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Data-driven approach makes a powerful difference
Qualis Health’s focus on data is no accident. In our latest blog post, Associate Vice President of Analytics Meredith Agen explains why and how she and her team implemented data-centered methods to boost our impact. She also offers examples of the benefits to patients and providers. Read “Building a Data-driven Approach to Population Health.”
Connect with Qualis Health at the CMS Quality Conference
Are you attending this week’s CMS Quality Conference? If so, we hope to see you there! Tuesday at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.: We have four posters in the Gallery Walk and we’ll be on hand to answer your questions.   Tuesday at 2 p.m.: Jessica Burkard and Brooke Benton, quality improvement consultants, will present “Innovative Community Partnerships Lead to Breakthrough Results for High Utilizing and High-Risk Populations.”   Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.: Quality Improvement Consultant Kelly Means will present “Successes in Improving Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccination Rates.”   Thursday at 10 a.m.: Meredith Agen, associate vice president for health care analytics, will present “Keys to Sustainability: Laying the Groundwork.” If you won’t be in Baltimore, you can still follow the action by following us on Twitter. As an official Social Media Ambassador, we’ll be live tweeting highlights and insights at @QualisHealth. Use #CMSQualCon19 to take part in the conversation.
Wyatt Packer shares his experience with emergency health care
Recently, HealthInsight vice president Wyatt Packer had a health emergency that gave him an up close and personal look at the health care system. Read his blog post, “Experiencing Health Care — My Perspective,” to find out what happened, what he learned and what he wishes had been done differently.
Washington Academy of Family Physicians features Qualis Health on MIPS and health equity
If you’d like to find meaning in your Quality Payment Program efforts, Qualis Health’s piece in the October edition of Washington Family Physician can help. Read “Health Equity and the Quality Payment Program 2018” to get step-by-step instructions for aligning MIPS with health equity.
Qualis Health-Lions partnership fights diabetes and vision loss in Idaho
Since 2016, Qualis Health and Lions clubs in Southeast Idaho have been working together to combat diabetes and vision loss through diabetes self-management workshops and eye health services. Because much of the area is rural, it can be challenging to reach people in need, but the partnership is making a difference. Find out how QIO News.
International Conference on Practice Facilitation welcomes Tara Kline and Jeff Hummel
This afternoon, our own Tara Kline, quality improvement consultant, and Jeff Hummel, medical director, informatics, will present “Using Practice Facilitation to Build Quality Improvement Capacity Using Electronic Health Record Systems” at the International Conference on Practice Facilitation in Tampa, Fla.
John Vassall educates consumers on preoperative medical tests
In a new article from Consumer Reports, Qualis Health Physician Executive for Quality and Safety John Vassall offers his expert opinion on the necessity of medical testing prior to elective surgery. Read “Who Needs Screening Tests Before Surgery?” to find out what you need to know before your next procedure.
New toolkit helps hospitals carry out SDoH screenings and referrals
Studies have shown that health outcomes are significantly influenced by social determinants of health — the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. Qualis Health's newest toolkit helps hospitals adopt practical, effective processes for identifying patients with poor social determinants of health and connecting them with community services. Download the Social Determinants of Health Screening and Referral Implementation Toolkit Read about the Caring Beyond Healthcare pilot project that led to the toolkit
Tracy Deskin joins Foundation for Healthy Generations board
Hearty congratulations to Qualis Health quality improvement consultant Tracy Deskin for her recent election to the Foundation for Healthy Generations board of directors! Also known as Healthy Gen, the foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity dedicated to creating enduring health equity in Washington State.
Qualis Health at the NAMD Fall Conference next week
November 12-14, the National Association of Medical Directors is hosting its fall conference in Washington, D.C., with an agenda full of Medicaid-related workshops, keynote speeches and built-in opportunities for networking and relationship-building. Attending? We’d love to see you there. Qualis Health will be exhibiting at the event, so please stop by and see us at booth #69, where Bud Beall, vice president of consulting services, David Beery, vice president of care management, and Deon Westmorland, associate vice president of care management, will be in attendance.
