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  • Health IT Q&A with Jean Moody-Williams

    August 25, 2016

    Jean Moody-Williams, RN, MPP, is the Deputy Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She is responsible for working with a team to lead policy activities for Quality Improvement Programs, End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks, Survey and Certification, Quality

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  • Making Sense of the Quality Payment Program

    August 25, 2016

    In April 2015, the U.S. Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed bipartisan legislation known as the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Designed to reform health care payment and administration, MACRA repeals the Medicare Part B Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) reimbursement formula

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  • Three Ways QIN-QIOs Are Using IT and Data to Improve Health

    August 25, 2016

    Each of the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program’s 14 Quality Innovation Network (QIN)-QIOs are working to improve quality health data reporting and to help providers and caregivers use data to improve health outcomes. Here are three examples of how QIN-QIOs are leveraging data and technology: HealthInsight QIN-QIO HealthInsight, the

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  • A Better Blue Button: Service Empowers People to Take Charge of Their Health

    August 25, 2016

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is embracing innovation and taking advantage of technology to fuel changes that will lead to better care, smarter spending, and a healthier America. That was the key message from the second annual CMS IT Conference held in Baltimore in August 2016. The conference brought together U.S.

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  • Five Technology Trends Helping Advance Senior Care

    August 25, 2016

    Technology is helping shape the future of health care. In recognition of National Health IT Week, September 26–30, QIO News is sharing five top technology trends in improving the quality of health for older adults. 1. Telehealth and E-Visits Telehealth is part of the movement to supplement appointments at hospitals and clinics with virtual

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  • Registration Now Open: 2016 LAN Fall Summit

    August 25, 2016

    The 2016 LAN Fall Summit, hosted by the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network (LAN), will take place October 25 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Summit’s theme—Aligning for Action—supports the imminent implementation and adoption of Alternative Payment Models (APMs) nationwide. The agenda, which is

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  • Did You Know?

    August 25, 2016

    A recent “QIOs in Action” story features an update on Lake Superior Quality Innovation Network’s efforts to improve quality reporting in Minnesota by providing clinic staff with training and outlining a new workflow. Read the full story.

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  • Immunization Q&A with Carolyn Bridges

    July 28, 2016

    An internal medicine physician, Carolyn B. Bridges, MD, was in clinical practice before joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in 1996. She has held a number of different positions at CDC working on influenza and other vaccine preventable diseases, and transitioned to her current

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  • Community Outreach, Collaboration Result in Higher Immunization Rates in South Carolina

    July 28, 2016

    Thousands of Americans die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases, such as pneumonia and influenza. For older adults, these two diseases alone constitute the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Given the effectiveness of both the pneumonia and flu immunizations, why aren’t

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  • Telligen’s Flu Fighters! Partnership Wins Award, Expands Reach

    July 28, 2016

    The Flu Fighters! and Telligen, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) serving Illinois, Iowa and Colorado, were honored this spring with the 2016 Immunization Neighborhood Award at the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS) for their efforts to increase immunization rates among at-risk seniors

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  • Three Tips to Promote Early Detection and Treatment of Sepsis

    July 28, 2016

    Each year in the U.S., more than one million people contract sepsis, a dangerous infection response process that kills up to half of those who are diagnosed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Early detection and treatment of sepsis are key to improving survival rates and reducing the high cost of care. TMF Health

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  • CDC Releases Vaccine Schedules Mobile App

    July 28, 2016

    Health care providers now have access to information about vaccines and dosages at the tip of their fingers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a Vaccine Schedules mobile app to provide health care professionals with up-to-date immunization information. The app features an interactive, sortable database of

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  • Did You Know?

    July 28, 2016

    A recent “QIOs in Action” story highlighted how the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network is working to improve immunization rates through local partnerships in North Dakota. Read the full story.

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  • Care Coordination Q&A with Hoangmai Pham

    June 30, 2016

    Hoangmai Pham, MD, MPH serves as Chief Innovation Officer for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In this role, she is responsible for overseeing implementation of the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act, and strategic and operational planning for the Center.

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  • Community Partnership Program Helps Maryland Seniors Age in Place

    June 30, 2016

    According to a study from the Pew Research Center, roughly 10,000 baby boomers turn age 65 every day. This rapid aging of the U.S. population means that by 2030, the number of seniors will nearly have doubled compared to 2010, leading to serious challenges for older adults, their families and the health care system. By some estimates, it is

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  • Patient Story: Pharmacist Home Visit Fixes Dangerous Medication Error

    June 30, 2016

    Dr. Lipi Soni, a transitional care pharmacist at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey, counsels patients on their medications after they are discharged from the hospital and, in some cases, makes a follow-up visit to the patient’s home or meets with them in her office. Her work is part of a program funded by the Grotta Fund

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  • Six Ways to Promote Senior Independence as a Care Team

    June 30, 2016

    With Independence Day just behind us, the New England Quality Innovation Network (QIN)—the QIN-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont—shares some tips and resources on how to encourage and support senior independence and quality care coordination. For

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  • Sneak Peek at Next QIO Program National Learning Series

    June 30, 2016

    The Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program will hold the next installment of its free “Sharing Knowledge, Improving Health Care” learning series on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 from 3 to 4 p.m. ET. This National Learning & Action Network (LAN) session will focus on “Driving Safer Care” and will align with the Centers for Medicare &

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  • Did You Know?

    June 30, 2016

    Medicare beneficiaries have special rights designed to protect them during the care process and ensure they receive the services available to them by law. Learn how Beneficiary and Family Centered Care-Quality Improvement Organizations (BFCC-QIOs) help address beneficiary concerns, appeals and quality of care reviews, and explore other available

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  • Men’s Health Q&A with Shantanu Agrawal

    June 02, 2016

    Shantanu Agrawal is a Board-certified Emergency Medicine physician and Fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. He is currently serving as Deputy Administrator for Program Integrity and Director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Program Integrity. His focus is to improve health care value by

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  • Reducing Suicide Rates Among Older Men

    June 02, 2016

    Suicide is an issue impacting Americans of all ages. While children and young adults are often the focus of suicide-prevention initiatives, older adults are also choosing to end their own lives at alarming rates. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, from 1999 to 2010, suicide among adults ages 35–64 increased by 28

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  • Four Essentials for Improving Colorectal Cancer Screenings

    June 02, 2016

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States. Although the incidence of colon cancer has declined significantly over the past 10 years, largely due to improvements in screening and early detection, rates of CRC remain high in the

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  • New MAPPP App Helps Physicians Prevent Adverse Events

    June 02, 2016

    Patients’ increased access to a variety of oral anticoagulant drugs has complicated pre-surgical drug management and resulted in both medical and financial ramifications. Anticoagulants taken too close to surgery can increase the risk of excessive bleeding, so, often times, procedures need to be postponed, posing a financial burden to

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  • Strategic Innovation Engine Issues Call for Innovative Practices

    June 02, 2016

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program’s Strategic Innovation Engine (SIE) has issued a Call for Innovative Practices to providers, insurance companies, government agencies, professional associations and other health care industry stakeholders. Interested parties have until July 1,

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  • A Month of Men’s Health Awareness, Prevention and Education

    June 02, 2016

    During the month of June, health care providers, partners and consumers around the country spread awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease in men. This year marks the 22-year anniversary of Men’s Health Month, led by the Men’s Health Network (MHN), and is dedicated to enriching men’s health

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  • Did You Know?

