The Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance (CRSQA, pronounced SURS-kah) is an independent, nonprofit, patient/consumer public benefit health organization dedicated to helping patients understand refractive surgery and help patients find their way to the better doctors. We accomplish this task in three primary ways. 1) Balanced factual information at our USAEyes website. 2) Our 50 Tough Questions For Your Lasik Doctor to help patients screen potential doctors themselves. 3) Certification and referral to evaluated doctors.
For us, certification is a means to an end, not the end itself. The end is patients getting better outcomes.
CRSQA is not an ordinary certification organization. To start with, we are not a medical organization - we are a patient/consumer organization - and the first of its kind in the history of modern medicine. We do have two respected ophthalmologists on our Board of Trustees, but we also have optometrists, patient advocates, consumer advocates, representatives from the insurance industry, marketing, media, virtually everyone in the refractive surgery industry has a voice on our board. This allows us to consider all points of view, but we always make decisions from the patient's perspective. This is why our certification is based on patient outcomes, not surgical technique evaluation. For a patient, the bottom line is the outcome, no matter how the doctor provided it.
The fees that our certified doctors pay don't just provide for their certification, but also support our patient assistance efforts. The vast majority of our man hours and funds are placed toward helping patients.
The CRSQA website currently receives about 1 million visitors each year and is ranked in the top 2% of 13 million websites world wide. Since our inception, we have had over 3 million individuals visit our website. We respond personally to more than 1,000 separate requests for information each month - yes, that is about 50 a day. Most visitors are seeking information or a doctor referral for the first time.
CRSQA representatives monitor all Internet bulletin boards, newsgroups, and other public social media that include information about refractive surgery. If incorrect information is posted, we provide an accurate response. If a patient posts a question, we do the research and provide an answer.
Maintaining our website and monitoring the Internet is amazingly time and cost intensive. The fees provided by our certified doctors allow us to continue our work.
We know that becoming CRSQA certified is as much a business decision as it is supporting an organization that does good work. After initial certification, our ongoing recertification fees are $1,250 per quarter. For most doctors, that will total a little less than the amount charged two refractive surgery patients per year. It is very reasonable to expect that your listing on our website alone will provide significantly more patients. Additionally, using your CRSQA certification in your own marketing will help differentiate you from all the other refractive surgeons. Patients are always trying to find a reason to choose one doctor over another. CRSQA's independent evaluation of your outcomes can be the deciding factor.
Your first step toward certification is to complete the application and submit it to us. After we do the initial credentialing verification and background check, you can submit the outcomes on 125 consecutive patients. You do not need to submit the outcomes with the application.
The following is a guided tour of the process to become and stay certified. If you already know about us, jump to the application request.
Use of Certification Status
It is the purpose of CRSQA to help patients identify the better refractive surgeons. There is no better way to accomplish this than for USAEyes Certified Lasik Surgeons to display the Quality Verified logo and announce that they have been evaluated by an independent patient/consumer organization and achieved its approval. Use of the Quality Verified logo is encouraged in all advertisements, brochures, and presentations.
A refractive surgeon must meet the following primary requirements to be a USAEyes Certified Lasik Surgeon:
CRSQA's decision regarding certification is final and without appeal. If denied or decertified, applicant may resubmit a request for certification at any time and without prejudice.
Application and Agreement
The first step toward certification by CRSQA is the completion of an Application and Agreement for Certification. This 15-page document requests personal, professional, and educational information.
Upon receipt of the completed application, we instigate a background check that delves into the applicant's civil, criminal, and credit history. Concerns revealed during this investigation may prompt a request for clarification. Perfect civil, criminal, and credit history is not required, however limitations do apply and unacceptable patterns will require explanation. The background check can normally be accomplished within three days.
CRSQA verifies licensure and other credentials of applicants in two steps.
Upon receipt of an application, a verification of standing is requested from a hospital or facility at which the applicant has full privileges. Hospital privileges infer that all credentials are in good order. At the discretion of CRSQA, the affirmation of current credentials from a facility may be used as evidence of an applicant's standing and certification may be expedited. Affirmation of standing can normally be completed within two weeks.
The second step is credential verification using standards set by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). CRSQA contracts with a Credential Verification Organization (CVO) that verifies all education, training, board certification, licensure, and current competence representations at the source. History of malpractice claims will be verified through the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and/or direct contact with malpractice insurance carriers. NCQA credentialing can be completed within one month, however documentation from sources can be delayed, impeding timely credentialing. If affirmation of current credentials from a facility at which the applicant currently has privileges is attained, CRSQA does not need to wait for the full credentialing process to certify a doctor.
Initial Outcomes Analysis
Applicant will provide basic surgical outcomes information on 125 consecutive refractive surgery patients (approximately 250 eyes) for evaluation. It is preferred that all patients received their first refractive surgery at least 60 days prior to submission of outcomes data and not more than 200 days prior to submission of data. The preferred target date of data submission is 180 days (six months) after initial refractive surgery. Most applicants just go back six months then pull charts coming forward until they have 125 patients.
CRSQA considers refractive surgery as a six-month event that includes enhancements and other procedures that may be required to provide the best possible care.
Outcomes measurement is based upon the outcome target. Success is defined by comparing postoperative uncorrected visual acuity to the predetermined outcome target. In this manner, a patient desirous of monovision correction or a patient not expecting plano correction due to a high refractive error can be included in the data without inappropriate detriment to the doctor's abilities.
In all cases:
If refractive target is plano (no residual refractive error):
After completion of verification that applicant meets all certification requirements including analysis of the initially submitted outcomes data and verification of the applicant's credentials, applicant will be certified and receive documentation to that effect.
Submission of Outcomes Data and Recertification
A USAEyes Certified Lasik Surgeon must submit outcomes data on 125 consecutive patients (approximately 250 eyes) when requested, approximately every other fiscal year. Surgeons whose outcomes continue to be within CRSQA requirements will remain certified.
After initial certification, each quarter CRSQA will evaluate any patient complaints or patient satisfaction surveys as an indication if additional investigation is warranted.
Verification of information is an important component of CRSQA's certification process. CRSQA verifies the accuracy of submitted outcomes information by the use of two audit procedures.
Applicant may be requested to provide patient chart information when requested, not more than ten charts per fiscal year. The information in each chart is reviewed for consistency with information submitted by the doctor's office.
The purpose of an onsite audit of the doctor's facilities is to affirm that proper procedures of care are being provided and to determine if outcomes data on all appropriate refractive surgery patients is being submitted to CRSQA. Onsite audits are normally performed every 18 months, however may be performed more or less often at CRSQA's discretion.
Initial evaluation and certification fee is $3,250. Quarterly reevaluation/recertification fee is $1,250. Auditing fees (if required) are actual costs for travel and personnel, agreed in advance.
All USAEyes Certified Lasik Surgeons are listed on CRSQA's website. Surgeons in the process of certification may receive Personal Referrals at CRSQA's sole discretion.
We receive thousands of requests for doctor referrals throughout the United States including Alaska and Hawaii.
Before completing this request for an application you may find it valuable to visit About CRSQA
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and request an application. You will be contacted for a short telephone interview and a CRSQA Application for Certification will be sent to you ASAP.
Consider and Choose With Confidence
Last updated Saturday, August 18, 2012