atom Alliance Blogs

atom Alliance Blogs

  • What Primary Care Practitioners Need to Know About Diabetic Neuropathy

    What Primary Care Practitioners Need to Know About Diabetic Neuropathy

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

    CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design

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

    Q&A with Megan Fisher: Quality Payment Program

    Q&A with Megan Fisher: Quality Payment Program   Megan Fisher, RN, MSN, MBA is a nurse consultant at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Her primary responsibilities include serving as the subject matter expert for Quality Reporting for the CMS Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program’s Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs). Fisher also… Read More »
  • Questions Are The Answer

    Questions Are The Answer

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

    Five Best Practices for Preventing and Controlling Diabetic Neuropathy

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

    MIPS Deadline Quickly Approaching

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

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

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

    Addressing Pain Management Barriers for Sickle Cell Patients

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

    Free Quality Payment Program Online Courses

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

    CMS Updates Medicare Payment Rates, Quality Reporting Requirements

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

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

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

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

    Is the Contact Information Correct on Your Organization’s Medicare Notices? Recently, it has come to the attention of KEPRO that some Medicare notices have incorrect contact information, including the Important Message from Medicare and the Notice of Medicare Non-Coverage. It is important that the correct information be on these notices, so that Medicare beneficiaries are… Read More »
  • Your Vaccine Recommendation Is a Critical Factor in Protecting Patient Health

    Your Vaccine Recommendation Is a Critical Factor in Protecting Patient Health

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

    New Version of the Important Message from Medicare Form

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

    Quality Payment Program 2017 MIPS Online Course

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

    Proposed Rule for Implementation of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program

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

    2018 Health Insurance Exchanges Issuer County Map

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

    Spreading Success: Intervening on Antipsychotics to Improve Dementia Care

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

    New Opportunity to Improve Pulmonary and Cardiac Care

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

    QPP Updates July 2017

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

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

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

    atom Alliance Helping Transform Practices in Five States

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

    Care Coordination Q&A with Christina Goatee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A Retired Nurse Shares Her Thoughts on Antibiotic Stewardship

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

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

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

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

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

    Lost in Translation: Communication Is Key to Care for Residents

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

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

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

    Quality of Care Review Changes – Updates from KEPRO

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

    Nationwide Challenge Aims to Control Hypertension

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

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

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

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

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

    Campaign Launched to Increase Advance Directives in Tennessee

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

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

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

    Strategic Partnership Helps Nursing Homes Report Infections

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

    Alcohol Misuse in Primary Care

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

    We Ask Everyone

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

    Three Steps for Improvement

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

    Alcohol Abuse Coding

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

    Most Common Indicators

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

    How to Be More Confident Talking to Your Doctor

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

    Battle the Opioid Overdose Epidemic with Information and Action

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

    Tools Reduce Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes

    One in four nursing home residents receive at least one antipsychotic medication. Many of those residents have dementia. Read More »
  • Good Fats: Healthy Aging Tips for National Nutrition Month

    Good Fats: Healthy Aging Tips for National Nutrition Month

    Fats in your diet give you energy and also help your body absorb vitamins. Your body needs a limited amount of certain kinds of fats. Read More »
  • Unsteady on Your Feet?

    Unsteady on Your Feet?

    If you sometimes feel unsteady, stagger when you try to walk, teeter or fall, you may have a balance disorder. You can help identify a balance problem by asking yourself some key questions before seeing a doctor. Read More »
  • Discharge Guides Help Ease Transitions from Hospital to Home

    Discharge Guides Help Ease Transitions from Hospital to Home

    When you leave the hospital, there are a lot of things you need to do to take care of yourself. You need to see your doctor, take your medicines, exercise, eat healthy foods, and know who to call with questions or problems. Read More »
  • Bad Fats: Healthy Aging Tips for National Nutrition Month

    Bad Fats: Healthy Aging Tips for National Nutrition Month

    There are good fats and there are bad fats.  Read More »
  • Spreading Success: Wyoming Nursing Home Decreases Antipsychotic Medications

    Spreading Success: Wyoming Nursing Home Decreases Antipsychotic Medications

    Spreading Success: Wyoming Nursing Home Decreases Antipsychotic Medications The New Horizons Care Center of Wyoming successfully reduced antipsychotic utilization rates by 89 percent. Antipsychotic medications are meant for those with schizophrenia, Huntington’s disease or Tourette’s syndrome. The medications are not intended for use in elderly populations or to manage behaviors or symptoms related to dementia.… Read More »
  • Managing Diabetes to Keep Kidneys Healthy

    Managing Diabetes to Keep Kidneys Healthy

    Managing diabetes is an important part of keeping kidneys healthy, making March’s National Kidney Month observance the perfect time to promote kidney health to loved ones, patients and community. Read More »
  • Next Generation Accountable Care Organization Model Request for Applications and Open Door Forums

