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Qualis Health Medical Director Shares PCMH Views in CMIO Magazine

One of the features in the July/August issue of CMIO magazine discusses primary care practices' transformation away from the fee-for-service model and toward the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. Qualis Health's Medical Director for Clinical Informatics Dr. Jeff Hummel shares his views on PCMH transformation in "Medical Home: The New Normal."

New Qualis Health Quarterly Discusses Managed Care and More

A newsletter for Nebraska Medicaid providers, the June edition of the Qualis Health Quarterly provides home health review updates, reminders for Gold Card Providers regarding August's audit and information about the statewide expansion of Physical Health Managed Care.

SNMHI Publishes Second Engaged Leadership Implementation Guide Supplement

The second of two Engaged Leadership implementation guide supplements, this release from the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI) provides ideas and strategies that health center board members can use to help the centers they govern become high-performing patient-centered medical homes. Read Engaged Leadership Supplement Part 2: How Health Center Board Members Can Support Medical Home Transformation.

SNMHI Publishes Second Engaged Leadership Implementation Guide Supplement

The second of two Engaged Leadership implementation guide supplements, this release from the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI) provides ideas and strategies that health center board members can use to help the centers they govern become high-performing patient-centered medical homes. Read Engaged Leadership Supplement Part 2: How Health Center Board Members Can Support Medical Home Transformation.

Qualis Health Cardiac LAN PCOs at the Forefront of EHR Use

Two primary care organizations (PCOs) participating in Qualis Health's Cardiac Learning & Action Network (LAN) recently discussed their ongoing efforts in using electronic health records (EHRs) to generate reports for tracking specific quality of care measures. The reports will help participants gauge their own quality metrics, compare them against that of other Cardiac LAN participants and submit data to CMS' Physician Quality Reporting System. Learn about the progress being made at Washington Park Medical Center and St. Luke's Magic Valley.

Engaged Leadership Supplement Aims to Assist Leaders with PCMH Transformation

The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative's latest publication is a follow up to its Engaged Leadership implementation guide. The Resources for Leaders supplement is a compilation of recommendations by quality improvement specialists and healthcare system leaders engaged in patient-centered medical home (PCMH) transformation. Its purpose is to provide further tools, resources and training programs for leaders working to transform their practices into PCMHs.

June WIREC Insider: WIREC Doc Attends White House Health IT Town Hall Meeting

This edition of the WIREC Insider covers WIREC Medical Director Jeff Hummel's journeys to successful EHR use and the White House; answers to meaningful use burning issues from Trudy Bearden and the ONC-endorsed Meaningful Use Burning Issues Workgroup; and using huddles to improve care coordination.

Local Success Story: Grangeville, ID, Nursing Home Eliminates Restraints and Reduces Alarms within Two Months

As part of our Medicare Quality Improvement Organization contract, Qualis Health helps Idaho and Washington nursing homes reduce the use of physical restraints. While recognizing that quality improvement is a never-ending journey, it's important to celebrate the successes along the way. Grangeville Health & Rehabilitation Center recently reached a milestone in its falls reduction program by eliminating restraints and reducing alarms within two months. Read Grangeville Health & Rehabilitation Center's Success Story.

Monthly Briefing Helps with Inventorying Care Transitions Activities

Each month, the Qualis Health Communities for Safer Transitions of Care project's Monthly Briefing spreads the word about care transitions efforts in Idaho and Washington. May's primary article discusses strategies for inventorying care transitions activities in order to share practices and identify gaps. Read the article or join the mailing list to receive the full edition.

Two More Meaningful Users in May WIREC Insider

May's Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center newsletter, WIREC Insider, features two practices that recently achieved Meaningful Use and winners of the Qualis Health Washington Award of Excellence in Healthcare Quality. You can also read regular columns such as "Meaningful Use Burning Issues" and "Health IT News."

WIREC Comments on Stage 2 MU Proposed Rules

On March 7, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Stage 2 meaningful use (MU) to the Federal Register. The proposed rule outlines the requirements for the next stage of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs, which are administered by CMS. The 60-day comment period ended on May 7, and the Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC) posted its comments.

Qualis Health Selected to Serve on PCA Demonstration

Qualis Health—along with the National Association of Community Health Centers' Patient Centered Medical Home Institute and the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation—will be partnering with American Institutes for Research (AIR) to serve on a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contract to help Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) invest in patient care and infrastructure supporting 500 FQHC sites in achieving the goals of the CMS Demonstration.

