Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts,
Lake Buena Vista, FL


The Source: “What’s New” Monthly Articles

Ongoing – Online Education

Practical Approach to Problem Wounds
Wound Care Review Course
Total Contact Casting – The Gold Standard of Care
Total Contact Casting: Efficacy and Application
Ongoing – Online Education

American Association of Orthopaedic Medicine (AAOM)
February 2, 2014
AAOM Prolotherapy Workshop
Cancun, Mexico

Georgia Society of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (GSASC) & South
Carolina Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (SCASCA)
February 27–28, 2014
GSASC / SCASCA 2014 Joint Semi-Annual Conference & Trade Show
Hilton Head, SC

World Congress Activities

5th Annual Leadership Summit on Readmissions and
Pre-conference Summit

January 30, 2014
Chicago, IL

Physician Advisor Summit and Pre-Conference Workshop
March 24, 2014
Orlando, FL


February 23, 2014
2014 HIMSS Physician’s IT Symposium – Pre-conference at HIMSS14
Orlando, FL

To accredit your educational events for continuing education credit, contact Deborah Naser at 800-998-6030, ext. 118.


ABQAURP wants to recognize members for their achievements in advancing the field of health care quality management and patient safety. Please send your news to ABQAURP by email to feature@abqaurp.org for consideration.


American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc.
6640 Congress Street
New Port Richey, FL 34653
Toll- free 800/998-6030 • Tel. 727/569-0190
Fax 727/569-0195 • www.abqaurp.org