Find us at the WAPA Conference this week
The Washington Academy of Physician Assistants is hosting its Annual Fall Conference this Thursday through Sunday, October 25-27, at the Hilton Bellevue, and Qualis Health is excited to be sponsoring and exhibiting at the event. Please stop by our booth, where Quality Improvement Consultant Jeff Sobotka will be on hand to greet you. Not yet registered? There’s still time to sign up: on-site registration will open on Thursday at 7:00 a.m.
Bre Holt and Maria Klemesrud to speak at Healthier Washington Symposium
On Wednesday, Healthier Washington is hosting its 2018 Medicaid Transformation Learning Symposium, an all-day conference focusing on Medicaid transformation in Washington State. If you’ll be attending, be sure to catch the morning panel, “Implementing PreManage: Lessons from SWACH.” Qualis Health’s own Bre Holt, Director of Practice Transformation, will be moderating the session, and Quality Improvement Consultant Maria Klemesrud is a panel participant. The panel will discuss their experience with a pilot program in the Southwest Washington Accountable Community of Health that used the PreManage tool to help providers meet health information exchange needs.
WSHA Annual Member Meeting upcoming this week
On October 11 and 12, the Washington State Hospital Association will host its 2018 Annual Member Meeting and Governance Day at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront. Qualis Health is proud to be a platinum sponsor of the event, which will feature almost two days of member- and board-focused presentations in pursuit of the event’s theme: Innovative Leadership for Tomorrow’s Health Care. Hope to see you there!
Idaho Hospital Association “Bringing the Future into Focus” at its 85th Annual Convention
If you’re planning to be in Sun Valley for the Idaho Hospital Association Annual Convention October 6-9, we’d love to connect with you. Qualis Health is excited to be a Silver Sponsor of the convention, which in its 85th year will be convening thought leaders, healthcare experts and innovators to share inspiration and ideas for leading the way for community hospitals. We’ll be at the Exhibitor Showcase on Sunday, so stop by and see us in booth #9.
Connect with Qualis Health at the CPCA Annual Conference
Attending the California Primary Care Association Annual Conference in Sacramento this week, October 4 and 5? Then make sure to stop by our booth in the exhibit hall, where Regina Neal, our director of practice transformation consulting, and Sue Sirlin, consulting director, will be on hand to greet you. Hope to see you there!
Video highlights Qualis Health and HealthInsight QIN-QIO successes in numbers
A total of $13,929,052 through improved patient-safety efforts; $9,096,058 through reduced hospital readmissions—that’s how much we’ve saved through our Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization work in Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. And that’s just the beginning. Watch “QIN-QIO Innovations That Are Making a Difference” for more ways Qualis Health and HealthInsight are improving health care value, quality and safety for millions.
New on our blog: boosting pneumonia immunization rates through community partnerships
As an aspiring medical school student, Quality Improvement Consultant Kelly Means answered to a different calling: improving health by focusing on it at the community level. In her recent blog post, “An Ounce of Prevention in Idaho,” she wrote about the patient interaction that inspired her to change course, her work as a public health champion at Qualis Health, and her recent efforts tackling one dangerous but preventable illness by partnering with public health and health care delivery organizations to boost pneumonia immunization rates in Idaho.
QI principal Jeff West to present at IHCA/WHCA Fall Conference
Qualis Health is a proud sponsor of the joint conference of the Idaho Health Care Association and the Washington Health Care Association, held September 26 through 28 in Spokane, WA. If you’re attending, don’t miss Jeff West, Quality Improvement Principal, who will present “Closing the Back Door to Staff Turnover in Skilled Nursing,” addressing this perennial problem of the long-term care industry. If you haven't done so already, register for the IHCA/WHCA Fall Conference now.
Learn how to avoid a MIPS penalty at Qualis Health’s free QPP webinar
Could your practice use more guidance navigating the Quality Payment Program? If so, join us on September 24, from noon to 1:00 p.m. PT, for a free webinar. Speakers Deanna Graham, Qualis Health Quality Improvement Principal, and Jeff Sobotka, Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant, will guide you through year two of the QPP, offer guidance on data collection and submission for each MIPS performance category, and share best practices for avoiding a negative MIPS payment adjustment in 2020 based on 2018 performance. Open to clinicians in Washington and Idaho. Sign up now!
