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2015 News Archive

Join Us for "Guide to QRURs" Webinar
Dive into the details of CMS’ annual quality and resource use reports (QRURs) in our free webinar, “Guide to QRURs: What You Need to Know to Read and Interpret Quality and Resource Use Reports.” Join Qualis Health Clinical Outcomes Analyst Meghan Donohue on Wednesday, December 9 at 11:30 am Pacific Time for this one-hour event. Learn more now
Webinar to Help HHAs Understand Performance Reports
Home health agencies who need help understanding the new CMS Performance Reports can get it from Qualis Health. On Thursday, November 5, our webinar, “More Data? Help! Understanding Home Health Performance Reports and Implications for Improvement,” will explain both the data components of the reports and the implications the reports have for quality improvement. Find out more.
Join Us for Webinar on 2015 Meaningful Use Final Rule
On Wednesday, November 4, join Qualis Health for “2015 Meaningful Use Final Rule: How the New Rule Will Impact Your Practice.” Now that the final rule has been announced, we want to focus on preparing your practice for success. In this webinar, we’ll delve into the details surrounding the new rule and show you how to meet requirements and avoid penalties. Get more information and register.
Jamie Moran a WSHA Infections Safe Table Presenter
On October 20, Quality Improvement Consultant Jamie Moran will speak at the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) Infections Safe Table. During her presentation, "Show Me the Money!", she will discuss leveraging the hospital value-based purchasing (VBP) and hospital-acquired condition (HAC) penalties to improve infection rates.
Alaska Medicaid Provider Educational Session This Week
Alaska healthcare providers will gather in Anchorage on Wednesday, October 21 for the Alaska Medicaid October 2015 Provider Educational Session. Sponsored by Qualis Health and the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Health Care Services, this day-long meeting will include activities such as ICD-10 training, an introduction to the Alaska Medicaid Coordinated Care Initiative, and overviews of care management and utilization management processes. Visit the event page for more information.
Immunization Update Helps Healthcare Providers Fight the Flu
The fall season marks the beginning of the flu season—and the single best preventive measure for all ages is to get a flu vaccination. Qualis Health's Immunization Update provides resources to help you increase flu vaccination rates in your patient population. Read our Immunization Update.
Connect with Qualis Health at the IHA Annual Convention
We hope to see you at the Idaho Hospital Association's 82nd Annual Convention, which takes place October 3–6 in Sun Valley. Not only are we a Silver Sponsor, we are exhibiting in booth 15 at the October 5th trade show. Jonathan Sugarman, our President & CEO, will present "Evolving Approaches to 'Value-Based Payment': Implications for Idaho Hospitals" at the IHA Membership Meeting on October 4. Senior Consultant Zach Hodges and Medical Director Kelly McGrath will also speak on October 4 to members of the Health Information and Management Systems Society's Idaho chapter. Visit the IHA website for more information.
Qualis Health Sponsors WSHA Annual Meeting
Qualis Health is a Gold Sponsor of the Washington State Hospital Association's 83rd Annual Meeting, to be held on October 7 and 8 in Seattle. The theme for this year's conference is "Health Care 2.0 - Innovation, Insights and Imperatives."
Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultants Will Present at Diabetes Management Conference
On September 25, three Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultants will speak at the Idaho Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics' conference, Diabetes Management: Improving Care, Improving Lives. Martha Jaworski, BSN, CIC, MS, will present "Why Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI) Matters with Your Diabetic Population" in the morning. Ms. Jaworski will be joined by Traci Treasure, MS, CPHQ, LNHA, and Angela Wickham, MPA, HCC, for an afternoon breakout session titled "Improving Quality Outcomes through Coordinated Diabetes Disease Management."
PCPCC National Monthly Briefing to Feature Qualis Health Experts
Kathryn Phillips, Practice Transformation Program Director, and Jeff Hummel, Medical Director for Informatics, will speak at the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative's National Monthly Briefing on September 24. Ms. Phillips and Dr. Hummel will discuss the new Oral Health Delivery Framework, which provides a practical model for integrating preventive oral healthcare in routine medical care. Learn more about the National Monthly Briefing or register at the PCPCC website.
Qualis Health Presents Webinar on Meaningful Use Attestation Success
Join us on Wednesday, September 23 at 11:30 am Pacific time / 12:30 pm mountain time for "How to Be Successful for 2015 Meaningful Use Attestation." This one-hour webinar, led by Health IT Consultant Shauna Banner, is designed to take the mystery out of meaningful use and help you understand how to ensure your organization is equipped to meet EHR Incentive requirements in 2015. Get more information here.
