August 2017
brought to you by the Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) National Campaign


Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them. Communities have continued to use the month each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.

NIAM is sponsored by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC). For more information on the observance, visit NPHIC's  NIAM website.

Related HHQI Resources

In observance of NIAM 2017, t he HHQI team is currently reviewing and updating the  Immunizations & Infection Prevention Best Practice Intervention Package  (BPIP) for the 2017-18 flu season. Stay tuned for the release of this revised BPIP in September 2017! In the meantime, check out these new immunization resources:

In This Issue
  • Protecting Patients... and YOU! is a new free online course for home health aides in HHQI University. It provides the basics about the flu, pneumonia, and shingles including vaccines that help prevent these illnesses. A certificate of completion is provided to all learners who achieve 80% or better on the post-test. If you're new to HHQI University, learn how to get started.
  • Immunization: Your Strongest Defense is an educational multimedia module for patients. In this 11-minute video, patients will learn how to identify symptoms of a cold, the flu, pneumonia, and shingles. Common myths and prevention measures are also discussed. Stream it on YouTubesave it to your computer, or get the transcript. (Free registration / login required.)


AOTMAugust 2017 HHQI Agency of the Month

This month, HHQI recognizes Mississippi HomeCare of Europa, Mississippi for their dedication to improving home health care quality.

Home health agencies that are active in the HHQI National Campaign and closest to the  national, r isk-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 , and if you are selected, your organization will be prominently featured here in HHQI Inside Edition -- which reaches more than 14,000 subscribers -- and on the HHQI website. Your achievement will also be shared via HHQI's social media channels.
Evidence-Based Practices Spread Across the Nation

no background The number of HHQI University students is growing every day and presently includes learners from every state in the nation plus Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. That means evidence-based practices are spreading across the country and helping clinicians improve home health agency and patient outcomes... and earn free continuing education credits in the process!

Obviously, the number of home health agencies and clinicians in each state vary greatly, but five states are leading the pack for number of registered users and number of courses completed.

Number of Registered Users
#1 - Pennsylvania
#2 - Illinois
#3 - Ohio
#4 - Texas
#5 - Florida
Number of Courses Completed
#1 - Pennsylvania
#2 - Texas
#3 - Ohio
#4 - Florida
#5 - Illinois

Homecare Nurse Manager Julie Ritterbush recommends HHQI University:

"HHQI University is wonderful. I love the vast amount of easy-to-understand information. As an agency, we have incorporated the assessment/teaching of things like smoking cessation and obtaining lipid panels into our plan of care. 

I truly enjoyed the videos and the taking the tests. The tests prove that the information was delivered in a precise manner. The CEs are great too, but I truly enjoyed the learning process and knowledge to better myself as a nurse. 

As nurses, we need quick material to keep us interested due to so many daily activities that we endure. HHQI University definitely does that. It is easy to maneuver through the programs, log in, and print the certificate. I love how it keeps an accurate listing of the courses that an individual has completed. The free materials are great to help with teaching staff and patients! During our recent CAHPS audit, we discussed the HHQI program and the development into our plan of care.

Again, I thank you and your program for great information, quick access and wonderful knowledge."

Ready to get started in HHQI University? Learn how to register and enroll in courses.



ThirdThursSave the Dates
'Third Thursdays' Event Schedule
Home health professionals are busy. Now, there's an understatement. In order to make the most of your limited time, HHQI's three primary online Networking events -- LiveChat, Cardiovascular Learning & Action Network (CardioLAN) webinars, and Underserved Populations (UP) webinars -- will  each be held quarterly. 

Events will rotate to always begin at  2pm (ET) on the third Thursday of the month.

MAY 18
(see details below)
CardioLAN Webinars

Click on the Networking Event type above for available registration or reminder links. You can also browse our online event calendar  or subscribe to our mailing lists  to receive details (topics, objectives, speaker info, & registration links) as soon as they are available. 
Quarterly Networking Event | August 17, 2017 | 2-3pm ET
Get Your Home Health Questions Answered during LiveChat

Networking regularly with other home health professionals can fast-track your quality improvement efforts. No matter what challenge your agency is facing, there's a good chance that another agency can offer some valuable first-hand insight. HHQI's quarterly LiveChats are an excellent opportunity to connect and learn what worked -- and what didn't work -- for other agencies when they were in a similar situation. 
All home health topics are eligible for discussion during LiveChat, but here are some common questions we've been hearing lately:
  1. For home health agencies with a high portion of non-skilled Medicaid patients, how do you address QAPI? Do you have separate PIPs and data collection for them?
  2. What can we do to keep the momentum of cardiac improvement going with our clinicians?
  3. What are other agencies' referral/discharge process to cardiac rehab?
LiveChat is similar to an online chat room. There is no audio. You will type to ask questions and share your knowledge. It's a fun, casual way to learn from each others' experiences. You can also email your questions to us ahead of time to be addressed during the event.
Set an email reminder for the August 2017 LiveChat now and add future 2017 events to your Outlook calendar! You can also browse past events.

