atom Alliance Blogs

atom Alliance Blogs

  • QRURs and PQRS Feedback Reports: Access Ends Dec. 31

    QRURs and PQRS Feedback Reports: Access Ends Dec. 31

    QRURs and PQRS Feedback Reports: Access Ends Dec. 31 The final performance period for the Value Modifier and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) programs was 2016 and the final payment adjustment year is 2018. Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) and PQRS Feedback Reports will no longer be available after the end of 2018. If… Read More »
  • Accredited APMs Course Now Available

    Accredited APMs Course Now Available

    Accredited APMs Course Now Available A revised Quality Payment Program in 2018: MIPS APMs Web-Based Training Course is available through the MLN LMS. Learn about: Quality Payment Program in 2018 MIPS APMs What is a MIPS APM? How to recognize if you are a part of a MIPS APM Benefits of the special APM scoring… Read More »
  • MIPS: An Easier Way

    MIPS: An Easier Way

    MIPS: An Easier Way Free Toolbox Available to Discover Which Reporting Methods and Measures Will Give the Highest Score Do you need to better understand the MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System)? Wish you could see a possible score in real time? Now you can with free access to the QPP Navigator Toolbox. This valuable online… Read More »
  • CMS Finalizes Changes to Advance Innovation, Restore Focus on Patients

    CMS Finalizes Changes to Advance Innovation, Restore Focus on Patients

    CMS Finalizes Changes to Advance Innovation, Restore Focus on Patients Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program will shift clinicians’ time from completing unnecessary paperwork to providing innovative, high-quality patient care CMS recently finalized proposals that address provider burnout and provide clinicians immediate relief from excessive paperwork tied to outdated billing… Read More »
  • Promoting Interoperability: New Year. New Name.

    Promoting Interoperability: New Year. New Name.

    Promoting Interoperability: New Year. New Name. Promoting Interoperability (PI) may sound like a new performance category under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), but it is simply what was known previously as Advancing Care Information (ACI). CMS believes renaming Advancing Care Information to Promoting Interoperability better reflects their vision by prioritizing patient health data access… Read More »
  • Caring for Individuals with Sickle Cell Disease in Your Emergency Department

    Caring for Individuals with Sickle Cell Disease in Your Emergency Department

    It’s Not Too Late to Join the New Learning Collaborative atom Alliance encourages you to participate in the Duke University School of Nursing’s new learning collaborative which will be held the 1st Wednesday of every month from 12:00 pm-1:00 pm EST (except for January 2nd and July 3rd, 2019). 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 »
  • CMS Finalizes Rule that Encourages More Choices and Lower Costs for Seniors

    CMS Finalizes Rule that Encourages More Choices and Lower Costs for Seniors

    CMS Finalizes Rule that Encourages More Choices and Lower Costs for Seniors CMS Administrator Seema Verma: Today’s rule puts patients at the center in making the best decisions about their care.” Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule that strengthens the Medicare program by providing seniors more choices and… Read More »
  • Promote Self-Management for National Diabetes Month

    Promote Self-Management for National Diabetes Month

    November is National Diabetes Month. atom Alliance encourages providers to use the many resources available online to promote diabetes self-management and improve care for patients with diabetes. 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 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… Read More »
  • CMS announces 2019 Medicare Parts A & B premiums and deductibles

    CMS announces 2019 Medicare Parts A & B premiums and deductibles

      Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the 2019 premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts for Medicare Parts A and B.  “CMS is committed to empowering beneficiaries with the information they need to make informed decisions about their healthcare,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.  “In addition to the information we recently released… 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 Can Significantly Improve Care

    Health Literacy Can Significantly Improve Care

    October is Health Literacy Month, a time for organizations to help promote the importance of understandable health information. Healthcare terms and acronyms can be confusing for patients. 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 »
  • New MIPS Resources are Now Available in the QPP Resource Library

