December 2015
brought to you by the Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) National Campaign
Recipes to Make Your Holiday Meals Healthy and Delicious

The holiday season can be tough for anyone trying to eat right but can be especially difficult for families with loved ones who are trying to manage diabetes, high blood pressure, or  cholesterol.  By making a game plan that includes reasonable portion sizes and healthy alternatives that don't sacrifice flavor, you can relax and enjoy the festivities. 

Visit the Million Hearts® Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Resource Center to find practical recipes, nutritional facts, and heart-healthy versions of classic dishes to add to your holiday menu. You can find additional recipes on HHQI's Cardiovascular Health and Diabetes boards on Pinterest.


Congratulations to the new  HHQI Agency of the Month

University Home Health, based in Augusta, Georgia, is honored to have been chosen by the Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) National Campaign as Agency of the Month for reducing Acute Care Hospitalizations. HHQI's resources and access to best practice information, as well as the implementation of our screening process for risk of re-hospitalization, has enabled us to successfully fulfill University's mission to improve the health of those we serve. Congratulations to our entire team for their dedication to excellence!

Ellen Tereshinski, RN, MBA
Administrative Director
University Home Health & Long Term Care

Be in the spotlight.
If your home health agency is active in the HHQI National Campaign and close to the national, risk-adjusted ACH 20th percentile and/or Oral Medication Improvement 80th percentile (or better), your agency is eligible for random selection as HHQI Agency of the Month.
Nominate your agency today! 


New QAPI Courses Coming to HHQI University

Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI) is at the center of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' proposed changes to t he Home Health Conditions of Participation (CoPs). In January 2016, four new free courses will be added to HHQI University that will provide guidance and tools for the development of your QAPI plans.

The foundational course -- QAPI 101 -- will provide education on the 5 QAPI Standards. Three subsequent courses focus on topic-specific Performance Improvement Projects (PIPs): Hospitalizations, Medication Management, and Cardiovascular Health. Each course will include tools and resources and 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for nurses -- 6 hours total for all four courses.



Save the Dates: New "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, rotating to always occur from 2-3pm (ET) on the third Thursday of the month.

Click on the Networking Event type below for specific dates and available registration or reminder links. You can also browse our online event calendar.

December 17: Quarterly CardioLAN Sharing Webinar

Please join the HHQI team as we welcome the Inspira Health System coaching team from Vineland, New Jersey. See how their innovative strategies help their patients with heart failure and COPD remain in the community and out of the hospital. Is your community 
integrating some of the same strategies?
Please take advantage of this sharing webinar and bring your questions and experience to this collaborative event. Pre-registration is required.  If you have questions ahead of time, you may  email them to us so we can ensure they are answered during the webinar.

National LAN Call Series: Unleashing the Power of Data

On November 3, 2015, the QIO Program hosted an online webinar designed to  prepare healthcare quality improvement professionals to develop a plan to collect and analyze data to identify gaps in care or processes, and, to track their team or organization's progress over time using data. You can now download the recording and materials  associated with this webinar.

A follow-up event will be held on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 from 3:00-4:00pm ET. Registration is required.
  • Register at
  • Click on the "Upcoming" tab
  • Locate the National LAN Call on December 15, 2015
  • Click "Register"

Finally, save the date! The next National LAN call is scheduled for Tuesday, February 2, 2016, and will focus on trends in beneficiary and family engagement. Registration is required.


Skilled Nursing Home Health Billing Code to Change Jan 1

Beginning January 1, 2016, HCPCS code G0154 for reporting skilled nursing visits on home health claims will be retired and replaced by two codes:
  • G0299: Services of a registered nurse
  • G0300: Services of licensed practical nurse
Many home health claims will span the January 1 date:
  • Use G0154 for skilled nursing visits through December 31
  • Use G0299 or G0300 for skilled nursing visits on or after January 1
Source:  MLN Connects® Provider eNews (November 25, 2015)


VNAA's Blueprint for Excellence:
Best Practices for Joint Replacement Care at Home 

Just in time for the CCJR program rollout, VNAA's Blueprint for Excellence   now includes best practices for hip and knee joint replacement care through home health: The all new   Hip and Knee Joint Replacement module . This VNAA Blueprint material is based on the Hip and Knee Fast Track program developed by VNANE, and incorporates new content developed by VNAA's Best Practice Work Group. It also includes downloadable materials that can be used in agency training and continuing education.  VNAA's Blueprint for Excellence now includes best practices for hip and knee joint replacement care through home health. Contact Liza Greenberg ( ) for information or to schedule a presentation of the VNAA Blueprint Joint Replacement module.

VNAA Blueprint for Excellence logo
Free Continuing Education Course:
Improving Infection Control During Cancer Care

Despite advances in cancer care, infections remain a major cause of hospitalization and death among patients with cancer. Many receive outpatient chemotherapy, which puts them at risk for some of the deadliest adverse effects of chemotherapy: neutropenia and subsequent infection. In fact, more than 60,000 patients with cancer are hospitalized each year due to infection.

Given the vulnerability of patients with cancer, great attention to infection prevention is warranted. For this reason, the CDC Foundation and Medscape created a new continuing education training course for oncologists, nurses, and other providers who care for patients undergoing cancer treatment and who may affect infection control practices: Strategies for Improving Infection Control During Cancer Care CME/CE

The 30-minute video roundtable discussion features a lively multidisciplinary conversation augmented with slides that covers
  • Risk factors for neutropenia and infection in people with cancer
  • CDC's policies and procedures for outpatient oncology settings to ensure minimal expectations for protecting patients from infection
  • CDC's educational tools and resources that can help facilities implement infection control practices
Credits available for this FREE course include:
Physicians - maximum of 0.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
Nurses - 0.50 ANCC Contact Hour(s) (0 contact hours are in the area of pharmacology) 
Geriatric Home Health Resources from CHAMP

Champ logo 

The Collaboration for Homecare Advances in Management and Practice (CHAMP) Program was the first national initiative to advance geriatric home care excellence. CHAMP's valuable resources and e-presentations are still available online.

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-121015