atom Alliance Blogs

atom Alliance Blogs

  • Qsource Selected as a Recipient of QIN-QIO Task Order 1 Award

    Qsource Selected as a Recipient of QIN-QIO Task Order 1 Award

    Qsource Selected as a Recipient of QIN-QIO Task Order 1 Award under the 12th Statement of Work INDIANAPOLIS: On November, 1, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded a five-year contract to Qsource to serve as a Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) in Indiana under the recently launched 12th… Read More »
  • Easterling

    Easterling

    Presentation for Download: Dr. R. Easterling (PDF) Please view these videos: Read More »
  • Your Recommendation Often Determines a Patient’s Vaccination Decision

    Your Recommendation Often Determines a Patient’s Vaccination Decision

    Your Recommendation Often Determines a Patient’s Vaccination Decision Patient barriers often prevent patients from receiving the vaccines they need. Barriers may include lack of education, misinformation and fear of vaccines. Studies show that spending more time talking with patients about vaccines and making strong recommendations improves outcomes. Every encounter with a physician office, hospital, home… Read More »
  • MIPS Quality Measure Spotlight: Influenza Immunization

    MIPS Quality Measure Spotlight: Influenza Immunization

    MIPS Quality Measure Spotlight: Influenza Immunization In preparation for the 2019-2020 flu season, many clinicians have chosen to report on the Preventive Care and Screening: Influenza Immunization MIPS quality measure (Quality ID: 110). This measure tracks the percentage of patients 6 months and older who were seen for a visit between October 1 and March… Read More »
  • Hand-in-Hand: Opioid Misuse and Mental Health Challenges

    Hand-in-Hand: Opioid Misuse and Mental Health Challenges

    Hand-in-Hand: Opioid Misuse and Mental Health Challenges Addiction loves company.   Just ask the eight million U.S. adults diagnosed with both substance use disorder and mental illness. It should come as no surprise that there is a correlation between the two diagnoses. Behavioral health conditions — such as anxiety or depression and opioid use — generally… Read More »
  • Sickle Cell Patients Share Photos

    Sickle Cell Patients Share Photos

    Sickle Cell Patients Share Photos and Treats to Improve Care at Memphis Emergency Departments On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, patients and quality improvement experts will be popping up at some local hospital emergency departments (EDs) to offer a tasty treat and a view of sickle cell disease (SCD) through patients’ eyes.  Project PopSickleCell is part… Read More »
  • Medicare Helps Seniors use Opioids Safely

    Medicare Helps Seniors use Opioids Safely

    Medicare Helps Seniors use Opioids Safely Doctors may prescribe opioids, a class of drugs used to treat pain, after surgery or an injury. Although opioids can be an important part of treatment, they have serious risks like addiction, abuse, and overdose, especially if used continuously. This is true even for seniors and other people with… Read More »
  • Assertive Community Treatment Option for SMI Patient

    Assertive Community Treatment Option for SMI Patient

    Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) a well-rounded, adaptable option for SMI patients If you’ve watched the news or social media discussions during the past few months, there has been a lot of discussion about mental health in regards to the social consciousness and actions of America’s citizens. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH),… Read More »
  • Seeking Volunteer Healthcare Consumers

    Seeking Volunteer Healthcare Consumers

    Seeking Volunteer Healthcare Consumers The atom Alliance is developing a volunteer network designed to engage Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers in the CMS quality improvement work. We plan to recruit at least 3-5 consumers/patients who are on Medicare or their caregivers for each of the communities where we are striving to improve health and healthcare. They… Read More »
  • Creative Ways to Teach Infection Prevention in Nursing Homes

    Creative Ways to Teach Infection Prevention in Nursing Homes

    Creative Ways to Teach Infection Prevention in Nursing Homes All staff members in a nursing home play an important role in keeping residents safe from infections. They should know some basics about the germs (like bacteria and viruses) which cause infections. They should also know steps they can take to prevent the spread of germs… Read More »
  • Recipe for Success: Alabama

    Recipe for Success: Alabama

    Recipe for Success: Alabama’s Quality Improvement Organization Spreads Community-Based DSME To Ninety-Three Percent of Counties Across State The CDC reported in 2014 that the rate of diabetes among US adults was 9.0 percent. Alabama’s rate was significantly higher. Alabama had the third highest rate of diabetes in the nation, at 11.1 percent (CDC, 2014). The… Read More »
  • Taking the Anxiety Out of Security Risk Assessments

    Taking the Anxiety Out of Security Risk Assessments

    Taking the Anxiety Out of Security Risk Assessments Preparing for and performing a Security Risk Assessment (SRA) can cause considerable anxiety, but not if you are prepared. Although the requirement for a Security Risk Assessment has been around since HIPAA was enacted in 2006, the implementation of Meaningful Use brought this requirement into the spotlight.… Read More »
  • Fighting Back Against Opioid Misuse: A Hospital and Community-Based Approach

    Fighting Back Against Opioid Misuse: A Hospital and Community-Based Approach

    Fighting Back Against Opioid Misuse: A Hospital and Community-Based Approach Frankfort, Indiana – population 15,900 is the seat of Clinton County – population 32,000. This family friendly rural county relies on its local hospital, healthcare providers, and its significant manufacturing and industrial employers. It also ranked 3rd highest in the state for Emergency Department (ED)… Read More »
  • Improving the Health Status of Rural Communities in Kentucky

