Tuesday, January 24, 2017
In Practice 
Tips, Tools & Education for Improving Outpatient Care
New HIPAA FAQ Released
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new FAQ clarifying that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule (45 CFR 164.510(b)) permits disclosures to loved ones regardless of whether they are recognized as relatives under applicable law. The FAQ, while applicable in a variety of circumstances, was developed in large part to address confusion following the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, in regards to whether hospitals may share protected health information with patients' loved ones. In particular, the FAQ makes clear that the potential recipients of information under the relevant permissive disclosure provisions of 45 CFR 164.510(b) are not limited by the sex or gender identity of the person.

In tandem, OCR is updating its existing guidance on several provisions within the HIPAA Privacy Rule that recognize the integral role that a spouse often plays in a patient's health and health care. Consistent with the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, OCR is issuing updated guidance that makes it clear that the terms marriage, spouse and family member include, respectively, all lawful marriages (whether same-sex or opposite-sex), lawfully married spouses and the dependents of all lawful marriages, and clarifies certain rights of individuals under the Privacy Rule.

OCR's updated guidance and FAQ may be found here and the FAQ is also available here.
Provider Resources
AHA Guidelines Available Anytime, Anywhere
We are pleased to introduce the new AHA Guidelines On-The-Go mobile app! The app is a streamlined clinical decision-making mobile support tool designed to improve patient outcomes by applying innovative processes and technology tools for improved guideline implementation.

Download AHA Guidelines On-the-Go mobile app from the App Store or Google Play today!
How Patient Education Tools Improve Chronic Disease Management
Review Patient Engagement HIT's article to learn how Centura Health, a Colorado-based health care system made patient education a key component of their chronic disease management strategy. 

Access the article here.
Patient Resources
2017-18 American Heart Association Patient Education Catalog Now Available
The new  2017-18 AHA/ASA patient education catalog  is now available. It features over 100 products for your patients, caregivers and groups at-risk. 

Topics include conditions, treatments, procedures, stroke, and risk factor management.
CMS Announcements
CMS Partnership to Support Primary Care Practices
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made the commitment to support clinicians by providing them with data needed to promote innovation and best practices. The collective data that is shared allows clinicians to evaluate their patient population to improve the health care they provided within their practice.

Click here, to read more about the partnership and support CMS is provide.
Attest to 2016 Program Requirements by February 28
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has opened its Registration and Attestation System. To avoid a 2018 payment adjustment, all providers participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program must attest to the 2016 program requirements. The attestation must be completed by February 28, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET.

For more information about the Registration and Attestation System please contact the EHR Information Center at 1-888-734-6433 (press option 1) or visit the EHR Incentive Programs page on the CMS website.
Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) News
Subscribe to the Quality Payment Program Listserv
Providers that subscribe to the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) listserv should sign up for the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Payment Program (QPP) listserv.

To subscribe, please visit the Quality Payment Program (QPP) portal. Select "Subscribe to Email Updates" in the footer.
Free HQI Webinar
Patient Engagement: The Key to Managing Health and Wellness
Thursday, January 26, 2017 from noon to 1 pm

Join us at noon on January 26, 2017, as guest speaker Dr. Clifford Morris describes the Morris Cardiovascular and Risk Reductions Center's innovative and interactive approach to engage patients by creating individualized programs to treat cardiovascular disease and support wellness.

Registration Closes Tomorrow
Virginia Antibiotic Pre-Summit: A Statewide Call to Action

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Join us in Richmond on Wednesday, February 1 at the Downtown Richmond Marriott to learn what you can do to protect patients in your community. This free, one-day conference will bring together a variety of stakeholders from across Virginia, as well as national experts, to discuss the antibiotic resistance burden that is currently upon our communities and to spark and renew a collective commitment to implement effective antibiotic stewardship in all settings

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. 

Community Health Initiatives for Health Equity

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 from 3:00 - 4:30 pm

This session titled "Community Health Initiatives for Health Equity" will focus on strategies to help healthcare organizations and communities achieve health equity. This National Learning & Action Network (LAN) session topic aligns with the CMS Quality Strategy goal of work with communities to promote best practices of healthy living.

This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Creditâ„¢. This activity is eligible for ACPE, ANCC, AANP, and CDR credit; see final CPE/CE activity announcement for specific details.

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