June 2019
brought to you by the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign (HHQI)
FEATURED RESOURCES
HHQI's online resource library has more than a thousand free resources that home health agencies can use for staff and patient education. The volume of resources can be overwhelming, and we want to make it easy for you to find our most popular tools. So each month, we'll highlight favorite resources from HHQI team members or campaign participants.   You can also watch this brief tutorial to learn how to navigate the complete resource library.
Among other topics in June, organizations nationwide celebrate National Safety Month . This month's recommended resource from HHQI Communication Specialist Misty Dyke coincides with the National Safety Council's focus for week 1 of National Safety Month, hazard recognition.
"Helping our loved ones maintain a hazard-free home environment is a big part of enabling them to stay in the community—where most prefer to be—for as long as possible. Although it can be more challenging than in other care settings, minimizing environmental hazards in the home is one of the most impactful things we can do. And the first step is knowing what to look for.
HHQI offers tools that can help home health workers, patients, and their family members identify and remedy hazards in the home. Many of them are in checklist form, but I particularly like the Stay Safe! poster . It's a great visual tool that illustrates some hazards that might be overlooked but easily fixed. My parents are getting older, and some things that weren't really an issue before now pose a bigger safety risk. Tools like this help me know what to look for when I visit so I can help them stay safe in their home."  
There's more to celebrate in June! Visit the HHQI website for more resources related to these additional observances during the month of June.
What's your favorite HHQI resource? We love to hear how our resources have helped agencies, and you could help someone else in the HHQI community. We can give you credit or keep your recommendation anonymous. Please email us !
CAMPAIGN EVENTS
HHQI Cardiovascular Health
Improvement Initiative Update
Quarterly CardioLAN Webinar | June 20, 2019 | 2-3 p.m. ET
Secure Your Seat Today!
This is a valuable opportunity to engage with your peers and learn from each other. Please join us with the intention of sharing insights gained from your cardiovascular health improvement efforts.
Want to be among the first to know details about upcoming webinars? You don't have to wait for Inside Edition. Subscribe to our mailing lists to receive details as soon as they are available.
CAMPAIGN NEWS
Congratulations to the HHQI Agency of the Month!
This month, HHQI recognizes the VNA of Somerset Hills in Basking Ridge, New Jersey for their dedication to improving home health quality.

Home health agencies that are active in the HHQI National Campaign and closest to the national, risk-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! If you are selected, your organization will be prominently featured here in HHQI Inside Edition and on the HHQI website. Your achievement will also be shared via HHQI's social media channels.
QIN-QIO CORNER
National Disparities LAN Event | June 12, 2019 | 3-4:30 p.m. ET
Addressing Disparities through the QIO Program:
Looking Forward, Looking Back
On this call, the QIO Program will review how Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) have addressed disparities during its 11th Scope of Work (2014−2019) and reflect on what has been learned from National Disparities Learning and Action Network Events. Join this event to consolidate your learning, celebrate successes, and share your thoughts about future directions to address disparities in the QIO Program and beyond.

Free continuing education credits are available for this event. Learn more.
INDUSTRY NEWS & EVENTS
March 2019 Home Health QRP Provider Training Materials Now Available
Post-training materials (including answers to knowledge checks and interactive exercises) from CMS' Home Health Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Provider Training held on March 5 and 6, 2019, are now available.

  • Handouts are located in the Downloads section at the bottom of the Home Health Quality Reporting Training webpage. 
  • Please note: Links to the coding videos shown during the Section GG presentation are now live in the post-training version of the Section GG: Functional Abilities and Goals presentation located in the .zip folder labeled “March_2019_Home_Health_QRP_Provider_Training_Day_2_Part_1_Post-training.”
  • Also available in the Downloads section of this webpage is a question and answer document containing responses to questions submitted by providers during the event.
  • Video recordings of the presentations are located on YouTube.
 
