Wednesday, February 22, 2017
In Practice 
Tips, Tools & Education for Improving Outpatient Care
Quality Payment Program News
Clinician Volunteers Sought to Review Quality Payment Program (QPP) Website
With the nationwide migration of health care providers into value-based payment systems this year, it is vitally important that the primary support tool for them, the QPP Portal, be as user-friendly, easily understood and helpful. The portal is the chief destination for clinicians seeking answers, resources and assistance.

Who better than clinicians themselves to help with an upgrade? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is asking for clinician volunteers to review the website and provide feedback, ideas, and suggestions about how to improve the QPP Portal.

The insights and ideas from as many as 500 clinician-reviewers will prove essential to guiding future changes and upgrades to the QPP Portal. Contact to express your interest.
Provider Resources
Improving Medication Adherence in Cardiometabolic Disease: Practical and Regulatory Implications
In the January 2017 issue of Journal of American College of Cardiology, authors of the article, "Improving Medication Adherence in Cardiometabolic Disease: Practical and Regulatory Implications," identified four research areas that could reduce the burden caused by non-adherence among Americans:
  1. Identifying methods for monitoring adherence.
  2. Improving the evidence base to better understand adherence.
  3. Developing patient/health provider team-based engagement strategies.
  4. Alleviating health disparities.
To read the full article, click here.
Updated Hypertension Guidelines Released by American College of Physicians and American Academy of Family Physicians
The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) together developed  the updated guidelines for pharmacologic treatment of hypertension in adults aged 60 years or older. The guidelines were developed to present evidence and provide clinical recommendations based on the benefits and harms of higher versus lower blood pressure targets. 

Read more  here .
CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey Data Submission: Open Through March 3
CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey users who administered the survey in 2016 can submit their data for use in the CAHPS Database through March 3. The Data Use Agreement (DUA) should be completed before submission. Learn about the submission requirements, Data File Specifications, and Data Use Agreement. The CAHPS survey versions eligible for submission are:

2.0 Survey Instrument (12- or 6-month version)
  • Adult Survey 2.0
  • Adult Survey 2.0 with PCMH Items
  • Child Survey 2.0
  • Child Survey 2.0 with PCMH Items
  • Adult Visit Survey 2.0 
3.0 Survey Instrument
  • Adult Survey 3.0
  • Adult Survey 3.0 with PCMH Items 
  • Child Survey 3.0 
  • Child Survey 3.0 with PCMH Items 
All required items must be submitted no later than March 3.

For more information, contact the CAHPS Database at 888-808-7108 or
eCQM Submission Deadline Extended to March 13, 2017 for Calendar Year 2016 Reporting Period

The deadline for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals participating in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) and/or the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs has been changed from Tuesday, February 28, 2017, to Monday, March 13, 2017 at 11:59 pm PT.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has granted the extension to provide hospitals additional time to submit electronic Clinical Quality Measure (eCQM) data for the Calendar Year (CY) 2016 reporting period, pertaining to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 payment determination.

For more information, visit the eCQM Reporting Overview page on and the Hospital IQR Program Resources and Tools page on websites.

Information about the 2017 EHR Incentive Program requirements, tip sheet and fact sheets can be found here.
Patient Resources
February is American Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the  United States. February is American Heart Month, a great time for health care providers to share the facts about heart health with their patients, especially those who may be at high risk of heart attacks. 

AHRQ has fact sheets for primary care health professionals to help their high-risk patients adopt the ABCS of heart disease prevention: Aspirin use by high-risk individuals, control their Blood pressure, lower their Cholesterol, and quit Smoking. 

To download these free materials go to: Aspirin Use, Control Blood Pressure, Lower Cholesterol and Quit Smoking.
CMS Announcements
Attest to 2016 EHR Incentive Program Requirements by March 13 to Avoid a 2018 Payment Adjustment
The deadline for attestation for providers participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program has been extended to Monday, March 13, 2017, at 11:59 pm PT.

Participants in this program must attest to the   to avoid a 2018 payment adjustment and should refer to your  state's deadlines for attestation information.

Attestation Resources:
If you have questions about the Registration and Attestation System, please contact the EHR Information Center at 1-888-734-6433 (choose option 1).
Reconsideration Forms for the 2017 Payment Adjustment due February 28
The deadline for Eligible Professionals (EPs) to submit Reconsideration forms from the 2017 payment adjustment is February 28, 2017. Reconsideration will be based on the 2015 Electronic Health Record (EHR) reporting period. No applications will be accepted after the February 28 deadline.

Visit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website to find the EP Reconsideration Application.

To learn more about Payment Adjustments and Hardship applications visit the EHR Incentive Programs webpage.

To receive help completing the application for Reconsideration, email or review the EP Reconsideration Instructions.
Non-HQI Events
Reducing Readmission After Heart Care: An Evidence-Based Approach

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join the American Heart Association on Wednesday, February 22 as Dr. Larry A. Allen, MD, MHS, discusses how you can impact hospital readmission rates for heart failure patients. After attending this live webinar, participants should be able to summarize recent studies and latest evidence for current best practices in reducing preventable hospital readmissions in heart failure. 

Physicians, Nurses and Pharmacists may earn continuing education credits. For full CME/CE accreditation information, click here.

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