Webinar Coming September 17: "Disparities, Superutilizers and New Approaches for Health Equity"
On September 17, Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant Traci Treasure will co-present a webinar with Magic Valley Regional Medical Center Readmissions Program Manager Jeremy Plumb. Titled "Disparities, Superutilizers and New Approaches for Health Equity," the presentation will teach attendees how to use limited resources in ways that will increase their impact on the patient groups that drive healthcare measures the most. Learn more.
WHCA Fall Conference Speakers to Include Qualis Health Staff
On September 17, two Qualis Health staff members will speak at the Washington Health Care Association Fall Conference in Pasco. Deron Ferguson, PhD, Director, Performance Measurement & Analytics, will present "What Can We Learn from Care Transitions Data?" and Aimee Ford, MS, RN, Quality Improvement Consultant, will present "Reducing Unavoidable Rehospitalizations with Advancing Excellence."
Dr. Eloranta to Speak at WSHA Readmissions Safe Table
Qualis Health Medical Director Dr. Sharon Eloranta will make two presentations at the Washington State Hospital Association’s Readmissions Safe Table on September 17. The first will describe what's new in readmission data, including the impact of septicemia on readmissions, and the second will focus on reducing the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications. Get more information at the Washington State Hospital Association website.
WSHA Safe Table Presenters to Include Jamie Moran
Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant Jamie Moran will present "TAP Reports: A New Tool for New Challenges in Infection Prevention" at the Washington State Hospital Association's Safe Table on Infections. Learn more at the Washington State Hospital Association website.
Kathryn Phillips to Present at CSG West Annual Meeting
Kathryn Phillips, Qualis Health's PCMH Program Director, will speak at the Council of State Governments West Annual Meeting on Wednesday, July 29. Her presentation is titled "Transforming Care for Vulnerable Populations: Lessons from the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative." The Council of State Governments West serves the legislatures of its 13 member states. Visit the CSG West website for more information.
Knowing Now Matters Symposium Panelists Include Jamie Moran
Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant Jamie Moran will participate in a panel at the Knowing Now Matters Symposium on July 27 in Seattle. Titled "Why Knowing Now Matters in Infectious Disease," the presentation will address how rapid and accurate diagnostics impact patient care and outcomes.
Get Care Transitions Community Performance Reports for Idaho and Washington
Qualis Health assists communities in Idaho and Washington with improving care transitions. As part of this effort, we publish periodic reports assessing community Medicare beneficiaries' hospital readmissions rates and healthcare utilization. Our latest reports include data through the end of 2014. Visit our Medicare website to get your community's report and find out more about our free services.
Jonathan Sugarman to Speak at Quality Improvement Webinar
Qualis Health President and CEO Jonathan Sugarman will speak at a webinar hosted by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on July 8. "Engaging Primary Care Practices in Quality Improvement" webinar speakers also include Julie Schilz of Anthem, Karla Silverman of Primary Care Development Corporation, Kristin Geonnotti of Mathematica Policy Research and Robert McNellis of AHRQ. Visit the PCPCC website for more information.
Qualis Health Presents Medication Reconciliation Webinar
On June 18, Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant Jeff West will present an "all teach, all learn" webinar: "Medication Reconciliation in Transitions of Care." Intended for healthcare providers and quality improvement staff from all settings, this session will include discussion of medication reconciliation using the MARQUIS Medication Reconciliation Implementation Toolkit. Learn more about the webinar and register online.
Final Session of Diabetes in Washington State Webinar Series on June 17
On June 17, Qualis Health will present the final webinar in a three-part series on the results of the 2014 Washington State Diabetes Epidemic & Action Report. "Session 3: Clinical Interventions" is for clinicians who work with people with diabetes and will focus on clinical interventions that can help prevent and manage diabetes. Berdi Safford of Family Care Network and Glenn Puckett of the Washington Dental Service Foundation will speak. Learn more about the webinar and register online.
Study Shows PCMHs Can Lead to Positive Results for Practices and Patients
In a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, RAND researcher Dr. Mark Friedberg and colleagues found that participation in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chronic Care Initiative was associated with relative improvements in quality, increased primary care utilization and lower use of emergency department, hospital and specialty care. Visit the JAMA Internal Medicine website to learn more.
New Video: Controlling Hypertension through Team-Based Care
Qualis Health has produced a video about an enrollee in our Regional Extension Center for health IT. Peninsula Community Health Services (PCHS), a federally qualified health center in Washington State, has been recognized by the CDC as one of only 30 "Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champions" for 2014. These Champions achieved blood pressure control for at least 70% of their patients through innovations in health IT and electronic health records, patient communication, and healthcare team approaches. Watch "Controlling Hypertension through Team-Based Care" to learn how PCHS did it.
Qualis Health NHSN Analytics Webinar This Week
On Friday, June 12, Quality Improvement Consultants Jamie Moran and Martha Jaworski will present "National Healthcare Safety Network Analysis for Real (and Busy) People!" This free one-hour webinar will explain—in terms real people can understand—the purpose, differences between and real-world application of the many output options in NHSN. Find registration and more information here.
