February 2020
February is American Heart Month
Heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, can often be prevented by identifying risk factors and making healthy lifestyle choices. Help your patients reduce their risk and improve heart health by recommending an individualized treatment plan that includes regular physical activity, dietary changes and reducing alcohol consumption. There are many heart health resources for health care professionals and practices:

Support employees! MINES' Practice Assistance Program offers CMS members 24/7 access to confidential counseling, resilience resources, legal services, wellness coaching, and unlimited work/life referrals. Phone: 800.873.7138, email info@minesandassociates.com or visit www.minesandassociates.com
Coronavirus resources for practices
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provides guidance to providers on identifying, reporting and treating a patient suspected of having 2019 novel coronavirus. Read more here.

Also, the Colorado Medical Society has compiled helpful resources from a variety of sources on this CMS.org coronavirus resource page and will continue to update it as new tools are available.

Closer to home is incidence of influenza. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services encourages providers to continue vaccinating for influenza as long as the virus is in circulation. Read this MLN Matters article for influenza resources.
Favorite Healthcare Staffing, our new Member Benefit Partner, provides discounted staffing and placement services to CMS members. Visit Favorite's CMS member site or call 720-210-9409.
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COQPP Coalition: February Fast Facts
The Colorado Quality Payment Program Coalition (COQPP) has released Fast Facts for February, a brief resource guide to help you on your QPP journey. Access it here. Covered in this issue:

  • Information on the call for specialty measure sets and/or revisions to existing specialty measure sets
  • Contact information for the QPP Service Center (Help Desk)
  • A link to check your initial 2020 MIPS eligibility on the QPP website
  • Upcoming deadlines and events
  • Links to new QPP resources
The MIPS 2019 data submission period is open through March 31
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has opened the data submission period for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)-eligible clinicians who participated in the 2019 performance period of the Quality Payment Program. Data can be submitted until 8 p.m. EDT on March 31, 2020. Read more here.
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Take Credit Cards? Is Your Practice Ready for the Oct. 15 EMV Deadline?

Important! What your practice needs to know about switching to EMV: Click here.
Access federal resources for rural communities to respond to the crisis of addiction
The federal government recently released a community action guide to assist leaders in rural communities in building an effective local response to the crisis of addition. The Rural Community Action Guide: Building Strong, Healthy Drug-Free Rural Communities discusses impact, prevention, stigma and treatment for addiction, including sections on jails and recovery.  Access the guide here.This resource complements both the Community Assessment Tool, which gives county specific data about deaths and factors that may make a community more vulnerable to addiction, and the Federal Rural Resources Guide, which includes comprehensive information about different federal funds for rural communities impacted by addiction. The guide also has a companion supplement, a listing of promising practices.
Join Telligen QI Connect™
Telligen is the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Colorado. They created Telligen QI Connect™, a comprehensive quality improvement program that places health care providers and consumers at its center, and invite practices to join today. Their free program includes Affinity Groups that allow participants to set common goals to make an impact on the most challenging health care issues facing local communities today. Affinity Groups include: Care Transitions, Chronic Disease Prevention & Self-Care, Nursing Home Quality and Opioids & Behavioral Health. Choose one or more Affinity Group to work alongside Telligen and other community partners to test and evaluate proven quality improvement strategies and gain recognition for excellent care. Join QI Connect™ here.
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Quality Payment Program: 2018 performance data
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (federal CMS) released the final 2018 performance data for the Quality Payment Program. Additional data elements show significant success and participation in both the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) paths. Performance highlights:

  • 98% of eligible clinicians participated in MIPS in 2018 — up from 95% in 2017
  • 98% of eligible clinicians exceeded the performance threshold score of 15 points to receive a positive payment adjustment — up from 93% in 2017
  • 356,353 clinicians participated in MIPS through APMs — up from 341,220 in 2017

Read more on the federal CMS blog or this infographic.
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