    Improving the Health Status of Rural Communities in Kentucky

    Improving the Health Status of Rural Communities in Kentucky Heart disease and stroke are among the top causes of death for all Americans, and people with diabetes have a 1.8 to 3 times greater risk of having a stroke in their lifetime. Stroke rates are highest from the Southeast to Michigan. Kentucky is in the… Read More »
  • No-Fault Treatment for Alcohol

    No-Fault Treatment for Alcohol

    Treating Alcoholism with a No-Fault Atmosphere Ask anyone if they have ever cut their finger and most will say yes. It can happen to anyone, although the odds go up when people are not paying attention. No one wants or expects to cut their finger. It’s a no-fault wound. Kind of like alcoholism. Alcoholism is… Read More »
  • Alcohol and Aging

    Alcohol and Aging

    Alcohol and Aging No matter what your age, anyone can have a problem with drinking alcohol. Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition that your medical provider can screen for, and diagnose when drinking has the potential to become problematic. In America, there are more than 17 million people that have been diagnosed with an… Read More »
  • atom Alliance Provider Opioid Dashboards Gain National Interest

    atom Alliance Provider Opioid Dashboards Gain National Interest

    atom Alliance Provider Opioid Dashboards Garner National Interest Through a series of customized dashboards developed by atom Alliance, providers can now get personalized insights for their opioid prescribing rates. At the 2019 CMS Quality Conference, atom Alliance’s Amanda Ryan and Bart Prevallet presented examples of the dashboards and explained how providers can benchmark the information… Read More »
  • One Alabama Physician’s Quality Payment Program Journey from Penalties to a More Productive Path

    One Alabama Physician’s Quality Payment Program Journey from Penalties to a More Productive Path

    One Alabama Physician’s Quality Payment Program Journey from Penalties to a More Productive Path Dr. Adetokunbo Ladipo, an internist, is the sole medical doctor and owner of LHM Clinic PC in Anniston, Alabama. Not only does she practice medicine, but she also fulfills administrative obligations – spending countless hours treating patients and maintaining her practice.… Read More »
  • From the Center of My Care Team

    From the Center of My Care Team

    From the Center of My Care Team by Janet Pollock, Kentucky In 2002, I began an exciting career journey with the Kentucky Quality Improvement Organization (QIO). During my early days with the QIO, my focus was outreach – teaching Medicare beneficiaries about their benefits, when and how to file a complaint, and what to expect… Read More »
  • CMS Updates Consumer Resources for Comparing Hospital Quality

    CMS Updates Consumer Resources for Comparing Hospital Quality

      CMS Updates Consumer Resources for Comparing Hospital Quality The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated hospital performance data on the Hospital Compare website and on data.medicare.gov to empower patients, families, and stakeholders with important information they need to compare hospitals and make informed healthcare decisions. This data includes specific measures of hospitals’… Read More »
  • Improving Patient Education to Prevent Adverse Drug Events

    Improving Patient Education to Prevent Adverse Drug Events

    Improving Patient Education to Prevent Adverse Drug Events Anticoagulant medications such as warfarin and heparin are among the most common medications that cause complications for people in the hospital, according to the American Journal of Medicine. But maximizing communications across the care continuum and engaging patients and family members can prevent these life-threatening events. atom… Read More »
  • Hospital Admissions, Emergency Department Visits Decline Following Sickle Cell Education

    Hospital Admissions, Emergency Department Visits Decline Following Sickle Cell Education

    Hospital Admissions, Emergency Department Visits Decline Following Sickle Cell Education A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) special innovation project to improve acute pain management in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) patients that originated in Memphis, TN will be is being expanded to a national scale. The project which is a collaborative effort between the… Read More »
  • Antibiotic Stewardship Word Search Offers Education, and a Little Fun

    Antibiotic Stewardship Word Search Offers Education, and a Little Fun

    Antibiotic Stewardship Word Search Offers Education, and a Little Fun atom Alliance created a word search puzzle with common terms related to antibiotic stewardship. The word search includes a glossary on the back page to educate patients and answer questions about the terms they are searching for on the front page. The word search is… Read More »
  • CMS Launches Podcast to Reach Stakeholders via Modern Platform

    CMS Launches Podcast to Reach Stakeholders via Modern Platform

    CMS Launches Podcast to Reach Stakeholders via Modern Platform New podcast “CMS: Beyond the Policy” offers regular episodes that discuss agency updates and policies in a user-friendly medium Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched “CMS: Beyond the Policy,” a new podcast highlighting updates and changes to policies and programs in an… Read More »
  • 4 Takeaways on Curbing Opioid Abuse and Misuse

    4 Takeaways on Curbing Opioid Abuse and Misuse

    4 Takeaways on Curbing Opioid Abuse and Misuse According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 130 people die every day from opioid overdose — both from prescription and illicit drugs — and at least half of all deaths involve a prescription opioid. Opioid abuse was a central focus of the 2019 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services… Read More »
  • AHRQ Analysis Finds Hospital-Acquired Conditions Declined By Nearly 1 Million from 2014-2017

