atom Alliance Blogs

atom Alliance Blogs

  • 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 »
  • BFCC-QIOs Demonstrate How Immediate Advocacy Helps People with Medicare

    BFCC-QIOs Demonstrate How Immediate Advocacy Helps People with Medicare

    BFCC-QIOs Demonstrate How Immediate Advocacy Helps People with Medicare   At the 2018 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Conference, the Beneficiary and Family Centered Care National Coordinating Center (BFCC-NCC) and the two BFCC Quality Improvement Organizations (BFCC-QIOs) shared highlights from Person and Family Engagement projects. The conference’s Gallery Walk included a poster… Read More »
  • Q&A with CMS Administrator Seema Verma

    Q&A with CMS Administrator Seema Verma

    Q&A with CMS Administrator Seema Verma Seema Verma was sworn in as the 15th Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on March 14, 2017. She brings deep experience in health care policy, Medicaid, insurance and public health to her role at CMS. Administrator Verma is committed to empowering patients to take ownership of… Read More »
  • MIPS Countdown – 1 Week

    MIPS Countdown – 1 Week

      Just 1 week left to avoid the penalty. Do you know how much money you will lose if you don’t report your MIPS data? The deadline is fast approaching if you plan to submit data for the 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance period to CMS. Eligible clinicians must submit before March 31,… Read More »
  • FDA Launches New Antibiotic Tool

    FDA Launches New Antibiotic Tool

      FDA launches new tool for sharing information that allows doctors to better manage antibiotic use; improve patient care The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a new approach to get critical updates regarding antibiotics and antifungal drugs to health care professionals as part of an overall effort to combat antimicrobial resistance. The agency created… Read More »
  • MyHealthEData Initiative

    MyHealthEData Initiative

      Trump Administration Announces MyHealthEData Initiative to Put Patients at the Center of the US Healthcare System CMS launches “Blue Button 2.0” tool, calls on all health insurers to make data available to patients Today, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced a new Trump Administration initiative – MyHealthEData – to… Read More »
  • Measure Development for the Quality Payment Program

    Measure Development for the Quality Payment Program

      Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Funding Opportunity: Measure Development for the Quality Payment Program CMS is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity for the development, improvement, updating, and expansion of quality measures for use in the Quality Payment Program. CMS will be partnering directly with clinicians, patients, and other… Read More »
  • Diabetic Self-Management Training Accreditation Program

    Diabetic Self-Management Training Accreditation Program

    Diabetic Self-Management Training Accreditation Program: New Webpage and Helpdesk Medicare covers Diabetic Self-Management Training (DSMT) services furnished to beneficiaries with diabetes by certified providers. Visit the new DSMT Accreditation Program webpage for information on the certification process and accrediting organizations. Providers, patients, accrediting organizations, and stakeholders: Contact the new helpdesk at DSMTAccreditations@cms.hhs.gov to submit questions… Read More »
  • Study on Burdens Associated with Reporting Quality Measures

    Study on Burdens Associated with Reporting Quality Measures

    Apply to Participate in the 2018 Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Study on Burdens Associated with Reporting Quality Measures to Receive Improvement Activity Credit for 2018 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is conducting the 2018 Burdens Associated with Reporting Quality Measures Study, as outlined in the Quality Payment Program Year 2… Read More »
  • Medicare Advantage and Part D Payment and Policy Updates

    Medicare Advantage and Part D Payment and Policy Updates

    CMS proposes Medicare Advantage and Part D payment and policy updates to provide new benefits for enrollees, new protections to combat opioid crisis  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed changes for the Medicare health and drug programs in 2019 that increase flexibility in Medicare Advantage that will allow more options and… Read More »
  • atom Alliance Top Five Sickle Cell Disease Webinars

    atom Alliance Top Five Sickle Cell Disease Webinars

    Unpredictable bouts of pain frequently force individuals with Sickle cell disease (SCD) to seek treatment in hospital emergency departments (ED). If not treated appropriately or quickly, these individuals may end up in the hospital. Read More »
  • Improving Quality Measures in atom Alliance Nursing Homes