    Next Generation Accountable Care Organization Model Request for Applications and Open Door Forums

    Next Generation Accountable Care Organization Model Request for Applications and Open Door Forums The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Center (CMS Innovation Center) released the Request for Applications (RFA) and Letter of Intent (LOI) for organizations interested in applying to the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model… Read More »
  • Cutting Out Fat: Healthy Aging Tips for National Nutrition Month

    Cutting Out Fat: Healthy Aging Tips for National Nutrition Month

    Here are steps you can take to lower the fat in your diet, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Senior Health website. Read More »
  • Care Coordination Community Brings Chattanooga Hospitals Together

    Care Coordination Community Brings Chattanooga Hospitals Together

    Care Coordination Community Brings Chattanooga Hospitals Together to Reduce Readmissions The Chattanooga Regional Health Innovation Coalition (CRHIC) brought three area hospitals together to achieve the lowest readmission rate in Tennessee among care coordination communities. Read More »
  • QAPI Assistance from atom Alliance

    QAPI Assistance from atom Alliance

    QAPI Assistance from atom Alliance QAPI is the application of quality assurance and performance improvement. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) describes QAPI as a systematic, comprehensive and data-driven approach to maintaining and improving safety and quality in nursing homes while involving all nursing home care givers in practical and creative problem solving.… Read More »
  • Cardiovascular Health Improvement Resources Now Available

    Cardiovascular Health Improvement Resources Now Available

    If improving your patients’ cardiovascular health is a priority at your home health agency (HHA), the national Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) team can provide the resources and assistance you need to make your efforts successful. Their Cardio Milestones program provides a roadmap to achieving measurable improvement in the cardiovascular health of your patient population. Read More »
  • Diabetes is the Leading Cause of Kidney Failure; Self-Management Classes Offered to Prevent Complications

    Diabetes is the Leading Cause of Kidney Failure; Self-Management Classes Offered to Prevent Complications

    Because almost half of people starting dialysis have kidney failure caused by diabetes, atom Alliance is encouraging people with diabetes to take steps to help keep their kidneys healthy. Read More »
  • atom Alliance Assists with Quality Improvement Initiatives for Care Concerns

    atom Alliance Assists with Quality Improvement Initiatives for Care Concerns

    atom Alliance is committed to assisting providers and practitioners improve the quality of patient care. We provide quality improvement assistance on a large scale at a systems level or on a smaller scale at an individual case level. Read More »
  • How Motivational Interviewing Can Inspire Patients to Improve Cardiac Health

    How Motivational Interviewing Can Inspire Patients to Improve Cardiac Health

    Motivational interviewing, a clinical approach to communication that leverages open dialogue, empathy and self-motivation, has been shown to have positive health outcomes for patients with chronic conditions. Read More »
  • Five Tips for Creating a Successful Tobacco Cessation Initiative

    Five Tips for Creating a Successful Tobacco Cessation Initiative

    Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000—or one out of every five—deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read More »
  • Controlling High Blood Pressure Starts with Accurate Measurement

    Controlling High Blood Pressure Starts with Accurate Measurement

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 75 million American adults—over a third of the population—are living with high blood pressure. Read More »
  • Hand Washing – The Do It Yourself Vaccine

    Hand Washing – The Do It Yourself Vaccine

    Holding hands can be a way of showing affection, but while you’re sharing the love this Valentines Day, you may also be sharing your germs. Share your love, not your germs! Read More »
  • Cardiac Health Q&A with Cynthia Pamon-Burnett, RN

    Cardiac Health Q&A with Cynthia Pamon-Burnett, RN

    Cynthia Pamon-Burnett is a registered nurse with many years of experience in health care. Currently, she serves as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Program Lead for the QIO Program’s Healthy People, Healthy Communities: Improving the Health Status of Communities initiative. Read More »
  • Sharing Blood Pressure Control Best Practices from Across the Country For Heart Month

    Sharing Blood Pressure Control Best Practices from Across the Country For Heart Month

    American Heart Month, celebrated each February, honors health professionals, researchers and heart health ambassadors whose dedication to fighting heart disease enables countless Americans to live full and active lives. atom Alliance is sharing blood pressure control best practices from providers across the U.S. Read More »
  • New Guideline on Systolic Blood Pressure for People Aged 60 Years and Older

    New Guideline on Systolic Blood Pressure for People Aged 60 Years and Older

    The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recently released a joint practice guideline on systolic blood pressure for people aged 60 years and older with hypertension. Read More »
  • 2017 Diabetes Standard of Care Released