    New MIPS Resources are Now Available in the QPP Resource Library

    New MIPS Resources are Now Available in the QPP Resource Library CMS has posted the following new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) resources on CMS.gov: 2019 Virtual Groups Toolkit: Includes an overview fact sheet, which details what virtual groups are and how to participate in a virtual group in 2019; an election process fact sheet… Read More »
  • CMS Extends Targeted Review Deadline to Oct. 15

    CMS Extends Targeted Review Deadline to Oct. 15

    CMS has made some updates and revisions to the 2017 QPP Feedback Reports which may have changed your score. We have attached the announcement from CMS. It is important to log into the QPP web site and check your reports for accuracy. As a result of these changes, CMS has also extended the deadline for the… Read More »
  • The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative and the Quality Payment Program

    The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative and the Quality Payment Program

    The U.S. healthcare system is rapidly moving from a volume driven, primarily fee-for-service model to multiple integrated care models that incorporate a variety of innovative payment structures. Clinicians are increasingly being held to higher levels of accountability for the quality and efficiency of the care they provide. The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI) assists clinicians… Read More »
  • Submitting Your 2018 MIPS Data: Advice for Solo and Small Group Practices

    Submitting Your 2018 MIPS Data: Advice for Solo and Small Group Practices

    Understanding the mechanics of how to submit your MIPS data can be challenging, especially given time constraints of solo practitioners and small group practices. This event will focus on the methods by which you can submit your 2018 MIPS data including the CMS portal, an EHR vendor, and registries. In addition, the event will focus… 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 »
  • Public Reporting on Physician Compare: What You Need to Know

    Public Reporting on Physician Compare: What You Need to Know

    The Physician Compare support team recently presented information about public reporting on Physician Compare and what’s in the pipeline for potential inclusion on the website starting in late 2018, including Year 1 Quality Payment Program performance information. A recording and transcript of this presentation is now available. Please visit the Physician Compare Initiative page to… 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 »
  • How to Avoid a Negative Payment Adjustment in 2020

    How to Avoid a Negative Payment Adjustment in 2020

    To avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2020, you’ll need a final MIPS score of at least 15 points in the 2018 performance year. Small practices can mix and match the strategies below to achieve the 15-point minimum score. Small practices can also receive up to 5 additional points to their final score for treating… Read More »
  • MIPS Deadline Rapidly Approaching

    MIPS Deadline Rapidly Approaching

    The last day to begin a MIPS reporting period for the Promoting Interoperability and Improvement Activities categories is Oct. 1, 2018. Please email TechAssist@Qsource.org or call us toll-free Monday to Friday at (844) 205-5540 to connect to the technical assistance you need regardless of practice size or location. Check out the QPP SURS NEWSLETTER |… 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 »
  • Free Quality Payment Program Online Courses

    Free Quality Payment Program Online Courses

    Quality Payment Program Online Courses Quality Payment Program help is here. Get answers to your questions about the program, including the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The CENTERS for MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES (CMS) is offering FREE accredited online courses for healthcare providers with continuing medical education credits. Each course is designated for a maximum of… 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 »
  • CMS Empowers Patients

    CMS Empowers Patients

    CMS Empowers Patients and Ensures Site-Neutral Payment in Proposed Rule Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) & Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) proposed rule advances CMS commitment to increasing transparency and lowering drug prices “Our healthcare system should always put patients first, and CMS today is taking important steps to empower patients and provide more affordable choices… Read More »
  • Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule

    Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule

    Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule: Understanding 3 Key Topics Listening Session – August 22 Wednesday, Aug. 22 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT Register for Medicare Learning Network events. Proposed changes to the CY 2019 Physician Fee Schedule would increase the amount of time doctors and other clinicians spend with their patients by reducing… Read More »
  • Panel Discussion for E/M Coding Reform

    Panel Discussion for E/M Coding Reform

    In Case You Missed It – Recording of Panel Discussion on E/M Coding Reform On July 12, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed historic changes that would increase the amount of time that doctors and other clinicians can spend with their patients by reducing the burden of paperwork that clinicians face when… Read More »
  • QPP Feedback Video Demonstration Available