Qualis Health program profiled in latest QIO Program Progress Report
For every dollar spent on the Quality Improvement Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) Program in 2017, the U.S. government saved five dollars. That’s just one of the findings presented in CMS’s 2017 QIO Program Progress Report, released this month. The report highlights the Program’s overall successes and the achievements of its 14 QIN-QIOs in 2017, including a snapshot of how Qualis Health leveraged community relationships to build a sustainable Diabetes Self-Management Program in rural Idaho. View the 2017 QIO Program Progress Report.
Alaska Medicaid Providers: Get Free Training and CEU’s
If you have patients who are Alaska Medicaid recipients, please join us in Anchorage on October 2 for the Alaska Medicaid Fall Provider Educational Session. Learn how to help your patients get appropriate, timely care at this free event presented by Qualis Health and the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Health Care Services. CEU’s are available for nurses and case managers. Download the registration form or get more information.
New on Our Blog: “The Power of the Diabetes Self-Management Program”
When London Manor-Petersen agreed to lead Diabetes Self-Management Program workshops, she had no idea how powerful the experience would be. In her new blog post, “The Power of the Diabetes Self-Management Program,” she discusses the impact the DSMP has had on her and on the participants.
Join Qualis Health at the Community Health Institute & Expo
The National Association of Community Health Centers’ 49th Community Health Institute & Expo is August 24–28, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it! Stop by and see us in booth 803, where Director of Practice Transformation Consulting Regina Neal and Consulting Director Sue Sirlin will be on hand to meet with you.
Healthy Hearts Northwest Releases Executive Summary
As part of the Healthy Hearts Northwest project, Qualis Health has been helping practices in Idaho and Washington improve their patients’ cardiovascular health. The three-year project is now wrapping up, and we’ll soon be sharing the findings. In the meantime, you can get a sneak peek at what we learned in the Healthy Hearts Northwest 2018 Executive Summary.
See You at MESC?
Qualis Health consultants will be among the 1,500+ attendees at this year’s Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference. MESC brings together thought leaders from the public and private sectors to share ideas and information related to Medicaid systems and initiatives. Stop by and see us in booth #62!
Connect with Qualis Health at the IHCA Annual Convention & Tradeshow
Look for Qualis Health at the Idaho Health Care Association 52nd Annual Convention & Tradeshow. Quality Improvement Consultant Brent Schneider will be on hand in the exhibit hall, along with Susan Heppler of the Idaho Division of Public Health, to help you understand new Medicare conditions of participation for infection preventionists, infection control programs, and antimicrobial stewardship.
New Guides Prepare Practices for QPP Success
Even though we’re in the second year of the Quality Payment Program, many practices are still struggling with the QPP. If your practice is one of those, you can learn how to participate efficiently and meaningfully through our two new guides. “Health Equity and the Quality Payment Program” offers a straightforward process for finding purpose in the QPP by aligning your reporting plan with health equity.   “Seven Steps to Success in MIPS” provides an easy-to-follow method for developing and implementing your MIPS strategy. Visit our Quality Payment Program Resource Center for more free assistance.
New Blog Post: Suicide Rates Are Climbing, but We Can Help Those Who Are Hurting
In the face of the recent CDC study showing suicide is on the rise in the United States, Care Management Vice President Dave Beery discusses what we know and what we don’t know about suicide. He also provides guidance on how to intervene when someone we care about is experiencing emotional pain. Read “Suicide Rates Are Climbing, but We Can Help Those Who Are Hurting”
Wisdom Warriors Conference Weaves Wellness for Tribes
On June 27 and 28, the first annual Wisdom Warriors conference will be held in Suquamish, Washington. The Wisdom Warriors Program empowers tribal members with culturally appropriate methods and tools for chronic disease self-management. Qualis Health is proud to be among the sponsors of this year’s event, “Weaving Wellness for Wisdom Warriors.”
Trudy Bearden to Conduct Idaho PCA Workshop
On June 25, Qualis Health Senior Consultant Trudy Bearden will conduct a workshop for the Idaho Primary Care Association. During “Driving Improvement in Hypertension: Building Quality and Process Improvement Skills,” community health center staff will explore the Model for Improvement, PDSA’s, and much more.
Post Register Spreads the Word About Idaho Diabetes Self-Management Workshops
Qualis Health improves the health of Idahoans with diabetes by partnering with local organizations to offer free Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) classes. As this program has taken root and expanded, many people have been empowered to proactively manage their diabetes. In “Diabetes Self-Management Plans Increase Education,” the Idaho Falls–based Post Register spoke to one such individual, who now teaches DSMP workshops.