    AHRQ Analysis Finds Hospital-Acquired Conditions Declined By Nearly 1 Million from 2014-2017

    AHRQ Analysis Finds Hospital-Acquired Conditions Declined By Nearly 1 Million from 2014-2017 New data released today by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show reductions in hospital-acquired conditions such as adverse drug events and healthcare-associated infections helped prevent 20,500 hospital deaths and save $7.7 billion… Read More »
  • New App Displays What Original Medicare Covers

    New App Displays What Original Medicare Covers

    New App Displays What Original Medicare Covers Newest eMedicare Tool Provides Valuable Information to Mobile Users Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new app that gives consumers a modernized Medicare experience with direct access on a mobile device to some of the most-used content on Medicare.gov. The new “What’s Covered”… Read More »
  • Helping Home Health Agencies Improve Heart Health in Kentucky One Milestone at a Time

    Helping Home Health Agencies Improve Heart Health in Kentucky One Milestone at a Time

    Helping Home Health Agencies Improve Heart Health in Kentucky One Milestone at a Time Home Health Agency (HHA) staff work tirelessly to complete day-to-day tasks, so finding the time to review diagnosis-specific tracking information can be a challenge. Sometimes HHAs need a little outside help to pause, evaluate where they are and stay on the right… Read More »
  • Alabama, Indiana and Tennessee Recognized for Quality Reporting and Performance in 2018

    Alabama, Indiana and Tennessee Recognized for Quality Reporting and Performance in 2018

    Alabama, Indiana and Tennessee Recognized for Quality Reporting and Performance in 2018 Each year the top 10 performing states in the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) are recognized by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for having the highest reporting rates and most significant performance improvement on the reported measures compared to the previous… Read More »
  • New Resource for Preventing Harm in Nursing Homes

    New Resource for Preventing Harm in Nursing Homes

    New Resource for Preventing Harm in Nursing Homes One-third of nursing home residents experience an adverse or temporary harm event, and the majority of those are preventable. To raise awareness of nursing home safety and support safer care, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Quality Innovation Network National Coordinating Center (QIN-NCC)… Read More »
  • Vaccinations Protect Residents and Staff, also Affect Nursing Home Composite Scores

    Vaccinations Protect Residents and Staff, also Affect Nursing Home Composite Scores

      Vaccinations Protect Residents and Staff, also Affect Nursing Home Composite Scores Influenza Vaccinations Around 3,500 people die of the flu each year across the nation. An institutional Influenza A outbreak can result in up to 60 percent of the population becoming ill, with 25 percent of those affected developing complications severe enough to result… Read More »
  • Pain Management for Nursing Home Residents

    Pain Management for Nursing Home Residents

      Pain Management for Nursing Home Residents A high percentage of nursing home residents experience pain that impairs mobility, diminishes quality of life and often goes unrecognized and untreated by healthcare providers. Pain is not a part of normal aging and unrelieved pain can have enormous physiological and psychological effects on residents. Pain management is a… Read More »
  • QIOs in Action: How One QIN-QIO Reduced Opioid Use in Nursing Homes

    QIOs in Action: How One QIN-QIO Reduced Opioid Use in Nursing Homes

      QIOs in Action: How One QIN-QIO Reduced Opioid Use in Nursing Homes This story originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of QIO News. An analysis of Medicare Part D data by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General revealed that more than 460,000 Medicare Part D beneficiaries received high amounts of opioids in… Read More »
  • Blessing Hearts:  Four Tips for Faith Communities

    Blessing Hearts: Four Tips for Faith Communities

      Blessing Hearts: Four Tips for Faith Communities The “Bless Your Heart Campaign” encourages faith community members to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. Because participating churches must set goals for the entire congregation, the most essential part for a successful campaign is the church leadership according to Qsource Quality Improvement Advisor Kim Iman who presented information about… Read More »
  • Immunizations Best Practices Updated

    Immunizations Best Practices Updated

      Immunizations Best Practices Updated The Home Health Quality Initiative (HHQI) 2018 Immunization & Infection Prevention Best Practice Intervention Package (BPIP) is now available. The Immunization & Infection Prevention BPIP is designed to guide leaders to ensure agency immunization and infection prevention programs are evidence-based and focus on patient and employee safety. It assists leaders in developing… Read More »
  • Eye Exams Are Crucial for People with Diabetes to Detect Common Causes of Vision Loss

    Eye Exams Are Crucial for People with Diabetes to Detect Common Causes of Vision Loss

    Eye Exams Are Crucial for People with Diabetes to Detect Common Causes of Vision Loss When is the last time you visited your optometrist or ophthalmologist? Did you know that a full eye exam including dilation of the eye is recommended starting at age 60, and starting at age 40 for African Americans?  Age-related and diabetes-related… Read More »
  • Clean Hands Count for National Hand Washing Awareness Week

    Clean Hands Count for National Hand Washing Awareness Week

      Clean Hands Count for National Hand Washing Awareness Week Practicing hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to prevent infections. Cleaning your hands can prevent the spread of germs, including those that are resistant to antibiotics and are becoming difficult, if not impossible, to treat. On average, healthcare providers clean their hands less… Read More »
  • How atom Alliance Is Helping Transform Clinical Practice

