January 2018
brought to you by the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign (HHQI)
HHQI's online resource library has literally hundreds of free resources that home health agencies can use for staff and patient education. The volume of resources can be overwhelming, and we want to make it easy for you to find our most popular tools. So each month, we'll highlight a favorite resource from an HHQI team member or campaign participant.   
Help Patients Better Manage Diabetes in 2019
Diabetes is ranked second behind congestive heart failure as the primary diagnosis at entry into home care, but it is the leading diagnosis if primary and secondary diagnoses are combined ( ADA Diabetes Spectrum ). Because diabetes is so prevalent in home health, we asked HHQI RN Project Coordinator Misty Kevech to kick off 2019 with some of her favorite diabetes management resources.
For patients with diabetes, I really love the tools from Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC). Many include simple icons or pictures that accommodate literacy issues, and each 1-2 page tool is available in multiple languages . If I had to pick my top favorite EDC tools, they would be Caring for Your Feet & How to Pick the Right Shoe , Hyperglycemia , and Hypoglycemia .
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 Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice in Toledo, Ohio 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.
Lower-Literacy Approaches:
Working with People with Dementia
Quarterly UP Network Webinar | January 17, 2019 | 2-3 p.m. ET

For patients with cognitive impairment and their caregivers, barriers can be further complicated by literacy issues. It’s up to us, as healthcare professionals, to identify these issues and adjust our methods to ensure that each and every patient gets the very best care.

In this webinar, you’ll learn how to approach lower literacy issues among your patients. You’ll also discover tools for managing challenging behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

After attending, you'll be able to:
  • List two barriers experienced by many people with lower literacy levels.
  • Explain two ways to improve agency’s written materials.
  • Describe how the IDEA! Tool can be used to improve management of behavioral symptoms for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Learn from the Experts
Debra Cherry, BA, MA, PhD
Executive Vice President
Jennifer Schlesinger, MPH, CHES
Director of Professional Training and Healthcare Services
Earn Free Continuing Education
This continuing education activity has been submitted to Alabama State Nurses Association for approval to award 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 Underserved Populations catalog to complete related coursework.
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.
QIO News
A Look at the Year Ahead

In the final QIO News issue of 2018, leaders from the CMS QIO Program reflect on some accomplishments and lessons learned in the past year and look at what priorities and initiatives are coming in the year ahead.
Read the Q&A with Dennis Wagner, director; Jeneen Iwugo, deputy director; and Dr. Paul McGann, chief medical officer for quality improvement.
Final OASIS-D Guidance Manual Now Available
On December 20, CMS announced that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the final OASIS-D Guidance Manual, effective January 1, 2019. This manual provides guidance for home health agencies on how to ensure the collection of high-quality and accurate OASIS data. It includes both general data collection conventions and item-specific guidance, as well as links to resources for agencies. Click here to download the manual.
Hospice Compare Quarterly Refresh Now Available
The December 2018 quarterly refresh is available; visit  Hospice Compare  to view the data. This update reflects Hospice Item Set quality measure results based on data collected for the first through fourth quarters of 2017 and on Hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Survey results reported for the first quarter of 2016 through the fourth quarter of 2017.

For More Information:
Final Rule Creates Pathways to Success for the Medicare Shared Savings Program
On December 21, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that sets a new direction for the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program). Referred to as “Pathways to Success,” this new direction for the Shared Savings Program redesigns the participation options available under the program to encourage Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to transition to performance based risk more quickly and, for eligible ACOs, incrementally, to increase savings for the Trust Funds. The policies also include changes to address the additional tools and flexibilities for ACOs established by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA of 2018), specifically in the areas of new beneficiary incentives, telehealth services, and choice of beneficiary assignment methodology.  Learn more.
Apply by January 17, 2019
2019 Million Hearts® in Municipalities Project
With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has announced a funding opportunity for local, state, tribal, and territorial public health departments, or their designee, to enhance efforts to prevent cardiovascular disease and implement Million Hearts® 2022 strategies in their community. CDC and NACCHO will provide tools and resources, optional technical assistance, and subject matter expertise. In addition, there may be additional opportunities to collaborate and leverage efforts from Million Hearts® national partners, depending upon the strategy of focus.

NACCHO will make up to five (5) awards available to municipal public health departments, or their designee for a 5-month Million Hearts® in Municipalities Project. Each grantee will receive up to $10,000 to support project activities. Learn more and apply.
HHS Seeks Input by February 11, 2019
Improving Care Coordination, Reducing Regulatory Burden
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from the public on how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Rules, especially the HIPAA Privacy Rule, could be modified to further the HHS Secretary’s goal of promoting coordinated, value-based healthcare. This RFI is a part of the Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care, an initiative led by Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan.

HHS developed the HIPAA Rules to protect individuals’ health information privacy and security interests, while permitting information sharing needed for important purposes. However, in recent years, OCR has heard calls to revisit aspects of the Rules that may limit or discourage information sharing needed for coordinated care or to facilitate the transformation to value-based health care. The RFI requests information on any provisions of the HIPAA Rules that may present obstacles to these goals without meaningfully contributing to the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI) and/or patients’ ability to exercise their rights with respect to their PHI. Read more.
Updates to Cholesterol, Physical Activity Guidelines
Recently, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology—along with a host of partners—released an update to the 2013 cholesterol management guideline. The new recommendations provide greater specificity about medicines and high-risk populations and continue to emphasize the importance of a lifelong, heart-healthy lifestyle and shared decision making. This collaborative approach can help each of us better understand our personal risk of a heart attack or stroke, the benefits and risks that we may expect from medication, and how to tackle obstacles to healthy habits.

And just in time to help you chart an active 2019 are the newly updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans . The bottom line is that all active minutes matter when it comes to health. Whether getting active to help manage cholesterol or blood pressure, to quit smoking, or just to have fun, start taking those small steps today toward a healthier tomorrow.
Register Now for Free Upcoming Industry Events
January 15
2:00 p.m. ET
Host: Home Health Care News
January 16
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: VNAA / ElevatingHOME
January 22
12:00 p.m. ET
Host: Health Quality Innovators (HQI)
January 24
12:00 p.m. ET
Million Hearts Cardiac Rehab Collaborative Action Plan Meeting
(email MillionHeartsCRC@cdc.gov to be added to the mailing list)
Host: Million Hearts
January 24
3:00 p.m. ET
Host: National Nursing Home Quality Improvement Campaign
Host: American College of Cardiology
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-010719