Problems with the quality of colonoscopy are well recognized. Variation in colonoscopist performance is compounded by payment structures that reward volume rather than quality. Payment reform has emerged as one strategy to address these and more systemic problems in the quality of health care. Various forms of value-based purchasing might encourage a realignment of incentives, and allow reimbursement to be directly linked with clinically important goals of colonoscopy. This paper proposes criteria for the selection of quality measures, and three candidate indicators to define quality for the purpose of payment reform in colonoscopy: cecal intubation rate, adenoma detection rate, and recommended post-polypectomy surveillance interval. These measures represent valid, credible, and reliable indicators of the quality of colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening and surveillance. Payment reform should explicitly link public reporting and performance on these quality measures to payment for colonoscopy.
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