Tuesday, November 29, 2016
In Practice 
Tips, Tools & Education for Improving Outpatient Care
New Online Interactive Tool from CMS Aims to Simplify Quality Payment Program for Clinicians
In October, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Quality Payment Program website, an interactive site to help clinicians understand the program and successfully participate. The release, commonly referred to as an Application Program Interface (API), builds on that site by making it easier for other organizations to retrieve and maintain the Quality Payment Program's measures and enable them to build applications for clinicians and their practices. 

The API, available at qpp.cms.gov/education, will allow developers to write software using the information described on the Explore Measures section of QPP.cms.gov. Based on interviews with clinicians, CMS created the Explores Measures tool, which enables clinicians and practice managers to select measures that likely fit their practice, assemble them into a group, and print or save them for reference. Already, tens of thousands of people are using this tool.
HQI News
DARS and HQI Present Master Trainer Course for Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Last week, the  Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and  Health Quality Innovators (HQI) presented a four and a half-day Master Trainer course for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program in Richmond. Pictured are Jim Rothrock, DARS Commissioner, with Venisha Lambert, Erica Morrison, Michelle White and April Holmes. This course expands the number of master trainers available to train other leaders and facilitate chronic disease workshops in communities across the state.

Time Running Out For Annual Security Risk Analysis

Time is running out in 2016 if you have not already done your annual security risk analysis to demonstrate Meaningful Use. These assessments are also required to remain compliant with HIPAA regulations through the Office of Civil Rights.

Having solid privacy and security policies are important for your patients' privacy and your practice's protection, and maintaining the privacy and security of health information is a legal requirement for all health care providers. Even if your electronic health record (EHR) is ONC-certified, you are still responsible for meeting privacy and security requirements for electronic health information.

Health Quality Innovators (HQI) continually monitors changes to Meaningful Use privacy and security regulations and can help you meet these objectives and take the proper steps to protect data and patient privacy. Our highly-trained professionals can show you how to navigate the challenges associated with privacy and security risk mitigation, business contingency planning and continued compliance as privacy and security requirements change. Let us show you how these safeguards can shield patients from possible identity theft and protect the reputation of your practice.

To learn how HQI can help, contact us at 804-289-5320 or at healthit@hqi.solutions.
Succeeding Under MACRA's Merit-Based Incentive Payment System: How EvidenceNOW Can Help

Small and medium-sized primary care practices face substantial challenges in meeting the requirements of The Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act ( MACRA) of 2015's Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), an ambitious value-based payment system that adjusts Medicare payments based on clinical quality, practice improvement activities, electronic health record (EHR) capabilities, and resource use. Because of that, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initially predicted that solo and small practices would be the groups most financially penalized by MIPS, with 87% of solo practices receiving reductions in payments. This is because the major challenge that small and medium-sized practices face is that they often don't have the resources or infrastructure to report data or to engage in the types of quality improvement work envisioned by MIPS. Through the work and data of EvidenceNOW, there are lessons to help all small practices succeed under value-based payment. 

Read the blog post on the ESCALATES website: https://escalates.org/story/macra-en-help/
Free HQI Webinar
Controlling Cholesterol for Maintaining Cardiovascular Health
Thursday, December 15 from noon to 1 PM

Join us at noon on December 15, as guest speaker, Adrian Stephens, PharmD, a pharmacy resident at Williamson Medical Center, discusses the importance of controlling cholesterol for maintaining cardiovascular health. Dr. Stephens will describe practical strategies providers can implement to address common patient barriers.

Free HQI Resources
Understanding Opioids to Improve Outcomes, Safety

Listen as Dr. Don Teater from Teater Health Solutions identifies the relative effectiveness of common pain medications and examines alternative treatments for pain that will improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs. Continuing education credit is available for this recording. Access the recording here.
Antibiotic Stewardship
The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship

The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship provides a framework for antibiotic stewardship for outpatient clinicians and facilities that routinely provide antibiotic treatment.  Access the CDC report regarding this framework.
Provider Resources
Final Recommendation: Statin Use for the Primary Prevention of Heart Disease in Adults

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released a final recommendation statement on statin use  for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults. The Task Force found that statin use  is beneficial for some people ages 40 to 75 years who are at increased risk for cardiovascular  disease, but did not find enough evidence to recommend for or against statin use for people older  than age 75 years. To view the recommendation and the evidence on which it is based, please click here .
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This material was prepared by Health Quality Innovators (HQI), the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for Maryland and Virginia, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy.