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


CMS Delays New Home Health CoP

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule for the Home Health Conditions of Participation (CoP) Delay which was posted in the  Federal Register on July 10, 2017.  Changes include:
  • CoP requirements that were due to begin July 13, 2017 are delayed until January 13, 2018.  
    • Includes all QAPI requirements except for the phase-in for the performance improvement projects which is delayed until July 13, 2018 (original date was January 13, 2018)
    • CMS is also grandfathering in all administrators employed by HHAs prior to the effective date of the January 2017 HHA CoPs final rule, meaning that those administrators employed by an HHA prior to July 13, 2017 would not have to meet the new personnel requirements. It has been proposed to replace the July 13, 2017 effective date at ยง484.115(a) (1) and (2) with the proposed effective date of January 13, 2018.
  • CMS now has a new mailbox for CoP questions: NewHHACoPs@cms.hhs.gov
  • CMS is working on writing the Interpretive Guidance for Surveyors for HHAs which will be released in December 2017.


In This Issue


AOTMJuly 2017 HHQI Agency of the Month

This month, HHQI recognizes Colorado Visiting Nurse Association of Denver, Colorado 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.
Remember choosing your courses for an upcoming semester? You likely solicited input from your peers to help you make your selections. With that in mind, we've put together a list of the top 10 most popular courses in HHQI University and insight from a current student to help you select your first course or your next course.
All HHQI University courses are free and self-paced; you can stop them at any point and pick up right where you left off at a later time. All courses include free continuing education credits for nurses, and those marked with an asterisk in the list below also include Physical Therapy CCUs. All certificates are available immediately.

Click on the links below to learn more about the 10 most popular courses in HHQI University:
  1. QAPI 101
  2. Fundamentals of Medication Management
  3. no backgroundExercise Prescription for the Home Health Patient with Heart Failure*
  4. Making CASPER Data Work
  5. Blood Pressure Control & Smoking Cessation
  6. Cardiovascular Health for At-Risk Populations
  7. Pave Your Path (part 1 of 4)
  8. Master the Maze of Blood Pressure Medications
  9. The State of Cardiovascular Health
  10. Maintenance Therapy for the Home Health Patient with Heart Failure*
Here's what one student had to say about HHQI University:

"The information and materials in the HHQI University definitely support and go hand-in-hand with the work we do in home health. With the revised COP's coming, the courses offered on QAPI were exactly what we needed to get our QAPI program where it needed to be.

I like learning about topics that relate to what I do in home health. The Best Practice Intervention Packages help to improve our agency's teaching and outcomes. Another benefit of HHQI University is that you choose the course you need, take it whenever it's convenient, and you can stop and start the course. The free CEs are a terrific bonus, too."



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.

(see details below)
MAY 18

CardioLAN Webinars
(see details below)

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. 
CardioLANWebinarQuarterly CardioLAN Webinar | July 12, 2017 | 2-3pm ET
Partnering with Patients to Make Non-Compliance a Thing of the Past: 5 Conversational Skills Can Make This Happen!

Due to a power outage during the original live broadcast on June 15, this event has been rescheduled.

"If only my patient would follow my instructions."  Does that statement sound familiar? Improving adherence strategies is a struggle most healthcare providers face daily. During this webinar presented by the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign (HHQI), Ms. Melinda Huffman from The National Society of Health Coaches will describe engaging skills to improve adherence strategies which will lead to improved outcomes & patient satisfaction. Opportunities to practice these skills will be provided during the webinar. Learn more.

Melinda Huffman, BSN, MSN, CCNS, CHC
National Society of Health Coaches
For 12 years, Ms. Huffman has been a best-selling author and has written about health coaching, patient engagement, establishing patient/provider partnerships, disease management, and health outcomes management. She currently fills the role of Continuing Education, Presenter, Administrator, and Faculty for The National Society of Health Coaches; and formerly was the Continuing Education Coordinator for Amedisys, Inc. (Corporate).

This activity has been approved by the Alabama State Nurses Association (ASNA) for 1.25 hours of nursing continuing education (CE). ASNA is an accredited approver of the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation (ANCC). To receive CE credit, participants must watch the 60-minute webinar and complete an additional 15 minutes of related coursework in HHQI University. Step-by-step instructions will be discussed at the end of the webinar.
UPwebinarQuarterly UP Network Webinar | July 20, 2017 | 2-3pm ET
Meals on Wheels: Delivering Health, Independence & Food

This educational webinar presented by the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign (HHQI) will discuss emerging research on the homebound older adult population, healthcare usage trends, as well as ways in which Meals on Wheels America and member programs are working innovatively to support homebound older adults and address key social determinants of health.  Learn more.