Model VBP Worksheets for Idaho and Washington Hospitals Available

Qualis Health has created model value-based purchasing (VBP) worksheets for both FY2013 and FY2014. Hospitals in Idaho and Washington can use these to track their progress, set goals and estimate their total performance score (TPS) within Medicare's VBP program.

Qualis Health WIREC Provider Profiled by ONC

Olympic Physicians, a practice located in Shelton, Washington, is included in the meaningful use case studies on HealthIT.gov, a website of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). This case study profiles Olympic Physicans' journey with Qualis Health's Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC) consultants toward meaningful use.

Qualis Health's Medicare Website Wins Aster Award

Qualis Health's Medicare website—which is focused on our work as a Medicare Quality Improvement Organization—was recognized with a Gold-level Aster Award in the 2012 competition. Redesigned in August 2011, the website serves Medicare beneficiaries, healthcare providers and community partners across Idaho and Washington. Visit qualishealthmedicare.org. Learn more about the Aster Awards.

SNMHI Webinar Addresses Secure Messaging

Speakers Carl Serrato, PhD; Sally Retecki, MBA; Matthew Handley, MD; and L. Gordon Moore, MD, recently spoke to participants in the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI) on how Kaiser Permanente, Group Health and others have been using secure messaging with patients in their practices. View the webinar online or download the slides for Using Technology to Improve Access: Secure Messaging.

Have You Seen the Latest WIREC Insider?

This edition explains the answers to five burning Meaningful Use (MU) issues, how eligible professionals can create MU audit files and more. Read the April edition of the WIREC Insider.

Care Transitions Monthly Briefing Distributed

The April edition of Qualis Health's Communities for Safer Transitions of Care was distributed last week. The monthly briefing features the "Going Home from the Hospital" video, which aims to help patients avoid rehospitalization.

March Medical Home Digest Discusses Evidence-Based Care

This issue of the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative's newsletter features articles on Organized, Evidence-based Care, including risk-stratifying patients to enable targeted care. It also provides reflections on transformation from participants in the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, and a case study on reducing avoidable ED visits among newly-diagnosed diabetic patients. Read the March 2012 Medical Home Digest.

Selena Bolotin Speaks About Medicare Care Transitions

Selena Bolotin, LICSW, MSW, Qualis Health's Care Transitions Project Manager, presented "What Are Care Transitions (And Why It Matters)" at the April meeting of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council for Aging & Disability Services. This volunteer citizens group represents older adults and individuals with disabilities within the community.

Safety-Net Clinics Try Out the PCMH Concept: Lessons from Kansas City

Brenda Sharpe, President and CEO of the REACH Healthcare Foundation, authored an article for Health Affairs GrantWatch Blog, sharing her organization’s experience with the Patient-Centered Medical Home Model (PCMH). With support from Qualis Health’s PCMH consulting team, the REACH Healthcare Foundation has worked to transform their systems of care and has seen a positive return on investment.

WIREC Insider Goes Monthly with New March Edition

Going from quarterly to monthly, the new edition of the Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center's (WIREC) newsletter, WIREC Insider, is now available online. This issue includes information about Qualis Health's new Cardiac Learning & Action Network (LAN), helpful tips on successfully attesting to Meaningful Use for Medicare Eligible Professionals, “Clinical Summaries on the Patient Portal” by Trudy Bearden, PA-C, MPAS, CPHIT—plus the latest health IT news and more.

Nebraska's Qualis Health Quarterly Out Now

The Qualis Health Quarterly contains news and information for Nebraska healthcare providers.  The March 2012 issue includes information on potential quality of care letters, home health review updates, Gold Card Provider & Long Term Care Client process reviews and more.

Care Transitions Newsletter Debuts This Month

The Communities for Safer Transitions of Care project, part of Qualis Health’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) work, has introduced Monthly Briefing--a newsletter dedicated to care transitions and reducing readmissions. This monthly newsletter is targeted to providers and community partners across Idaho and Washington. It is intended to spread the news about local care transitions efforts. Read an excerpt from the first issue. Or you can subscribe and have the full edition emailed to you each month.

Qualis Health Workshop Helps Centralia Practice Solve Long-Standing Challenge

A workshop in Lean workflow helped Washington Park Medical Center greatly reduce the amount of time and hassle previously required to ensure that childhood immunizations are administered during office visits. Learn how they did it.