    June 02, 2016

    A Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) success story will now be featured on the QIO Program website homepage each month. This month, we’ll highlight the Great Plains QIN’s efforts to improve immunization rates in North Dakota. Get the whole story and keep an eye out for new “QIOs in Action” at QIOProgram.org.

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  • Five Ways to Increase Disease Prevention Among Men

    June 02, 2016

    In honor of Men’s Health Month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program is sharing activities and resources to promote the importance of preventive health care in maintaining optimal health and ensuring early detection. 1. Annual Wellness Visit Annual Wellness Visits are not just physicals

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  • Behavioral Health Q&A with Jeffrey Buck

    May 03, 2016

    Jeffrey Buck, PhD is the Program Lead for the Inpatient Psychiatric Facility (IPF) Quality Reporting Program and the Senior Advisor for Behavioral Health in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). He serves as the subject matter expert for the QIO Program’s behavioral health

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  • One Year Post-Launch, National Nursing Home Collaborative Makes Gains

    May 03, 2016

    One year since the April 2015 launch of the National Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative (NNHQCC), its mission to improve care for the 1.4 million nursing home residents across the country is a step closer to realization. Led by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement

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  • Event Spotlight: The Patient Engagement Imperative

    May 03, 2016

    On April 7, 2016, health care industry researchers and thought leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. to introduce the April 2016 issue of Health Affairs. The issue, entitled “Patients’ & Consumers’ Use Of Evidence,” examines the new era of person-centered care and its implications for physician practice and health care delivery at large. “The

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  • 5 Tips for Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care

    May 03, 2016

    Adult depression and alcohol use disorder are serious health conditions that are often under-identified and undiagnosed in primary

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  • SAMHSA Executive Talks Medicare & Mental Health

    May 03, 2016

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently sponsored a webinar entitled, “Medicare & Mental Health,” as part of its ongoing National Training Program online learning series. The webinar featured a presentation by Mariel Lifshitz, MPH, Special Assistant for Healthcare Financing at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

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  • By the Numbers: QIN-QIOs Are Improving Identification of Behavioral Health Conditions

    May 03, 2016

    In July 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded six Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) a four-year contract to improve identification of behavioral health conditions among beneficiaries in primary care and care transition settings. Depression and alcohol use disorder are two common

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  • 5 Fast Facts: How CMS is Changing Health Care Payment

    May 03, 2016

    At the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ recent Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (LAN) Spring Summit, more than 400 attendees from all sectors of the health care industry joined forces to accelerate the transformation already underway to pay providers for quality and outcomes, rather than volume. Alternative Payment

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  • Did You Know?

    May 03, 2016

    A Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) success story will now be featured on the QIO Program website homepage each month. This month, we’ll highlight a cardiac care partnership between TMF QIN-QIO and community providers. Get the whole story and keep an eye out for new “QIOs in Action” at qioprogram.org.

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  • CMS Call for Clinical Quality Measures

    May 03, 2016

    Clinical quality measure (CQM) owners and/or developers who want to have new measures considered for inclusion in one of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) quality programs may submit measures now. On January 29, 2016, JIRA opened to accept new-candidate measure submissions for the 2016/2017 Measures Under Consideration

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  • Did You Know?

    April 01, 2016

    CMS has published the 2015 QIO Program Progress Report. Available now to view and download, the report discusses updates from the second year of the QIO Program’s five-year performance period, highlights data-driven results from QIN-QIOs and BFCC-QIOs, and shares success stories illustrating the recent progress that has been made. Take this brief

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  • Top Six Tips to Start “The Talk”

    April 01, 2016

    End-of-life planning is gaining increased attention in the care coordination arena, in part because of Medicare’s recent decision to allow for end-of-life counseling reimbursements. But initiating “the talk” can be daunting for both physicians and patients. The Telligen QIN-QIO care coordination teams work with community members in Colorado,

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  • QIO Program National Learning Series: “Effective Communication and Coordination of Care”

    April 01, 2016

    The Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program will be holding the next installment of its free “Sharing Knowledge, Improving Health Care” learning series on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT. This National Learning & Action Network (LAN) session topic will align with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

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  • CMS Announces $8 Million Boost in Special Innovation Project Awards for QIN-QIOs

    April 01, 2016

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program recently announced an additional $8 million in funding for Special Innovation Projects (SIP) that support and advance collaboration among the Quality Innovation Network-QIO (QIN-QIOs) and health care providers and partners. Building on the

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  • Health Equity Q&A with Madeline Shea

    March 31, 2016

    Madeleine Shea is the Deputy Director of the Office of Minority Health at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Prior to joining the Office of Minority Health at CMS, Dr. Shea was the Director of the Disparities National Coordinating Center for Medicare Quality Improvement Organizations where she led Medicare disparities

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  • Office of Minority Health Aims to Close Disparities Gap with Equity Plan

    March 31, 2016

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health's (OMH) mission is to eliminate health disparities among all Medicare minority populations, including racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and rural populations. These populations

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  • Event Spotlight: The Evolving Landscape of Physician Practice

    March 31, 2016

    Health care industry thought leaders gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on March 8, 2016 to introduce the March 2016 Issue of Health Affairs. The issue, “Physicians, Prescription Drugs, ACOs & More,” examines the evolving landscape of physician practice and more. “Today, we will discuss a range of topics from the

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  • Patient Story: The Right Place at the Right Time

    March 31, 2016

    When Donald found out he had diabetes, he was terrified. He had seen the negative effects of the disease first-hand through his family members. Some of the diabetic complications he’d witnessed in his family included eye loss, amputations, heart attack and liver problems. He truly understood the damage this disease can cause if not managed

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  • Top Six Tips to Start “The Talk”

    March 31, 2016

    End-of-life planning is gaining increased attention in the care coordination arena, in part because of Medicare’s recent decision to allow for end-of-life counseling reimbursements. But initiating “the talk” can be daunting for both physicians and patients. The Telligen QIN-QIO care coordination teams work with community members in Colorado,

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  • Newly Published Book on Health Care Collaboratives Aims to Save Lives

    March 31, 2016

    More than 35 quality improvement leaders from across the nation have joined together to author All In: Using Healthcare Collaboratives to Save Lives and Improve Care. The new resource covers the origin of the health care collaborative methodology before delving into many successful collaborative efforts with various goals and in diverse

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  • QIO Program National Learning Series: “Effective Communication and Coordination of Care”

    March 31, 2016

    The Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program will be holding the next installment of its free “Sharing Knowledge, Improving Health Care” learning series on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., EST. This National Learning & Action Network (LAN) session topic will align with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

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  • Patient Safety Q&A with Arjun Srinivasan

    February 26, 2016

    Arjun Srinivasan, MD is Associate Director for Healthcare–Associated Infection (HAI) Programs in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. He also is a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service. An infectious disease doctor,

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  • Nile’s Project Devoted to Ending Preventable Deaths Through Infection Awareness

    February 26, 2016

    In April 2006, at 15 years of age, Nile Calvin Moss entered the top children’s hospital in Orange Country California as an outpatient for an annual series of tests. He was born with hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain, so these visits were routine for Nile and his family. After he returned

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  • Six Ways to Improve Patient Safety as a Patient-Provider Team

    February 26, 2016

    In honor of Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 13-19, we are sharing facts and resources to help providers and patients improve health care safety and make the transition to consumer-centered care models. Remember to keep patients at the center of their care each step of the way! For Providers 1. Eliminate Health Care-Associated Infections

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  • Peer Up! Improving Disease Management Among Dialysis Patients

    February 26, 2016

    In May 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded the Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition (MARC) a Special Innovation Project (SIP) to determine the effectiveness of peer-to-peer (P2P) support among patients receiving in-center dialysis. MARC recently completed the pilot test of its SIP program, Peer Up!, which was conducted at

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  • The QIO Program’s Strategic Innovation Engine to Spread Best Practices

    February 26, 2016

    The Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program’s newest component, the Strategic Innovation Engine (SIE), aims to identify and spread high-impact, high-value quality improvement innovations in support of the Three-Part Aim of better care, better health and smarter spending. The SIE’s mission is to rapidly move proven best practices to

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  • A Week of Pioneering Patient Safety

    February 26, 2016

    Patient safety is important every day of the year, but from March 13-19, health care providers and consumers will take a pledge to focus on spreading a higher quality of care to reduce risks, lower costs and keep patients healthier. The theme of this year’s Patient Safety Awareness Week (PSAW), led by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF)

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  • Upcoming News & Events

    February 26, 2016

    Coming Soon: 2015 QIO Program Progress Report Keep your eyes out for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2015 Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program Progress Report, which is scheduled for release in March. Once published, the progress report will be available to view and download on the QIO Program website. The report

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  • Did You Know?