    Improving Quality Measures in atom Alliance Nursing Homes

    When it comes to Composite Scores, the lower the better. Scores are comprised of 13 long-stay quality measures. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has set a national goal for nursing homes to achieve a 6.00 or less. Read More »
  • Bringing Diabetes Education to Rural Indiana

    Bringing Diabetes Education to Rural Indiana

    Franciscan Health offers ‎American Diabetes Association recognized diabetes self- management education (DSME) at their Healthy Living Center in Lafayette, Indiana, but this important type of education was limited in the counties surrounding the hospital. Read More »
  • An Unlikely Advocate:  A Caregiver Finds atom Alliance After Opioid Overdose

    An Unlikely Advocate: A Caregiver Finds atom Alliance After Opioid Overdose

    by Lindsey Jett, CPht atom Alliance is working with providers and patients throughout the state of Tennessee to increase awareness and education around the opioid epidemic that is facing our state and our nation. We are working with beneficiaries and their families, as well as community healthcare providers, to reduce opioid use in Tennessee. Read More »
  • Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Compare Website – New Measures Added

    Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Compare Website – New Measures Added

    Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Compare Website – New Measures Added This fact sheet contains information about the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Compare website that was refreshed with new quality measures added on December 12, 2017. Why is this information being released? Section 3004(a) of the Affordable Care Act established the LTCH Quality Reporting Program (QRP)… 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 »
  • INTERACT Helps Coordinate Care

    INTERACT Helps Coordinate Care

    Hospital readmissions are traumatizing and disruptive to the lives of patients and families. Nationwide, almost a quarter of all patients with Medicare return to the hospital within one month of discharge. Read More »
  • Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Advancing Care Information (ACI) Performance Category Web-Based Training (WBT) Course

    Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Advancing Care Information (ACI) Performance Category Web-Based Training (WBT) Course

    Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Advancing Care Information (ACI) Performance Category Web-Based Training (WBT) Course A new Quality Payment Program 2017: Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Advancing Care Information (ACI) Performance Category Web-Based Training (WBT) course is available through the MLN LMS. Learn about: Base, performance, and bonus score reporting requirements for Advancing Care Information… Read More »
  • How to Increase Flu Vaccination Among Long-Term Care Workers

    How to Increase Flu Vaccination Among Long-Term Care Workers

    Long-term care healthcare personnel (HCP) are encouraged to get their flu shots to protect not only themselves from getting sick, but also their coworkers, patients and families. Read More »
  • It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate: Get Your Flu Vaccine

    It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate: Get Your Flu Vaccine

      It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate: Get Your Flu Vaccine This December, when you see signs reading “Get Your Flu Vaccine,” you might ask “Isn’t it too late to get vaccinated?” No, it’s not too late! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that flu vaccination efforts continue throughout the flu season.… 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 »
  • 2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults

    2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults

      2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults From the American Heart Association The 2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults co-led by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association has been released. High blood pressure… 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 »
  • CMS Finalizes Quality Payment Program Rule for Year 2 to Increase Flexibility and Reduce Burdens

    CMS Finalizes Quality Payment Program Rule for Year 2 to Increase Flexibility and Reduce Burdens

    CMS Finalizes Quality Payment Program Rule for Year 2 to Increase Flexibility and Reduce Burdens Quality Payment Program Year 2 Policies are Gradually Preparing Clinicians for Full Implementation Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule with comment for the second year of the Quality Payment Program (calendar year 2018),… Read More »
  • CMS Finalizes Policies that Reduce Provider Burden, Lower Drug Prices

    CMS Finalizes Policies that Reduce Provider Burden, Lower Drug Prices

    CMS Finalizes Policies that Reduce Provider Burden, Lower Drug Prices 2018 Quality Payment Program and Physician Fee Schedule finalized Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule for the 2018 Physician Fee Schedule and final rule with comment period for the Quality Payment Program (QPP). While part of CMS’s broader… Read More »
  • Partners Commit to Helping Kentucky Clinicians Successfully Participate in the Quality Payment Program

    Partners Commit to Helping Kentucky Clinicians Successfully Participate in the Quality Payment Program

    Partners Commit to Helping Kentucky Clinicians Successfully Participate in the Quality Payment Program The Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE), Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (DMS), Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH), Kentucky Rural Healthcare Information Organization (KRHIO), Qsource — a member of atom Alliance, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) — and the University… 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 »
  • Indiana County Receives Assistance for Targeted Opioid Reduction

