Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative Provides Data-Driven Resource for Abdominal wall Reconstruction Coding

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ACHQC is proud to announce its peer-reviewed coding update

The Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative (ACHQC) is proud to announce its peer-reviewed coding update for the performance of abdominal wall reconstruction (AWR), “A pragmatic, evidence-based approach to coding for abdominal wall reconstruction” was recently published in the journal Hernia. This publication represents an innovation in coding - utilizing real world data to justify coding updates.

“Applying an evidence-based analysis from the real world data which takes into account patient complexities, operative time and outcomes is a novel approach to substantiate the need for coding updates,” shared Benjamin Poulose, MD, MPH, ACHQC Director of Quality and Outcomes. “Specifically, this update defines abdominal wall reconstruction and clarifies the coding for performance of repairs using advanced myofascial release techniques.”

Recognizing ambiguities within the current coding environment specific to abdominal wall reconstructions, the ACHQC analyzed data from 15,246 elective ventral hernia repairs with mesh collected in the ACHQC registry. Three distinct clinical vignettes and associated outcomes are presented which support the recommendation that coding for AWR cases should be applied based on myofascial releases performed, regardless of surgical approach (open, laparoscopic, or robotic-assisted).

“We believe this type of clinically driven evaluation is crucial when considering the most appropriate coding for abdominal wall reconstruction,” shared Michael Rosen, MD, ACHQC Medical Director. “We hope this work clarifies current AWR coding methodology and can be used as a resource by coding professionals, surgeons, hospitals, and professional societies,”

The complete peer-reviewed article is available free of charge at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10029-021-02458-w.

Founded in 2013, the Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative (ACHQC) is a non-profit collaborative focused on maximizing quality and value of care delivered to patients with hernias and other abdominal core diseases. The ACHQC has developed and manages a robust real world data registry which captures clinically relevant information pertaining to abdominal core surgeries. Currently the ACHQC registry includes data on over 87,000 patients collected by over 470 surgeons across the US. With the support and dedication of these surgeons, continuous quality improvement and rigorous data analyses, the Collaborate leverages real world experiences to improve the continuum of patient care.

For more information about the ACHQC Foundation visit http://www.achqc.org.

Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative programs are supported by Foundation Partners Medtronic, Allergan Aesthetics, BD-Bard, Ethicon, Inc., TELA Bio, and W.L. Gore.

About the ACHQC: Through continuous quality improvement, real world data collection, rigorous analysis and collaborative learning, the ACHQC identifies areas where abdominal core health may be enhanced and shares this information in meaningful ways that have direct impact on patient care. The ACHQC is a CMS Qualified Clinical Data Registry and is an authoritative resource for organizations to assess quality metrics and demonstrate a commitment to efficient, value-based patient centered care. Participation in the ACHQC is free to surgeons and fulfills Part 4 of the American Board of Surgery Maintenance of Certification Program.

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