SAGES Quality Initiative

shutterstock_153098018Did you know that in January of this year, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced measurable goals and a specific timeline to move the Medicare program toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients?

Did you also know that this timeline includes 85% of Medicare fee-for-service payments tied to quality measures in 2016?!

The move away from fee-for-service and toward value based care in this country is not coming; it’s here! Using using the knowledge gained at the recent SAGES Quality Summit, a strategic plan for our Society is being developed that will drive our efforts in this field over the next three to five years. The Quality, Outcomes, and Safety Committee, under the leadership of Dr. Anne Lidor, Chair, and Dr. John Romanelli, CoChair, will serve as the SAGES engine for implementing this strategic plan.

Below please find links to member education e-blasts, video recordings of the Summit presentations, and other materials that are shaping this strategy.

Lectures and Slides

  1. Dr. Burstein Lecture and Slides
  2. Dr. Tefera Lecture and Slides
  3. Dr. Ray Lecture and Slides


Payors like Medicare are seeking ways to measure quality and have often relied on process measures (think SCIP) as a substitute. This is where societies like SAGES can play a significant role. Who better than us to provide valid measures of quality in surgery? And you know what? Medicare agrees.

The quality landscape can be confusing, however, with many stakeholders playing in different areas. So the question is: “How can SAGES contribute to the quality world in an organized and deliberate way, leveraging our expertise while avoiding duplication of efforts by other organizations?”

To answer this question, SAGES held a Quality Summit in Washington, DC on May 15 – 16, bringing together stakeholders from four domains in quality to share their work: quality focused organizations, data management experts, payors, and medical societies ( During the first day of the program, our invited guests shared their work in quality and provided a vivid picture of the current landscape. On the second day, updates about ongoing SAGES quality initiatives were shared and a strategic planning group spent time summarizing lessons learned from the Summit and planning a way forward.

We invite your feedback and discussion about this initiative. Feel free to reach out to us with your questions and ideas at

We truly believe that when we look back on the Summit and the steps SAGES is taking to implement this initiative, we will say it was the beginning of a new and special chapter for our Society.