Washington Behavioral Healthcare Conference Welcomes Qualis Health Speakers
On June 21, three Qualis Health staff members will speak at the 2018 Washington Behavioral Healthcare Conference. Director of Practice Transformation Bre Holt and Senior Consultant Diane Vrenios will present "Tools to Assist Providers in the Transition to Integrated Managed Care" with Jared Sanford of Lifeline Connections. Practice Transformation Operations Manager Rick Helms and Washington Council for Behavioral Health CEO Ann Christian will present "Understanding Value-Based Payment for Behavioral Health."
IMA Newsletter Features Qualis Health on MIPS and Health Equity
In the June issue of IMA Wire, the Idaho Medical Association newsletter, Qualis Health Quality Improvement Principal Deanna Graham describes how practices can find purpose and meaning in the Quality Payment Program by incorporating health equity measures. Read “Aligning the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) with Health Equity.”
New Guide Helps Behavioral Health Providers Promote Chronic Disease Management in Clients
In the new world of integrated care, behavioral health providers are becoming increasingly important in their clients’ chronic disease management strategies. “Promoting Chronic Disease Management: A Guide for Behavioral Health Care Teams” describes steps behavioral health providers can take to assist clients in understanding, accepting and managing their chronic disease. This new guide from the Healthier Washington Practice Transformation Support Hub also includes an extensive list of physical health resources.
Connect with Qualis Health at the Region IX Clinical Excellence Conference
Qualis Health is exhibiting at the 2018 Region IX Clinical Excellence Conference next week, and we hope to see you there. Leaders from community and migrant health centers are convening for three days with the goal of improving overall efficiency and effectiveness in care delivery. Vice President of Consulting Services Bud Beall, Director of Practice Transformation Consulting Regina Neal, and Consulting Director Sue Sirlin are representing Qualis Health at the conference. We encourage you to stop by our booth and say hello.
See How Qualis Health Helped Establish Sustainable Support for Idahoans with Diabetes
Idaho’s growing Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) empowers members of its underserved populations to manage their own health. Watch “Zero to Hero” to learn how Qualis Health and Idaho community organizations collaborated to build a sustainable DSMP—extending the national Everyone with Diabetes Counts initiative to a local level.
Joint Learning Network Offers Update on the People-Centered Integrated Care Collaborative
A recent article from the Joint Learning Network (JLN) describes the March 2018 gathering of the People-Centered Integrated Care (PCIC) collaborative in Accra, Ghana. Led by Qualis Health and Ariadne Labs and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the collaborative’s primary objective is to increase the knowledge and resources available to countries on models of PCIC and the steps and requirements for achieving it.
Jeff West to Speak at WHCA Annual Convention
Quality Improvement Principal Jeff West will be among the experts speaking at the 2018 Washington Health Care Association Annual Convention, taking place May 21–24 in Spokane. In three presentations, Jeff will educate his audience on: Using Choice and Preference Toileting Assistance (CAPTA) to restore urinary continence to residents of skilled nursing facilities   Reducing use of antipsychotics for behaviors and symptoms related to dementia (BPSD) in nursing home residents   Building a successful skilled nursing facility antibiotic stewardship program
New Blog Post: Opioid Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate
In our latest blog post, Physician Executive for Quality and Safety John Vassall shares a little of what he has learned about the opioid crisis and its impact on Medicare beneficiaries, as well as his recommendations for protecting older adults from the problems of opioids. Read “Opioid Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate”
Alaska Behavioral Health Conference Just a Few Days Away
The 2018 Alaska Behavioral Provider Education Conference kicks off on Tuesday, May 22. It’s going to be three full days packed with important training and valuable resources—all to help providers help Alaska Medicaid recipients get the right care. “Navigating Quality Care” is the theme of this year’s event, presented by Qualis Health and the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
The Expanding Role of Nurses in Whole Person Care: There’s Still Time to Register
Nurse managers who work in integrated care settings will learn key tools, principles, evidence and skills for supporting whole-person care at the no-cost workshop, The Expanding Role of Nurses in Whole Person Care, on May 22 in Spokane, Washington. This event is presented by the Healthier Washington Practice Transformation Support Hub and its partners. Space is limited. Register today.
