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2016 News Archive

Article Offers Options for Including Oral Health in Primary Care
In "Whole-Person Care: Practical Ways to Improve Your Patients' Oral Health," Qualis Health Medical Director Jeff Hummel discusses steps primary care practices can take to address dental issues. The article was published as part of the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation’s Implementing Innovations into Practice project. Read "Whole-Person Care: Practical Ways to Improve Your Patients' Oral Health."
Join Qualis Health at the CMS Quality Conference
Members of Qualis Health’s senior leadership and Medicare QIN-QIO teams will attend the 2016 CMS Quality Conference in Baltimore on December 13-15. Practice Transformation Director Selena Bolotin, Idaho Medicare QIN-QIO State Director Linda Rowe, and Quality Improvement Consultant Jeff West will be among the presenters on Tuesday, December 14. We’ll also have three posters in the gallery walk. Visit the CMS Quality Conference website.
Qualis Health’s Oral Health Work Featured in Health Affairs Blog
Qualis Health is one of the partners in a collaboration discussed in a recent Health Affairs Blog post. The post details the multiyear project to design, test and publish a model for integrating oral healthcare into primary care practice. Materials resulting from this collaboration include: Oral Health: An Essential Component of Primary Care, a white paper that details the Oral Health Delivery Framework The Oral Health Integration Implementation Guide, which provides advice, instructions and tools to help primary care practices deliver preventive oral health services Read the Health Affairs Blog post.
New Video Spotlights Clinic’s Experience with Oral Health Integration
Primary care providers at Sound Family Medicine in Puyallup, Washington, have been using Qualis Health’s Oral Health Delivery Framework to incorporate preventive oral health care into their work. In this new video, clinic staff members discuss their approach to oral health integration and the benefits they have seen from it. Watch “Oral Health and Primary Care: A Success Story.”
Get Smart About Antibiotics with Qualis Health
November 14–20 is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2016 Get Smart About Antibiotics Week. This annual event raises awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use. Qualis Health’s work in Idaho and Washington State helps practices develop and maintain antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs. Read more about Get Smart Week and Qualis Health's AMS efforts in this special newsletter.
Qualis Health an NAMD Conference Sponsor
The Fall 2016 National Association of Medicaid Directors Conference is November 6–8 in Arlington, VA, and Qualis Health is proud to be a Gold Level sponsor of the event. Qualis Health vice presidents Bud Beall and Laura Kubisiak will be in booth #41 in the exhibit hall. If you’re attending, please stop by and say hello. Visit the NAMD Conference website
Implementation Science Publishes Healthy Hearts Northwest Protocol Paper
The journal Implementation Science has published a description of the study protocol for Healthy Hearts Northwest, a randomized trial designed to address the comparative effectiveness of combined strategies to build quality improvement capacity while improving risk factors for cardiovascular disease. As a partner in Healthy Hearts Northwest, Qualis Health is providing training, technical assistance and other support to participating practices in Idaho and Washington state. Read the paper Learn more about Healthy Hearts Northwest
Mary Virden to Talk Oral Health Integration
This week, Qualis Health Senior Consultant Mary Virden will address attendees at the New England Rural Health Roundtable’s 2016 Rural Health Conference in Southbridge, MA. On Thursday, November 3, Ms. Virden will present “Integrating Oral Health Into Primary Care Settings: New Approaches, New Tools.” She will be joined by Marcia Brand of the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health and the DentaQuest Foundation, as well as Shannon Wells and Rebekah Fiehn of the Mass League of Community Health Centers. The session will include an introduction to our recently-published Oral Health Integration Implementation Guide.
Join Qualis Health at the California Primary Care Association Annual Conference
Qualis Health will be exhibiting at the 2016 California Primary Care Association Annual Conference on October 27–28 in Long Beach. Vice presidents Bud Beall and Laura Kubisiak will be on hand in booth #408, so please stop by and introduce yourself.