The Commonwealth Fund Publishes PCMH Paper Co-Authored by SNMHI Staff

A new report posted on The Commonwealth Fund's website, Guiding Transformation: How Medical Practices Can Become Patient-Centered Medical Homes, "outlines and describes the changes that most medical practices would need to make to become patient-centered medical homes." The report includes co-authors from the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI): the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation at the Group Health Research Institute's Edward Wagner, MD, MPH, and Katie Coleman, MSPH; Robert Reid, MD, PhD, MPH, from the Group Health Research Institute; and Qualis Health's Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, President & CEO, and Kathryn Phillips, MPH, Director, SNMHI.

SNMHI Announces Supplements to Implementation Guides

The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI) has published three supplements to their implementation guides. The Care Coordination supplement focuses on reducing avoidable emergency department visits and improving the quality and efficiency of care. The Continuous and Team-based Healing Relationships supplement is intended to be used by line-, site- and organization-level leadership interested in redesigning staff roles. The Organized, Evidence-based Care supplement defines care management and provides practical recommendations about how to provide care management services to high-risk patients.

Qualis Health a Finalist for 2012 Case In Point Platinum Awards

Qualis Health's workers' compensation utilization management program has been named a finalist in the "Managed Care: Utilization Management Program" category for a 2012 Case In Point Platinum Award. This awards competition recognizes successful and innovative case management programs across the country. Category winners will be announced on May 9, 2012.

Consultants Share Their Experiences in the WIREC Insider

January's WIREC Insider includes lessons learned by WIREC Health IT Consultants Helen Strobel, RN, MPH, CPHIT, and Trudy Bearden, PA-C, MPAS, CPHIT, in "Pitfalls on the Road to Meaningful Use," while WIREC Consultant Kelley Carnwath, MPH, provides tips on "Meaningful Use of Electronic Medical Records and Race/Ethnicity Data Collection."

Neighborcare Presents Optimizing the Role of the Front Desk Staff

In a December 15 webinar, Katie Bell and Prathiba Pinnamaneni of Seattle's Neighborcare Health presented a webinar for the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative. In it, they discussed why and how their clinics organized and optimized the role of the front desk staff. View Optimizing the Role of the Front Desk Staff online or download the slides; download the Neighborcare Tasking Guidelines.

Read the December Qualis Health Quarterly

A regular newsletter for Nebraska healthcare providers, the December edition of the Qualis Health Quarterly includes tips for home health and private duty nursing review, as well as information about providing hospital medical records.

Idaho 2012 Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference Call for Presentations

The 2012 Idaho Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference will be held April 5-6 in Boise. This year's conference will focus on effective coordination to enhance patient care quality and safety when transferring from one setting of care to another. We are looking for speakers with innovative and informative messages based on the theme "Safety in Transitions" to share with the healthcare industry. Presentation proposals must be postmarked by Friday, January 20, 2012. Learn more about the conference.

December Publications from WIREC: Quarterly Update and WIREC Insider

December brings two newsletters from the Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC): WIREC Quarterly Update and WIREC Insider. Both include news about a major regional extension center milestone, and opinions and impressions from an Idaho healthcare provider on a recent WIREC workshop, as well as regular features.

New from SNMHI: Patient-Centered Interactions and Quality Improvement Webinars

The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative recently hosted webinars on Patient-Centered Interactions and Quality Improvement. View the presentation or download the slides for "Establishing Patient and Family Advisory Councils in the Medical Home." View the presentation or download the slides for "Using Data for Quality Improvement."

Read WIREC Insider October Issue

Want to learn more about the WIREC Best Practices Forum, read a story from the front lines about meaningful use attestation or get tips on conducting an EHR system go-live dress rehearsal? All of this—and more—is in the October edition of WIREC Insider, the Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center's monthly newsletter.

Nebraska's Qualis Health Quarterly Out Now

The Qualis Health Quarterly contains information for Nebraska healthcare providers. The September 2011 issue covers such topics as diagnosis codes for home health authorizations, home health clients with dual eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid, nursing services provided in school settings and more.

Building and Sustaining Momentum for PCMH Transformation

Did you miss the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative's most recent Quality Improvement Strategy webinar? Now you can download the slides for Building and Sustaining Momentum for PCMH Transformation or view the presentation online.

September's WIREC Insider a Patient Engagement Special Edition

Unlike previous Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC) newsletters, the September 2011 edition of WIREC Insider is devoted to a single—and vital—topic patient engagement. With the help of Daniel Lessler, MD, MHA, who consults with WIREC and is Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Associate Medical Director for Ambulatory Care Services at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, the WIREC Insider delves into this important subject.