    February 26, 2016

    March is month three of the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) yearlong “Culture of Safety” campaign, aimed at improving the safety of care for both patients and providers. The ANA is supporting the “Quadruple Aim,” a concept that adds better health for providers to the goals of the “Three-Part Aim,” which currently includes better care, better

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  • Strategic Innovation Engine: Driving Nationwide Adoption of Quality Improvement Best Practices

    February 26, 2016

    The Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program’s newest component, the Strategic Innovation Engine (SIE), aims to identify and spread high-impact, high-value quality improvement innovations in support of the Three-Part Aim of better care, better health and smarter spending. The SIE’s mission is to rapidly move proven best practices to

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  • Cardiac Health Q&A with Janet Wright

    January 28, 2016

    Janet Wright, MD, FACC is the Executive Director of Million Hearts®, a Department of Health & Human Services national initiative, co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, with the explicit goal to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. by 2017. From 2008

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  • Cardiac Patient Story: My Journey to Good Health

    January 28, 2016

    By Edward Platt From 1937 until mid-2014, I never spent a single night in a hospital bed. I had all the typical early childhood diseases, but in my day, our family doctor made house calls and would simply write out prescriptions. That all changed dramatically in my 77th year when I failed to recognize the onset of an asymptomatic heart attack.

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  • Diabetes Education Inspires Couple to Battle Chronic Disease with Love

    January 28, 2016

    A support system. That is what Toni and Gus found in each other during an “Everyone with Diabetes Counts” (EDC) class in York, Pennsylvania. When the two met in their first class, uncertain and alone in their fight against diabetes, they realized they were battling many of the same issues. Gus, who had been living with diabetes for about 35

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  • By-The-Numbers: QIN-QIOs Improving Cardiac Health, Preventing Stroke and Reducing Cardiac Disparities

    January 28, 2016

    In alignment with the Department of Health & Human Services’ Million Hearts® goal to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017, Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations are focusing on improving the ABCS (Aspirin therapy when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking screening and

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  • Upcoming Webinars Spotlight Cardiovascular Care

    January 28, 2016

    Several Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) and QIO Program national partners are holding webinars this month for health care providers and stakeholders who are committed to improving the nation’s cardiac health. Mark your calendars: Million Hearts: Getting to a Million from Here Date/Time: Thurs., Feb. 4, 1:30

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  • Did You Know?

    January 28, 2016

    The Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign invites home health agencies and other stakeholders to join the new Progressive Cardiovascular Learning & Action Network (CardioLAN), a diverse group of individuals from various health care organizations who share a commitment to improving preventive cardiovascular care. Join the first of

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  • Five Ways to Live a Heart-Healthy Life

    January 28, 2016

    In honor of American Heart Month, we’re sharing five ways to help keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular conditions. Remember to make heart health a priority every month of the year! 1) Reduce Your Sodium Intake Did you know that nine out of 10 Americans consume too much sodium? Excess levels of sodium –

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  • CMS Executive Q&A with Kate Goodrich

    December 30, 2015

    Kate Goodrich, MD, MHS, joined the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in September 2011 and presently serves as Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ). The Center is responsible for over 20 quality measurement and value-based purchasing programs; implementation of the new Merit-based Incentive Payment

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  • CMS: Build on Accomplishments in Health Care Quality Improvement

    December 30, 2015

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched its 2015 CMS Quality Conference, formerly known as QualityNet, in Baltimore, Maryland on Dec. 1, 2015 by celebrating recent health care quality successes and urging attendees to build new partnerships that will deliver continued results in quality improvement. The day one plenary

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  • CMS Leaders and Patients Agree: Put People at the Center of Care

    December 30, 2015

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Conference kicked off its second day in Baltimore, Maryland on Dec. 2, 2015, by concentrating on the increasingly important role people play in the health care system and urging attendees to consider patients’ unique voices at every step of the care continuum. After setting the tone

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  • 10 Takeaways on Successful QIN-QIO/HEN Collaboration

    December 30, 2015

    In support of the 2015 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Conference's partnership theme, executives from several Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) and Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) shared how they developed successful collaborations with each other over the past few years to

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  • Population Health: The Way Forward, Together

    December 30, 2015

    "The factors that influence the health outcomes of groups of individuals, including the distribution and equity of such outcomes across various segments of society." (Definition of population health, adopted from Kindig et al Am J Public Health. 2003;93:380–383) The definition of population health was widely discussed at the 2015 Centers for

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  • 5 LEAN Tips to Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement

    December 30, 2015

    The 2015 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Conference featured a series of Master Classes, including “LEAN 201: From Theory to Practice.” This session highlighted not only the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program’s focus on innovation and care quality, but also CMS’ role in promoting LEAN adoption. Rocco Perla,

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  • Social Media Highlights

    December 30, 2015

    What’s the buzz about? Check out the Day 1 and Day 2 social media recaps from the 2015 CMS Quality Conference, highlighting key takeaways, photos, videos and more!

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  • 2015 CMS Quality Conference News Roundup

    December 30, 2015

    What’s happening in the world of health care quality improvement? We’ve compiled a list of the top news and announcements shared at the 2015 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Conference. National Patient Safety Efforts Save 87,000 Lives and Nearly $20 Billion in Costs On Dec. 1, 2015, the Department of Health and Human

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  • QIO Program National Learning Series for Health Care Providers: “Trends in Patient and Family Engagement”

    December 30, 2015

    The Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program will be holding the next installment of its free “Sharing Knowledge, Improving Health Care“ learning series for health care providers on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., EST. The virtual training session, entitled “Trends in Person and Family Engagement,” will feature guest presenters

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  • An Executive Q&A with Dr. Chisara Asomugha

    December 16, 2015

    Chisara N. Asomugha, M.D., MSPH, FAAP is a highly experienced physician and government official who serves as the Senior Technical Advisor/Medical Officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ). Dr. Asomugha is a recognized thought leader in community health, stakeholder

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  • CMS Leaders Laud Health Quality Progress, Urge Accelerated Improvement

    December 16, 2015

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) kicked off its annual health care quality conference, QualityNet, in Baltimore on Dec. 2, 2014 by celebrating recent health care quality accomplishments and urging attendees to accelerate the pace of improvement.Honorary guest speaker Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the 22nd secretary of the

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  • CMS' QIO Program: Navigating the New Structure

