Have questions about RISE? Wondering if you should participate in this electronic patient data reporting system? Read our FAQs for details about general RISE information, RISE for health care providers, and RISE for researchers. If you still have any questions, contact RISE@rheumatology.org.

General RISE Questions

RISE is available to practicing rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals and is free to ACR/ARP members.

ACR provides oversight and monitoring of the registry and its information integrity with assistance from the registry technology vendor, FIGmd.

RISE compiles information from both the Electronic Health Record (EHR) and the Practice Management (PM) system, which is collected during routine clinical care and entered into EHRs, including demographic data, medications, laboratory studies, and more.

Yes. The RISE registry infrastructure is HIPAA compliant. Only the registry vendor and the practice itself will have access to PHI, which can only be used for registry operations, such as reporting on quality measures to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), or as needed/requested by participating practices. Any data used by the ACR or third parties for research or other purposes will be an aggregated limited data set with no direct patient identifiers.

  • Improve Patient Care – By providing access to detailed and aggregate data and benchmarks, you can use RISE for rapid-cycle quality improvement. Moreover, RISE will allow rheumatologists to investigate treatment successes and adverse event patterns, leading to better treatment decisions and improved patient outcomes.
  • Research – The ACR uses the aggregate limited data set in RISE to demonstrate the value of rheumatology and advance the specialty. The ACR also reviews third-party requests for analyses of the data; those data requests undergo a thorough review and vetting process. Requestors only receive the aggregate, de-identified results of the analyses. Therefore, researchers will not receive data that would identify patients or providers.
  • Advocacy – The ACR is involved with ongoing advocacy efforts related to the rheumatology community. Using RISE data, the ACR can prove the value of quality patient care to critical stakeholders and influencers (e.g., lawmakers, CMS, insurance) to better advocate for the field of rheumatology.

Health Care Providers

The ACR does not charge practices to join the RISE registry; however, some EHRs charge practices for patient data to be brought over to the registry. Please check with your EHR to see if they would charge your practice to connect with the registry.

  • Quality Measure Performance Tracking – RISE can help practices and health care providers evaluate the quality of care they deliver to patients and identify opportunities for improvement. Providers can track their performance on various quality measures down to the patient level and see how they compare to their peers nationally and identify where and how they can improve in their practice.
  • QPP Reporting – The RISE registry simplifies and automates annual reporting required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Because RISE is designated a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR), participating providers can report on various quality measures for the QPP. RISE also offers many rheumatology-specific measures not available in any other registry for your improvement and reporting purposes. Practices can report for both Traditional MIPS or the Advancing Rheumatology MIPS Value Pathway through RISE.

To participate in the registry, providers/practices must:

  • Be active members of the ACR/ARP.
  • Complete the RISE registry online enrollment, including a Data Use Agreement and a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).
  • Review the RISE data model and provide information on what registry data fields you currently capture in your EHR. Please note that the ACR does not require workflow changes to participate in the registry. Therefore, if there are data you are not capturing in your EHR, that is acceptable.
  • Work with the ACR's registry partner, FIGmd, over a series of conference calls to review your patient data brought into the registry and your Quality measure performance and refine data mapping to the registry.

The Western IRB reviewed RISE and determined that because RISE is a quality improvement registry focused on healthcare delivery and measuring and reporting data for clinical, practical, or administrative uses, individual practices do not need IRB approval or patient consent to use RISE. However, you should check with your organization or institution to determine if you are required to get independent approval or exemption from your local IRB.

The RISE registry will be the only registry you need for quality reporting and quality improvement for rheumatology. In addition, you have access to several rheumatology-specific QCDR measures for performance tracking that are only available in the RISE registry. However, RISE practices are more than welcome to participate in additional registries.

Typically, practices spend 6-10 hours over several months to prepare for and successfully incorporate the RISE registry. Therefore, the ACR requires continuous engagement with the practices for us to ensure the data brought over into the registry is accurately mapped.

Yes. All sites that participate in the RISE registry receive training during the deployment process.

Yes. ACR staff and FIGmd will work together to provide resources and guidance on how to report for the QPP through the registry.

There is no cost for practices that are gathering EHR and Practice Management data for RISE.

Within your practice, each provider will only be able to see RISE data on their patients and the practice's overall benchmarks. The practice administrator is the only person who will be able to see RISE data for all providers in the practice.

When practices use RISE for federal reporting, RISE data, including PHI, will be encrypted and securely shared with CMS, as required by federal regulations.

When researchers conduct studies on RISE data, it is aggregated and scrubbed of patient identifiers before being analyzed. In addition, RISE staff aggregate and de-identify all results to ensure that investigators do not have access to PHI.

Yes, the ACR is happy to have a practice (most likely one who uses the same EHR as you do) reach out to you to discuss their experience with the RISE registry.


Yes. The ACR has a process through which investigators can request analyses of data from the RISE registry. Instructions on requesting data are on the Request RISE Data page.

An overview of the data request process is on the Request RISE Data page.

You only need IRB approval for your proposed project if your organization requires it. The ACR has received the necessary approvals and exemptions from the Western IRB for the procedures for collecting the data and using it for research purposes. Additionally, each data analytic center (DAC) has received IRB approval from their local institutions to conduct analyses of the data. However, researchers may be required to have their proposed projects independently approved or exempted by their local IRBs.

No. Currently, the ACR does not release limited datasets to individual investigators or organizations. Instead, it contracts with data analytic centers (DACs) with the expertise and technical infrastructure to analyze complex, large electronic health record-based datasets.

RISE extracts all EHR information collected by rheumatology professionals during routine clinical practice, including a wide range of rheumatic diseases. If you want to see examples of the routinely captured data, send your request to RISE@rheumatology.org.

No. RISE automatically extracts all data input into the EHR systems of participating practices, so there is no list of pre-defined data elements to pull. If you want to see examples of the routinely captured data, send your request to RISE@rheumatology.org.

No. The ACR does not collect or request biologic samples because the RISE registry works by digitally pulling information from electronic health records.

Because RISE data is usable for a wide variety of rheumatology research projects, costs are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Costs are determined by the project complexity and the level of involvement required from the assigned data analytic center that will perform the actual analysis. Based on previous projects, the cost for research projects can vary widely from tens of thousands of dollars for basic queries to hundreds of thousands of dollars for publication-worthy analyses. Please contact RISE@rheumatology.org if you would like to discuss your project idea with RISE staff and better understand the impact your analytical needs have on your project budget.

Researchers who plan to apply for grant funding should be aware of the following important information:

  1. Your RISE data request needs to be approved before you apply for funding. To guarantee your RISE data request is processed in time, we recommend that you submit the request at least two months before the Foundation's application deadline. If a request is submitted less than two months before the deadline, RISE staff will make every effort to process the request in time, but we cannot guarantee the review results.
  2. We highly encourage researchers to contact RISE staff to discuss the research topics before submitting a request. In addition, we are more than happy to provide feedback on available data and previous projects related to the topic.
  3. Researchers who plan to apply for funding may also want to consider the “preliminary data pathway.” This option allows requestors who have some funding readily available to conduct basic preliminary analyses either as a feasibility study or to gather the information that will enhance the funding application. More details on this pathway are available in the RISE Data User Guide.

Still have a question?

We're happy to answer any other questions you may have. To learn more about accessing RISE data for research purposes, read the RISE Data User Guide or contact RISE@rheumatology.org.

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