Alabama | Indiana | Kentucky | Mississippi | Tennessee
February 2019
  It’s Here: MIPS Data Submission is Now Open 
Innovating for Value and Results
2019 CMS Quality Conference Summary
Welcoming attendees from across the healthcare spectrum, the recent conference explored how patients, advocates, providers, researchers and the many leaders in healthcare quality improvement can develop and spread solutions to some of America’s most pervasive health system challenges. The conference agenda focused on putting patients first, promoting healthcare choice and driving value-based care.

Several representatives from atom Alliance shared presentations on topics from opioids and pain management to diabetes. Our own atom Advisor, Bill Gossard, represented patients and caregivers at the conference and shared his insight on engaging people with Medicare in quality improvement.

"The conference helped me see that we are on the right track by involving patients in our work and centering our interventions around them," said Mitzi Daffron, State Director in Indiana for atom Alliance.

Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), spoke in the opening plenary about empowering patients with technology, price transparency, successes in patient safety, and reducing administrative burden on providers.

Featured Resources
GoRed in February for American Heart Month
American Heart Month is here! This year’s theme — “Our hearts are healthier together”— encourages Americans to join with others to make lifestyle changes that are heart-healthy and long-lasting.
New Tools for Tapering Opioids

Taking high doses of opioids may not provide good pain relief over a long period of time. The amount of
pain relief from opioids can become less at higher doses because of tolerance. The Team for Innovation in Medication Safety (TIMES) developed new resources and tools for tapering opioids and disposing of them properly. The toolkit contains a recent webinar recording and resources for managing withdrawal symptoms.
How to Navigate New HARP System for QPP Data Submission
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has transitioned the system to create identity management accounts and request access to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website from the Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) System to the HCQIS Access Roles and Profile (HARP) System.
CMS has posted videos on the QPP Resource Library to provide step-by-step instructions on how QPP participants can navigate the new HARP system
Go to the Hospital or Stay Here? New Guide for Nursing Home Staff
Timely education of nursing home residents and families about the care that can be provided early in the admission process and reinforced throughout the stay is a key component in reducing urgent transfers. To assist facilities in providing written information, Dr. Ruth Tappen and an interdisciplinary team at Florida Atlantic University produced a Decision Guide, “Go to the Hospital or Stay Here?” It provides facts and objective points for residents and families to consider when faced with a change in condition and possible readmission.
Featured Learning Opportunity
The Agony of Opioid Withdrawal - and What Doctors Should Tell Patients About It
The United States accounts for five percent of the world's population but consumes almost 70 percent of the total global opioid supply, creating an epidemic that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths each year. How did we get here, and what can we do about it? In this personal talk, Travis Rieder recounts the painful, often-hidden struggle of opioid withdrawal and reveals how doctors who are quick to prescribe (and overprescribe) opioids aren't equipped with the tools to eventually get people off the meds.

Source: TEDxMidAtlantic
Upcoming Events
Feb. 14
New Part D Opioid Overutilization Policies Call
CMS implemented new opioid policies for Medicare drug plans effective January 1. The new policies include improved safety alerts when patients fill opioid prescriptions at the pharmacy and drug management programs for patients at-risk for misuse or abuse of opioids or other drugs.
Feb. 26
March 19
CMS Data Submission Office Hours Sessions
CMS is hosting two 2018 MIPS data submission office hours sessions in February and March. Register today to secure your spot. (Offered twice)

We encourage you to submit your questions prior to the Office Hours sessions by emailing: Please note, this email address is only for Office Hours questions.

Additional resources are available in the QPP Resource Library.
Feb. 26
Cardiac Rehabilitation Change Package: Success Stories and Strategies
Please join us as we do a walk-through of the Million Hearts® Cardiac Rehabilitation Change Package and discuss success stories from two organizations that illustrate how the implementation of program-specific tools support improvement.
Feb. 27
QPP Changes You Should Know About
The 2019 Medicare PFS final rule included significant changes to the QPP for the 2019 performance year. We will explore those key changes set forth by the final rule that impact the MIPS and Advanced APMs tracks of the QPP.
View our  calendar  page for more details.
Featured Resources
New 2018 MIPS Data Submission Videos
CMS has a posted a series of videos to the QPP Resource Library to help clinicians understand how to manage and submit their 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data through the QPP website between now and April 2, 2019. There are 10 brief videos that cover topics from uploading files to deleting submitted data.
Let Us Help You Avoid the 5% Reduction
in Medicare Reimbursement in 2020
You have just a few weeks left to avoid the penalty and our expert assistance is free.
Connect with atom Alliance

To view the archive or subscribe to these newsletters,  go here .
This material was prepared by atom Alliance, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO), coordinated by Qsource for Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi and Alabama, under a contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Content presented does not necessarily reflect CMS policy. 19.A1.01.002