    Indiana County Receives Assistance for Targeted Opioid Reduction

    Indiana County Receives Assistance for Targeted Opioid Reduction Memphis, Tenn. – Clinton County, Indiana, will soon receive a boost in its ongoing effort to combat the opioid epidemic. The atom Alliance, a partnership between Memphis-based Qsource in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana; Information & Quality Healthcare (IQH) in Mississippi; and AQAF in Alabama was recently named the… 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 »
  • The Virtual Group Election Period is Now Open to Participate in MIPS in 2018

    The Virtual Group Election Period is Now Open to Participate in MIPS in 2018

    The Virtual Group Election Period is Now Open to Participate in MIPS in 2018 The Election Period is Now Open to Form a Virtual Group for the 2018 MIPS Performance Period As proposed in the 2018 Quality Payment Program proposed rule, solo practitioners and groups can choose to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System… Read More »
  • Now Available: Qualifying APM Participant Look-Up Tool

    Now Available: Qualifying APM Participant Look-Up Tool

    Now Available: Qualifying APM Participant Look-Up Tool CMS has announced the results of the first Qualifying APM Participant (QP) determinations based on eligible clinician participation in the 2017 Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). They have unveiled an interactive look-up tool where many 2017 Advanced APM participants can look up their QP status based on calculations from… Read More »
  • How a Nursing Home Increased Communication and Reduced Antipsychotic Medications

    How a Nursing Home Increased Communication and Reduced Antipsychotic Medications

    How a Nursing Home Increased Communication and Reduced Antipsychotic Medications   As a participant in atom Alliance’s collaborative, NHC Oak Ridge located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. was able to lower the number of residents on antipsychotic medications. “Our team looked at a couple reports from the past year, including our atom Alliance Composite Score report,… Read More »
  • Five State Collaborative to Reduce Unnecessary Medications

    Five State Collaborative to Reduce Unnecessary Medications

    Five State Collaborative to Reduce Unnecessary Medications   atom Alliance, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, is working to improve safe medication use across the region. To facilitate the work, atom has convened a medication safety advisory board called TIMES (Team for Innovation in MEdication Safety). The… Read More »
  • MIPS Milestone: Begin Data Collection by October 2nd for 90 Consecutive Days of Participation

    MIPS Milestone: Begin Data Collection by October 2nd for 90 Consecutive Days of Participation

    MIPS Milestone: Begin Data Collection by October 2nd for 90 Consecutive Days of Participation It’s not too late to participate in the first year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)—one of the two tracks in the Quality Payment Program. The transition year of MIPS has been underway since January 1, 2017 and runs until… Read More »
  • Making Data-Driven Health Information Available to Providers

    Making Data-Driven Health Information Available to Providers

    Making Data-Driven Health Information Available to Providers   atom Alliance—the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee—is collaborating with Kentucky’s Health Information Exchange (KHIE) and other statewide stakeholders to make data-driven health information available to providers. Through their partnership, a bold commitment was made to help 90 percent of… Read More »
  • What Primary Care Practitioners Need to Know About Diabetic Neuropathy

    What Primary Care Practitioners Need to Know About Diabetic Neuropathy

    What Primary Care Practitioners Need to Know About Diabetic Neuropathy   Peripheral Diabetic Neuropathy (DSPN) is the most common cause of foot ulcers—a key factor for amputation. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates neuropathy affects 60 to 70 percent of persons with diabetes in some form. DSPN often gets missed… Read More »
  • CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design

    CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design

    CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design Removing Social Security numbers strengthens fraud protections for about 58 million Americans Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gave the public its first look at the newly designed Medicare card. The new Medicare card contains a unique, randomly-assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number.… Read More »
  • Q&A with Megan Fisher: Quality Payment Program

    Q&A with Megan Fisher: Quality Payment Program

    Q&A with Megan Fisher: Quality Payment Program   Megan Fisher, RN, MSN, MBA is a nurse consultant at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Her primary responsibilities include serving as the subject matter expert for Quality Reporting for the CMS Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program’s Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs). Fisher also… 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 »
  • Five Best Practices for Preventing and Controlling Diabetic Neuropathy

