May 2019
brought to you by the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign (HHQI)
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 May, the healthcare community emphasizes High Blood Pressure Education and Stroke Awareness and also celebrates World No Tobacco Day (May 31). This month's recommended resource from HHQI RN Project Coordinator  Misty Kevech  is applicable to all three of these annual observances.
"I find the  Tobacco Effects & Cessation Medications  course in HHQI University very helpful for me as a clinician to assist patients with smoking cessation, because it was a patient education topic that I needed to know more about. In the course, you can see how tobacco smoke affects various parts of the cardiovascular system, which leads to higher risk of stroke, heart attacks, or blood clots. I have used the course handouts to show patients how tobacco smoke effects their heart and the timeline of the positive health effects of quitting, even within the first 30 minutes. My dad and I discuss that timeline regularly, because by quitting 15 years ago, he has negated all the negative cardiovascular effects on his body. It reinforces the healthy behaviors he continues to make in his life, even at 81 years of age."
There's a lot to celebrate in May! Visit the HHQI website for more resources related to these additional observances during the month of May.
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 !
Evidence-Based Practices for
Improving Your Wound Management Program
National Broadcast Webinar | May 16, 2019 | 2-4 p.m. ET
  • Policies & Procedures
  • Evidence-Based Wound Practices
  • Wound Formulary
  • Wound Expertise
  • Wound Competencies & Education
  • Wound Metrics & Outcome Reporting
You'll also learn how improving wound management will affect reimbursement under the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) and how to leverage technology for wound management. Finally, you'll hear an overview of managing wounds for palliative and hospice populations.
Our Featured Expert
Myra Varnado
Director of Clinical Services
Target Audience:  This webinar is appropriate for leadership, nurses, and therapists.
Free Continuing Education Credits
This activity has been approved by Alabama State Nurses Association for 2.25 contact hours. Alabama State Nurses Association is an accredited approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC).

Additionally, this activity has been approved by the Federation of State Boards of Physical therapy through ProCert for 1.0 physical therapy continuing competency units.
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.
Congratulations to the HHQI Agency of the Month!
This month, HHQI recognizes Applegate HomeCare & Hospice of Ogden, Utah 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.
National Learning & Action Network Event | May 8, 2019 | 3-4:30 p.m. ET
Antibiotic Stewardship: National Updates, Progress & Next Steps
Join the QIO Program for a National Learning & Action Network (LAN) Event focusing on Antibiotic Stewardship. Antibiotic Stewardship (AS) is a set of coordinated strategies that promotes the appropriate use of antibiotics to improve patient outcomes and reduce resistance to antibiotics. In clinical settings, stewardship activities focus on measuring and improving how antibiotics are prescribed by clinicians and used by patients.

During this webinar, participants will hear current and future directions of national progress related to antibiotic stewardship from national leaders working to combat antibiotic resistance across healthcare settings. Topics include: an evaluation of successful implementation of outpatient antibiotic stewardship programs, antibiotic use and stewardship efforts in nursing homes, and sharing about The Pew Charitable Trusts Antibiotic Resistance Project. This event will be framed by a patient perspective shared through personal story.

Free continuing education credits are available for this event. Learn more.
CMS Releases Details on 2020 OASIS Changes
CMS has recently released an OASIS-D1 Update Memorandum providing details about the changes to OASIS effective January 1, 2020. The document is available on the OASIS User Manuals page in the Downloads section.
Industry Reacts to CMS Value-Based Primary Care Initiative
Health care policymakers recently unveiled a new voluntary risk-based initiative designed to reward physicians who keep patients at home and away from hospitals.

Based upon the work of previous administrations, the new initiative marks a major inflection point for the value-based transformation of the U.S. health care system, according to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar. Read more.
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).
'Clean Hands Count' Materials Now Available in Spanish
In observance of World Hand Hygiene Day, CDC reminds everyone that practicing good hand hygiene, such as handwashing and using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, is a simple yet effective way to help prevent the spread of germs and protect against serious infections.

New for 2019, the Clean Hands Count campaign has expanded to include patient and provider educational materials in Spanish and new resources designed to encourage proper hand hygiene in dialysis centers and long-term care facilities. These resources are intended to empower patients to ask healthcare providers to clean their hands and to guide healthcare personnel in the importance of providing patients with clean care by cleaning hands often.

Visit CDC’s Hand Hygiene website for materials in Spanish and other additional information and materials.
A Strategy to Improve Med Adherence, Glucose Control
Out of 330 people with type 2 diabetes recruited from a hospital for this six-month study, the half who received pharmacist counseling on management strategies and daily text messages on medication adherence and exercise had better medication adherence and bigger reductions in A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol than the group who received usual care. This study was published recently in the Journal of Pharmacy and BioAllied Sciences . Read more about the study here.
Expansion of ICD-10 Codes for SDOH Announced
From physician offices and hospitals to large medical systems and payers, efforts to address the social determinants of health (SDOH) on a larger scale are abound. SDOH are conditions where people live, learn, work, and play that impact a wide range of health risks and outcomes.

Recently, UnitedHealthcare and the American Medical Association announced they plan to expand the set of ICD-10 diagnostic codes to better diagnose a person’s SDOH. The new diagnostic codes allow providers to target services that people may need to manage their health (e.g., food banks, shelters), identify patients who should receive specific screenings, or how best to provide care (e.g., care navigation, phone calls). Read more.
Register Now for Free Upcoming Industry Events
May 8
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: Multi QIN-QIO collaboration
May 8
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: American Nurses Association
May 9
1:00 p.m. ET
May 9
2:00 p.m. ET
Host: Alzheimer's Association
May 14
12:00 p.m. ET
Host: VNAA & ElevatingHOME
May 16
2:00 p.m. ET
Host: Accreditation Commission for Health Care
May 16
2:00 p.m. ET
Host: HEALTHCARE first
May 22
1:30 p.m. ET
Host: Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
May 23
1:00 p.m. ET
Host: Resources for Integrated Care
Host: Resources for Integrated Care
Host: Resources for Integrated Care
Face to Face: A Retrospective Review ( webinar and slides )
Host: Accreditation Commission for Health Care
Host: Multi-QIN-QIO collaboration
Host: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Host: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
* 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.
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-050919