National Care Transitions Team Visits Qualis Health to Observe Best Practice
This week, Qualis Health hosts a team from Medicare's national coordinating center for improving care transitions, the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care. They recognized Qualis Health's work with communities across Washington and Idaho as best practice, and are visiting local Washington State communities to observe our successful strategies in action. As a Medicare Quality Improvement Organization, Qualis Health has exceeded Medicare's recruitment goals for engaging healthcare providers, stakeholders and consumers to improve care transitions and reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions. Moreover, the interventions we've put in place are already showing improvement in community admissions and readmission rates. Visit our Medicare website.
2013 Alaska Behavioral Health Provider Education Conferece
The Alaska 2013 Annual Behavioral Health Provider Education Conference was held May 21–23 in Anchorage. Sponsored by Qualis Health and the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, this year’s conference attracted participants from all over the country. With the theme of A Culture of Community: Caring for Alaskans
, the program focused on three main subjects: “Drawing on Alaska’s Behavioral Health Resources,” “Enhancing Individualized Transition and Services” and “Serving Alaska’s Diverse Cultures.” Learn more about the conference.
Jeff Hummel Featured in Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine
As part of a year-long series exploring how hospitals and health systems are addressing the care continuum in their strategic and operational plans, Hospitals and Health Networks
spoke with Qualis Health's Medical Director for Health Informatics, Jeff Hummel, MD. In the May edition, Dr. Hummel offers his thoughts on the specialized requirements of patient-centered medical homes for their electronic health records. Read "Medical Home: Health IT's Next Evolution."
Explore the WIREC Insider April Edition
profiles one of its Packaged Services for practice health IT needs, the Security Risk Analysis Assessment, which helps identify organizational risks for patient data breach and ways to reduce those risks. You will also find the third installment of the HIPAA Omnibus Rule series, and health IT news.
Qualis Health Now Processes Alaska Outpatient Imaging Authorization Requests
As of April 15, Qualis Health now processes outpatient imaging authorization requests for the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Health Care Services. This service, along with other care management work we perform in collaboration with Alaska Medicaid -
Health Care Services, will help the state of Alaska improve the quality and effectiveness of its healthcare. Visit the Alaska Medicaid - Health Care Services page for more information.
March SNMHI Webinar: "Using a Patient-Centered Care Plan and Teamwork to Support Self-Management" Now Online
This webinar focused on self-management strategies from a team-based care perspective and how the EHR can optimize this. Larry Mauksch, MEd, LMHC, discussed using the care plan for documentation across team members and follow-up. He emphasized the role of each team member and team workflow in this process. Berdi Safford, MD, presented on agenda confirmation, creating a feasible plan, anticipating barriers and problem solving. Download the presentation slides
or view the webinar recording
WIREC Webinar: Clinical Decision Support
The 33rd session of the Getting Paid to Use Your EHR
series will occur on April 30, 2013. Dr. Jeffrey Wolff-Gee presents on the challenges his organization, Swedish Medical Group, faced in adhering to the "five rights" of clinical decision support as well what they learned. Registration and more information
Connect with Qualis Health in April
Connect with Qualis Health at Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 14th Annual Summit
Qualis Health will be exhibiting at Booth 15 during the 14th Annual International Summit on Improving Patient Care in the Office Practice & the Community
, which takes place April 7-9, 2013 in Scottsdale, AZ. Donna Daniel, PhD, Practice Transformation and Measurement Director, and Michael Garrett, MS, CCM, Vice President of Business Development, will also attend the Summit. Visit the summit website for more information
Qualis Health Quarterly March 2013 Now Online
Qualis Health Quarterly
, our newsletter for Nebraska Medicaid providers, is now available. Inside, you'll find both Home Health and Hospital Utilization Management updates.
Provider Profile: Dr. Shakti K. Matta of Pediatrics for You
In the March issue of the WIREC Insider
, Dr. Matta answers our questions about his practice, Pediatrics for You, in Kennewick, WA,including responses about his experiences implementing EHRs and attesting for Meaningful Use. Also featured is part two of four in the HIPAA Omnibus Rule Series, important WIREC webinar information and a list of the most recent providers to reach Meaningful Use.