    December 16, 2015

    During a plenary session at QualityNet, Dennis Wagner, Acting Director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Clinical Standards and Quality; Jeneen Iwugo, Director of CMS’ Division of Beneficiary Healthcare Improvement and Safety; and Teresa Titus-Howard, Director of the CMS Division of End-Stage Renal

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  • One Patient’s Quest to Be Heard

    December 16, 2015

    CMS’ 2014 QualityNet conference featured a series of Master Classes, including “Real Talk: A Patient and Family Engagement Experience.” Jeanine Pilgrim, the National Learning and Action Network (LAN) Coordinator and Patient/Family Engagement Project Manager for the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) National Coordinating Center

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  • Best Practices from the Everyone with Diabetes Counts Program

    December 16, 2015

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recognizes diabetes as a serious public health concern. In 2008, CMS piloted a diabetes project serving six states, which now has been expanded to reach every state and U.S. territory.The “Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC): Engagement and Recruitment” breakout session at

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  • Lean Health Care Transformation: Start Your Journey Today

    December 16, 2015

    Dr. John Toussaint, Chief Executive Officer of ThedaCare Center For HealthCare Value, told attendees of QualityNet that he’s been to more than 140 health care organizations and 50 countries to examine their health care systems.“Across the world, I’m seeing that we need to do a number of things, including understanding the

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  • Social Media Takeaways

    December 16, 2015

    Check out the buzz from QualityNet: The CMS Healthcare Quality Conference.

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  • HHS-CMS Team Receives Highest Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    December 01, 2015

    Last month, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), honored the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) National Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Team for its work in reducing patient harm and readmissions in hospitals across the United States. CMS’ cross-agency and cross-department team,

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  • CMS Quality Conference Q&A with Jean Moody-Williams

    November 23, 2015

    Jean Moody-Williams, RN, MPP, is the Deputy Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She is a member of the leadership team responsible for one of CMS’ Centers that has more than 400 employees and a $3 billion annual budget. She is responsible for working with a

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  • CMS Quality Conference Keynote Speaker Profile: Dr. Donald Berwick

    November 23, 2015

    Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP -- President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) -- is returning to the CMS Quality Conference as a keynote speaker this year to share reflections on his time at CMS and speak about the

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  • Top 10 Ways to Maximize Your CMS Quality Conference Experience (Even if You’re Not Present!)

    November 23, 2015

    The 2015 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Quality Conference will be three days packed with learning, sharing, networking and partnering opportunities. To help ensure that you get the most out of your conference experience, we have compiled a list of 10 tips for your consideration. Some of the tips will enable non-attendees to

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  • CMS Quality Leaders, QIN-QIOs Star at Healthcare Collaborative Event

    November 23, 2015

    Several executives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and from Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) served as panelists at the first-ever Healthcare Learning Collaboratives conference organized by Cynosure Health from November 4-5, 2015 in Baltimore. The conference, which featured top

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  • Did You Know

    November 23, 2015

    With over 2,100 registered attendees this year, the CMS Quality Conference is growing! And for good reason, as this premier learning and action event will feature both new and existing participants from across the health care spectrum.

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  • HHS-CMS Team Receives Highest Award from the Department of Health and Human Services

    November 23, 2015

    Last month, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), honored the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) National Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Team for its work in reducing patient harm and readmissions in hospitals across the United States. CMS’ cross-agency and cross-department team,

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  • By the Numbers: Why QIN-QIOs Are Taking a Stand Against Diabetes

    October 29, 2015

    Diabetes is a serious public health concern, impacting millions of Medicare beneficiaries and disproportionately afflicting ethnic and minority populations across the United States. In response to these alarming statistics, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program, designed

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  • A Diabetes Care Q&A with Susan Fleck

    October 29, 2015

    Susan Fleck, RN, MMHS is the subject matter expert (SME) for the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). An 18-year employee of CMS, she has expertise in quality improvement, operations and strategic management, risk management, health policy, health information technology,

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  • Did You Know?

    October 29, 2015

    Diabetes affects 29.1 million people or 9.3 percent of the United States’ population, and there are an estimated 8.1 million more people who have diabetes but are undiagnosed. You can help bring attention to this important health issue and the QIO Program's Everyone with Diabetes Counts program by joining our Thunderclap.

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  • Atlantic Quality Innovation Network’s EDC Program Improves Quality of Life for Beneficiaries Living with Diabetes in New York

    October 29, 2015

    This article, about beneficiary recruitment and education, is part of a larger series surrounding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ diabetes self-management program, Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC). Atlantic Quality Innovation Network (AQIN), the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for New

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  • atom Alliance Gets Providers Onboard with Diabetes Self-Management Classes

    October 29, 2015

    This article, about physician recruitment, is part of a larger series surrounding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ diabetes self-management program, Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC). Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) nationwide are recruiting physicians to help enroll Medicare

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  • Arizona QIN-QIO Teams Up with City of Phoenix to Promote Local Seniors Getting Fit and Managing Diabetes

    October 29, 2015

    This article, about community partner recruitment, is part of a larger series surrounding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ diabetes self-management program, Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC). Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Arizona, California,

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  • TMF Partners with Local Pharmacists to Increase Sustainability Efforts for Diabetes Care

    October 29, 2015

    This article, focusing on sustainability, is part of a larger series surrounding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ diabetes self-management program, Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC). “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” is the motto TMF, the Quality Innovation

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  • Telligen Employs DSME Data to Drive EDC Recruitment

    October 29, 2015

    This article, focusing on data utilization, is part of a larger series surrounding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ diabetes self-management program, Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC). With a data-driven approach to quality improvement, Telligen, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for

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  • CMS Awards 16 Partnership-Driven Special Innovation Projects to 10 QIN-QIOs

    October 29, 2015

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) QIO Program has awarded 16 two-year Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) to 10 regional Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs). With a combined value of just under $10 million, the SIPs are quality improvement projects that align with the goals of the CMS

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  • An Executive Q&A with Paul McGann

    September 30, 2015

    Paul McGann, MD is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Quality Improvement at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). His position is located in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality in the Quality Improvement and Innovation Group. Dr. McGann also serves as the Co-Director of CMS Partnership for Patients (PfP), launched

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  • Five Key Ways to Optimize EHRs for Better Patient Health

    September 30, 2015

    Through field-tested methods, experienced providers have developed proven approaches to improving patient health by leveraging electronic health record (EHR) data and optimizing use of the patient portal. Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG)—the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Arizona, California,

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  • Kentucky Collaboration Promotes Patient Portal Usage

    September 30, 2015

    Data-driven health care is the focus of Kentucky’s Meaningful Use Workgroup, a committee of local health care organizations with a shared goal of supporting the statewide adoption of health information technology (HIT) across all

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  • By the Numbers: QIN-QIOs Surpass Recruitment Goals for Quality Improvement Initiatives

    September 30, 2015

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program helps drive positive change in the nation’s health care system through its data-driven, results-oriented focus. The Program also supports CMS’ ongoing push for greater data transparency. CMS Quality Innovation Network-QIOs (QIN-QIOs) nationwide

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  • Wisconsin Health Systems Share Data to Transform Care Quality, Efficiency

    September 30, 2015

    Wisconsin providers are making great strides in health care innovation as part of a statewide organization of eight top-performing health care systems. Through a unique and growing strategic partnership, AboutHealth is dedicated to sharing data and best practices to improve clinical quality, increase efficiency and enhance the customer experience

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  • QIO Program National Learning Series for Health Care Providers Pt. II: "Unleashing the Power of Data"

    September 30, 2015

    The Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program will be holding the next installment of its free “Sharing Knowledge, Improving Health Care“ learning series for health care providers on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 from 3-4 p.m., EST. The virtual training session, entitled “Unleashing the Power of Data,” will feature guest presenter Stephen F.