    Five Best Practices for Preventing and Controlling Diabetic Neuropathy

    Five Best Practices for Preventing and Controlling Diabetic Neuropathy The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates that diabetic neuropathy—a peripheral nerve disorder caused by diabetes or poor blood sugar control—affects 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes. The most common form of diabetic neuropathy is distal symmetrical peripheral neuropathy (DSPN).… Read More »
  • MIPS Deadline Quickly Approaching

    MIPS Deadline Quickly Approaching

    MIPS Deadline Quickly Approaching Earlier this year, many providers received a letter from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) detailing their eligibility for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), as part of the Quality Payment Program (QPP). If you are considering the partial participation for 2017, the last day to begin reporting for… Read More »
  • Adults Need Vaccinations Too: The Importance of Immunizations for Older Adults

    Adults Need Vaccinations Too: The Importance of Immunizations for Older Adults

    Vaccination is important, because it not only protects the person receiving the vaccine, but also helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those that are most vulnerable to serious complications such as infants, young children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems. Read More »
  • Addressing Pain Management Barriers for Sickle Cell Patients

    Addressing Pain Management Barriers for Sickle Cell Patients

    Addressing Pain Management Barriers for Sickle Cell Patients September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disease that researchers estimate affects between 90,000 and 100,000 Americans. Through a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) special innovation project, atom Alliance has initiated a collaborative in the Memphis area to… Read More »
  • Free Quality Payment Program Online Courses

    Free Quality Payment Program Online Courses

    NEW Quality Payment Program Online Courses Quality Payment Program help is here. Get answers to your questions about the new program, including the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The CENTERS for MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES (CMS) is now offering FREE accredited online courses for healthcare providers with continuing medical education credits. Each course is designated for… Read More »
  • CMS Updates Medicare Payment Rates, Quality Reporting Requirements

    CMS Updates Medicare Payment Rates, Quality Reporting Requirements

    CMS Updates Medicare Payment Rates, Quality Reporting Requirements Final rules include policies to be more responsive to patients’ needs The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (MS) has issued three final rules outlining 2018 Medicare payment rates for skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. The final rules are effective for fiscal year (FY)… Read More »
  • CMS Proposes 2018 and 2019 Payment Changes for Medicare Home Health Agencies

    CMS Proposes 2018 and 2019 Payment Changes for Medicare Home Health Agencies

    CMS Proposes 2018 and 2019 Payment Changes for Medicare Home Health Agencies The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a proposed rule that would update payment rates and the wage index for home health agencies (HHAs) serving Medicare beneficiaries in 2018 and proposes a redesign of the payment system in 2019. The… Read More »
  • Is the Contact Information Correct on Your Organization’s Medicare Notices?

    Is the Contact Information Correct on Your Organization’s Medicare Notices?

    Is the Contact Information Correct on Your Organization’s Medicare Notices? Recently, it has come to the attention of KEPRO that some Medicare notices have incorrect contact information, including the Important Message from Medicare and the Notice of Medicare Non-Coverage. It is important that the correct information be on these notices, so that Medicare beneficiaries are… 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 »
  • New Version of the Important Message from Medicare Form

    New Version of the Important Message from Medicare Form

    New Version of the Important Message from Medicare Form On June 7, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted new versions of the Important Message from Medicare (IM) form (CMS-R-193) and the Detailed Notice of Discharge (DND) form (CMS 10066) on the Beneficiary Notices Initiative webpage. The associated instructions for use are also available.… Read More »
  • Quality Payment Program 2017 MIPS Online Course

    Quality Payment Program 2017 MIPS Online Course

    Now Available: Accredited Online Course – Quality Payment Program 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System: Improvement Activities Performance Category A new, online and self-paced overview course on the Quality Payment Program is now available through the MLN Learning Management System. Learners will receive information on: The Improvement Activities performance category requirements, and how this category fits into… Read More »
  • Proposed Rule for Implementation of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program

    Proposed Rule for Implementation of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program

    CMS Announcement of Proposed Rule for Implementation of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) Expanded Model On July 13, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Calendar Year (CY) 2018 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) proposed rule that would make additional proposals to implement the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) expanded model… Read More »
  • 2018 Health Insurance Exchanges Issuer County Map