Register Today for Alaska Medicaid Provider Educational Session
Qualis Health’s 2016 Alaska Medicaid Provider Educational Session will be held on Monday, October 31 at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage. During this one-day event, we will cover topics important to providers whose patients are Alaska Medicaid recipients. Registration is free for all healthcare providers. Continuing education units may be available. Register now Get more information
Qualis Health Takes a Seat at WSHA Safe Table
Sharon Eloranta, Qualis Health’s Medical Director for Quality and Safety Initiatives, will speak at a Washington Hospital Association Safe Table on October 10. Safe Tables provide a confidential, protected setting for hospital staff to work together to address patient safety issues. At this session, Dr. Eloranta will discuss Qualis Health’s current efforts to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
Connect with Qualis Health at the IHA Convention
Qualis Health is proud to be a Silver Sponsor of the 2016 Idaho Hospital Association Annual Convention, held October 8–11 in Sun Valley. Our President & CEO Jonathan Sugarman will provide an update on MACRA/MIPS at the membership meeting. Staff members Deanna Graham, Zach Hodges, Tara Kline and Chanda Sundara will give presentations at the convention. Kelly McGrath, Medical Director for Patient Safety, will receive the IHA’s Excellence in Medicine Award. Visit the Idaho Hospital Association website for more information about the convention. We look forward to seeing you in Sun Valley!
Trudy Bearden to Speak on Health IT in Whole-Person Care
On October 8, Qualis Health Senior Consultant Trudy Bearden will present "Examining the Impact of Health IT on Care Integration: Achieving Whole-Person Care" at the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) PCMH Congress in Chicago, IL. Ms. Bearden will discuss the importance of health IT for documenting data needed for integration approaches, as well as how to use data to make care integration an organizational strategic priority. Visit the PCMH Congress website for more information.
WHCA Conference Welcomes Aimee Ford
Aimee Ford, a Quality Improvement Consultant with Qualis Health, will speak at the Washington Health Care Association Fall Conference on Thursday, September 29. Her presentation, titled “Navigate Your Way through Payment Reform Using Five Star Quality Measures,” will help skilled nursing facilities understand and prepare for value-based care delivery models such as Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model (CJR), Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BCPI), and accountable care organizations (ACOs). Visit the WHCA website to learn more about the conference
Video Series Helps Providers Understand and Prepare for MIPS
Got a minute? If so, our new video series can help you quickly understand and prepare for the transition to value-based payment. Each “MIPS Minute” episode focuses on an important aspect of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (also known as MIPS). We tackle complicated topics such as eligibility and MIPS score calculation, presenting essential information in an easy-to-digest format. Watch now!
New Report Provides Healthcare Recommendations for WA Residents
A new report from the Washington Health Alliance, Less Harm, Less Waste: Choosing Wisely in Washington State, offers results and recommendations for 10 overused medical interventions. Qualis Health contributed Medicare results for three of the report's measures. The report is part of the national Choosing Wisely® program, which aims to reduce harm and waste by promoting patient-provider conversations about appropriate care choices. Qualis Health Medical Director Dr. Sharon Eloranta serves on Washington state's Choosing Wisely Task Force. Read the report Learn more about our work on Choosing Wisely initiatives in Washington state
Qualis Health Staff to Speak at Idaho Health Care Association Conference
If you’re attending the Idaho Health Care Association’s Annual Convention & Trade Show this week, we invite you to attend two presentations by Qualis Health staff. On Thursday, July 14, Traci Treasure will present “Outcomes and Lessons Learned from the Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative” and Martha Jaworski will co-present “Transitions in Care From the Infection Preventionists’ Perspective.” Learn more about the IHCA Annual Convention & Trade Show Learn more about the Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative Learn more about Qualis Health's efforts to improve care transitions and reduce healthcare-associated infections
Eloranta Describes Qualis Health's QIN-QIO Work in Fighting Healthcare-Acquired Infections
Dr. Sharon Eloranta, a Medical Director in Qualis Health's Quality and Safety Initiatives department and a George W. Merck / IHI Fellow, describes our Medicare QIN-QIO work helping hospitals prevent healthcare-acquired infections in an article recently published by the Washington Patient Safety Coalition. Go to the WPSC website to read the full article, and go to our project website to learn more about our Medicare QIN-QIO initiatives in Idaho and Washington.
