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The American Academy of Ophthalmology Expands Partnership with Verana Health to Include EHR Data Integration and MIPS Reporting for the IRIS® Registry: Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Verana Health?

Verana Health is a healthcare technology company focused on curating and analyzing health care data to advance medical research and patient care. As the data curation and analytics partner of the American Academy of Ophthalmology IRIS® Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight), Verana utilizes real-world clinical data found in the IRIS Registry to derive clinical and business insights to advance and accelerate research and give physicians access to critical information that can be used to improve patient care.

On April 28, 2020, the Academy announced an expansion of this relationship, with Verana Health assuming responsibility for EHR integration, practice support and MIPS (Merit-Based Incentive Payment System) quality reporting for physicians contributing to the IRIS Registry moving forward.

The IRIS Registry is the largest specialty database in all of medicine. It was built by Academy members and is growing daily. With this remarkable resource and the promise of our partnership with Verana Health, ophthalmology is poised to become the most data-driven specialty in medicine.

Why is the Academy transitioning to a new partner?

Verana Health was selected as the Academy’s new end-to-end data and technology partner for the IRIS Registry to offer an enhanced physician experience that is highly reliable and responsive to requests and inquiries, provide MIPS reporting with the highest degree of quality, and ensure the exceptional data quality required to provide the ophthalmic community with meaningful insights and technology applications.

Our partnership enhances the IRIS Registry’s value for Academy members. Verana’s deep expertise in data curation and analytics will ensure the exceptional data quality required to provide the ophthalmic community with meaningful insights and technology applications. High-quality data applications include robust practice performance and benchmarking capabilities and scientific discovery facilitated by real-world evidence generated from the IRIS Registry.

What do I need to do to participate?

The transition will begin in May and continue over the next two years as Verana integrates with additional electronic health record systems. The current registry services provider will continue to support remaining practices until the transition is complete.

Practices will be contacted by Verana Health as they become eligible for EHR integration and quality reporting through Verana. Each practice will work with a designated Verana Practice Experience Manager, based out of Verana’s offices in Knoxville, TN or San Francisco, CA, who will serve as the main point of contact between the practice and the Verana team to ensure a seamless transition and excellent customer service experience.

What is the expected time and resource commitment for my practice?

The time and resource commitment will differ for each practice and depends on the EHR system of record. However, we do not expect this process to require significant time. Practices should expect a brief kick-off call and a few email exchanges to put required documentation and credentials in place. Verana Health will require limited time from the practice in order to establish a data connection and validate data outputs to ensure data quality.

How will this impact MIPS reporting under MACRA to CMS?

There will be no impact on 2020 MIPS reporting. The Verana Quality Measures dashboard for MIPS reporting will be available in the future to practices integrated with the IRIS Registry via Verana Data Link. The dashboard will enable physicians to view and filter their performance across quality measures, and will include the same feature set as the current dashboard with more visibility into measure score calculation methodologies and an enhanced user interface for easier navigation. Verana will work with providers and practice administrators over time to gather feedback and further enhance the functionality of this dashboard.

FIGmd will continue to provide coverage for practices that have not yet transitioned to Verana or do not have an EHR system.

What are Verana Health’s qualifications for MIPS reporting?

The Academy and Verana implemented a pilot program to assess Verana’s reporting capabilities. Verana successfully built quality reporting calculations for all 2019 IRIS measures across multiple EHR systems. These 44 measures were validated against current 2019 calculations at the initial cohort of practices. Verana calculated scores in accordance with CMS standards and to the satisfaction of physicians and practices participating in the pilot.

Verana’s quality reporting dashboard provides practices with highly transparent insights into their individual data quality and mappings. These insights enable practices to identify areas for potential performance improvement and translate into direct value for physician members.

How will Verana Health use my data?

Physicians and practices are contracted with the American Academy of Ophthalmology to contribute their EHR data to the IRIS Registry. Verana operates as a business associate under HIPAA to assist the IRIS Registry with MIPS reporting, improving data quality and de-identifying the data. Once the registry data has been de-identified and can no longer be traced back to any individual patient, practice, or ophthalmologist, Verana curates and analyzes de-identified, aggregate data to provide insights to life science companies and research institutions with the goal of advancing research and discovery.

Are the same data protections in place?

Member physicians will continue to own their data. Individual physician and patient data will continue to be de-identified and analyzed on an aggregate level. The Academy and Verana Health will continue to invest to ensure that we maintain the highest levels of data security. Learn more about Verana’s patient privacy policies at www.veranahealth.com/patient-privacy.