    How atom Alliance Is Helping Transform Clinical Practice

    How atom Alliance Is Helping Transform Clinical Practice The U.S. healthcare system is rapidly moving from a volume driven, primarily fee-for-service model to integrated care models that incorporate a variety of innovative payment structures. atom Alliance is playing an important role in that transformation. The national Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI) assists clinicians in changing… Read More »
  • Hospital Admissions, Emergency Department Visits Decline Following Sickle Cell Education; Savings Estimated at $1.6 Million

    Hospital Admissions, Emergency Department Visits Decline Following Sickle Cell Education; Savings Estimated at $1.6 Million

    Hospital Admissions, Emergency Department Visits Decline Following Sickle Cell Education; Savings Estimated at $1.6 Million CMS Expands Local Memphis Project Nationwide A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) special innovation project to improve acute pain management in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) patients that originated in Memphis, will be expanded to a national scale over… Read More »
  • Helping Heart Failure Patients Avoid Hospitalization in Indiana

    Helping Heart Failure Patients Avoid Hospitalization in Indiana

    Helping Heart Failure Patients Avoid Hospitalization in Indiana More than 5.7 million American adults are living with heart failure. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) projects that the prevalence of heart failure will increase 46 percent from 2012 to 2030, resulting in 8 million adults living with the chronic condition.1 Congestive heart failure… Read More »
  • Making Influenza Vaccinations Mandatory

    Making Influenza Vaccinations Mandatory

    Making Influenza Vaccinations Mandatory Does your employer require you to get the influenza vaccine? Do they offer flu shots at no cost to you? There is a growing trend to make influenza vaccinations mandatory for healthcare personnel. Hospital leaders are getting on board, but there is work to be done in the long-term care setting.… Read More »
  • Recognizing Depression

    Recognizing Depression

      There are times during the month that I often find myself slipping into sadness. Being on the cusp of depression, but bouncing back to a positive mood with the influence of a new project, family outing or dropping a few pounds. We all feel sad at times and it should not be confused with… Read More »
  • Understanding the Value of Improvement Activities

    Understanding the Value of Improvement Activities

    Understanding the Value of Improvement Activities Under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), the Improvement Activity (IA) category is one of four components designed to evaluate processes in clinical practice such as ongoing care coordination, patient shared decision making, clinical safety practices, and expanded patient access. For the performance year 2018, MIPS clinicians have access… Read More »
  • Educate Before You Medicate

    Educate Before You Medicate

    How much do you know about the medications that you take? Millions of Americans take prescription medicines daily. As Talk About Your Medicines Month is observed in October, atom Alliance encourages you to ask questions and discuss your medications with your healthcare provider. Read More »
  • What You Need to Know About Hospice and Palliative Care

    What You Need to Know About Hospice and Palliative Care

    What You Need to Know About Hospice and Palliative Care   Studies show that most Americans agree that having a conversation about end of life (EOL) wishes is important, and the majority of those individuals would prefer to die in the home, if possible. Despite this, statistics show that the opposite is actually occurring. It… Read More »
  • Training Collaboration Bringing Diabetes Education to the Underserved People of Rural Appalachia

    Training Collaboration Bringing Diabetes Education to the Underserved People of Rural Appalachia

    Training Collaboration Bringing Diabetes Education to the Underserved People of Rural Appalachia Due to the rural nature of Kentucky’s Appalachian counties, it can be a challenge to provide services and resources. But atom Alliance Quality Improvement Advisor Nancy Semrau, Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Diabetes Educator (LDE), looked forward to bringing training to residents of this… Read More »
  • Get Social with atom Alliance

    Get Social with atom Alliance

    Get social with atom Alliance We want to engage and interact with you on social media. atom Alliance posts daily updates on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. We share videos on YouTube and educational images on Pinterest. Get connected to healthcare quality improvement news, updates, hot topics, upcoming events, announcements and more when you follow us. From… Read More »
  • Health Literacy Resources for Older Adult Caregivers

    Health Literacy Resources for Older Adult Caregivers

    Caregivers for older adults may have vast responsibilities, depending on the older adults’ needs. Caregivers can influence health decisions older adults make or the decisions other people make about older adults. Because of this influence and responsibility, they need skills to support complicated medical conditions and take advantage of opportunities to help older adults with… Read More »
  • Health Literacy Extends Beyond Reading

    Health Literacy Extends Beyond Reading

    Health-literate healthcare organizations are healthcare organizations that make it easier for people to navigate, understand and use information and services to take care of their health. Read More »
  • 15 Minutes Could Save You 15% or More on Improvement Activities

    15 Minutes Could Save You 15% or More on Improvement Activities

    The MIPS Improvement Activities performance category gauges your participation in activities that improve clinical practice – such as ongoing care coordination, clinician and patient shared decision making, regularly using patient safety practices and expanding practice access. In the 2018 performance period, MIPS eligible clinicians will be able to choose from 100+ activities to show their… Read More »
  • Increasing Adult Immunization Rates