Stop and Watch Tool a Success in Tacoma
Avamere Skilled Nursing of Tacoma, a participant in Qualis Health's Communities for Safer Transitions of Care project, has implemented a new communication tool, and is reporting success. Avamere is one of a few skilled nursing facilities in the country currently using the INTERACT program's Stop and Watch Early Warning Tool. The tool makes it easy for non-medical staff to report changes they see in residents. Early documentation of changes allows medical staff to pursue appropriate interventions before major health problems arise, avoiding expensive and disruptive treatments or hospitalization. Read the whole success story here
SNMHI February Webinar Now Online
The February 26, 2013, Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI) webinar, Closing the Loop with Referral Management
, focused on the implementation of referral tracking, the value of gaining physician leadership and staff buy-in, building a leaner medical home and village and enabling EHR meaningful use. Managing referrals is not only one of the most challenging services offered by primary care, but also one of the most important for continuity of care and patient health. Presented by a speaker from the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. Download the webinar slides
or visit the SNMHI website
WIREC White Paper Appears on ONC-HIT Website
The third of three WIREC white papers, Standardizing the Problem List in the Ambulatory Electronic Health Record to Improve Patient Care
, is now posted on HealthIT.gov
. The white paper, a featured resource, addresses Core Measure 3 ("Maintain Problem List") in Step 5 ("Achieve Meaningful Use") of implementing an EHR. Download the white paper now
, or find all three white papers on the WIREC website
Northwest Patient Safety Conference Registration Now Open
The Washington Patient Safety Coalition's Northwest Patient Safety Conference
will be held May 21 at the Lynnwood, WA, Convention Center. MacArthur Fellow Eric Coleman, MD, MPH, and Kaiser Permanente's Vice President of Quality, Safety and Resource Management, Doug Bonacum, will be the plenary speakers. Qualis Health is a sponsor of the conference and will be presenting our Award of Excellence in Healthcare Quality
to outstanding Washington providers. Learn more about the conference
or register online
Qualis Health CEO to Present at National Medical Home Summit
On March 14, 2013, Jonathan R. Sugarman, MD, MPH, President and CEO will be giving a presentation entitled Overview of the Safety Net Medial Home Initiative (SNMHI) and its Framework for Practice Transformation
to participants in the 2013 National Medical Home Summit in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Sugarman also serves as a Mini-Summit Chair for the conference. Qualis Health will also be exhibiting at the event. For more details, visit the summit website
The Future of Quality Measurement
, February issue, features an article by Jesse C. James, MD, Senior Medical Officer for Meaningful Use in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC-HIT), highlighting methods by which Meaningful Use goals can be met, providing better care to patients. You'll also find Health IT News, February's Burning Issues, the first in a four-part series about the HIPAA Omnibus Rule and information on upcoming events and deadlines. Lastly, find links to relevant articles and information from around the nation.
Bellingham Herald: 'Stepping Stones' Pilot Helps to Reduce Avoidable Readmissions to Hospital in Whatcom County
Read Whatcom County's Bellingham Herald
for a follow up to a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) report
about the Stepping Stones program. The January JAMA
article outlined the Qualis Health-initiated effort in Whatcom County, Washington, that reduced hospitalization rates by nearly 6% and readmission rates by nearly 7%.
WIREC White Paper Featured in FierceEMR
An article in FierceEMR
featured a WIREC report
describing electronic health record adoption as a "psychological roller coaster" for small physician practices. The paper explains how the process involves unrealistic expectations that reach a peak right before implementation, a plunge into a "trough of disillusionment" and then a recovery phase involving a lot of hard work. Made public by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT late last week, the report outlines WIREC's experiences and challenges in helping its physicians adopt EHRs. The paper was also featured on the American Academy of Family Physicians' website
Story From The Front Lines: EHRs and Empowering Patients
, January issue, features St. Luke’s Health System’s Dr. Mark Chasin giving his perspective on electronic health records (EHRs) and empowering patients. Also read about pertinent Meaningful Use burning questions answered by Health IT Consultant and Meaningful Use Coordinator, Trudy Bearden. You’ll also find upcoming WIREC webinars and more health IT news.
WIREC White Paper Helps Providers Manage and Leverage Their Problem List
Maintaining an up-to-date problem list is a core element of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' definition of electronic health record meaningful use. The Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center's latest white paper, Standardizing the Problem List in the Ambulatory Electronic Health Record to Improve Patient Care
, can help you leverage the problem list for better patient care. Download the white paper now.
December Medical Home Digest Covers Integrated Healthcare
This issue of Medical Home Digest
is all about integration. It presents effective ways of adding previously separate services—behavioral healthcare and dental care—into primary care delivery. It also discusses successful techniques for incorporating patient and family experience into both individual care plans and practice quality improvement activities. Also included is information on how health information technology can support integration of medical home components and enable practices to provide, track and evaluate patient-centered care. Download the December 2012 Medical Home Digest.
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Grantee Meeting This Week
This week, Donna Christensen, MBA, Director, Finance and Risk Management; Peggy Evans PhD, CPHIT, Director, WIREC; John Hartgraves, Manager, Technical Operations; Zach Hodges, CPHIT, Manager, Technical Operations; Jeff Hummel, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Informatics; and Stephanie Yoo, Principal, Contracts and Procurement, are at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Annual Meeting called "A Meaningful Foundation for the Future of Healthcare
." The meeting will focus on adoption of meaningful use (MU), using MU to improve quality and efficiency, how health IT engages patients and how providers have made privacy and security a priority.