Presenting Two New SNMHI Resources: Medical Home Digest and Policy Brief #3

The August issue of the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative's (SNMHI) Medical Home Digest features articles on care coordination, care management and the new NCQA 2011 Patient-Centered Medical Home standards. It also presents case studies from two partner clinics. SNMHI's third and latest policy brief, Paying for the Medical Home Part 2: Considering Social, Behavioral, and Environmental Factors in Payment Models, presents ideas about how payment models can be improved to better support patient-centered medical home transformation in the safety net.

Medical Assistant Training and More from SNMHI

The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI), a program of The Commonwealth Fund, Qualis Health and the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation at the Group Health Research Institute, released two new guides in August. Elevating the Role of the Medical/Clinical Assistant: Maximizing Team-Based Care in the Patient-Centered Medical Home includes a curriculum and training materials for practices to enhance medical/clinical assistants' skills. QI Strategy Implementation Guide Part I: Choosing and Using a QI Framework contains an overview of quality improvement (QI) methods, information on two methods commonly used in patient-centered medical home transformation and more.

Get the Inside Scoop from WIREC

WIREC Insider, the stakeholder newsletter for the Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center, has released its August edition. Hear from the first WIREC enrollee to attest to meaningful use, find out about important dates in the EHR Incentive Program and get tips on attestation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

New Organized, Evidence-based Care Resources Available

"Change Concepts" are general ideas used to stimulate specific, actionable steps that lead to improvement. "Organized, Evidence-based Care" is one of eight Change Concepts employed by the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI). Materials from two recent Organized, Evidence-based Care webinars are now available from the SNMHI. Download slides from the June 7 webinar, Organized, Evidence-based Care, or slides and audio/video from the July 11 webinar, Implementing Effective Clinical Care Management.

Nebraska Newsletter Now Online

Nebraska Medicaid providers can now download the June edition of the Qualis Health Quarterly to get updated information on electronic data transfer for home health and private duty nursing services, as well as learn how hospitals may submit medical records to Qualis Health via CD instead of paper.

Qualis Health Takes Two Asters

Qualis Health was recently honored with two 2011 Aster Awards—a gold for their new corporate website and a silver for their 2009-2010 Report to the Community. Recognizing healthcare organizations for excellence in their advertising and marketing efforts during 2010, the 2011 Aster Awards garnered approximately 3,000 entries from across the United States, as well as Canada and South America. Judging criteria included creativity, layout and design, functionality, message effectiveness, production quality and overall appeal.

Empanelment Part 2 is SNMHI's Latest Implementation Guide

Created by the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI), Empanelment Part 2: Assigning and Managing Panels in a Patient-Centered Medical Home offers instructions that will allow practices to assign panels, make job assignments to support empanelment and sustain the effort over time. Also included in this implementation guide are interactive tools to help practices understand patient acuity and balance provider panels accordingly.

Read the Spring Issue of Patient Safety Advance

The Spring issue of Qualis Health's Patient Safety Advance newsletter is now available. Topics include sustaining quality improvement gains, a case study on reducing restraints, alarms and falls, CMS' Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program, Washington State MDRO prevention collaboratives and Qualis Health's Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality.

The Commonwealth Fund Releases New SNMHI Video

Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI) sponsor The Commonwealth Fund recently released The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative: Transforming Primary Care. In this video, SNMHI administrators and participants discuss their progress.

The Value of Shared Learning: Patient-Centered Medical Home Transformation in the Safety Net

Safety Net Medical Home Initiative Director Kathryn Phillips, MPH, was published in the May edition of Medical Home Bulletin. Kathryn's article, "The Value of Shared Learning: Patient-Centered Medical Home Transformation in the Safety Net," is available via subscription at www.MedicalHomeNews.com.

WIREC Insider May Edition Out Now

The latest edition of the Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center's (WIREC) newsletter, WIREC Insider, is available online. Read about the connections Qualis Health's Medical Director for Health Informatics Dr. Jeff Hummel makes between performance art and healthcare workflow, WIREC's group purchase EHR program and late-breaking EHR and privacy and security in the context of meaningful use.

Value-Based Purchasing Raises the Stakes

In its May 2011 edition, The Society of Hospital Medicine's publication The Hospitalist discusses The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' value-based purchasing (VBP) program. The article "Value-Based Purchasing Raises the Stakes" features participants in Qualis Health's Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC) program and calls out Qualis Health's VBP calculator.

Contact Us

For media inquiries, please contact:

Evan Stults
Vice President, Communications
(206) 288-2458
evans@qualishealth.org