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  • Did You Know?

    September 30, 2015

    The QIO Program website has been refreshed to provide health care providers, partners, patients, families and other stakeholders with the most up-to-date information in an easily accessible format. As we work to improve health care quality, we continually share new knowledge. Be sure to bookmark our home page and stay on top of the most recent

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  • Top 10 Takeaways from Concordium 2015 Conference

    September 30, 2015

    AcademyHealth’s inaugural Concordium 2015 conference -- held in Washington, D.C. in September 2015 -- brought together individuals and organizations working with big health data to integrate evidence, practice and policy in the delivery system setting. The goal of the conference was to advance the strategic development and use of evidence

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  • An Executive Q&A with Jeneen Iwugo

    September 01, 2015

    Jeneen Iwugo is the Deputy Director of the Quality Improvement and Innovation Group (QIIG) in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In that role, she is responsible for the management and operations of five divisions, including Beneficiary Healthcare Improvement and Safety;

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  • QIN-QIOs Awarded Contracts to Improve Identification of Behavioral Health Conditions

    September 01, 2015

    In July 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded six Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) from the CMS QIO Program a four-year contract to improve the identification of behavioral health conditions among Medicare beneficiaries in primary care and care transitions settings. Under the

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  • Diabetes Education Spurs Couple to Become Community Health Advocates

    September 01, 2015

    Allen Cozine and his family had what they thought was a normal lifestyle and diet. Cozine enjoyed cooking meals, the kids played outdoors with their friends in the neighborhood, and Cozine’s wife Janice was active in their children’s school. However, as they would come to learn, the food they were consuming was having a negative impact on their

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  • Telligen Partnership Brings Vaccines Directly to the Doorstep

    September 01, 2015

    Telligen – the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) serving Illinois, Iowa and Colorado – has formed a multi-faceted partnership with several industry leaders as part of a new collaborative program addressing health disparities. Aiming to raise immunization rates among seniors in Illinois, the program is driven

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  • Rural Health Learning Collaborative Spotlights Community Health Workers

    September 01, 2015

    On July 27, 2015, the National Office of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) hosted the fifth webinar installment of the Rural Health Learning Collaborative, highlighting the importance of community health workers (CHW) in meeting the access needs of rural Americans. Sponsored by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP), the

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  • Top 10 Takeaways from the 2015 Healthy Aging Summit

    September 01, 2015

    The 2015 Healthy Aging Summit, which took place July 27-28, 2015 in Washington, D.C., explored the many ways researchers, providers and stakeholder organizations are encouraging healthy lifestyles and improving the delivery of preventive services to help older Americans stay healthier longer. Here are the top 10 takeaways from the first-ever

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  • Did You Know?

    September 01, 2015

    Medicare offers an Initial Preventive Physical Exam (IPPE) -- also known as the “Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visit” -- as an introduction to Medicare and covered benefits. Medicare pays for one IPPE per beneficiary per lifetime, with the goal of promoting health and disease prevention and detection. This visit is different from a “routine

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  • An Immunization Q&A with Shiree Southerland

    July 28, 2015

    Shiree Southerland, PhD, RN, BSN, currently works as a Health Insurance Specialist within the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ), Quality Improvement and Innovation Group (QIIG) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Her primary responsibility includes serving as a Subject Matter Expert for the adult immunization

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  • Hypertension Control Champ Wins with Team-Based Care

    July 28, 2015

    Earlier this year, Peninsula Community Health Services (PCHS) – a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable, comprehensive health care services to residents of the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula areas of Washington – was named a 2014 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Champion. The health care provider was

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  • The Power to Save a Life: EDC Program Prevents Heart Attack in West Virginia Man

    July 28, 2015

    At least one Medicare beneficiary credits the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program with helping him save his own life. A West Virginia man who participated in EDC courses offered by Quality Insights –the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Louisiana

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  • Lake Superior QIN’s Top 5 Facts to Improve Adult Immunizations & Reduce Disparities

    July 28, 2015

    Lake Superior Quality Innovation Network (QIN), the Quality Innovation Network -Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, came up with a visually impactful way to convey its immunization-related work. The organization developed a brief video that highlights five key facts about improving adult vaccination

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  • Powerhouse Partnership Educates Providers on Blood Pressure Control

    July 28, 2015

    Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Arizona, California, Florida, Ohio and the U.S. Virgin Islands, recently has partnered with Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) to host local immersive cardiac health improvement programs.Under

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  • 5 Keys to Unlocking Good Health

    July 28, 2015

    Following are a handful of tips from CMS QIO Program experts that can help Medicare beneficiaries take charge of their preventive health:

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  • Did You Know?

    July 28, 2015

    If Medicare beneficiaries haven’t previously received a herpes zoster vaccination at the recommended age of 60, the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan will cover their immunization, although their co-pay may vary.

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  • A CMS 50th Anniversary Q&A with Patrick Conway

    June 29, 2015

    Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality, and CMS Chief Medical Officer. As the CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and CMS Chief Medical Officer, Conway is responsible for overseeing the programs that serve

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  • Podcast: Longtime CMS Executive and Health Quality Expert Reflects on the QIO Program

    June 29, 2015

    Stephen F. Jencks, M.D., M.P.H., is an independent consultant in health care safety and quality, member of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. His work focuses on understanding and preventing hospital readmissions and other harms from poor coordination of care, and

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  • QIO Program National Partners Help Drive Success of QIN-QIO Initiatives

    June 29, 2015

    Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) are well known for their connections and collaboration on health care quality improvement projects with a variety of agencies and organizations at the state, local and community levels. They also work closely with several QIO Program national partner initiatives that lend

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  • BFCC-QIOs Help Medicare Recipients Exercise Rights to High-Quality Health Care

    June 29, 2015

    In 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) restructured the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program to better address the needs of Medicare beneficiaries. As part of the new structure, CMS designated two Beneficiary and Family Centered Care (BFCC)-QIOs to oversee all beneficiary appeals, quality-of-care complaints and

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  • The History of the QIO Program

    June 29, 2015

    This article was originally published in our December 2014 issue. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill to make Medicare a part of Social Security coverage. The new bill went into effect July 1966 and expanded the 30-year-old Social Security program to provide hospital care, nursing home care, home nursing service and outpatient

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  • Eight CMS Takeaways Gleaned from LEAN

    June 29, 2015

    In support of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) commitment to building and implementing a culture of learning and continuous improvement, several staff members from CMS’ Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ) recently attended LEAN training at the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. CCSQ is in the process of

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  • QIO Program National Learning Series Offers Virtual Training to Health Care Providers

    June 29, 2015

    The QIO Program is launching a new, free learning series that offers health care providers nationwide the opportunity to participate in virtual training events focused on health care quality improvement. The series, entitled “Sharing Knowledge, Improving Health Care,” will feature training sessions led by recognized experts and thought leaders.

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  • Did You Know?

    June 29, 2015

    Starting today, We will be posting 50 tips in 50 days on our website and social media in honor of CMS' 50th Anniversary. The shareable tips will offer advice on advocating for patient engagement, community health and more. Check our website daily and follow @QIOProgram on Twitter to join in the celebration and catch all 50!