Qualis Health Staff Joins National Healthcare Leadership at QualityNet Conference
Senior leaders from Qualis Health, including President and CEO Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, and Chief Operating Officer Marci Weis, RN, MPH, CCM, are among the over 1,000 attendees at the 2012 QualityNet conference
. A number of our staff members are also at the conference, including Sharon Eloranta, MD; Linda Rowe, LPN, MS, BS; and Selena Bolotin, LICSW, MSW, who are representing Qualis Health on several panels. This year's event is structured to break down "silos" within the healthcare delivery system, promote collaborative learning and hasten the spread of innovations that produce significant, widespread increases in quality.
Cardiac LAN Participants Share Success Stories
Qualis Health's Cardiac Learning & Action Network is helping a cohort of primary care and cardiology practices across Idaho and Washington improve cardiac outcomes among their patient populations. Together, they're working to redesign workflows, use electronic health records as clinical quality improvement tools and apply proven change concepts. Read success stories from two participating practices: Idaho Minor Emergency & Family Practice
and KB Family Practice
Patient Partner Program, Strategies Explored in SNMHI Webinar
Learn more about Humboldt County consumer engagement in this Safety Net Medical Home Initiative webinar. Speakers from Aligning Forces Humboldt and Eureka Community Health Center examined Humboldt's patient partner program and explored strategies for building similar programs. These included connecting community-based self-management support to practices, working with patients to improve care, and recruiting and training patient partners. Download the presentation slides
or view the webinar recording
Qualis Health Facilitates Federal Recognition for Idaho
On November 26, Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter announced that the federal government had recognized Idaho as a national leader in efforts to enhance the safety and quality of healthcare by embracing the use of health information technology. Otter recognized Qualis Health's Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC) program as a key contributor to this success. Read the news release
on the Governor's website.
ID Congressman at WIREC Practice, 50% Rule Defined, More in WIREC Insider
In the November edition of WIREC Insider
, read about Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson's visit to Idaho Falls' Rosemark WomenCare Specialists to discuss the clinic's concerns about Medicare reimbursements and the Affordable Care Act. You'll also learn more about the "50% Rule" that governs provider eligibility in the EHR Incentive Program. As always, you'll find plenty of health IT news and resources.
Fall 2012 Medical Home Digest Explores Vulnerable Populations
This issue of Medical Home Digest
focuses on three vulnerable groups served by safety net practices: homeless patients, immigrants and rural Americans. It highlights the unique needs and challenges of these populations, and explores how patient-centered medical home transformation can increase access as well as improve quality of care and patient experience in challenging environments. Also featured is an article on the relationship between medical home transformation and NCQA PCMH Recognition. Download the Fall 2012 edition of Medical Home Digest.
Annual Medicare Case Reviews for ID and WA Released
Qualis Health's latest annual Medicare case reviews for Idaho and Washington are now available. As the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for both states, we protect Medicare beneficiaries by investigating individuals' concerns about their care, or when they feel they are being discharged too soon. These annual reports examine case reviews that we have completed on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries in Idaho and Washington. Download the Qualis Health 2011-2012 reports for Idaho
Diving Deeper: Team Roles Webinar Series Part 2
Continuing from Deeper Dive on Team Roles Part 1
, this webinar from the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative
focused on optimizing individual roles to support practice transformation. It included discussion of overcoming obstacles, navigating uncertainty and what's needed to support optimized roles. Speakers from participating sites also shared how they have transformed the roles of clinical pharmacist, registered nurse and medical assistant. Download the presentation slides
or view the webinar recording
WIREC Insider: WIREC PCP Attests to Washington Medicaid Meaningful Use
Recently, Dr. John Nuetzmann was WIREC's first Washington State primary care practitioner to attest to meaningful use under the Washington Medicaid program. In the October edition of WIREC Insider
, you'll find Dr. Nuetzmann's success story, meaningful use (MU) stage two clinical care measures, and a variety of EHR and MU news from around the nation.
Call for Presentations
Qualis Health, Saint Alphonsus Health System and St. Luke's Health System invite you to share your success with like-minded, mission-oriented healthcare professionals. The Idaho 2013 Annual Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference will be held April 4-5, and we are looking for speakers with innovative and informative messages based on the theme "Quality Improvement & Medication Management: Rx for Patient Safety." Visit the conference webpage to learn more and download the Call for Presentations entry form.