Because CASPER access and reports have been updated, HHQI has removed the Make CASPER Work for You! video and course because they are no longer applicable.

To find CASPER-specific information from the Home Health QRP materials go to:
  • Handout File 7 (Training Reports) in the Training Day 1 Part 3 zipped file
  • Video 8 (HH Quality Reporting Program Reports)
Hospice Compare Quarterly Refresh Available
The May 2019 quarterly Hospice Compare refresh of quality data is now available. It is based on Hospice Item Set (HIS) quality measure results from data collected Q3 2017 through Q2 2018 and Hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Survey® results reported Q3 2016 through Q2 2018.

Beginning with the May 2019 refresh, Hospice Compare will include additional information on hospice characteristics to complement the quality and patient experience metrics already available. This information will further empower Hospice Compare users to engage in meaningful conversations with their providers and make informed decisions about selecting a hospice. Empowering consumers with useful information is one way CMS works to ensure safety and quality in the healthcare system. In addition, in May 2019, CMS is updating the zip code database powering Hospice Compare’s search function, helping to ensure accurate search results.

For more information please see the “Hospice Compare May 2019 Refresh Fact Sheet” and the “Hospice Compare May 2019 Refresh Question & Answer” document in the Downloads section of the Public Reporting: Background and Announcements webpage.

You are invited to visit Hospice Compare to view the data.
CMS Issues Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Final Rule
On May 28, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule to update and modernize the PACE program. This rule—the first major proposed update to the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) since 2006—reflects updates based upon best practices in caring for frail and elderly individuals.

PACE provides comprehensive medical and social services to certain frail, elderly individuals who qualify for nursing home care but, at the time of enrollment, can still live safely in the community. The majority of participants served by PACE are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. More than 45,000 older adults are currently enrolled in more than 100 PACE organizations in 31 states, and enrollment in PACE has increased by over 120 percent since 2011.  Read the CMS fact sheet.
Submit comments by August 12, 2019
CMS Announces New RFI on Patients over Paperwork
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking new ideas from the public on how to continue the progress of the Patients over Paperwork initiative. Since launching in fall 2017, Patients over Paperwork has streamlined regulations to significantly cut the “red tape” that weighs down our healthcare system and takes clinicians away from their primary mission—caring for patients. As of January 2019, CMS estimates that through regulatory reform alone, the healthcare system will save an estimated 40 million hours and $5.7 billion through 2021. These estimated savings come from both final and proposed rules.

The RFI on Reducing Administrative Burden to Put Patients over Paperwork invites patients and their families, the medical community, and other healthcare stakeholders to recommend further changes to rules, policies, and procedures that would shift more of clinicians’ time and our healthcare system’s resources from needless paperwork to high-quality care that improves patient health.

New Patient Safety Toolkit Now Available
Designed and tested by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s world-renowned safety experts, the Patient Safety Toolkit includes tools to help improve teamwork and communication; identify and address root causes of errors; and build reliable systems. Each of the nine tools includes a short description, instructions, an example, and a template to assist with implementation.

After 20-year Increase, New Diabetes Cases Decline
New cases of diagnosed diabetes in the United States decreased by 35% since a peak in 2009 – the first sign that efforts to stop the nation’s diabetes epidemic are working, CDC researchers report in the British Medical Journal’s Open Diabetes Research and Care .

While the causes of the plateau and decrease remain unclear, researchers suggest that they may be driven in part by increased awareness of – and emphasis on – type 2 diabetes prevention, changes in diet and physical activity, and changes in diabetes diagnostic and screening practices. The new report represents the longest sustained plateau in existing cases of diagnosed diabetes and the longest decline in new diabetes cases.
Study Suggests E-Cigarette Flavors May Pose Heart Risk
The AP (5/27, Neergaard) reports that “e-cigarettes aren’t considered as risky as regular cigarettes, but researchers have found a clue that their flavorings may be bad for the heart.” Researchers found that “vaping and some flavorings, even without nicotine, triggered blood vessel dysfunction that can increase the risk of heart disease.” The study was published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Read the full JACC article here.
Nominations close July 31, 2019
Showcase Your Stars: Future Leaders Awards
The Home Health Care News (HHCN) Future Leaders Awards (“the Awards”) program recognizes the next generation of leaders in the home care, home health, private duty and hospice industries.

