You are here

Your SVS: Task Force to Explore Inpatient, Outpatient Vascular Certification

The SVS Executive Board has established a task force charged with exploring the potential for developing a vascular certification program for inpatient and outpatient vascular care settings. Anton Sidawy, MD, has been appointed chair of the task force, which will integrate and provide oversight of two working subcommittees: one for inpatient and one for outpatient office-based care. Dr. Krishna Jain, MD, has been appointed chair of the Office-Based Endovascular Center (OBEC) outpatient Subcommittee. A chair for the Inpatient Subcommittee has yet to be named.

Noticing the shift in professional reimbursement from payment for volume to payment for quality, the SVS Executive Board felt strongly that it is a critical time for vascular surgery to embrace a program to set the standards for appropriate care for inpatient as well as outpatient vascular care that is based on quality improvement, efficiency, and appropriateness of care.

"Within the past several years, there has been a notable shift of how governmental programs and commercial payers reimburse physicians for their services and a surge in endovascular care delivered in outpatients setting," said Dr. Sidawy. "We as vascular surgeons represented by the SVS should take the lead in quality and value standards for vascular care before they are defined for us. Offering an SVS-led certification process will be instrumental in ensuring optimal outcomes by inspiring the most appropriate, high-quality care for vascular care in all settings, inpatient as well as outpatient."

SVS will be putting together a committee on appropriateness of indications and care for vascular care. "We feel that in order to provide the best vascular care in a data-driven, quality-based system, we, as a Society, need to be actively involved in this process," said SVS President Dr. R. Clement Darling, III. "Vascular surgeons have a long history of making data-driven decisions on which patients should and shouldn’t have an intervention, and since we treat patients medically as well as by endovascular or open techniques, we have a unique perspective."

Many SVS members have been pioneers in the design and delivery of care in office-based practice settings, and they have been fierce advocates for SVS to become engaged in this effort. "We have heard our members loud and clear," noted Dr. Darling. "SVS members want SVS to play a major role in shaping the future of the office-based endovascular center, setting the bar for appropriateness and quality, and helping all practitioners achieve it."

"Offering an SVS-led certification process will inspire the most appropriate, high-quality vascular care and optimal outcomes for all patients," said Dr. Jain.

The task force will be opening dialogue and potential collaboration with other partners such as the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the Outpatient Endovascular and Interventional Society (OEIS) and the Intersociety Accreditation Council (IAC), said Dr. Darling, "as well as societies such as the American Venous Forum, the Society for Vascular Ultrasound and the Society for Vascular Nursing."

A critical element of any potential certification program will be linkage and active engagement with a data registry. The SVS Patient Safety Organization and Vascular Quality Initiative (SVS VQI) will lend its full support to the certification initiative. VQI registries are already used in more than 430 vascular care settings, ranging from academic to community practice (37 percent). VQI data can be used to benchmark performance and improve the quality of vascular care.

"Given that the SVS VQI has already been adopted by all types of facilities, including OBECs and vein centers, the SVS VQI is well positioned and committed to offer inpatient and Office-Based Endovascular Centers an ideal solution to help assess and improve their quality of care," said Dr. Jens Eldrup-Jorgensen, SVS PSO medical director.

It will take the task force approximately six months to explore the potential for a vascular certification program and to make its recommendations to the SVS Executive Board. If established, anticipated launch of a program will be in 2019. Regular updates will be made to the SVS membership.