    Increasing Adult Immunization Rates

    Adult immunization rates have remained low despite increased awareness and availability of adult vaccines.   To increase adult influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates, the atom Alliance works with providers, beneficiaries and communities to: implement evidence-based practices and systems changes to improve routine assessment of patients’ vaccination status; increase documentation of Medicare beneficiary immunization status in immunization… Read More »
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a QRUR and how is it used? The QRUR is the Quality Resource and Use Report. It is on the CMS Enterprise Portal and had a lot of information on past performance for Quality and Cost. You need an EIDM account to log in. It will show you how your cost compares to… Read More »
  • Get Your Pneumococcal Shot

    Get Your Pneumococcal Shot

      Did you know about 1 million Americans go to the hospital with pneumonia every year? Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by pneumococcal disease, which can also cause blood infections and meningitis. The pneumococcal shot is the best way to help prevent certain types of pneumonia and other pneumococcal infections. Medicare Part B covers… Read More »
  • Hope at Any Age

    Hope at Any Age

    Often when we think of recovery, the first images that come to mind may those of teens or middle age adults — perhaps a kid who got mixed up with the wrong crowd or a person who has been battling demons for a several years. We rarely think about older adults age 65+. And that’s… Read More »
  • Recovery_Getting_Personal

    Recovery_Getting_Personal

    You know your patient’s weight. You know their “real” age. You’ve even seen them naked. Then why is it too personal to ask how much they drink, smoke or if they’re feeling depressed. It is time to get personal with your patients. Knowing more about their struggles and habits can help you identify how to… Read More »
  • What You Need to Know About the Recently Updated Immunization Recommendations

    What You Need to Know About the Recently Updated Immunization Recommendations

    What You Need to Know About the Recently Updated Immunization Recommendations   Influenza can cause serious illness, hospitalization, and death, particularly among older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and those with certain chronic medical conditions. Routine annual influenza vaccination for all persons older than 6 months who do not have contraindications has been recommended… Read More »
  • Getting Personal: How a Nurse Uses His Own Story to Inspire Others to Care for their Hearts

    Getting Personal: How a Nurse Uses His Own Story to Inspire Others to Care for their Hearts

    Getting Personal: How a Nurse Uses His Own Story to Inspire Others to Care for their Hearts John Knowles, RN, RHIA, is passionate about helping people acquire the information, skills and confidence they need to manage their health and healthcare. As a Health Information Technology Specialist for atom Alliance in Indiana, he shares his personal… Read More »
  • Improving Opioid Safety and Quality Measures in Nursing Homes to Enhance Residents’ Quality of Life

    Improving Opioid Safety and Quality Measures in Nursing Homes to Enhance Residents’ Quality of Life

    Improving Opioid Safety and Quality Measures in Nursing Homes to Enhance Residents’ Quality of Life Opioids can cause a number of negative effects, particularly in older adults, as they are more susceptible to adverse effects of pain medication. Opioids can contribute to the worsening of nursing homes’ quality measures, including, but not limited to, bladder… Read More »
  • Lost In His Skin_A Recovery Story

    Lost In His Skin_A Recovery Story

    Lost In His Skin: A Recovery Story When our 16 year-old nephew arrived in our home last year, we had no idea he was haunted by several addictions. After all, we hadn’t seen him since he was a young boy. He’d been in and out of foster care for the last four years exposed to… Read More »
  • Questions Are The Answer

    Questions Are The Answer

    Questions Are The Answer Help your patients get more involved in their healthcare by asking questions, talking with the healthcare team, and understanding their condition. Research shows that patients who have a good relationship with their healthcare team receive better care and are more satisfied. Patients and families who engage with healthcare providers ask good questions… Read More »
  • Obtaining Your EIDM Credentials for the QPP

    Obtaining Your EIDM Credentials for the QPP

    Obtaining Your Enterprise Identification Management (EIDM) Credentials for the Quality Payment Program To access the Quality Payment Program Portal, you’ll need your EIDM User ID and Password. Once logged in, you can: Submit your MIPS performance data Access your 2017 MIPS final score View your 2017 MIPS performance feedback Request a targeted review for your… Read More »
  • Cardiac Quality Measures in MIPS

    Cardiac Quality Measures in MIPS

    Cardiac Quality Measures in MIPS If you’re a healthcare practitioner, a reminder to help your patients quit smoking, use aspirin, and/or control their blood pressure may seem elementary. Yet, quality measures are not reflecting consistent care provision in these areas. Is it a documentation issue? Perhaps. Or could care in these areas be so routine,… Read More »
  • Rural Mississippi Community Empowers Pharmacists and Reduces Hospital Readmissions

    Rural Mississippi Community Empowers Pharmacists and Reduces Hospital Readmissions

    Rural Mississippi Community Empowers Pharmacists and Reduces Hospital Readmissions People with complex medication routines who are admitted to the hospital are at a higher risk for readmission due to several factors, including gaps in the continuity of care. Care transitions can be difficult and as patients transition from the hospital setting to home, they are… Read More »
  • Former smoker contributes success to QuitLine

    Former smoker contributes success to QuitLine

      Former smoker contributes success to QuitLine Jeffrey Rickman of Dyersburg, Tenn., is just one of the thousands who used the Tobacco QuitLine for assistance in quitting his smoking habit. Some can’t kick the habit. Others do by following the same assistance Rickman used. The 45-year-old called 1-800-QUIT-NOW after a visit to a hospital for… Read More »
  • Four Tips for Communicating with Patients with Hearing and Vision Impairments

