Quality & Practice

Spine Quality Outcomes Database (SQOD)


AAPM&R and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) are working together to create the Spine Quality Outcomes Database (SQOD), which will support the collection and submission of quality data specific to spine patients and track these patients’ outcomes over time. This is the first time 2 primary medical specialties have worked together on a registry.


What Makes This Registry Unique?

The registry will follow both surgical and nonsurgical patients longitudinally, and collectively, the data has the ability to advance the understanding of the ever-growing spine patient population while demonstrating the quality and value of treatments.

When Will the Spine Patient Registry Be Available?

January 2017 is the intended launch date. Payment adjustments are scheduled to be implemented in 2019 tied to a 2017 performance period. AAPM&R and the AANS are diligently preparing the registry for utilization for the 2017 reporting period. There are several steps that must occur in order for this to happen, including:

Measure Development -> Pilot Site Recruitment -> Pilot Site Testing -> Launch of the Registry

Your Academy is actively seeking pilot sites. A limited number of pilot sites will be selected, and participation as a pilot site will be at no cost. This is a limited time offer! If you and/or your institution are interested in being a pilot site, please email spineregistry@aapmr.org.

How Does the Registry Align to Changes in Quality Reporting?

The objectives for the Spine Patient Registry also closely align to health care’s shift towards value-based payments. The Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) established new mandates that will have a direct effect on the physician quality reporting programs. Learn more about MACRA.

For Eligible Providers (EPs) subject to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), your public-facing Composite Performance Score (CPS) will be dependent on reporting 4 components: 


The registry intends to meet the Quality reporting requirements (6 measures). Based on the quality measures you report, CMS will calculate Resource Use based on those claims and, as a result, there will be no other reporting requirements for clinicians.


Additionally, utilizing a registry will also meet requirements for Advancing Care Information and Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIA).


Registries play an impactful role in the future of quality reporting!

What Does the Registry Mean for the Specialty of PM&R?

The reimbursement shift from pay-per-performance to quality of care is heavily dependent on data. The Spine Patient Registry empowers the specialty of PM&R to showcase the value of physiatry in the future of medicine. As a registry participant, you will have patient-specific data to tell your story and the value your offer.  Additionally, you will meet reporting requirements while having the capacity to advance quality improvement and research needs.

Continue to monitor your member communications, including The Physiatrist and Connection for the latest developments. Questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Academy at spineregistry@aapmr.org.