    2018 Health Insurance Exchanges Issuer County Map

    2018 Health Insurance Exchanges Issuer County Map The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services today posted an update to the Health Insurance Exchanges Issuer County Map. This map is of projected issuer participation on the Health Insurance Exchanges in 2018 based on the known issuer public announcements through July 12, 2017. Participation is expected to… Read More »
  • Spreading Success: Intervening on Antipsychotics to Improve Dementia Care

    Spreading Success: Intervening on Antipsychotics to Improve Dementia Care

    Spreading Success: Intervening on Antipsychotics to Improve Dementia Care Antipsychotic drugs are increasingly overprescribed for dementia patients in nursing homes. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Inspector General, 14 percent of older Americans living in nursing homes take at least one antipsychotic prescription. Moreover, 83 percent of Medicare… Read More »
  • New Opportunity to Improve Pulmonary and Cardiac Care

    New Opportunity to Improve Pulmonary and Cardiac Care

    New Opportunity to Improve Pulmonary and Cardiac Care The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences and Group Practice Forum have launched a new PDSA-based quality improvement initiative focused on improving pulmonary and cardiac care. The opportunity will be made available to the first three groups expressing interest. The program is available at no cost, aligns with the… Read More »
  • QPP Updates July 2017

    QPP Updates July 2017

    QPP Updates July 2017 Upcoming Webinars Quality Payment Program (QPP) NPRM CY 2018 Webinar July 13, 2017 12:00pm – 1:00pm CT Quality Payment Program 101: An Overview July 19, 2017 12:00pm – 1:00pm CT Get to Know Your Registry CMS recently provided a  list of qualified registries eligible clinicians can use to report 2017 MIPS data. Clinicians… Read More »
  • How Proper Foot Care Can Help Prevent Diabetes-Related Lower Extremity Amputations and Improve Quality of Life

    How Proper Foot Care Can Help Prevent Diabetes-Related Lower Extremity Amputations and Improve Quality of Life

    How Proper Foot Care Can Help Prevent Diabetes-Related Lower Extremity Amputations and Improve Quality of Life   In April, new Medicare claims data analyzed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Quality Innovation Network National Coordinating Center (QIN NCC) showed that non-traumatic lower extremity amputations (LEA) have been gradually increasing since 2009. LEAs… Read More »
  • atom Alliance Helping Transform Practices in Five States

    atom Alliance Helping Transform Practices in Five States

    atom Alliance Helping Transform Practices in Five States As part of the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI), atom Alliance is helping clinicians become better positioned for success in the new healthcare market that rewards value and outcomes rather than volume. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) depends upon the atom Alliance Quality Innovation Network… Read More »
  • Care Coordination Q&A with Christina Goatee

    Care Coordination Q&A with Christina Goatee

    Care Coordination Q&A with Christina Goatee Christina Goatee, MSN, RN is a nurse consultant and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) subject matter expert for care coordination under the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program. Her primary responsibilities include serving as a subject matter expert and overseeing Quality Innovation Network-QIOs’ (QIN-QIOs) quality improvement efforts… Read More »
  • Protected: Tennessee Home Health Provider Improves Cardio Care, Achieving Milestone 4 in National Initiative

    Protected: Tennessee Home Health Provider Improves Cardio Care, Achieving Milestone 4 in National Initiative

    There is no excerpt because this is a protected post. Read More »
  • How One Patient’s Experience Inspired a Tool to Help Many

    How One Patient’s Experience Inspired a Tool to Help Many

    How One Patient’s Experience Inspired a Tool to Help Many Polypharmacy—the use of multiple drugs to treat a single or several medical issues—is a growing concern for Medicare beneficiaries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 82 percent of American adults take at least one medication, and 29 percent take five or… Read More »
  • CMS Proposes Quality Payment Program updates to increase flexibility and reduce burdens

    CMS Proposes Quality Payment Program updates to increase flexibility and reduce burdens

      CMS Proposes Quality Payment Program updates to increase flexibility and reduce burdens Proposed rule aims to simplify reporting requirements and offer support for doctors and clinicians in 2018   Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would make changes in the second year of the Quality Payment Program… Read More »
  • 5 Ways for Healthcare Providers to Get Ready for New Medicare Cards