In a competitive environment for talent, companies are facing an unprecedented challenge to attract, retain and grow their leaders at all levels. As a means to highlight some of these exciting individuals, HHCN has created the awards program to shine a spotlight on their leadership and the companies they represent.

The awards program provides opportunities for companies and organizations to showcase their talent and provide an independently judged program to provide recognition for the contributions their key employees are making. These high performing employees are the ones shaping the future of the delivery of care.

Individuals may enter themselves or a colleague for this awards program. If you or someone you work with is making a difference, learn more about nominating him or her for the Future Leaders Awards.
Hospice: FY 2020 Proposed Payment Rate Update
On April 19, CMS issued a proposed rule that would update the hospice payment rates, wage index, and cap amount for FY 2020. This rule also:

  • Proposes to rebase the continuous home care, general inpatient care, and inpatient respite care per diem payment rates in a budget-neutral manner
  • Proposes to modify the election statement requirements to require the hospice to include additional information aimed at increasing coverage transparency for patients that elect hospice
  • Solicits comments on the interaction of the hospice benefit and various alternative care delivery models

As proposed, hospice payment rates are updated by 2.7 percent ($540 million increase in their payments) for FY 2020. This is based on the proposed FY 2020 hospital market basket increase of 3.2 percent reduced by the multifactor productivity adjustment of 0.5 percentage point, resulting in a proposed 2.7 percent increase in hospice payment rates for FY 2020. Hospices that fail to meet quality reporting requirements receive a 2 percentage point reduction to the annual market basket update for the year.

The hospice payment system includes a statutory aggregate cap. The aggregate cap limits the overall payments per patient made to a hospice annually. The proposed hospice cap amount for the FY 2020 cap year will be $29,993.99, which is equal to the FY 2019 cap amount ($29,205.44) updated by the proposed FY 2020 hospice payment update percentage of 2.7 percent.

CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule until June 18. See the full text of this excerpted CMS Fact Sheet (issued April 19).
Register Now for Free Upcoming Industry Events
June 11
12:00 p.m. ET
Host: VNAA & ElevatingHOME
June 11
2:00 p.m. ET
Host: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
June 12
12:00 p.m. ET
Host: VNAA & ElevatingHOME
June 12
2:00 p.m. ET
Host: Home Health Care News & Brightree
June 12
2:00 p.m. ET
Special Open Door Forum: Developing a Hospice Assessment Tool (Status Update)

1-800-837-1935 | conf ID 9490006
Host: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
June 13
2:00 p.m. ET
Host: Institute for Healthcare Improvement
June 19
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: WoundSource & Swift
June 19
12:00 p.m. ET
Host: VNAA & ElevatingHOME
June 20
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: American Association of Diabetes Educators
June 20
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: TMF Health Quality Institute
June 20
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: TMF Quality Innovation Network
June 25
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: Mentia
June 26
1:30 p.m. ET
Host: American Association of Diabetes Educators
June 26
2:00 p.m. ET
Host: Family Caregiver Alliance
June 27
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: American Association of Diabetes Educators
On-demand
Host: USDHHS Partnership for Patients
On-demand
Host: USDHHS Partnership for Patients
On-demand
Host: Resources for Integrated Care
On-demand
Host: Resources for Integrated Care
On-demand
Host: Resources for Integrated Care
* Continuing education credit(s) included, available or pending.

Reference to any specific organization or its products or services is for information and convenience and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Quality Insights, the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign, or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
STAY CONNECTED:
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. 
Pub. No. 11SOW-WV-HH-MMD-060519