    2017 Diabetes Standard of Care Released

    The American Diabetes Association (ADA) Executive Committee recently revised and published in Diabetes Care the 2017 ADA Standards of Care which are based on a complete review of the relevant literature by a diverse group of highly trained clinicians and researchers. Earn 0.75 free CE credits by viewing a webcast of highlights of the 2017 Standards… Read More »
  • atom Alliance Teams Up with Nursing School to Improve Long-Term Care

    atom Alliance Teams Up with Nursing School to Improve Long-Term Care

    atom Alliance Teams Up with Nursing School to Improve Long-Term Care Originally posted by University of Mississippi Medical Center on September 26, 2016 A collaboration between the University of Mississippi School of Nursing and Information & Quality Healthcare, a member of the atom Alliance, a five-state Quality Improvement Network-Quality Improvement Organization providing services in Alabama, Tennessee,… Read More »
  • Kentucky, Mississippi Nursing Homes Receive Assistance for Targeted Quality of Care Improvements

    Kentucky, Mississippi Nursing Homes Receive Assistance for Targeted Quality of Care Improvements

    Kentucky, Mississippi Nursing Homes Receive Assistance for Targeted Quality of Care Improvements Memphis, Tenn. –Several nursing homes in Kentucky and Mississippi will soon receive a boost in their ongoing effort to provide quality care for residents. The atom Alliance, a partnership between Memphis-based Qsource in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana; Information & Quality Healthcare (IQH) in Mississippi;… Read More »
  • CMS Partners with Commercial and State Insurers

    CMS Partners with Commercial and State Insurers

    CMS partners with commercial and state insurers to support primary care practices and reduce clinician burden Data is the lifeblood of the value-based payment environment. Every time a doctor takes care of a patient, we have an opportunity to use information in ways that help patients get better care. The goal is to use the… Read More »
  • CMS Announces Extension of 2016 Reporting Deadline

    CMS Announces Extension of 2016 Reporting Deadline

    CMS announces extension of 2016 reporting deadline and intends to modify 2017 requirements for reporting eCQM data under the Inpatient Quality Reporting and EHR Incentive Programs for Hospitals I am pleased to announce that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is notifying eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals participating in the Hospital Inpatient… Read More »
  • atom Alliance Team Completes Leadership Training

    atom Alliance Team Completes Leadership Training

    Thirteen staff members from the atom Alliance Care Coordination team recently graduated from the Quality Innovation Network National Coordinating Center (QIN NCC) Leadership & Organizing In Action (LOA 2.0) program. Read More »
  • Tools to Help Reduce Falls

    Tools to Help Reduce Falls

    Preventing falls is a challenge in every nursing home. These two resources can you help assess fall risk and prevent falls at your facility. Read More »
  • Living Well with COPD

    Living Well with COPD

    atom Alliance talks to Stephanie Williams from the COPD Foundation Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects 30 million Americans, yet only about 12 million know they have it. Read More »
  • Sign up for CMS study to receive CPIA credit

    Sign up for CMS study to receive CPIA credit

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is conducting a Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIA) Study, as outlined in the MACRA final rule. Read More »
  • Depression Is Not a Normal Part of Aging

    Depression Is Not a Normal Part of Aging

    Studies show that older adults feel satisfied with their lives, despite having more illnesses or physical problems. However, when older adults do have depression, it may be overlooked Read More »
  • AAFP Helps Providers With Routine Patient Screening for Depression and Alcohol

    AAFP Helps Providers With Routine Patient Screening for Depression and Alcohol

    How can physicians most effectively screen patients for depression and alcohol use? The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) aims to answer that with an easy-to-use guide. Read More »
  • Think Culturally, Provide Quality Care

    Think Culturally, Provide Quality Care

    The Think Cultural Health (TCH) website is dedicated to advancing health equity at every point of contact with healthcare providers. Read More »
  • African Americans and Hispanics at Higher Risk for Stroke Death

    African Americans and Hispanics at Higher Risk for Stroke Death

    atom Alliance is working to reduce health disparities by supporting Million Hearts ®, a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by the end of 2017. Read More »
  • How to Make Sure Your Residents Get the Sleep They Need

    How to Make Sure Your Residents Get the Sleep They Need

    Imagine… Imagine having slept in the same room for 50 years. Then, your health requires that you be moved into a long-term care facility. Read More »
  • Healthy New Year

    Healthy New Year

    Make 2017 your healthiest year yet! Find ways to boost your health and well-being, and be an inspiration! Read More »
  • New Payment Models Announced to Improve Cardiac and Joint Care

    New Payment Models Announced to Improve Cardiac and Joint Care

    New Payment Models Announced to Improve Cardiac and Joint Care On December 20, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized new Innovation Center models that continue the Administration’s progress to shift Medicare payments from rewarding quantity to rewarding quality by creating strong incentives for hospitals to deliver better care to patients at… Read More »
  • Workgroup Helps Healthcare Organization Replace or Eliminate Harmful Processes