Read HAI Digest June Edition
HAI Digest, presented by Qualis Health's HAI Prevention team, offers current news on healthcare-associated infections and upcoming HAI-related opportunities for infection preventionists and other Idaho and Washington healthcare professionals. Read the June Edition of HAI Digest.
Qualis Health to Exhibit at AR Academy of Family Physicians Annual Scientific Assembly
Qualis Health will have a booth in the exhibitors' area of the Arkansas Academy of Family Physicians 2015 Annual Scientific Assembly. Held June 10–13 in Little Rock, this is the AAFP's 68th annual assembly. We look forward to seeing you there! Visit the Arkansas Academy of Family Physicians website for more information.
Qualis Health Offers PQRS Webinar
On Tuesday, June 9, Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant Chanda Neth will present a free webinar, "2015 PQRS: What You Need to Know to Avoid the 2017 Penalities." The webinar will provide a summary of the 2015 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) data submission—including the requirements, reporting mechanisms, and linkage between PQRS and the Physician Value-based Modifier (VM) program. Learn more.
Jeff West to Speak at The Waves of Change in Health Care
On June 4, Jeff West, RN, MPH, Quality Improvement Consultant, will present "Medication Reconciliation in Transitions of Care" at the 2015 Care Transitions Conference—The Waves of Change in Health Care—in Renton, WA. This conference is focused on improving community-based healthcare and reducing unnecessary hospitalizations in south King County, WA. Qualis Health is proud to be a sponsor of this year's conference. Visit the conference website for more information.
AHRQ Grant Funds Group Health, ITHS, Qualis Health, OHSU Partnership
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has funded the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Group Health Research Institute to lead a three-year project aimed at improving heart health among patients in primary care practices and the quality of care delivered by those practices. One of seven regional partnerships throughout the nation, Healthy Hearts Northwest will help small and mid-sized practices in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Qualis Health, the Oregon Rural Practice Research Network at the Oregon Health & Science University, and the Institute of Translational Health Sciences are partnering with the MacColl Center in this initiative. Read the press release to learn more.
NRPC Readmissions Summit Welcomes Qualis Health's Selena Bolotin
On May 28, Selena Bolotin, LICSW, Director, Washington Care Transitions and Patient Safety, will facilitate a panel discussion at the National Readmissions Prevention Collaborative Readmissions Summit in Seattle. The panel, "Care Coordination: Becoming a Preferred Provider in a Narrow Network," will discuss prioritizing home-based care and discharge to home.
Qualis Health 2014 Report to the Community Published
Qualis Health has published our 2014 Report to the Community, an update on our work to improve the experience of healthcare, improve the health of populations and reduce per the capita costs of healthcare. In it, you'll find highlights of our services, clients and results. Read the 2014 Report to the Community.
Qualis Health Staff to Lead WHCA Convention Educational Sessions
This year's Washington Health Care Association Annual Convention & Expo will include educational sessions led by Qualis Health staff on Thursday, May 21. Aimee Ford, MS, RN, and Jamie Moran, MSN, RN, CMSRN, CIC, will present "The Role of Leadership in Implementing an Evidence-Based Infection Control Program to Improve Quality, Efficiency and Effectiveness in Skilled Nursing" Sharon Eloranta, MD; Aimee Ford MS, RN; and Jeff West, RN, MPH; will present "Who's in Pain in Your Building and Why? A Look at Disparities in Pain Management" Selena Bolotin, LICSW, will present "Skilled Nursing 30-Day Rehospitalizations: Do You Know Where Your Discharged Patient Is?" Qualis Health is proud to be a sponsor of the 2015 WHCA Annual Convention & Expo.
Diabetes in Washington State Webinar Series Session Two Coming May 20
On May 20, Qualis Health will present the second webinar in a three-part series on the results of the 2014 Washington State Diabetes Epidemic & Action Report. "Session 2: Community Solutions" is for clinicians who work with people with diabetes and will focus on community-based actions that can promote improvement in health outcomes related to diabetes and pre-diabetes. Wendy Bart of the YMCA of Greater Seattle and Eudora Carter of the Center for MultiCultural Health will speak. Learn more about the webinar and register online.
Qualis Health Co-Hosts Ventilator-Associated Events Webinar
On May 19, Qualis Health, in collaboration with other Quality Improvement Network – Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs), will present a webinar called "Ventilator-Associated Events: A Patient Safety Opportunity." Led by Harvard Medical School's Dr. Michael Klompas, this session is intended for hospital leadership, nurses, physicians, quality improvement staff, infection preventionists and other healthcare-associated infection project team members. Learn more and register online.