Leave "Med Wreck" in the Dust
Benefit from the lessons learned by staff at a Seattle-area hospital during the redesign of their medication reconciliation system. On March 17, Cyndy Clegg, Director of Pharmacy at Swedish Medical Center, Edmonds, will share what they did, how they did it and what they learned in a free webinar, “Leaving Med Wreck in the Dust.” Register today!
Bre Holt to Share Oral Health Delivery Framework in Missouri
On Friday, March 11, Qualis Health Practice Transformation Program Director Bre Holt will present “Oral Health in Primary Care: A Framework for Action” at the Missouri Oral Health Policy Conference. Ms. Holt will share details of our Oral Health Delivery Framework, which provides a practical model for integrating preventive oral health care in routine medical care. Visit the conference website for details.
Free Seminar on Quality Reporting for Idaho Medicare Providers
Join us on Wednesday, February 17 in Boise for an in-person presentation, Introduction to Quality Reporting for Medicare Physicians, Practitioners and Therapists. Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultants Chanda Sundara and Deanna Graham will help you understand the quality report programs available to you, including how to avoid penalties and earn incentives. Get all the details.
Webinar to Provide M.A.P. for Improving Blood Pressure
Have you wondered how the M.A.P. framework can improve the lives of patients who struggle with hypertension? Held in honor of American Heart Month, this webinar hosted by Qualis Health will give you answers. In A M.A.P. for Improving Blood Pressure, Vikas Bhala and Omar Hasan, both of the American Medical Association, will discuss the M.A.P. framework and the Improving Health Outcomes: Blood Pressure program. Join us on Tuesday, February 9th.
Find Out Why Practices Are Joining Healthy Hearts Northwest
Healthy Hearts Northwest is a three-year project for Northwest primary care practices that aims to help you improve the cardiovascular health of your patients while also building your practice’s capacity for improvement. As part of this project, Qualis Health will provide support to practices in Idaho and Washington—and there is still time to sign up! To find out more about Healthy Hearts Northwest and hear from two practice leaders about why they enrolled, visit our YouTube channel.
Presenting CJR Overview for WA State IPPS Hospitals
Starting April 1, 2016, all IPPS hospitals located in Washington State’s Clark, King, Pierce and Snohomish counties will be enrolled in CMS’ new bundled payment initiative, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacements (CJR). These facilities will be on the hook for 90-day episode costs for individuals undergoing joint replacements, even if those costs are incurred outside their facility. Join us on February 3rd for a free webinar to learn more about this initiative. Register today!
Connect with Qualis Health at Medicaid Innovations 2016
If you’re attending this year’s Medicaid Innovations Forum, you may see some faces from Qualis Health in the crowd. On Thursday, January 28, our Vice President of Quality & Safety Initiatives, Dr. Peggy Evans, will participate in the panel "Improving Care Transitions Between Care Settings to Reduce Avoidable Readmissions and Improve Outcomes." We’re also exhibiting at the conference. Please stop by and see us in booth #22. Visit the Medicaid Innovations 2016 website.
January 29: Two-Part Webinar on Preventing HAIs
Qualis Health’s Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) Learning and Action Network team is hosting a two-part webinar aimed at helping you prevent HAIs. Part 1 will cover best practices in testing for C. dificile infection, while Part 2 will deal with engaging patients in order to prevent surgical site infections. In both parts, we’ll ask to hear from you—both your questions and your tactics for improvement. Join us on Friday, January 29!
Don’t Miss Out on PQRS Incentive Payments for 2015—Don’t Miss This Webinar!
Join Qualis Health Quality Improvement Consultant Mary Franzen on Tuesday, January 26 for a no-cost webinar, “Options for 2015 PQRS Reporting.” Ms. Franzen will discuss topics such as changes in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) program, submission options, financial incentives and penalties, and the future of value-based Medicare payments. Register or learn more now.
Learn About MU Requirements for Washington State at January 12 Webinar
2016 is upon us and many eligible professionals and groups are preparing to submit meaningful use attestations for the 2015 reporting year. Join us along with speaker Travis Kushner, Public Health Data Exchange Program Coordinator for Washington’s Office of the State Health Officer, on January 12 for “Public Health Reporting for Meaningful Use in Washington State: How to Meet 2015 Requirements.” Get the details

Contact Us

For media inquiries, please contact:

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