    Four Tips for Communicating with Patients with Hearing and Vision Impairments

      Four Tips for Communicating with Patients with Hearing and Vision Impairments According to data gathered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), seven percent of people with Medicare are blind or have low vision, and nearly 15 percent are Deaf or hard of hearing. Like those with limited English proficiency, the Deaf… Read More »
  • This Is Your Brain on Diabetes

    This Is Your Brain on Diabetes

    This is Your Brain on Diabetes Our body’s cells need glucose (sugar) for energy. We get glucose from what we eat and drink every day. In order to use glucose, our bodies need insulin.  Insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas, helps our body’s cells take the glucose that is floating around in our bloodstream and… Read More »
  • How the Dog Days of Summer Affect Your Diabetes

    How the Dog Days of Summer Affect Your Diabetes

    How the Dog Days of Summer Affect Your Diabetes Whether you are going on vacation or just spending time outdoors in the summer heat, the high temperatures and humidity are harder on people with chronic diseases such as diabetes. People with chronic diseases like diabetes, are at higher risk of having problems and may not… Read More »
  • Protect Your Patients’ Health by Recommending Vaccines

    Protect Your Patients’ Health by Recommending Vaccines

      Protect Your Patients’ Health by Recommending Vaccines Patients trust you to give them the best counsel on how to protect their health. You know that immunization is an important preventive measure—but it’s unlikely that getting vaccinated is on the radar for your adult patients. Your strong recommendation is critical in ensuring that they get… Read More »
  • Value-Added Activities in Antibiotic Stewardship

    Value-Added Activities in Antibiotic Stewardship

    Value-Added Activities in Antibiotic Stewardship Because antibiotic stewardship is so closely associated with clinical quality, the Quality Payment Program (QPP) includes several process measures related to appropriate antibiotic use. Antibiotic Stewardship is a proven strategy to improve clinical outcomes; promote patient safety; prevent adverse drug events and curtail the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria MIPS Quality… Read More »
  • When Nutrition Becomes Personal: A Retired Nurse’s Story

    When Nutrition Becomes Personal: A Retired Nurse’s Story

    When Nutrition Becomes Personal: A Retired Nurse’s Story Have you noticed a subtle difference on your grocery’s shelves? New Nutrition Facts labels are starting to show up on some of your favorite packaged foods. This change reflects new scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. The new… Read More »
  • TennCare Director Weighs In On Opioid Crisis in Tennessee

    TennCare Director Weighs In On Opioid Crisis in Tennessee

      TennCare Director Weighs In On Opioid Crisis in Tennessee The opioid crisis is a complex public health emergency that affects all areas of our state and our nation, and requires the attention of multiple stakeholders to reverse the epidemic. In this article, the directors of the Medicaid programs in Tennessee and West Virginia share how they are combatting opioid abuse through… Read More »
  • Your Vaccine Recommendation Is a Critical Factor in Protecting Patient Health

    Your Vaccine Recommendation Is a Critical Factor in Protecting Patient Health

    Your Vaccine Recommendation Is a Critical Factor in Protecting Patient Health Patients trust you to give them the best counsel on how to protect their health. You know that immunization is an important preventive measure – but it’s unlikely that getting vaccinated is on the radar for your adult patients. Your strong recommendation is critical… Read More »
  • Make Exercise a New Vital Sign in Your Practice

    Make Exercise a New Vital Sign in Your Practice

    Make Exercise a New Vital Sign in Your Practice Physical inactivity has been established to be an independent risk factor for many chronic diseases and conditions that threaten the health of the nation. Additionally, older adults are at particular risk for leading sedentary lifestyles. June is good time to add exercise as a new vital… Read More »
  • CMS Leverages Medicaid Program to Combat the Opioid Crisis

    CMS Leverages Medicaid Program to Combat the Opioid Crisis

      CMS Leverages Medicaid Program to Combat the Opioid Crisis States provided guidance in designing treatment options for Opioid Epidemic   The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS released guidanceaimed at building on our commitment to partner with states to ensure that they have flexibilities and the tools necessary to combat the opioid crisis. … Read More »
  • CMS Web Interface Reminders Coming Soon: Can You Dismiss Them?

    CMS Web Interface Reminders Coming Soon: Can You Dismiss Them?

      CMS Web Interface Reminders Coming Soon: Can You Dismiss Them? Reminders will be sent this month to register for the CMS Web Interface by June 30,2018. Please note: If you have fewer than 25 clinicians in your group, then you can dismiss reminders for the CMS Web Interface. If you have more than 25… Read More »
  • Assisting Primary Care Practices with Implementation of Depression and Alcohol Screenings

    Assisting Primary Care Practices with Implementation of Depression and Alcohol Screenings

      Assisting Primary Care Practices with Implementation of Depression and Alcohol Screenings By Archie Hamilton, Qsource Behavioral Health Manager Depression and alcohol use disorders are common behavioral health conditions in adults, yet they are often under-identified in primary care settings. Challenges in effective care coordination for these and other behavioral health conditions contribute to high… Read More »
  • Group Participation in MIPS Explained