    5 Ways for Healthcare Providers to Get Ready for New Medicare Cards

      5 Ways for Healthcare Providers to Get Ready for New Medicare Cards Medicare is taking steps to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. Through this initiative the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will prevent fraud, fight identity theft and protect essential program funding and the private healthcare and financial information of… Read More »
  • QIN-QIO, Atom Alliance, Featured in 2016 QIO Program Progress Report

    QIN-QIO, Atom Alliance, Featured in 2016 QIO Program Progress Report

      QIN-QIO, Atom Alliance, Featured in 2016 QIO Program Progress Report CMS’ Annual Report Highlights QIN-QIOs’ contributions to national health quality improvement for Medicare beneficiaries Memphis – Atom Alliance, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, is featured in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) newly… Read More »
  • New Medicare cards offer greater protection to more than 57.7 million Americans

    New Medicare cards offer greater protection to more than 57.7 million Americans

      New Medicare cards offer greater protection to more than 57.7 million Americans New cards will no longer contain Social Security numbers, to combat fraud and illegal use The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is readying a fraud prevention initiative that removes Social Security numbers from Medicare cards to help combat identity theft,… Read More »
  • A Retired Nurse Shares Her Thoughts on Antibiotic Stewardship

    A Retired Nurse Shares Her Thoughts on Antibiotic Stewardship

    Antibiotics are life-saving drugs, but they must be used wisely. They have saved so many people and can continue to do so if we use them the right way. People need to develop a healthy respect for these powerful drugs. And accept that sometimes, being sick is just part of being human. Marcia Rasner is a… Read More »
  • 8 Ways to Know if You Should Participate in the Quality Payment Program

    8 Ways to Know if You Should Participate in the Quality Payment Program

    You may have heard that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reviewing claims and letting practices know which clinicians should take part in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). MIPS is an important part of the new Quality Payment Program. The Quality Payment Program works to make Medicare better by keeping patients… Read More »
  • Six Strategies to Help Reduce Diabetes-Related Lower Extremity Amputations Among Minority Populations

    Six Strategies to Help Reduce Diabetes-Related Lower Extremity Amputations Among Minority Populations

    Lower extremity amputation rates related to diabetes have been gradually increasing each year since 2009, says a new report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Quality Innovation Network National Coordinating Center (QIN NCC). The data, gathered from Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016, found that of the… Read More »
  • Lost in Translation: Communication Is Key to Care for Residents

    Lost in Translation: Communication Is Key to Care for Residents

    Nursing home staff strive to craft care plans that meet residents’ individual needs and preferences, but it’s important to listen very carefully to residents and their family members input. During the kick-off Learning and Action Network (LAN), atom Advisor Martha Blankenship shared a moving story about her British-born Aunt Gladys’ need for daily “tea and… Read More »
  • Effort to Gather Data on Incidents of Nursing Home C. difficile Infections Reaches Nationwide Target

    Effort to Gather Data on Incidents of Nursing Home C. difficile Infections Reaches Nationwide Target

    Effort to Gather Data on Incidents of Nursing Home C. difficile Infections Reaches Nationwide Target McLean, Virginia – Quality Innovation Networks (QIN), which are comprised of regionally-focused Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) across the country, have reached their target of enrolling 2,336 nursing homes in the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).… Read More »
  • Quality of Care Review Changes – Updates from KEPRO

    Quality of Care Review Changes – Updates from KEPRO

    Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organizations (BFCC-QIOs) will no longer review a specific number of short-stay claims based on a hospital’s size of large vs. average. Now, CMS will sample the top 175 providers with a high or increasing number of Short Stay claims per Area with a request for 25 cases, and… Read More »
  • Nationwide Challenge Aims to Control Hypertension

    Nationwide Challenge Aims to Control Hypertension

    Health systems and professionals are equipped with the knowledge and technology to help patients manage high blood pressure more effectively than ever before. Still, high blood pressure contributes to more than 1,100 deaths in the United States each day and puts millions at risk for heart disease and stroke. Read More »
  • A Step in the Right Direction: Improving Activities of Daily Living