    Workgroup Helps Healthcare Organization Replace or Eliminate Harmful Processes

    Workgroup Helps Healthcare Organization Replace or Eliminate Harmful Processes Michelle Vincent MSN, RN, APRN- BC, Director of Quality, Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center located in Leitchfield, Kentucky, credits her team’s participation in an electronic medical record (EMR)-specific workgroup with helping their facility provide better care. “At the end of the day, it really comes down… Read More »
  • Bathing Without a Battle: Award-Winning Training for Long-Term Care Staff

    Bathing Without a Battle: Award-Winning Training for Long-Term Care Staff

    The award-winning, evidence-based Bathing Without a Battle training on person-centered bathing for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is now accessible online free of charge. Read More »
  • atom Alliance Hosts Dennis Wagner- Director, Quality Improvement & Innovation Group (QIIG) at CMS

    atom Alliance Hosts Dennis Wagner- Director, Quality Improvement & Innovation Group (QIIG) at CMS

    atom Alliance and Qsource visited by CMS’s Dennis Wagner- Director, Quality Improvement & Innovation Group (QIIG)   We welcomed Dennis Wagner from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to our headquarters in Memphis, Tenn. recently. While in Memphis, Wagner met with patients who are taking an active role in controlling diabetes by participating in atom… Read More »
  • CMS Finalizes its Measures Under Consideration List for Pre-rulemaking

    CMS Finalizes its Measures Under Consideration List for Pre-rulemaking

    CMS Finalizes its Measures Under Consideration List for Pre-rulemaking Medicare and other payers are rapidly moving toward a health care system that rewards high quality care while spending taxpayer dollars more wisely. Foundational to the success of these efforts is having quality measures that are meaningful to patients and providers alike, and that drive improvement… Read More »
  • COPD: Start the Conversation

    COPD: Start the Conversation

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Early diagnosis and aggressive management can improve both quality and length of life for patients. Read More »
  • Know Your History. Know Your Health.

    Know Your History. Know Your Health.

    Healthcare professionals have known for a long time that common diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, can run in families. If one generation of a family has high blood pressure Read More »
  • How Well Do You Know Your Family’s Health History?

    How Well Do You Know Your Family’s Health History?

    Each year since 2004, the Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving to be National Family History Day. Read More »
  • CMS Launches New Online Tool to Make Quality Payment Program Easier for Clinicians

    CMS Launches New Online Tool to Make Quality Payment Program Easier for Clinicians

    CMS Launches New Online Tool to Make Quality Payment Program Easier for Clinicians The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a tool to share automatically electronic data for the Medicare Quality Payment Program. This new release is the first in a series that will be part of CMS’s ongoing efforts to spur the… Read More »
  • Worldwide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day: Nov 17

    Worldwide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day: Nov 17

    Patients in hospitals and residents in long-term care facilities with limited mobility are at increased risk of developing pressure ulcers. Read More »
  • 2017 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles Announced

    2017 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles Announced

    2017 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles Announced The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the 2017 premiums for the Medicare inpatient hospital (Part A) and physician and outpatient hospital services (Part B) programs. Medicare Part B Premiums/Deductibles Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services,… Read More »
  • Tennessee Hospital Reduces Infections, Saves Lives

    Tennessee Hospital Reduces Infections, Saves Lives

    When Fabiola Demuth began working at Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, she looked for opportunities to improve care and eliminate healthcare-associated infections (HAI). With help from an atom Alliance quality improvement advisor, the hospital saw a significant reduction in central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) in their intensive care units (ICUs). “After looking at… Read More »
  • A Healthier Medicare: Focusing on Primary Care, Mental Health, and Diabetes Prevention

    A Healthier Medicare: Focusing on Primary Care, Mental Health, and Diabetes Prevention

    A Healthier Medicare: Focusing on Primary Care, Mental Health, and Diabetes Prevention We’ve discussed a number of times how our country’s health care system historically invested far more in treating sickness than maintaining health. This imbalance contributes to more spending on institutions, hospitals, and nursing homes, rather than keeping people healthy at home and in… Read More »
  • CMS Finalizes Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Changes

    CMS Finalizes Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Changes

    CMS Finalizes Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Changes to Better Support Hospitals and Physicians and Improve Patient Care The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized updated payment rates and policy changes in the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System for calendar year (CY) 2017. These finalized… Read More »
  • Submit an Informal Review for 2017 Physician Quality Reporting System Results Before November 30, 2016

    Submit an Informal Review for 2017 Physician Quality Reporting System Results Before November 30, 2016

    Submit an Informal Review for 2017 Physician Quality Reporting System Results Before November 30, 2016 In 2017, CMS will apply a downward payment adjustment to those who did not satisfactorily report PQRS in 2015 including: Individual eligible professionals (EPs) Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) practice sites PQRS group practices Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) If you have… Read More »