December 2018
brought to you by the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign (HHQI)
December 2-8, 2018
#FightFlu during National Influenza Vaccination Week!
National Influenza Vaccination Week  (NIVW) is December 2-8, 2018. Help promote this annual observance among your patients and staff with HHQI's Top 5 Influenza Immunization Resources of 2018 :

  1. Adult Immunizations – This HHQI University course focuses primarily on Influenza and Pneumococcal Immunizations, including 2018 CDC guidelines. (2.0 Nursing CEs)
  2. HHQI Data Access Report: Influenza Immunizations – HHQI uses the OASIS data received by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to generate custom monthly data reports for all CMS-reporting home health agencies. These reports are free and require no additional work on your behalf; they are waiting for you now in the HHQI Data Access System. View a sample and watch this webinar to learn how to interpret this valuable monthly report.
  3. Immunization & Infection Prevention Best Practice Intervention Package (BPIP) – This BPIP assists agency leaders in developing strategies to improve immunization programs that are evidence-based and focus on patient and employee safety. This package has been revised to include current immunization guidelines as of August 2018, including recommendations for the 2018-19 influenza season. Statistics and resource links have also been updated.
  4. Protecting Patients... and YOU! – This HHQI University course for home health aides reviews the basics about the flu, pneumonia, and shingles, including vaccines that help prevent these illnesses.
  5. Immunization: Your Strongest Defense – In this 11-minute educational video, patients will learn about symptoms, prevention, and myths associated with the flu, pneumonia, shingles, and vaccines.
What's your favorite HHQI resource? We love to hear how our resources have helped agencies, and you could help someone else in the HHQI community. We can give you credit or keep your recommendation anonymous. Please email us !
Congratulations to the HHQI Agency of the Month!
This month, HHQI recognizes Home Care Services of Haywood Regional Medical Center in Waynesville, North Carolina for their dedication to improving home health quality.

Home health agencies that are active in the HHQI National Campaign and closest to the national, risk-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! If you are selected, your organization will be prominently featured here in HHQI Inside Edition and on the HHQI website. Your achievement will also be shared via HHQI's social media channels.
Translating Science into Clinical Care:
The Story of Air Quality & Cardiovascular Health
Quarterly CardioLAN Webinar | December 13, 2018 | 3-4pm ET

Is the health of your patients being degraded by poor air quality? It may seem that homebound patients would be less impacted by environmental air pollution, but conditions in the home—such as tobacco smoke and woodburning stoves—can also have significant effects on patients’ cardiovascular and respiratory health. And while some pollutants like vehicle emissions have a bigger impact in urban areas, rural areas are exposed to other air contaminants that can also trigger heart attacks and strokes and reduce life expectancy.
During this webinar, you’ll learn more about short- and long-term health effects of air pollution and discover resources to help educate patients and caregivers.
After attending, you'll be able to:
  • Explain how air quality impacts cardiovascular health and premature mortality.
  • Identify EPA tools & resources available for health care professionals to help at-risk patients avoid exposure to air particle pollution.
  • Describe how the Million Hearts® initiative has incorporated EPA tools & resources to reduce air pollution exposure and prevent heart attacks & strokes.
Meet Our Featured Expert
Wayne E. Cascio, MD, FACC
Director, National Health and
Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Earn Free Continuing Education Credits
This continuing education activity has been approved by Alabama State Nurses Association for 1.25 contact hours. Alabama State Nurses Association is an accredited approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC).
To receive continuing education (CE) credit, participants must watch the webinar and enroll in the corresponding course in HHQI University's Cardiovascular Health catalog to complete related coursework. Step-by-step instructions will be reviewed at the end of the webinar. 
Please visit the HHQI website to register and for the latest CE status and webinar materials as soon as they are available.
Want to be among the first to know details about upcoming webinars? You don't have to wait for Inside Edition. Subscribe to our mailing lists to receive details as soon as they are available.
National Disparities LAN Event | December 12 | 3-4:30pm ET
Best Practices for Communicating about Accomplishments in Health Equity
You deserve recognition for your accomplishments in health equity! Celebrating accomplishments can help to motivate teams, sustain progress, and spur others into action if you communicate in an accurate, sensitive, and impactful way.

In this event, experts in communications and health equity will offer strategies for sharing success stories, including communications advice specific to disparities and health equity. Come prepared to brag about your successes and learn how to best present them!

The December National Disparities LAN Event is open to beneficiaries, families, healthcare providers, practitioners, partners, and Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs).

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information, including continuing education details.
New Home Health Study from Columbia University
The InHOME study team, comprised of researchers from the Columbia University School of Nursing, Thomas Jefferson University, and the RAND Corporation, invites home health administrators and clinical managers nationwide to participate in a new research project exploring infection prevention and quality improvement in home health. If your agency receives an invitation to participate, don't miss out on contributing to this important research. Visit the InHOME study website for more information.
New Version of CMS HIS Manual (V2.01) Now Available
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated the Hospice Item Set (HIS) Manual with refined guidance for completing the HIS based on frequently asked questions from the Hospice Quality Help Desk. Note that no updates were made to HIS items or the HIS itself (i.e., no HIS items have been added, deleted, or changed). Instead, additional guidance based on provider feedback from the Hospice Quality Help Desk has been added to the manual to clarify HIS coding instructions.

To download the new version of the HIS Manual and the associated change table, please refer to the Downloads section of the Hospice Item Set (HIS) webpage.
Jan 2019 'Dark Days' Release for the CWF Hosts
For the upcoming January 2019 Release, CWF will be observing 'Dark Days' starting Friday, January 4, 2019, through the Sunday, January 6, 2019 to accommodate the anticipated duration of this activity and to ensure the completion of weekly / monthly / quarterly processing and the installation of the January 2019 Release. Please share with appropriate staff.
Revised Hospital Discharge Planning Requirements Delayed
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended its timeline for revising hospital discharge planning requirements until at least November 2019.
CMS Proposes to Modernize Medicare Advantage, Expand Telehealth Access for Patients
In a proposed rule issued October 26, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took action to build upon the Administration’s ongoing efforts to modernize the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs, which provide seniors with Medicare health and prescription drug coverage through private plans. The changes proposed would allow plans to cover additional telehealth benefits and would make other much-needed updates, including for individuals who are eligible for Medicare Advantage special needs plans. Comments accepted until December 31, 2018. Read more.
Register Now for Free Upcoming Industry Events
December 10
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: VNAA / ElevatingHOME
December 11
2:00 p.m. ET
Host: Health Quality Innovators (HQI)
December 12
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: VNAA / ElevatingHOME
December 12
2:00 p.m. ET
Host: Home Health Care News
December 12
3:00 p.m. ET
Host: Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program
December 13
3:00 p.m. ET
Going Back to the Basics of Diabetes Self Management Part 3: The Basics of Implementing a Successful Continuous Quality Improvement Plan for a DSMT Program *
Host: Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program
December 17
2:30 p.m. ET
Host: National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care
January 24
12:00 p.m. ET
Million Hearts Cardiac Rehab Collaborative Action Plan Meeting
(email to be added to the mailing list)

Host: Million Hearts
Host: Smith & Nephew
Clinical Impact of OASIS-D presented by HEALTHCAREfirst
Host: ElevatingHOME
Host: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
* Continuing education credit(s) included, available or pending.

Reference to any specific organization or its products or services is for information and convenience and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Quality Insights, the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign, or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
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. 
Pub. No. 11SOW-WV-HH-MMD-120318