    Group Participation in MIPS Explained

      Group Participation in MIPS Explained by Christa Thompson, CPEHR, Qsource Practice Facilitator In 2018 even if only one clinician is MIPS eligible, the entire group could still reap the benefit of an increase in reimbursement in 2020.  The Virtual Group option will allow clinicians to band together providing administrative relief. Because there is some… Read More »
  • MIPS Preliminary Performance Feedback Data Is Available

    MIPS Preliminary Performance Feedback Data Is Available

      MIPS Preliminary Performance Feedback Data Is Available CMS would like to remind you that if you submitted 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data through the Quality Payment Program website, you can review your preliminary performance feedback. This is not your MIPS final score or feedback.  Your final score and feedback will be available in July… Read More »
  • Quality Payment Program Exceeds Year 1 Participation Goal

    Quality Payment Program Exceeds Year 1 Participation Goal

      Quality Payment Program Exceeds Year 1 Participation Goal I’m pleased to announce that 91 percent of all clinicians eligible for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) participated in the first year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) – exceeding our goal of 90 percent participation. Remarkably, the submission rates for Accountable Care Organizations and… Read More »
  • Team Develops Tool to Help Reduce Unnecessary Medications

    Team Develops Tool to Help Reduce Unnecessary Medications

    Best Practices: Team Develops Tool to Help Reduce Unnecessary Medications   atom Alliance’s Team for Innovation in Medication Safety, or TIMES, developed a tool to help healthcare providers take their patients off of unnecessary acid-reducing medications. Called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), these medications are used for treating stomach problems like ulcers and heartburn. Good and… Read More »
  • Mississippi Hospital Reduces Patient Falls by 25 Percent Using AHRQ Program

    Mississippi Hospital Reduces Patient Falls by 25 Percent Using AHRQ Program

    Mississippi Hospital Reduces Patient Falls by 25 Percent Using AHRQ Program From AHRQ, April 2018 Anderson Regional Medical Center, a 260-bed hospital in Meridian, Mississippi, reduced patient falls by 25 percent after implementing AHRQ’s Preventing Falls in Hospitals Training Program in 2015. The reduction in patient falls resulted in an estimated $238,000 savings in medical… Read More »
  • Personal Story: Determined to be a Quitter

    Personal Story: Determined to be a Quitter

    Personal Story: Determined to be a Quitter Carolyn Rucker has a story to tell. It’s a story about conquering a nicotine habit of nearly 60 years as a cigarette smoker. She is a quitter. A determined quitter. So determined in fact, that the story of her “journey” to quit smoking plays out more like a… Read More »
  • 2018 MIPS Playbook Ready for Download

    2018 MIPS Playbook Ready for Download

    2018 MIPS Playbook Ready for Download A new resource is now available to help family physicians get engaged with — and succeed in — the Merit-based Incentive Payment Program (MIPS), one track of CMS’ Quality Payment Program (QPP). The 2018 MIPS Playbook is available to American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) members free of charge.  This… Read More »
  • Quality Payment Program Website Now Offers 2018 MIPS Clinician Eligibility at the Group Level

    Quality Payment Program Website Now Offers 2018 MIPS Clinician Eligibility at the Group Level

    Quality Payment Program Website Now Offers 2018 MIPS Clinician Eligibility at the Group Level You can now log in to the CMS Quality Payment Program website to check your group’s 2018 eligibility for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). After logging into the feature using your EIDM credentials, browse to the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)… Read More »
  • CMS Announces Agency’s First Rural Health Strategy

    CMS Announces Agency’s First Rural Health Strategy

    CMS Announces Agency’s First Rural Health Strategy Interagency effort seeks to improve access and quality of care for rural Americans Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the agency’s first Rural Health Strategy intended to provide a proactive approach on healthcare issues to ensure that the nearly one in five individuals who… Read More »
  • The Importance of Recognizing Depressive Symptoms

    The Importance of Recognizing Depressive Symptoms

      Depression is an all too common health condition that unfortunately goes untreated for many patients and undertreated for more. The End Stage Renal Disease (or ESRD) population is no exception to this fact. It is estimated that nearly 30 percent of dialysis patients suffer from depression in some way. While 30 percent may not… Read More »
  • A Deeper Dive into the MIPS Cost Category

    A Deeper Dive into the MIPS Cost Category

    A Deeper Dive into the MIPS Cost Category Measuring cost is an important part of Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), but it can be confusing. atom Alliance’s Don Gettinger, BS, CHTS-IM, explains how the measure works in easy-to-understand, real-world terms. For 2018, MIPS uses cost measures that cover the total cost of care during the… Read More »
  • Communication Tool Helps Reduce Hospital Readmissions

    Communication Tool Helps Reduce Hospital Readmissions

    Communication Tool Helps Reduce Hospital Readmissions Effective communication is essential to high-quality healthcare. atom Alliance team members in Indiana are successfully facilitating improvement in transitions of care with the Wabash Valley Care Coalition (WVCC). They are using a communication tool that encourages openness and clarity as a patient’s care is transferred from one member of… Read More »
  • CMS Encourages Eligible Suppliers to Participate in Expanded Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Model

    CMS Encourages Eligible Suppliers to Participate in Expanded Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Model