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  • A Care Coordination Q&A with Adebola Adeleye

    May 29, 2015

    Dr. Adebola Adeleye is an Advanced Practicing Nurse who currently works as a Nurse Consultant at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In this role, she serves as the Government Task Leader for the Coordination of Care Task for the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program. Her primary responsibilities include serving as a

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  • CDC Launches New Online Tool to Support Collaborative Community Health Improvement Work

    May 29, 2015

    In May 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a new tool aimed at supporting effective, sustainable community health initiatives. The Community Health Improvement (CHI) Navigator is an online tool that provides hospitals, health systems, public health agencies and other community stakeholders with expert-vetted

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  • Health Services Advisory Group Partners with San Diego Senior Facility to Host Successful Community Wellness Health Fair

    May 29, 2015

    Gain a first-hand view of how health care partners are impacting community health at the Celebrating Wellness Health Fair, held on July 24, 2014 in San Diego. Understanding the specific needs of a community is important when attempting to implement a community health-focused event. A successful event also requires strong collaboration between

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  • Virginia Community Partners Band Together to Ensure Safer Transitions and Better Patient Care

    May 29, 2015

    Mark Morriss is the Administrator of Trinity Mission Health & Rehab of Charlottesville, Virginia. When Morriss first began participating in the Central Virginia Transitions Collaborative (CVTC) – established in 2014 by two area hospitals, an Area Agency on Aging and VHQC, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization

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  • Public Libraries Play Host to Community Health Education Classes

    May 29, 2015

    Quality Insights, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) serving Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Louisiana, is partnering with several New Jersey libraries and community groups to provide free diabetes and chronic disease management education. It is offered as part of Everyone With Diabetes

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  • Pharmacists Assume Leadership Role in Community Health

    May 29, 2015

    The United States' evolving health care quality landscape inspired Telligen, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) serving Iowa, Illinois and Colorado, to look outside the hospital system for new care perspectives. The organization has fostered relationships among members of local communities to convene leaders

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  • QIN-QIOs Awarded Contracts to Improve Immunization Rates, Reduce Immunization Disparities in 37 U.S. States and Territories

    May 29, 2015

    In April 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded all 14 Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) from the CMS QIO Program a four-year contract to improve immunization rates and reduce immunization disparities among Medicare beneficiaries residing in 37 U.S. states and territories. Under the

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  • Did You Know?

    May 29, 2015

    Community organizations or patient advocates may contact their regional BFCC-QIO for a free presentation on how Medicare beneficiaries can file quality of care complaints or discharge appeals, as well as seek Immediate Advocacy. Presentations will be conducted via webinar or in-person, depending on your location. Contact your BFCC-QIO for

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  • A Long-Term Care Q&A with Carmen Winston

    May 01, 2015

    Carmen Winston, MHSA, BSN, BA, currently serves as Government Task Leader for the QIO Program’s Nursing Home Task at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In that capacity, she is responsible for overseeing Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations’ (QIN-QIOs’) quality improvement activities with long-term

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  • Did You Know?

    May 01, 2015

    The QIO Program is in the Twitterverse! @QIOProgram, the official Program handle, is co-hosting a Twitter chat on health equity—specifically cardiac and diabetes disparities — this month with Finding Answers. Participate in #EquityChat May 12 at 2:00 p.m., ET! Also, connect with the Beneficiary and Family Centered Care-National Coordinating

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  • National Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative Aims to Create Lasting Improvements

    May 01, 2015

    The National Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative (NNHQCC) led by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) launched in April 2015 with the mission to improve care for the 1.4 million nursing home residents across the country. Specifically,

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  • Patient Engagement Key to Reducing Antipsychotic Medications in Oklahoma Nursing Home

    May 01, 2015

    From his motorized wheel chair, Bill Turley waves to friends along the hallways at the Villages of Southern Hills, a long-term care facility and his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Family pictures and musical instruments adorn his room there. He talks about his love for music and his respect for the English program at Oklahoma State University, his alma

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  • Thickened Liquid Challenge Helps Providers Understand Patient Experience

    May 01, 2015

    Dr. Eric Widera, associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Geriatrics at UCSF and director of hospice and palliative care at SFVAMC, takes the "Thickened Liquid Challenge.” A patient-centered outlook to long-term care is a key pillar of quality improvement. The Thickened Liquid Challenge is among the latest initiatives promoting

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  • Resident and Family Engagement Defines Minnesota Nursing Home’s Approach to Care

    May 01, 2015

    Patient involvement is a priority at Lakewood Health System Care Center in Staples, Minnesota. Instead of using data from surveys and reports to determine what residents want, Lakewood works directly with residents and families. The nursing home has a resident council, which meets monthly to allow residents to discuss issues that are important to

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  • A Soul Doctor and a Jazz Singer: A Conversation on End-of-Life Care

    May 01, 2015

    The Conversation Project was launched in 2010 with the goals of facilitating productive conversations on end-of-life care and empowering individuals to share how they wish to spend the final days of their lives. “Doctors and hospitals don’t often have the experience, the practice, the support that they need to sit down with the patient [and]

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  • Teamwork is Essential in Eliminating Pressure Ulcers at Texas Nursing Home

    May 01, 2015

    Ridgeview Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing in Cleburne, Texas, a partner of the TMF Quality Innovation Network (TMF QIN), has set the bar high among senior living facilities with its impressive accomplishment in preventing pressure ulcers. The facility, which provides both short-term rehabilitation and comprehensive long-term care, went 94

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  • CMS to Award Special Innovation Projects for Partnership-Driven Quality Improvement Projects

    May 01, 2015

    On April 21, CMS announced that it will award two Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) with combined maximum funding of $10 million to regional Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) from the CMS QIO Program in FY 2015. The SIPs are two-year quality improvement projects that align with the goals of the CMS Quality

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  • A Health Equity Q&A with Cara James

    April 01, 2015

    Cara James, Ph.D., is the Director of the Office of Minority Health at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In that role, she is responsible for providing leadership, vision and direction to address CMS Strategic Plan goals and objectives related to improving minority health and eliminating health disparities. She also oversees

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  • The QIO Program’s Evolving Approach to Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

    April 01, 2015

    [Note: Portions of this article were excerpted from “Hidden in Plain Sight: CMS Quality Improvement Organizations and the Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities,” prepared in June 2014 by the Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, which today is part of the Atlantic Quality Innovation Network.] According to the Centers for Disease

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  • Project BEAT IT! Breaks Down Cultural Barriers to Quality Care

    April 01, 2015

    When Fende Bokossah, R.N., was in nursing school more than five years ago, she didn’t realize she would eventually be among the statistics she learned about in her textbooks. However, when she was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011, Bokossah knew her family history of diabetes played an integral role. “It didn’t hit home until I actually got

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  • Through REACH, CDC Addresses Health Gaps in Minority Populations

    April 01, 2015

    The future of overall health for Americans will be determined in large part by how effectively health organizations and communities address the complex issues that contribute to a persistent gap among minority ethnic and racial populations. Often driven by cultural, social, environmental, community and individual factors, these disparities

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  • HSAG Resource Helps Physicians Close the Gap in Minority Disparities

    April 01, 2015

    California’s environment encompasses more than beautiful beaches and mountain ranges; its great expanse is also home to significant health care disparities. The largest Hispanic population in the United States lives in California and is one of three ethnic groups most affected by cardiovascular disease, along with African Americans and

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  • BFCC-QIOs Debut New Online Tools for Beneficiaries and Providers

    April 01, 2015

    The QIO Program’s two regional Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care-QIOs (BFCC-QIOs) – KEPRO and Livanta – help Medicare beneficiaries who have a complaint about the quality of their care or who want to appeal a health care provider’s decision to discharge them from the hospital or to discontinue other types of services. Both BFCC-QIOs recently

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  • Introducing the 2014 QIO Program Progress Report

    April 01, 2015

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published the 2014 Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program Progress Report. Available to view and download on the QIO Program website, the report provides a brief overview of recent changes to the QIO Program structure, identifies high-level Program goals, highlights recent success

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  • Did You Know?