    QPP Feedback Video Demonstration Available

    Quality Payment Program Performance Feedback Video Demonstration for Group Participants Now Available View New Quality Payment Program Demo Video on How to Access 2017 MIPS Performance Feedback for Group Participants If you participated in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2017, your MIPS final score and performance feedback are now available for review on… Read More »
  • Upcoming 2017 Performance Feedback and Targeted Review

    Upcoming 2017 Performance Feedback and Targeted Review

    Register for Upcoming 2017 Performance Feedback and Targeted Review Office Hours If you participated in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2017, your MIPS final score and performance feedback are now available for review on the Quality Payment Program website. If you believe that an error has been made in your 2019 MIPS payment… 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 »
  • QPP Feedback Reports Now Available

    QPP Feedback Reports Now Available

    Quality Payment Program Feedback Reports Now Available: Targeted Review Deadline is Oct. 1 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released performance feedback reports that help eligible physicians and practice groups understand how they did during the first full year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Clinicians that participated in the Merit-based Incentive Payment… Read More »
  • CMS Finalizes Changes to Empower Patients and Reduce Administrative Burden

    CMS Finalizes Changes to Empower Patients and Reduce Administrative Burden

      CMS Finalizes Changes to Empower Patients and Reduce Administrative Burden Changes in the Inpatient Prospective Payment System and Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System final rule will advance price transparency and electronic health records   Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule to empower patients and advance the White… 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… 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 »
  • CMS Empowers Patients and Ensures Site-Neutral Payment in Proposed Rule

    CMS Empowers Patients and Ensures Site-Neutral Payment in Proposed Rule

      CMS Empowers Patients and Ensures Site-Neutral Payment in Proposed Rule Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) & Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) proposed rule advances CMS commitment to increasing transparency and lowering drug prices Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took steps to strengthen the Medicare program with proposed changes to ensure that… 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 »
  • Q&A with Gary Norman, Senior Assistant Attorney Advisor at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

    Q&A with Gary Norman, Senior Assistant Attorney Advisor at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

      Q&A with Gary Norman, Senior Assistant Attorney Advisor at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Gary Norman works as a senior assistant attorney advisor at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and is a health equity leader and advocate. His journey to helping people with disabilities started when he was a… 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 »
  • CMS Doubling Down on Health IT; Patients

    CMS Doubling Down on Health IT; Patients

    CMS Doubling Down on Health IT; Patients Americans enjoy the benefits of the best healthcare providers and innovators in the world. Yet while the volume of care consumed by American patients has not increased dramatically comparative to similar economies, the cost of care in the United States has accelerated at an alarming pace. Healthcare costs… Read More »
  • CMS Releases Proposed Rule for 2019 Medicare Quality Payment Program

    CMS Releases Proposed Rule for 2019 Medicare Quality Payment Program

    CMS Releases Proposed Rule for 2019 Medicare Quality Payment Program The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed policies for Year 3 (2019) of the Quality Payment Program via the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The provisions included in the NPRM are reflective of the feedback we… 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 »
  • Use the Free QPP Navigator to Succeed in the Quality Payment Program

    Use the Free QPP Navigator to Succeed in the Quality Payment Program

    Use the Free QPP Navigator to Succeed in the Quality Payment Program The Quality Payment Program rewards physicians and other eligible clinicians’ value and outcomes in one of two ways: through the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). To ensure your success in QPP we are now offering an online… 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 »
  • Four Tips for Hosting a Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic

    Four Tips for Hosting a Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic

      Four Tips for Hosting a Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic Since 2009, Decatur County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) has made getting the flu shot easy for the residents of Greensburg, Indiana. The hospital offers popular drive-thru flu shot clinics. atom Alliance Quality Improvement Advisor Jamsey Thomas interviewed DCMH Infection Prevention Nurse David Pavey to learn how… 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 »
  • 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 »