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Qualis Health Receives Quality Champion Award for Medicare Work in Idaho

September 24, 2008

Qualis Health received the 2008 Quality Champion Award Honorable Mention from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Seattle, WA - Qualis Health, Medicare’s designated quality improvement organization for Idaho beneficiaries, received the 2008 Quality Champion Award Honorable Mention from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The award was presented to Qualis Health in recognition of superior accomplishments (among the top three in the nation), in working to improve the quality, safety and cost effectiveness of healthcare services delivered to Medicare beneficiaries in Idaho.

CMS Chief Medical Officer Barry Straube, MD presented the award to Qualis Health's President and CEO Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH; Director of Idaho Medicare Operations Sharon Wilson, RN, BS, PMP and Quality Improvement Consultant Barbara Sleeper, RN, BSN during a plenary session attended by more than 750 people at the QualityNet Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

"Qualis Health is honored to have been awarded this special distinction from CMS for the exemplary work done by our staff and key stakeholders in Idaho," said Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Qualis Health. "Our work to ensure the improvement of healthcare for all Medicare beneficiaries will continue to be the focus of everyone at Qualis Health."

The award recognized work under the CMS 8th Scope of Work (8th SOW) Medicare Quality Improvement Organization contract that ended July 31.Throughout Medicare’s 8th SOW, Qualis Health's staff, composed of physicians, nurses and multi-disciplinary professionals, worked with providers in multiple settings to improve quality outcomes for the Medicare beneficiaries in Idaho. Qualis Health worked with home health agencies to decrease avoidable hospital admissions, with nursing homes to improve outcomes related to pain, depression, restraints and pressure ulcers; with hospitals to decrease surgical complications and errors, and with physician offices to implement electronic health records.

 In addition, selected providers worked with Qualis Health on projects related to patient safety. Qualis Health supplied Idaho healthcare providers with free quality improvement education and resources, such as conferences, toolkits and personalized on-site technical assistance. Qualis Health also collaborated with national healthcare improvement campaigns, such as "Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes" and the "Home Health Quality Initiative."

About Qualis Health

Qualis Health is dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare delivery and health outcomes for individuals and populations across the nation. Founded in 1974, the nonprofit healthcare quality improvement organization (QIO) is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and has regional offices in Alaska, Idaho, California, South Carolina, and Nebraska. For additional information about Qualis Health, visit www.qualishealth.org.

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