    April 01, 2015

    Did you know that the age-adjusted death rate from diabetes is 40.5 per 100,000 persons for African Americans, more than double the rate for Caucasians (19.9 per 100,000)? Click here to learn more.

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  • A Patient Safety Q&A with Anita Thomas

    March 03, 2015

    Anita Thomas, Pharm.D is the QIO Program’s Patient Safety Program lead. In this role, she supports work on improving coordination of care, reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in hospitals, reducing healthcare-acquired conditions (HACs) in nursing homes, and improving medication safety across

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  • New QIN-QIO Tools Support ADE Reduction

    March 03, 2015

    Published in 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event (ADE) Prevention serves as a road map for coordinating federal efforts to reduce preventable ADEs and for raising awareness of the importance of medication safety. The plan identifies efforts to measure and prevent ADEs, and outlines future

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  • HSAG Uses CDC’s TAP Strategy to Reduce Harmful HAIs

    March 03, 2015

    Behind every health care-associated infection is a patient and family whose lives are affected. Thus, when seven CMS Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) were approached by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct a pilot to reduce catheter-associated urinary traction infections (CAUTI), they jumped at the chance. Under

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  • Jerri’s Story: An Interruption in an Elder’s Happiness

    March 03, 2015

    Jerri Allen* was a vibrant 72-year-old who had always been active and had recently reached the point where she could no longer function well. She had experienced hip pain for years and seen promising results in several friends who had undergone a hip replacement procedure. She was excited about getting her own hip replacement procedure behind her

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  • Hospitals Making Significant Progress in Reducing HAIs and HACs

    March 03, 2015

    Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) indicate that significant progress is being made by health care facilities across the country in lowering healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). The CDC’s National and State

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  • Safer Health Care Through Transparency

    March 03, 2015

    The National Patient Safety Foundation’s (NPSF) February 2015 webinar entitled “Shining A Light: Safer Health Care Through Transparency” featured highlights from the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute’s (LLI) new report on the role of transparency in patient safety. Tejal Gandhi, president and chief executive officer of NPSF, moderated a panel of

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  • Observing Patient Safety Awareness Week

    March 03, 2015

    Everyone in the health care process plays a role in delivering safe care. Patient Safety Awareness Week (PSAW) is an annual education and awareness campaign for improving patient health outcomes and safety, led by the National Patient Safety Foundation. To bring awareness to this issue, we encourage providers, patients and other stakeholders to

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  • Did You Know?

    March 03, 2015

    Over the course of 2011 to 2014, hospitals participating with QIOs contributed to a 53 percent relative improvement rate in central line-associated blood stream infection reduction and 85,149 fewer days with urinary catheters for Medicare beneficiaries.

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  • A Heart Health Q&A with Cynthia Pamon

    January 31, 2015

    Cynthia Pamon 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 improving the health status of communities initiative. She also is the Government Task Leader for the Home Health Quality Improvement National

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  • Check. Change. Control. Program Empowers People to Monitor and Manage Blood Pressure

    January 31, 2015

    To improve heart health through blood pressure control in Sacramento, California, the American Heart Association (AHA) and Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG) – the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Arizona, California, Florida, Ohio and the U.S. Virgin Islands – partnered to offer an eight-week health

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  • Play 4 Prevention – Engaging Native Populations to Improve Cardiac Health

    January 31, 2015

    When Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Montana, Wyoming, Hawaii and Alaska, launched the Play 4 Prevention program in Hawaii in 2013, its goal was simple: to develop an interactive and engaging way to improve the cardiac health of native populations.

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  • Combining Forces for Cardiac Improvement

    January 31, 2015

    Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Georgia, accounting for one-third of all deaths throughout the state. As a result, reducing disparities from heart disease and stroke has become a state priority. Alliant Quality, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Georgia and North Carolina, is

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  • Using Data to Reduce Hospital Readmissions in Rhode Island

    January 31, 2015

    Ideally, when patients are hospitalized, their outpatient doctors are aware so they have all the necessary information to provide appropriate follow-up care. If outpatient doctors don’t have this information, they can’t properly treat patients, which can lead to preventable and unnecessary hospital readmissions. To bridge this

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  • Did You Know?

    January 31, 2015

    …One in every four deaths in America is from heart disease? Million Hearts® is working to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes. By 2017, the initiative aims to reduce America’s smokers by 6.3 million and daily sodium intake by 20 percent, as well as add 10 million people to the blood pressure “safe zone.” For

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  • An Executive Q&A with Dennis Wagner

    November 30, 2014

    As the new acting director for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, Quality Improvement Group (QIG), Dennis Wagner, MPA, is responsible for the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program and End Stage Renal Disease Networks. In this role, he supports CMS’ mission to improve the

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  • QualityNet: The CMS Healthcare Quality Conference

    November 30, 2014

    More than 1,250 health care quality stakeholders from the Quality Improvement Organization Program, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks, Medicaid grantees and other health care organizations will convene December 2-4, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland for the 2014 CMS Healthcare Quality Conference.This year’s theme, Moving from Vision to Reality,

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  • Event Spotlight: Collaborating for Community Health

    November 30, 2014

    Health industry thought leaders gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on November 5, 2014 to introduce the November 2014 Issue of Health Affairs. The issue, “Collaborating for Community Health,” examines new possibilities created by aligning the fields of health care and community development.“Providers are coming to understand

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  • Managing Diabetes, Transforming Health

    November 30, 2014

    When John*, a Medicare beneficiary from West Virginia, enrolled in diabetes self-management education (DSME) classes through the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program, he had no idea they would end up saving his life.The EDC program is administered by Quality Insights – the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for

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  • The History of the QIO Program

    November 30, 2014

    Click the video image at right to watch a short documentary on the QIO Program's history.In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill to make Medicare a part of Social Security coverage. The new bill went into effect July 1966 and expanded the 30-year-old Social Security program to provide hospital care, nursing home care, home nursing service

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  • Did You Know?

    November 30, 2014

    Long-stay nursing home residents’ antipsychotic use has decreased nearly 19 percent since 2012. Furthermore, the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, which includes CMS and private-sector organizations, has set a goal to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications by 25 percent before the end of 2015.See this October

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  • Dear Reader

    July 16, 2014

    The Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program is preparing to undergo a major transformation, a change that will further enhance the quality of services delivered to Medicare beneficiaries. Beginning August 1, 2014, the QIO Program will move to a new functional model in which one group of QIOs will handle quality of care complaints and

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  • Beneficiary and Family Centered Care - Quality Improvement Organizations (BFCC-QIOs)

    July 16, 2014

    Area 1 – Livanta9090 Junction Drive, Suite 10 Annapolis Junction, MD 20701Toll-free: 866-815 5440www.BFCCQIOAREA1.comArea 2 – KEPRO 5201 W. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 900 Tampa, FL 33609Toll-free: 844-455-8708www.keproqio.com Area 3 – KEPRO 5700 Lombardo Center Dr., Suite 100 Seven Hills, OH 44131Toll-free: 844-430-9504www.keproqio.com Area 4 – KEPRO

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  • Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs)

    July 16, 2014

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  • Dear Reader

    June 30, 2014

    The Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program represents the cornerstone of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) efforts to advance the quality of health care for Medicare beneficiaries. In order to broaden awareness of this national program and provide transparent information about its work, CMS is proud to announce

