atom Alliance Blogs

atom Alliance Blogs

  • Creative Ways to Teach Infection Prevention in Nursing Homes

    Creative Ways to Teach Infection Prevention in Nursing Homes

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

    Recipe for Success: Alabama

    Recipe for Success: Alabama’s Quality Improvement Organization Spreads Community-Based DSME To Ninety-Three Percent of Counties Across State The CDC reported in 2014 that the rate of diabetes among US adults was 9.0 percent. Alabama’s rate was significantly higher. Alabama had the third highest rate of diabetes in the nation, at 11.1 percent (CDC, 2014). The… Read More »
  • New QPP Resource on Qualifying APM Participant (QP) Methodology in 2019

    New QPP Resource on Qualifying APM Participant (QP) Methodology in 2019

    New Quality Payment Program Resource on Qualifying APM Participant (QP) Methodology in 2019 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new 2019 Qualifying Alternative Payment Model Participants (QPs) Methodology Fact Sheet for the 2019 performance year. This release is specific to participants in Alternative Payments Models (APMs), MIPS APMs, and Advanced… Read More »
  • Providing Better Healthcare for Diverse LGBT Populations

    Providing Better Healthcare for Diverse LGBT Populations

    Providing Better Healthcare for Diverse LGBT Populations Many statistics point to increased rates of chronic health issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) community. This calls for increased awareness of this community and putting policies and procedures into place to specifically assist the community and having resources available for healthcare providers. All people… Read More »
  • Taking the Anxiety Out of Security Risk Assessments

    Taking the Anxiety Out of Security Risk Assessments

    Taking the Anxiety Out of Security Risk Assessments Preparing for and performing a Security Risk Assessment (SRA) can cause considerable anxiety, but not if you are prepared. Although the requirement for a Security Risk Assessment has been around since HIPAA was enacted in 2006, the implementation of Meaningful Use brought this requirement into the spotlight.… Read More »
  • Post Your Photo to Promote #MoveWithHeart

    Post Your Photo to Promote #MoveWithHeart

    Post Your Photo to Promote #MoveWithHeart Hypertension increases the risk of dangerous health conditions like heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. Lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity might lower your risk for developing hypertension. During National High Blood Pressure Education Month in May, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is challenging Americans… Read More »
  • Fighting Back Against Opioid Misuse: A Hospital and Community-Based Approach

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

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

    Improving the Health Status of Rural Communities in Kentucky

    Improving the Health Status of Rural Communities in Kentucky Heart disease and stroke are among the top causes of death for all Americans, and people with diabetes have a 1.8 to 3 times greater risk of having a stroke in their lifetime. Stroke rates are highest from the Southeast to Michigan. Kentucky is in the… Read More »
  • CDC Issues Health Alert Network Advisory on Flu

    CDC Issues Health Alert Network Advisory on Flu

    CDC Issues Health Alert Network Advisory on Flu On March 28, the CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) released Influenza Season Continues with an Increase in Influenza A(H3N2) Activity. The “Summary” section and the beginning of the “Recommendations” section are reprinted below. Summary The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this health advisory… Read More »
  • No-Fault Treatment for Alcohol

    No-Fault Treatment for Alcohol

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

    Alcohol and Aging

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

    atom Alliance Provider Opioid Dashboards Gain National Interest

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

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

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

    From the Center of My Care Team

    From the Center of My Care Team by Janet Pollock, Kentucky In 2002, I began an exciting career journey with the Kentucky Quality Improvement Organization (QIO). During my early days with the QIO, my focus was outreach – teaching Medicare beneficiaries about their benefits, when and how to file a complaint, and what to expect… Read More »
  • Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Website Retires in March 2019

    Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Website Retires in March 2019

      The PQRS program ended on December 31, 2018, and CMS is retiring the website on March 29, 2019. All of the posted resources currently on the website will no longer be available after March 29, 2019. Please download or read any educational materials on the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) website before it retires.… Read More »
  • Protecting the Health and Safety of all Americans

