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Qualis Health Featured in 2016 QIO Program Progress Report

June 5, 2017

CMS’ Annual Report Highlights QIN-QIOs’ Contributions to National Health Quality Improvement for Medicare Beneficiaries

Seattle, WA – Qualis Health, the Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Idaho and Washington, announces that it has been featured in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) newly released 2016 QIO Program Progress Report. Qualis Health is one of 14 QIN-QIOs that contributed to the Program’s success in improving the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries throughout the United States.

The annual QIO Program Progress Report highlights how QIN-QIOs nationwide are bringing together local providers, partners and other stakeholders to achieve bold goals in healthcare quality improvement. It includes findings from the third year of the Program’s five-year performance period and features recent success stories from around the country, data-driven results from QIN-QIOs and Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care-QIOs (BFCC-QIOs), and top takeaways from the 2016 CMS Quality Conference.

CMS has highlighted Qualis Health for several initiatives in the report’s “Snapshots of Success” section.

  • With help from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Bureau of Rural Health, Qualis Health developed a comprehensive education plan for 10 Critical Access Hospitals to help their providers avoid nearly $275,000 in healthcare reporting penalties and improve their reporting participation.
  • After a consumer complaint led to a confirmed quality of care concern involving a hospice provider, Qualis Health helped the provider review the case and develop its improvement plan, resulting in a new streamlined process for ordering comfort medications and better coordinated care for hospice patients.
  • In Washington, Qualis Health focused on ambulatory surgery centers, a setting which accounts for more than 60% of all surgical procedures performed in the U.S., and helped to reduce rates of surgical site infections and prepare for value-based care.

“2016 was an outstanding year for both QIN-QIOs and BFCC-QIOs. QIN-QIOs were especially successful in achieving impactful results in the areas of care coordination, diabetes care and nursing home care,” said Dennis Wagner, Director of the Quality Improvement and Innovation Group (QIIG) within CMS’ Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. “QIN-QIOs’ work contributed to more than 24,300 hospital readmissions avoided, more than 27,800 beneficiaries educated in diabetes self-management, and a 21 percent reduction in inappropriate antipsychotic medication usage at nursing homes throughout the United States. Together, QIN-QIOs and BFCC-QIOs helped improve the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of care provided to our nation's Medicare beneficiaries,” he concluded.

“We recognize our many partners and the patients and families who were instrumental in achieving these milestones,” said Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, Qualis Health President & CEO. “In Idaho and Washington, our work in the last year was instrumental in helping to avoid over 900 hospitalizations, training nearly 700 Medicare beneficiaries in diabetes self-management, and achieving a 20% relative reduction in use of antipsychotics among nursing home residents.”

The QIO Program Progress Report is available online at https://qioprogram.org/sites/default/files/progress-report-2016/downloads/2016_CMSQIO_Program_Report_508.pdf.


This material was prepared by Qualis Health, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Idaho and Washington, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. ID/WA-A1-QH-2967-07-17

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