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  • Quality Talk

    June 30, 2014

    Brian Jack, M.D. is Professor of Family Medicine and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine. As the Principal Investigator for the "Re-Engineered Discharge" (Project RED) process, he leads a research team whose work to improve hospital discharge processes has been

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  • QIOs in Action

    June 30, 2014

    Oregon Nursing Homes Address Readmissions with In-house Primary CareAcumentra Health, the QIO for Oregon, helped inspire the adaptation of a system of in-house primary care that greatly reduced readmission rates at three Pinnacle Healthcare, Inc. nursing homes. The new system allows the nursing homes to better coordinate care and address many

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  • Creating a Culture of Ownership to Improve Care

    June 30, 2014

    Jeffrey A. Flaks is Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Hartford HealthCare (HHC), a more than $2 billion health care system based in Connecticut’s state capital. Flaks previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hartford Hospital, HHC’s flagship tertiary care center. Before being named CEO, Flaks served as Hartford

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  • What Care Integration Means to Me

    June 30, 2014

    Charles Pascale, a 67-year-old resident of East Brunswick, N.J., was diagnosed with diabetes in the early 1990s. In 2005, he underwent bypass surgery and was re-hospitalized six times in 2010 and two times in 2011 and 2012. After many tests and procedures, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, End Stage Renal Disease,

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  • Engaging Patients and Families to Make the Discharge Process SMARTer

    June 30, 2014

    One in five hospital stays are complicated by a post-discharge adverse event and one in four readmissions occur within 30 days as the result of poor discharge care caused by rushed communication and poor handoffs. In 2011, Anne Arundel Medical Center, a community hospital located in Annapolis, Md., received a grant from the Picker Institute, an

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  • Community Stakeholders Enhance Shared-Decision Making in Minnesota

    June 30, 2014

    Research has shown that when patients are actively involved in their health care, they tend to have better outcomes. One emerging strategy that conveys this idea is shared decision-making (SDM) – the process of using medical evidence and patient values to come to a conclusion about treatment. The Minnesota Shared Decision-Making Collaborative

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  • Reducing High Blood Pressure through Patient Education

    June 30, 2014

    Known as the “silent killer,” high blood pressure often goes undetected until it causes heart disease or a stroke. One of the ways to reduce the severe health consequences of high blood pressure is by educating patients about the risks. MPRO, the Quality Improvement Organization for Michigan, is addressing high blood pressure in two counties by

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  • Dear Reader

    February 28, 2014

    As we continue to work together to improve the quality and safety of patient care, it’s imperative that we also strive to achieve health equity.According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s 2012 National Healthcare Disparities Report, health care quality and access are sub-optimal, especially for minority and low-income groups.

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  • Quality Talk

    February 28, 2014

    Chisara N. Asomugha, M.D., MSPH, FAAP is a recognized thought leader in community health, stakeholder engagement, advocacy and gender equity. Her portfolio of work at CMS includes activities related to value-based purchasing, quality improvement and population health. Prior to joining CMS, she served as Deputy Mayor/Community Services

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  • QIOs in Action

    February 28, 2014

    Qsource Helps Providers Securely Share Patient InformationQsource, the QIO for Tennessee, recently launched a service aimed at improving the exchange of patient information between health care providers and other caregivers. Qsource developed the Direct Technology system in partnership with the state Office of eHealth Initiatives. Providers can

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  • View from the Top

    February 28, 2014

    Over the course of her 30-year career, Dr. Tina Castañares has worked as a primary care clinician at three of Oregon’s migrant health centers. An original member of the Oregon Health Services Commission, Dr. Castañares assisted in the pioneering, priority-setting work that helped create the Oregon Health Plan. She also served as the

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  • The Profound Role of Listening in Patient-Centered Care

    February 28, 2014

    At a Salt Lake City, Utah-based Learning and Action Network event organized by HealthInsight, the Quality Improvement Organization for Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, mother and son team Vicki and Kevin Whiting shared with a crowd of more than 150 medical professionals their health care story. After a long journey and a mother finding the heart to

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  • Wyoming QIO Brings Together Stakeholders to Improve Care Transitions and Reduce Readmissions

    February 28, 2014

    Within 30 days of being discharged from the hospital, about one in five Medicare beneficiaries are re-hospitalized, and as many as three in four of those readmissions could have been prevented. The process by which patients move from hospitals to other

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  • New York’s QIO and HEN Align Efforts for Better Quality Hospital Care

    February 28, 2014

    In an effort to reduce health care-acquired infections (HAIs), adverse drug events (ADEs) and hospital readmissions, Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) and Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) are working together to make hospitals safer, more reliable and less costly for both the facility and the patient.IPRO, the QIO for New York, and the

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  • Reducing Off-Label Use of Antipsychotics in New Jersey Long-Term Care Settings

    February 28, 2014

    Medications offer a variety of benefits, but they can come with great risk when not prescribed, administered or managed properly. Older adults are twice as likely to visit the emergency department and seven times more likely to be hospitalized due to adverse drug events (ADEs) than people under age 65. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid

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  • Dear Reader

    January 31, 2014

    We can say with assurance that the work we have been doing at the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program is successfully transforming the quality of health care for Medicare beneficiaries nationwide. QIOs have embraced national level initiatives like improving cardiovascular health and nursing home quality, and have effectively pushed

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  • Quality Talk

    January 31, 2014

    Shari Ling, M.D., serves as Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. She is responsible for assisting the CMS Chief Medical Officer in the agency’s pursuit of better patient care, healthier populations and communities, and lower costs through

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  • QIOs in Action

    January 31, 2014

    Alliant GMCF Medical Director Named President of American Health Quality AssociationDr. Adrienne Mims, Medical Director of Alliant GMCF, the QIO for Georgia, was named president of the American Health Quality Association (AHQA) in July 2013, and will hold the position for one year. In this role, Mims will lead the AHQA Board of Directors and

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  • Giving Patients a Voice in Care Decisions

    January 31, 2014

    Dr. Michael J. Barry became president of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation in 2009, transitioning from his previous role as chief medical editor. The foundation strives to improve the quality of medical decisions through better patient education and greater patient involvement, which have been themes of Barry’s own research. Barry has

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  • My Transition from Patient to Patient Advocate

    January 31, 2014

    Virna Elly, a patient with Type 1 Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease, tells how becoming her own spokeswoman led to a life of educating others with chronic conditions and inspiring them to leverage every available resource to create a healthier life. The roots of her work in patient advocacy are in her childhood.My patient story began back in

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  • Diabetes Self-Management Education Empowers Mississippians

    January 31, 2014

    In the U.S., 18.8 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, but more concerning is the estimated seven million people who remain undiagnosed, according to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Educating people about how to manage their diabetes allows them to better control the disease and understand the potential complications such as

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  • Oklahoma QIO Leans on Trusted Partners to Improve Native American Heart Health

    January 31, 2014

    Well over 300,000 Native Americans in Oklahoma live on tribally-owned land, with many in primarily rural areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Native Americans also have some of the highest rates of heart disease since they are less likely to seek medical care at the early stages of illness.The state’s Quality Improvement Organization

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  • Gateway Senior Living’s Approach to Quality Nursing Home Care

    January 31, 2014

    Established 50 years ago, Gateway Senior Living is the first retirement community in Lincoln, Neb. that began to provide both assisted living and senior health care to its residents. It is currently home to just over 60 residents and includes a small skilled nursing facility that works daily to ensure high-quality living standards and provided

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