    A Step in the Right Direction: Improving Activities of Daily Living

    Room for Improvement atom Alliance quality improvement advisors helped administrators and staff at Ave Maria Home understand their quarterly quality measures report. The staff saw an opportunity for improvement in their activities of daily living (ADL) measure in their composite score. “Julie from atom Alliance did a webinar with us to show us our different… Read More »
  • Spreading Success: Relationships Prove Key to Low Antipsychotic Rate for Wisconsin Nursing Home

    Spreading Success: Relationships Prove Key to Low Antipsychotic Rate for Wisconsin Nursing Home

    Spreading Success: Relationships Prove Key to Low Antipsychotic Rate for Wisconsin Nursing Home Tucked along the northern border of Wisconsin is a small town of less than 2,000 residents. Within this community, named Niagara, lies Maryhill Manor, a 75-bed skilled nursing facility (SNF) which quietly holds one of the best antipsychotic rates in the state… Read More »
  • Campaign Launched to Increase Advance Directives in Tennessee

    Campaign Launched to Increase Advance Directives in Tennessee

    Honoring Choices Tennessee has launched the AdvanceDirectivesTN initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans who have an advance directive for healthcare. Read More »
  • Accountable Health Communities Model Selects 32 Participants to Serve as Local ‘Hubs’

    Accountable Health Communities Model Selects 32 Participants to Serve as Local ‘Hubs’

      Accountable Health Communities Model Selects 32 Participants to Serve as Local ‘Hubs’ Linking Clinical and Community Services Last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for applications for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s (Innovation Center) Accountable Health Communities (AHC) model. Over a five-year period,… Read More »
  • Strategic Partnership Helps Nursing Homes Report Infections

    Strategic Partnership Helps Nursing Homes Report Infections

    In November of 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) finalized new reporting regulations for participating long-term care facilities. Read More »
  • Alcohol Misuse in Primary Care

    Alcohol Misuse in Primary Care

    Importance of Screening for Alcohol Misuse in Primary Care There’s never a stupid question. That’s what we’re told at least, but when it comes to asking those hard questions about a patient’s private life, clinicians tend to only check the box when inquiring about a patient’s alcohol consumption. There isn’t much probing done to determine… Read More »
  • We Ask Everyone

    We Ask Everyone

    We Ask Everyone: How to Properly Screen Patients for Alcohol Misuse Many people drink alcohol as a way to wind down from the day and relax or they may indulge in drinks with family and friends in social situations. While alcohol consumption may not be viewed as dangerous or a high priority, it is important… Read More »
  • Three Steps for Improvement

    Three Steps for Improvement

    Three Steps for Improvement: Screening Patients for Sensitive Information I have conducted many interviews in my healthcare career with children, adolescents, adults and geriatric patients. The key to obtaining personal information revolves around how healthcare professionals approach these sensitive, but necessary screening questions. Building Rapport Building a strong rapport with your patients starts with being… Read More »
  • Alcohol Abuse Coding

    Alcohol Abuse Coding

    Alcohol Abuse Coding: Understanding Guidelines for new XU Modifier When a patient comes into an office for their Medicare Annual Wellness Exam, it’s common to collect necessary vitals such as height, weight and blood pressure. Another piece of information that clinicians should consider obtaining is a patient’s lifestyle assessment, including asking questions about diet, exercise,… Read More »
  • Most Common Indicators

    Most Common Indicators

    Most Common Indicators: How to Identify if a Patient is Misusing a Substance For many Baby Boomers, the free-love, easy-going lifestyle of their younger years is starting to catch up to them. The aches and pains of aging are to be expected. These symptoms can often lead to alcohol misuse among older adults. As people… Read More »
  • How to Be More Confident Talking to Your Doctor

    How to Be More Confident Talking to Your Doctor

    The single-most important way you can stay healthy is to be an active member of your own healthcare team. Read More »
  • Battle the Opioid Overdose Epidemic with Information and Action

    Battle the Opioid Overdose Epidemic with Information and Action

    The United States is in the midst of a prescription opioid overdose epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 44 people in the United States die every day from prescription opioid overdose and many more become addicted. Read More »
  • Tools Reduce Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes

    Tools Reduce Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes

    One in four nursing home residents receive at least one antipsychotic medication. Many of those residents have dementia. Read More »