National Learning & Action Network (LAN) Event | August 9 | 3pm ET

Every 40 seconds, an adult dies from a heart attack, stroke, or other adverse cardiovascular event. These deaths account for about 1/3 of all deaths in the United States, or more than 800,000 deaths each year. One in five of these deaths is in a person younger than 65. The economic toll of cardiovascular disease is high. More than $316 billion each year in the United States with cardiovascular disease treatment accounting for about $1 of every $7 spent on healthcare. 

While cardiovascular deaths have been declining for the past four years, the reduction has slowed since 2011, and some groups are starting to see a rise in mortality rates. This means now more than ever, we have a need for focused and sustained action by public and private partners to improve our nation's cardiovascular health.

You are invited to join Judy Hannon, CDC's Million Hearts ® Senior Advisor, to learn more about Million Hearts® 2022 strategies and suggested resources during the National Learning & Action Network (LAN) Event on August 9 at 3pm ET. Attendees will also hear from  Cynthia Pamon (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services),  Meg Meador (National Association of Community Health Centers), and  Dr. Larry Garber (Reliant Medical Group and former Million Hearts ®  Hypertension Control Champion). These speakers will discuss:
  • High-impact practice-level changes that lead to improved blood pressure
  • Strategies to improve medication adherence and patient-provider partnerships
  • The role of self-monitoring blood pressure in effective care and the patient experience
Continuing education credit is available for physicians, registered nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, dieticians, and nurse practioners.Certificates of attendance will also be available.



It is with great sadness that the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) announced the passing of its president, Val J. Halamandaris on July 27, 2017.

Often referred to as the "leader of the last great civil rights movement," Val worked tirelessly for 50 years to improve the lives and secure the rights of America's elderly and infirm. A self-described "small-town boy who came to Washington, D.C. many years ago, full of ideals," Val responded to President John F. Kennedy's call to public service by joining the staff of Senator Frank E. Moss (D-UT) and enrolling in George Washington University and then Catholic University Law School. Read more.
IndustryEventsUpcoming Industry Webinars, Courses & Other Events

August 9, 2017
3-4:30pm ET
National Learning & Action Network (LAN) Event: Mastering Hypertension to Achieve Heart Health* Telligen, the Quality Innovation Network National Coordinating Center (QIN NCC)
August 16, 2017
1:30-3pm ET
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
August 17, 2017
1:30-3pm ET
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
On-demand Johns Hopkins University
Centers for Technical Assistance and Training in Emory's Rollins School of Public Health
On-demand Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
free registration required
(CEs expire 9/2/17)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
thru July 23, 2017
Pharmacotherapy for Adults with Alcohol-Use Disorders in Outpatient Settings: A Monograph* Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
On-demand Open School*
More than 30 online courses in quality, safety, leadership, the Triple Aim, and patient-centered care
Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Open Door Forums audio podcasts
If you missed the original live event, you can listen to the recording here
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
On-demand CDC-NDEP
*Continuing education credit is included, available, or pending.
ObservancesCurrent & Upcoming Health-Related Observances

Each month, the healthcare industry puts the spotlight on a variety of health & wellness issues that impact home health patients and professionals. Follow the links below for more information and resources to get involved and help spread awareness. You can also follow HHQI on Facebook , Twitter  and LinkedIn for ongoing related content.


Home Health Compare will be refreshed in October 2017 and will include the same data collection periods as the July 2017 refresh (updated July 12, 2017) for measures based on OASIS data: ( 

The value of some OASIS-based measures may have changed slightly to reflect submission of late or corrected OASIS data. The reporting period for HH CAHPS and claims-based measures will be updated.

The OASIS data will reflect any revisions or corrections made by HHAs as of Friday, August 25, 2017. This change may impact individual quality measure and Quality of Patient Care Star Ratings for some agencies.

The table below provides applicable dates.

Preview reports available in CASPER August 11, 2017
Quality of Patient Care Star Rating suppression request deadline September 5, 2017
Deadline for submitting missing or corrected data August 25, 2017
Home Health Compare updated
October 2017

This is an update from a previous Spotlight announcement on November 14, 2016. Please note that the next full update to Home Health Compare will occur in January 2018.

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. 

Publication number 11SOW-WV-HH-MMD-080417