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in April expanded the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP), a national performance-based payment model offering a new approach to type 2 diabetes prevention in eligible Medicare beneficiaries with an indication of pre-diabetes. For the first time, both traditional healthcare providers and community-based organizations can enroll as Medicare… Read More »
  • CMS Administrator Verma Unveils New Strategy to Fuel Data-driven Patient Care, Transparency

    CMS Administrator Verma Unveils New Strategy to Fuel Data-driven Patient Care, Transparency

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced the agency’s new Data Driven Patient Care Strategy as part of the MyHealthEData initiative at the ninth annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C. The strategy positions CMS to further support industry innovation in unleashing the power of data to inform patients’ healthcare… Read More »
  • May is the Time to Raise Cardiac Awareness: New Patient Resources Now Available

    May is the Time to Raise Cardiac Awareness: New Patient Resources Now Available

    May is the Time to Raise Cardiac Awareness: New Patient Resources Now Available National High Blood Pressure Education Month raises awareness about the impact of hypertension. The observance takes place each May and aims to reduce death and disability related to high blood pressure through professional, patient and public education. The National Stroke Association also… Read More »
  • MIPS APMs to Advanced APMs: How to Make the Valuable Transition

    MIPS APMs to Advanced APMs: How to Make the Valuable Transition

    This year, America’s Physician Groups (APG) continues their webinar series with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for physicians and physician groups implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) through the Quality Payment Program (QPP), focusing onAlternative Payment Models (APMs). Through a co-branding agreement with CMS, the sessions will combine CMS expertise on… Read More »
  • CMS Extends the MIPS 2017 Data Submission Deadline from March 31 to April 3 at 8 PM EDT

    CMS Extends the MIPS 2017 Data Submission Deadline from March 31 to April 3 at 8 PM EDT

    CMS Extends the MIPS 2017 Data Submission Deadline from March 31 to April 3 at 8 PM EDT Email TechAssist@Qsource.org, or call us toll-free Monday to Friday at 844-205-5540 from 8:30a.m. to 5p.m. CT, to connect to the last-minute technical assistance you need. If you’re an eligible clinician participating in the Quality Payment Program, you… Read More »
  • Measure Changes Coming to the HHCDR in 2018

    Measure Changes Coming to the HHCDR in 2018

    Measure Changes Coming to the HHCDR in 2018 Two new cardiovascular measures were recently added to HHQI’s Home Health Cardiovascular Data Registry (HHCDR). Beginning with January 2018 episode discharges, participating home health agencies will have the opportunity to submit patient data regarding statin therapy (HHQI Measure #438) and cardiac rehab referral (HHQI Measure #0643). HHQI… Read More »
  • Discussions About End of Life Care Help Patients and Providers Be Prepared

    Discussions About End of Life Care Help Patients and Providers Be Prepared

    Discussions About End of Life Care Help Patients and Providers Be Prepared The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that only 12 percent of patients with an advance directive had received input from their physician in its development. Healthcare providers should discuss options for care at the end of life with their patients. It is covered… Read More »
  • Improve Diabetes Care and Outcomes while Lowering Costs and Generating Revenue

    Improve Diabetes Care and Outcomes while Lowering Costs and Generating Revenue

    Improve Diabetes Care and Outcomes while Lowering Costs and Generating Revenue You can generate revenue by sponsoring your own quality diabetes self-management training (DSMT) program. The CMS Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program has contracted reimbursement expert, Mary Ann Hodorowicz, to offer individualized technical assistance to health agencies at no cost. Mary Ann can help your practice successfully operationalize… Read More »
  • What’s Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk?

    What’s Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk?

    What’s Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk?   One in three American adults is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, a serious disease that can lead to complications like kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness and amputations. But type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to be permanent—it can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle modifications.… Read More »
  • Murfreesboro Sets Scenic Stage for Annual 5K Natalie’s Run

    Murfreesboro Sets Scenic Stage for Annual 5K Natalie’s Run

    Nashville, Tenn. — THIMA Foundation of the Tennessee Health Information Management Association and Qsource, an event sponsor, announced details for the Foundation’s upcoming Natalie’s Run, a Run/Walk or Virtual 5K honoring the memory of Natalie Stovall Frady. Thursday, March 29, 2018 Check-In Time: 5:30 – 5:55 PM Race begins: 6:00 PM Gateway Island 1875 W… Read More »
  • The U.S. Opioid Epidemic: Tackling Misuse and Addiction from the Inside

    The U.S. Opioid Epidemic: Tackling Misuse and Addiction from the Inside

    The U.S. Opioid Epidemic: Tackling Misuse and Addiction from the Inside   Widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids led the Department of Health & Human Services to declare a public health emergency last year. Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 U.S. deaths in 2016, more than any previous year on record. Furthermore, an estimated… Read More »
  • Spotlight on 2017 MIPS Advancing Care Information Resources

    Spotlight on 2017 MIPS Advancing Care Information Resources

    The March 31, 2018 data submission deadline for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is quickly approaching! As you prepare to submit your 2017 MIPS data for the Advancing Care Information performance category, CMS encourages you to review its 2017 Advancing Care Information resources. Below is a list of all of the Advancing Care Information… Read More »