Wednesday, February 8, 2017
In Practice 
Tips, Tools & Education for Improving Outpatient Care
Provider Resources
It's Not Too Late to Sign Up for the Virginia Medicaid EHR Incentive Program!

Attention Virginia providers - the Virginia Medicaid attestation due date has been extended to April 30, 2017

The extension to the attestation grace period, allows new providers to sign-up for the Virginia Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program up to the attestation due date of April 30, 2017.

Providers are encouraged to contact Health Quality Innovators (HQI) to sign up. Contact us today at (804) 289-5320.
CDC Recommendation on Fluzone 
High-Dose Vaccine
The CDC has approved Fluzone High-Dose for people 65 years and older. As we age, our immunity system is at its lowest. The safety of this vaccine is similar to normal flu vaccines and does not cause influenza. 

To learn more about this highly recommended vaccine please visit the FDA  and CDC websites.

HHS OCR Announces HIPAA Civil Money Penalty Against Children's Medical Center of Dallas
On February 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) civil money penalty against Children's Medical Center of Dallas (Children's). The penalty is based on Children's disclosure of unsecured electronic protected health information (ePHI). OCR issued a Notice of Proposed Determination in accordance with 45 CFR 160.420. Children's was given information on how to file a request for a hearing in the matter, but chose not to make the request.

Click here to read more about the final determination, issued by OCR, and the final amount of the civil money penalty paid by Children's.

To learn more about non-discrimination and health information privacy laws, your civil rights, and privacy rights in health care and human service settings, and to find information on filing a complaint, click here.
Patient Resources
Introducing the American Heart Association's Free Support Network
Provide support to your patients that have recently suffered a heart attack, a heart event or a stroke by introducing them to the American Heart Association's free Support Network. 

Learn more here.

Patients Can Track Their Own Immunizations Using the Walgreens Mobile App

Along with providing annual flu shots and other immunizations, the Walgreens app helps patients track immunizations, refill prescriptions, and save with Balance® Rewards points. The app is available for both Android and iPhone. 

To see the list of immunization choices that Walgreens offers, tap the 'Prescriptions & Health' option in the app. 

The Walgreens app also helps you increase your Balance® Rewards when you make healthy choices™. Get points for blood pressure tests, weigh-ins, walking and more.

If you have previously signed up for an account with Walgreens, all past data will be available in the app.

For more information, click here.
CMS Announcements
CMS Will Test Models Designed To Improve Patient Engagement
The CMS Innovation Center announced two new care delivery models intended to improve patient engagement and decision-making.

The two models are called the Shared Decision Making Model and the Direct Decision Support Model. 

CMS Extends Deadline for 2016 PQRS EHR Submission
CMS is extending the submission deadline for 2016 Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) data submission for the electronic health record (EHR) reporting mechanism. The original submission deadline was February 28, 2017.

The revised 2016 data submission timeframes are as follows:

March 13, 2017 deadlines:
  • EHR Direct or Data Submission Vendor (QRDA I or III) - 1/3/17 - 3/13/17
  • Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QRDA III) - 1/3/17 - 3/13/17
 March 17, 2017 deadline:
  • Web Interface - 1/16/17 - 3/17/17
March 31, 2017 deadlines:
  • Qualified Registries (Registry XML) - 1/3/17 - 3/31/17
  • QCDRs (QCDR XML) - 1/3/17 - 3/31/17
Submissions end at 8:00 pm ET on each end date listed above. Please see the EIDM System Toolkit for additional information on what is required for these PQRS data submission methods.

For questions, please contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 1-866-288-8912 or via email at

For more information on PQRS, click here.
Educational Opportunities for HQI Practice Transformation Network (PTN) Participants
CME Credits Available for Data Analytics, Population Health and Value-based Care Topics

Health Quality Innovators (HQI) is encouraging its PTN participants to take advantage of online training courses intended for health care professionals and those in health care-related organizations. The courses, which offer continuing medical education (CME) credit, focus on three tracks, including data analytics, population health, and value-based care. Funded through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Workforce Training Program, the sessions are being offered through a collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and Normandale Community College.

For a one-time fee of $45, trainees have the opportunity to obtain CME and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit for each course; all have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.

Continual enrollment is available through May 2017.

For more information and details on registration, visit:
Free On-Demand 
HQI Webinar
Patient Engagement: The Key to Managing Health and Wellness
Listen as Dr. Clifford Morris describes the Morris Cardiovascular and Risk Reductions Center's innovative and interactive approach to engaging patients by creating individualized programs to treat cardiovascular disease and support wellness. 

Access the recording here.
CMS Events
Understanding and Promoting the Value of Chronic Care Management Services MLN Connects® Call

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 from 1:30 - 3:00 pm

CMS experts will discuss the benefits of providing Chronic Care Management (CCM) services and changes for CCM in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule.

Call Agenda:
  • Value of CCM services
  • 2017 Medicare PFS final rule changes
  • CCM resources
  • Q&A
  • Next steps
For more information and to register for the call, visit MLN Connects Event Registration.
Non-HQI Events
Target BP: A National Initiative to Improve Blood Pressure Control

Monday, February 13, 2017 from noon - 1:00 pm

Target BP is a national collaboration between the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association to reduce the number of Americans who have heart attacks and strokes by urging medical practices, health service organizations, and patients to prioritize blood pressure control. The program will empower hospitals, physicians and care teams to reduce blood pressure to a goal of lower than 140/90 mm Hg for each adult patient to improve health outcomes. Attend this webinar to learn more about this national initiative and the tools and resources that are available to your practice. 

Celebrate Heart Health this Valentine's Day
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Join the Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) team and participating home health agencies from across the country as they welcome Million Hearts® Executive Director Janet Wright, MD, FACC to present a free 60-minute webinar appropriate for leadership, clinicians and anyone interested in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Dr. Wright will discuss impacts made by the
national initiative since 2012, plans for Million Hearts® 2022 and how home health providers can support the initiative and make a significant impact on patients' lives.

This activity has been approved for 1.25 hours of nursing continuing education by the Alabama State Nurses Association, an accredited approver of the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation (ANCC). 

Register here.
Behavioral Health Workshop
Aging Well: Addressing Behavioral Health with Older Adults in Primary Care Settings

The number of adults in the United States age 65 and older is expected to exceed 82 million by 2040. About 16 million of these adults will have a mental health or substance use condition, and they'll be turning to their primary care providers for care. 

What does that mean for you? Join this webinar to learn what you need to know and steps you can take to help your team be prepared to meet behavioral health needs of the older adults you serve. Learn how one primary care provider took steps to identify and address behavioral health concerns in older adults, and hear how integrated primary and behavioral health care can guide your patients toward healthy aging. 

Note: This webinar does not offer certificates of attendance or continuing education credits.
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