Ucheoma Onyinyechi Akobundu
Director of Project Mgmt & Impact
Meals on Wheels America

This activity is pending approval of 1.5 hours of continuing education (CE) credit from the Alabama State Nurses Association, an accredited approver of nursing continuing education through the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation (ANCC). Additionally, 1.5 hours of CE credit for social workers is pending approval by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). To receive CE credit, participants must watch the 60-minute webinar and complete an additional 30 minutes of related coursework in HHQI University. Step-by-step instructions will be discussed at the end of the webinar.

QINCorner QIO News: Senior Independence

In recognition of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) anniversary on July 26, the July 2017 issue of QIO News    explores how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 
and the  Quality Improvement Organization  Program are working to improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities and to help all older adults age in place.

In the Q&A with Sonya Karpiak Bowen: Improving Care for Medicare Beneficiaries with Disabilities, an expert with CMS's Office of Minority Health shares new resources to help Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations, physicians, family members and other stakeholders improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities.


DTCmodule New DTC-Focused 'Blueprint for Excellence' Module Released

VNAA's Blueprint for Excellence is a free quality improvement and workforce training resource for home health, hospice, and palliative care providers. It advances the use of best practices by gathering into one virtual location curriculum and training tools, as well as the relevant research supporting those tools. The Blueprint and its best practices demonstrate the value of home health, hospice, and palliative care--both in lowering the overall cost of care and in improving care outcomes.

The Blueprint's newest module, " Best Practices to Improve Discharge to Community," focuses on the Discharge to Community (DTC) performance measure, adopted under the IMPACT Act, which requires agencies anticipate and plan to prevent hospital readmissions after discharge following home health care. Additionally, the 2017 Conditions of Participation for Home Health emphasize comprehensive, patient-centered discharge planning. As a response to these needs, VNAA and the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation convened a work group to develop best practices surrounding patient discharge to community from home health.

Learn more about the new Discharge to Community module of VNAA's Blueprint for Excellence and how to utilize these best practices to increase your organization's quality of care through an on-demand, informational webinar.
Home Health Facts & Figures by State

The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation ("the Alliance") recently released the 2017 "Home Health Patients & Workforce" one-pagers for each state plus 
Sample One-Pager
the  District of Columbia. Using information culled from the 2017 Home Health Chartbook preview, the Chartbook supplement on prevalence of chronic conditions by state , and the Kaiser Family Foundation , the one-pagers offer an updated look at the state of home health care across the country.

Each one-pager includes data on total Medicare home health beneficiaries, chronic conditions, home health employees, and the economic impact of home health care in each state.

A copy of each one-pager is available on the Alliance's website

Get Ready: New Medicare Cards Coming April 2018

Medicare is taking steps to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. Through this initiative the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will prevent fraud, fight identity theft and protect essential program funding and the private healthcare and financial information of our Medicare beneficiaries.

CMS will issue new Medicare cards with a new unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) to replace the existing Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) both on the cards and in various CMS systems we use now. Medicare beneficiaries will begin receiving new cards in April 2018, and all Medicare cards will be replaced by April 2019.

IndustryEventsUpcoming Industry Webinars, Courses & Other Events

July 12, 2017
2pm ET
Minority Mental Health Month Twitter Chat; follow  the hashtag #MinorityMH and use it in your tweets to participate in the conversation!
National Institute on Monority Helath and Health Disparities
July 12, 2017
3-4:30pm ET
What Can Chronic Care Management Do For You?
Telligen, the Quality Innovation Network National Coordinating Center (QIN NCC)
July 19, 2017
9am-5pm ET
Community-Based Health Literacy Interventions: A Workshop NASEM Health and Medicine
July 26, 2017
1pm ET
August 3, 2017
1-2pm CT
TMF Health Quality Institute
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.
JULY 2017

Donate Life ECHO (July 9-22)

Medicare's Anniversary (July 31)

KeyDatesHHCKey Dates: Home Health Compare & Star Reports

Preview reports available in CASPER 4/6/17
Quality of Patient Care Star Rating suppression request deadline 4/21/17
Deadline for submitting missing or corrected data 5/12/17
Home Health Compare updated
July 2017

Please Note:
There will be no refresh in October 2017 to accommodate provisions of the IMPACT Act.

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-070717