We’re Out and About In Idaho and Washington
This week, Qualis Health staff members will be out and about all over Idaho and Washington. Maybe we’ll see you? Bridging Beyond the Grant in Lacey on May 2 Regional Antibiotic Stewardship Town Hall Meeting in Moscow on May 2 Idaho Health Care Conference in Post Falls on May 3 Value in Cancer Care Summit in Seattle on May 3 Southeast Idaho Pneumococcal Vaccination Campaign Kickoff in Pocatello on May 3 Washington Academy of Family Physicians Annual Scientific Assembly in Spokane on May 4 and 5
Qualis Health in NEJM Catalyst
Recently, the NEJM Catalyst published “Five Keys to Leading Transformational Change in Primary Care.” In it, Lindsay S. Hunt and Andrew Ellner discuss significant strategies that emerged from the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care’s Academic Innovations Collaborative. The four-year initiative to incorporate patient-centered medical home principles into the care delivery provided by Harvard Medical School-affiliated teaching practices received expert assistance from Qualis Health.
Debut Blog Post Discusses Qualis Health–HealthInsight Merger
Today marks the launch of Qualis Health’s new blog, Q View! It’s only fitting that the inaugural post is written by our new President and CEO, Marc Bennett. Read “Exciting Times for a Growing Company” to learn more about what’s ahead for Qualis Health and HealthInsight.
Connect with Qualis Health at This Week’s Community Health Worker Conference
Qualis Health is proud to be a sponsor of the 2018 Community Health Worker Conference, held April 12–13 at the Lynnwood Convention Center. Hosted by the Washington State Department of Health, the event attracts hundreds of community health workers and public health partners from across the state. Quality Improvement Consultant Jamie Hunter-Mitchell will be in the exhibit area representing Qualis Health. If you’ll be attending, we invite you stop by for information about diabetes self-management workshops and other programs that can help you and improve the lives of the people you work with.
Tip Sheet Helps You Choose QPP Improvement Activities
Are you struggling to select the right Quality Payment Program Improvement Activities for your practice? With more than 100 options, it can be a tough decision. Qualis Health’s QPP Resource Center is here to help. Our new tip sheet is full of ideas for choosing and implementing the activities that can offer the most benefit to your practice. Download “Leveraging Improvement Activities to Improve Quality” and visit our QPP Resource Center to get even more assistance.
Hear from Qualis Health Experts at the Northwest Rural Health Conference
We hope to see you in Spokane this week at the Northwest Rural Health Conference. Several of our expert staff members will be speaking on the Healthier Washington Practice Transformation Support Hub, addressing health equity using the Natural Communities of Care Model, options for the second year of the Quality Program, and much more.
Deanna Graham to Speak at Upcoming CMS Event
Quality Improvement Principal Deanna Graham will be one of the expert panelists at next week’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services webinar, “How to Prepare for MIPS Cost Scoring: Practical Advice for Solo Practitioners and Small Group Practices.” Ms. Graham and her colleagues will help clinicians and staff from solo and small practices understand MIPS scoring and offer practical advice on maximizing scores in the new Cost Category.
People-Centered Integrated Care Collaborative Work Continues in Ghana
This week, Qualis Health President and CEO Jonathan Sugarman, along with Senior Consultant Trudy Bearden, will be in Accra, Ghana, for a People-Centered Integrated Care (PCIC) collaborative learning exchange. Led by Qualis Health and Ariadne Labs and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the collaborative’s primary objective is to increase the knowledge and resources available to countries on models of PCIC and the steps and requirements for achieving it. Dr. Sugarman and Ms. Bearden will be joined by colleagues from Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, South Korea, Sudan and Vietnam.
Brand New: Two Toolkits for Washington Behavioral Health Agencies
Two new toolkits from the Healthier Washington Practice Transformation Support Hub are available to assist behavioral health agencies with preparing for integrated managed care, value-based payment changes, and care coordination. "Billing and Information Technology: A Toolkit for Behavioral Health Agencies" helps agencies move from traditional encounter-based billing to directly billing managed care organizations. "PreManage Implementation Toolkit: A Guide for Washington State Behavioral Health Agencies" offers step-by-step instructions for implementing PreManage care management software.

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Evan Stults
Vice President, Communications
(206) 288-2458