AUCH Annual Conference Speakers to Include Regina Neal
On May 15, Qualis Health's Director of Practice Development and Client Relations Regina Neal will speak about patient-centered interactions at the Association for Utah Community Health's (AUCH) Annual Primary Care Conference in Salt Lake City. AUCH is Utah's Primary Care Association.
Selena Bolotin to Present Two SSWLHC National Webinars
On May 13 and 27, Selena Bolotin, LICSW, Qualis Health's Director of Washington Care Transitions & Patient Safety, will present "Readmission Risk Assessment—And Then What" during two (repeated) Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care (SSWLHC) national webinars. These webinars are part of the SSWLHC's continuing education program and are available to both members and non-members.
National QIO Program Progress Report Includes Qualis Health's Work
A new web-based Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program Progress Report is now available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the Medicare Quality Improvement Program. The report includes a story about Qualis Health's Volunteer Health Advocate pilot project in Washington State, and another about Qualis Health's partnership with the Washington State Hospital Engagement Network. Go to the 2014 QIO Program Progress Report. View the video about Qualis Health's Volunteer Advocate pilot project. Read about Qualis Health's partnership with the Washington State Hospital Engagement Network. The American Health Quality Association (AHQA) recently released a statement congratulating CMS on the release of the report. Read AHQA's statement.
"Integrating Medical and Dental Care" at OPCA Symposium
On April 23, Qualis Health PCMH Program Director Kathryn Phillips will present "Integrating Medical and Dental Care: Movement Towards a Patient-Centered Health Home" as part of a panel presentation at the Oregon Primary Care Association Quadruple Aim Symposium in Portland. Kathryn will share strategies primary care practices can use to improve patient and family oral health by including oral health preventive care as a component of routine medical care.
Idaho Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference This Week
On April 16 and 17, the 2015 Idaho Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference will take place in Boise. This year's conference features speeches from Joe Flower and Joan Edicott, as well as presentations by Idaho healthcare professionals and Qualis Health staff. Additionally, Qualis Health will present its annual Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality, recognizing Idaho organizations' achievements in improving healthcare quality and outcomes. Learn more about the Idaho Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference.
New Videos Added to Qualis Health's YouTube Channel
Two videos have recently been added to Qualis Health's YouTube channel. In Qualis Health: Your Trusted Health IT Advisor, colleagues from the Seattle Indian Health Board talk about the value of an external consulting partner like WIREC/Qualis Health. Taking the Thickened Liquid Challenge features Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant Aimee Ford as she participates in an online challenge to raise awareness about a quality-of-life concern in nursing homes by drinking honey-thick liquids for 12 hours.
Carol Higgins to Present at HCAW Annual Conference
Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant Carol Higgins, CPHQ, OTR (Retired), Certified INTERACT Educator, will make two presentations at the Home Care Association of Washington's Annual Conference on April 16. Carol will speak on "Joining the INTERACT Program Team for Home Health" in the morning and "HHQI Cardiovascular Data Registry Playbook" in the afternoon.
Sugarman to Conduct AAOS Educational Session
On March 26, Qualis Health President and CEO Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, will conduct an educational session, "Strategies to Enhance Value and Improve Patient Experience Through Patient-Centered Care," at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2015 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, NV. He will be joined by Thomas S. Boniface, MD; Thomas J. Grogan, MD; and James B. Rickert, MD. Visit the conference website to learn more.
Washington State SSWLHC Conference Welcomes Selena Bolotin
On March 24, Selena Bolotin, Qualis Health's Director of Washington Care Transitions and Patient Safety, will be presenting "Readmission Risk Assessment... and Then What" to the Washington State chapter of the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care at their Educational Conference and Resource Fair in Seattle.
Kathryn Phillips to Speak at 2015 National Medical Home Summit
Qualis Health PCMH Director Kathryn Phillips will present "Key Factors in Successful Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care" at the National Medical Home Summit on Tuesday, March 24 in Philadelphia. Her presentation is part of the Mini Summit on Lessons from PCMH on Implementation Visit the National Medical Home Summit website for more information.
Qualis Health to Consult on New University of Kansas Rural PCMH Work
A team of researchers from the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare Center for Children & Families has been approved for a Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to support work focused on rural patient and provider perspectives on the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. The project includes collaboration with community partners from Kansas and Missouri, including REACH Healthcare Foundation, Thrive Allen County, Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri and Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. Qualis Health will provide consultation. Learn more about the project.
Patient Portal Implementation Webinar Coming January 27
Qualis Health's Technical Operations Manager and Senior Consultant John Hartgraves will present a webinar called "Implementing Your Patient Portal in a HITECH World" on Tuesday, January 27. In it, he'll provide information how to successfully implement a patient portal in your clinic using a four-point strategy that includes patient engagement, clinical workflow, technology and planning. Get more information.

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