Webinar Takes a Deeper Dive into Team Roles
Presenters from the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at the Group Health Research Institute, Beaver Falls Primary Care & Behavioral Health Center, and High Plains Community Health Center came together to conduct part 1 of a Safety Net Medical Home Initiative webinar series entitled Deeper Dive on Team Roles
. Download the presentation slides
or view the webinar recording
Interactive Tool Kit Helps With Care Transitions Intervention® Implementation
Qualis Health has developed a new interactive tool kit to help area agencies on aging and others implement a community-based Care Transitions Intervention (CTI) coaching program. The tool kit is available on the website of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services' Aging and Disability Services Administration at http://www.adsa.dshs.wa.gov/Professional/ADRC/documents/toolkit/Toolkit.pdf
The tool kit was prepared for organizations that have been, or will be, officially trained in the Care Transition Intervention® (CTI) model, and incorporates materials developed by Eric A. Coleman, MD, MPH. The tool kit is not intended as a substitute for training by the Care Transitions Program®, and does not authorize the user to implement the model independently.
Meaningful Use Stage 2 in WIREC Insider
WIREC Insider's September issue
features Qualis Health Medical Director Jeff Hummel addressing Meaningful Use Stage 2 as an ongoing process as well as a Stage 2 cheat sheet. You'll also find a roundup of late-breaking EHR and MU news.
Cardiac LAN Newsletter Provides News You Can Use
The September issue of the Cardiac Learning & Action Network (LAN) newsletter addresses how EHRs can be used to help identify at-risk patients. This issue also presents techniques to help high-risk patients receive appropriate aspirin therapy. Read the newsletter now.
WIREC White Paper Gives Guidance on After-Visit Summaries
Jeff Hummel, MD, MPH, Medical Director, along with Peggy Evans, PhD, CPHIT, WIREC Director, recently produced "Providing Clinical Summaries to Patients after Each Office Visit: A Technical Guide."
Designed to help eligible professionals and their organizations gain a better grasp of how to successfully meet the criteria of giving clinical summaries to patients after each office visit, this paper addresses one of the most challenging of all meaningful use elements.
Qualis Health Strong for Surgery Educational Collaborator
Qualis Health is an educational collaborator for the Strong for Surgery initiative, which is identifying and improving evidence-based practices for elective surgical patients in four target areas: nutrition, glycemic control/diabetes management, smoking cessation and medication. Read more about this important initiative.
August WIREC Insider Addresses GAO Report
At the end of July, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report stating that healthcare providers who partnered with a Regional Extension Center (REC) were more than twice as likely to receive an incentive payment under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. The August edition of WIREC Insider
discusses details of this GAO report as well other news for providers interested in Meaningful Use.
SNMHI Participant Speaks on Redesigning the Hospital Discharge
Kelly McGrath, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Idaho's Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics, presented a care coordination webinar to participants in the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative
. In Redesign of the Hospital Discharge: Patient-Centered Care to Improve Safety, Cost and Outcomes
, Dr. McGrath discussed why and how his organization focused on hospital discharge policies and processes, the results they achieved and their plans to maintain and improve these results. Download the slides
or view the webinar recording
CMS Releases Stage 2 Final Rule
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced today the final rule for Stage 2 of meaningful use in the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Payments Program. This announcement marks the next step in transforming America's healthcare system to a health IT-enabled one.
Safety Net Medical Home Initiative Profiled in Health Affairs
As part of its August 2012 edition, Health Affairs
profiled the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI). The article, "Foundations Aim to Strengthen and Improve the Safety Net
," provides a selected sampling of foundation efforts to help safety net providers and populations, including SNMHI.
Summer Medical Home Digest Includes Medical Home Transformation and Quality Improvement Topics
This information-packed issue of the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative's Medical Home Digest
features a broad array of topics related to medical home transformation and quality improvement. It contains articles on engaging staff in measurement and quality improvement, the role of the RN in direct patient care, and balancing supply and demand in a practice. Also included are two interviews, one reflecting on how to keep the patient voice at the center of care and another on Group Health's patient-centered approach to managing phone calls.
Free Resources for Implementing and Using EHRs Now Available
Are you looking for assistance setting up or using your electronic health record (EHR)? Visit our Medicare website for a sampling of free resources. We have both start-up advice
and information for more advanced users
SNMHI Presentation Highlights Care Coordination Efforts in Three Rural Clinics
The University of Chicago's Sarah Derrett, MPH, PhD, and Katie Gunter, MPH, MSW, recently spoke to Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI) participants. In Care Coordination in Rural Communities: Preliminary Findings on Strategies Used at 3 SNMHI Sites
, the two presented an overview of case studies they conducted at three rural clinics participating in the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, including similarities, differences and highlights in how the three clinics implemented the Care Coordination change concept. Download the presentation slides
or view the webinar recording