September 2017


Cholesterol Education Month

September is National Cholesterol Education Month, a good time to get your blood cholesterol checked and address it if it is not within the normal range. National Cholesterol Education Month is also a good time to learn about lipid profiles and about food and lifestyle choices that help you reach personal cholesterol goals.

Featured HHQI Resources
For a complete list of related HHQI resources, visit our comprehensive online resource library and filter by 
Topic: Cholesterol Management.
Falls Prevention Awareness Day

The 10th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD) will be observed on the first day of fall, September 22, 2017. In honor of this notable milestone, the theme of the event will be 10 Years Standing Together to Prevent FallsThis event raises awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.

Featured HHQI Resources

In This Issue

For a complete list of related HHQI resources, visit our comprehensive online resource library and filter by Topic: Falls Prevention.

ImmBPIPImmunization BPIP & Course Updated for 2017

HHQI's  Immunization & Infection Prevention Best Practice Intervention Package (BPIP) and HHQI University's Adult Immunizations course have been revised to include current immunization guidelines as of August 2017, including recommendations for the 2017-18 influenza season. Statistics and resource links have also been updated. 

New additions to the 2017 Immunization & Infection Prevention BPIP include:
  • Herpes Zoster information (p. 16)
  • Updated recommendations regarding flu vaccinations for people with egg allergies (p. 51)
  • Immunization: Your Strongest Defense is a 10-minute educational video for patients that reviews the basics of influenza, pneumococcal, and herpes zoster vaccines including debunking the myths.

New/updated immunization courses in HHQI University. 

Learn how to register & enroll.

*Continuing nursing education credits have been approved by the Alabama State Nurses Association, an accredited approver of the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation (ANCC).


AOTMSeptember 2017 HHQI Agency of the Month

This month, HHQI recognizes Advanced Home Health NW of Portland in Clackamus, Oregon for their dedication to improving home health care quality.

Home health agencies that are active in the HHQI National Campaign and closest to the  national, r isk-adjusted ACH 20th percentile and/or the national, risk-adjusted Oral Medication Improvement 80th percentile (or better) are eligible for random selection as HHQI Agency of the Month. 

Be in the spotlight.  Nominate your agency today , and if you are selected, your organization will be prominently featured here in HHQI Inside Edition -- which reaches more than 14,000 subscribers -- and on the HHQI website. Your achievement will also be shared via HHQI's social media channels.



ThirdThursSave the Dates
'Third Thursdays' Event Schedule
Home health professionals are busy. Now, there's an understatement. In order to make the most of your limited time, HHQI's three primary online Networking events -- LiveChat, Cardiovascular Learning & Action Network (CardioLAN) webinars, and Underserved Populations (UP) webinars -- will  each be held quarterly. 

Events will rotate to always begin at  2pm (ET) on the third Thursday of the month.

MAY 18
CardioLAN Webinars
(see details below)

Click on the Networking Event type above for available registration or reminder links. You can also browse our online event calendar  or subscribe to our mailing lists  to receive details (topics, objectives, speaker info, & registration links) as soon as they are available. 
CardioLANQuarterly CardioLAN Webinar | September 21, 2017 | 2-3pm ET
The Million Hearts® Toolbox  for Hypertension Control & Beyond

Because it is uncontrolled among almost 50% of  hypertensive patients, high blood pressure continues to be a national issue. What is your organization doing to improve blood pressure control? Not sure or overwhelmed deciding where to begin or what to add next?

During the September 2017 CardioLAN webinar, evidence-based tools and resources for hypertension control including a comprehensive quality improvement change package, standardized treatment protocols, and self-measured blood pressure monitoring will be highlighted.  Related cardiovascular disease prevention tools will be included.


Megan Fisher The September 2017 issue of QIO News  focuses on how health information technology (IT) innovations and quality reporting are helping providers and health care facilities use data to improve the quality of care for Medicare.

In the Q&A with Megan Fisher, a CMS Subject Matter Expert for Quality Reporting, Fisher provides an update on the Quality Payment Program, shares how clinicians are being helped to succeed under the program, and highlights related resources.



The CDC's August 24 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) contains influenza vaccine recommendations for the 2017-2018 season. This report updates the 2016-17 recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines. Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications. A licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate vaccine should be used.


The VAERS system was established in 1990 and is a national early warning system to detect possible safety problems in U.S.-licensed vaccines. VAERS is co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and accepts and analyzes reports of adverse events (possible side effects) after a person receives a vaccine.

VAERS is a passive reporting system, relying on individuals to submit reports of their experiences. VAERS is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused a health problem but is useful for detecting unusual or unexpected patterns that may indicate a possible safety problem with a vaccine.

The CDC and the FDA recently announced VAERS 2.0, which includes a new reporting form and a new website that allows you to:
  • Easily submit a VAERS report electronically
  • Access VAERS data
  • Learn more about how CDC & FDA monitor the safety of vaccines
There are now two ways to report an adverse event following a vaccination:
If you have any questions, please contact the Texas Vaccine Call Center at 1.888.777.5320.

IndustryEventsUpcoming Industry Webinars, Courses & Other Events

September 12, 2017
9am-4pm ET
Public Workshop: Reducing Risk of Preventable Adverse Drug Events Associated with Hypoglycemia in the Older Population Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
September 13, 2017
12pm-1:30pm ET
The Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office
September 13, 2017
12pm-pm ET

Current Issues in Immunization NetConference: Influenza Update, 2017-18
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
September 14, 2017
2:30pm ET
Twitter Chat: Falls Prevention
National Council on Aging
September 20, 2017
1:30pm-3pm ET
Medicare Learning Network
September 22, 2017
3pm ET
National Council on Aging
On-demand Johns Hopkins University
Centers for Technical Assistance and Training in Emory's Rollins School of Public Health
On-demand Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
free registration required
Immunization Education & Training*
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
On-demand Open School*
More than 30 online courses in quality, safety, leadership, the Triple Aim, and patient-centered care
Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Open Door Forums audio podcasts
If you missed the original live event, you can listen to the recording here
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
On-demand CDC-NDEP
*Continuing education credit is included, available, or pending.
ObservancesCurrent & Upcoming Health-Related Observances

Each month, the healthcare industry puts the spotlight on a variety of health & wellness issues that impact home health patients and professionals. Follow the links below for more information and resources to get involved and help spread awareness. You can also follow HHQI on Facebook , Twitter  and LinkedIn for ongoing related content.


Home Health Compare will be refreshed in October 2017 and will include the same data collection periods as the July 2017 refresh (updated July 12, 2017) for measures based on OASIS data: ( 

The value of some OASIS-based measures may have changed slightly to reflect submission of late or corrected OASIS data. The reporting period for HH CAHPS and claims-based measures will be updated.

The OASIS data will reflect any revisions or corrections made by HHAs as of Friday, August 25, 2017. This change may impact individual quality measure and Quality of Patient Care Star Ratings for some agencies.

The table below provides applicable dates.

Preview reports available in CASPER August 11, 2017
Quality of Patient Care Star Rating suppression request deadline September 5, 2017
Deadline for submitting missing or corrected data August 25, 2017
Home Health Compare updated
October 2017

This is an update from a previous Spotlight announcement on November 14, 2016. Please note that the next full update to Home Health Compare will occur in January 2018.

This material was prepared by Quality Insights, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality 

Improvement Organization supporting the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign, 

under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. 

Department of Health and Human Services. The views presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. 

Publication number 11SOW-WV-HH-MMD-090717