    Protecting the Health and Safety of all Americans

      Protecting the Health and Safety of all Americans Despite stringent safeguards, alarming stories continue to be reported about people, including some of our most vulnerable individuals, who have experienced harm in healthcare settings that is devastating to these patients and their families. These include cases of sexual, physical, or mental abuse; neglect and medical… Read More »
  • CMS Updates Consumer Resources for Comparing Hospital Quality

    CMS Updates Consumer Resources for Comparing Hospital Quality

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

    Improving Patient Education to Prevent Adverse Drug Events

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

    Hospital Admissions, Emergency Department Visits Decline Following Sickle Cell Education

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

    Take the Test For Diabetes Alert Day

    Take the Test for Diabetes Alert Day The American Diabetes Association Alert Day serves as a “wake-up call” to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association encourages people to join the movement to Stop Diabetes® by taking the Diabetes Risk Test and finding out if they, or their loved… Read More »
  • Antibiotic Stewardship Word Search Offers Education, and a Little Fun

    Antibiotic Stewardship Word Search Offers Education, and a Little Fun

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

    CMS Launches Podcast to Reach Stakeholders via Modern Platform

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

    New Innovations in Technology Promote Patient Access

    New Innovations in technology promote patient access and could make health data exchange a reality for millions. On Monday, February 11, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) released proposed rules to support seamless and secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information. The… Read More »
  • 4 Takeaways on Curbing Opioid Abuse and Misuse

    4 Takeaways on Curbing Opioid Abuse and Misuse

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

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

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

    New App Displays What Original Medicare Covers

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

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

    Helping Home Health Agencies Improve Heart Health in Kentucky One Milestone at a Time Home Health Agency (HHA) staff work tirelessly to complete day-to-day tasks, so finding the time to review diagnosis-specific tracking information can be a challenge. Sometimes HHAs need a little outside help to pause, evaluate where they are and stay on the right… Read More »
  • CDC reports that flu activity is elevated; please keep vaccinating your patients

    CDC reports that flu activity is elevated; please keep vaccinating your patients

      CDC Reports that Flu Activity is Elevated; Please Keep Vaccinating your Patients Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in its Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, FluView, that as of the week ending December 22, influenza activity was increasing in the U.S. Four influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 51, for a… Read More »
  • Alabama, Indiana and Tennessee Recognized for Quality Reporting and Performance in 2018

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

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

    New Resource for Preventing Harm in Nursing Homes

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

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

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

    Pain Management for Nursing Home Residents

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

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

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

    Blessing Hearts: Four Tips for Faith Communities

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

    Immunizations Best Practices Updated

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

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

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

    Clean Hands Count for National Hand Washing Awareness Week

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

    How atom Alliance Is Helping Transform Clinical Practice

    How atom Alliance Is Helping Transform Clinical Practice The U.S. healthcare system is rapidly moving from a volume driven, primarily fee-for-service model to integrated care models that incorporate a variety of innovative payment structures. atom Alliance is playing an important role in that transformation. The national Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI) assists clinicians in changing… Read More »
  • 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 »
  • 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 More than 5.7 million American adults are living with heart failure. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) projects that the prevalence of heart failure will increase 46 percent from 2012 to 2030, resulting in 8 million adults living with the chronic condition.1 Congestive heart failure… Read More »
  • 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 are… Read More »
  • Former smoker contributes success to QuitLine

    Former smoker contributes success to QuitLine

      Former smoker contributes success to QuitLine Jeffrey Rickman of Dyersburg, Tenn., is just one of the thousands who used the Tobacco QuitLine for assistance in quitting his smoking habit. Some can’t kick the habit. Others do by following the same assistance Rickman used. The 45-year-old called 1-800-QUIT-NOW after a visit to a hospital for… Read More »
  • 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 »
  • When Nutrition Becomes Personal: A Retired Nurse’s Story

    When Nutrition Becomes Personal: A Retired Nurse’s Story

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

    TennCare Director Weighs In On Opioid Crisis in Tennessee

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