March 2015


New Nursing CEs available through HHQI University

On March 2, HHQI added a third online educational course to the Cardiovascular Health catalog in HHQI University. Nurses who successfully complete the Tobacco Effects & Cessation Medications course will receive 1.0 hours of free Continuing Education (CE) credits. Others completing the course will receive a certificate of completion. Many state and national therapy organizations will apply these certificates toward CE requirements. Please check with your organization's specifics.


HHQI logo

Other courses offering CEs currently available through HHQI University include:

  • The State of Cardiovascular Health
    (1.0 hrs Nursing CEs)
  • Blood Pressure Control & Smoking Cessation
    (1.5 hrs Nursing CEs)


Visit the HHQI University page on the HHQI website to learn how to enroll.


Congratulations to the new HHQI Agency of the Month

"Activa Home Health is honored to be selected as the March 2015 Agency of The Month by the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign.  Thank you to HHQI for recognizing Activa's commitment to Quality Improvement, reducing hospitalizations and improving the management of Oral Medications.  Congratulations to our entire professional team for their dedication to excellence and the understanding that teamwork fosters success."
Activa Home Health logo

Maria N. Alba
Activa Home Health
Boynton Beach, FL

Would you like the chance to show the nation how committed to quality improvement your home health agency is? Nominate your agency today.

March 12 @ 2pm ET
A Wealth of Home Health Support at Your Fingertips

Is your agency facing a specific QI challenge? Chances are, another agency in the HHQI community has had a similar experience, and they might be able to offer some advice and resources.


HHQI's next LiveChat is Thursday, March12 at 2pm (ET), and it's the perfect opportunity to network with the HHQI team and other home health agencies. LiveChat is a casual, online forum where home health professionals can learn from each other by asking questions and sharing best practices.


We hope you'll join us! Set an email reminder now.
March 17 @ 10am-3pm ET  |  Harrisburg, PA
HHQI to present at Penn Home Health & Hospice Forum

HHQI RN Project Coordinator Misty Kevech, RN, BS Ed, MS, COS-C, CCP will be presenting at the quarterly meeting of the Home Health and Hospice Forum, a joint effort between the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA) and the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP).


Ms. Kevech will discuss enhancements for HHQI's 2014-15 campaign phase, including details about the new Progressive Cardiovascular Learning & Action Network (CardioLAN), free continuing education credits through HHQI University, and upcoming Best Practice Intervention Packages (BPIPs) and educational videos for clinicians and patients.


Visit the PHA website for more information or to register.

CardioLAN Webinar: March 19 @ 2pm ET

Recognizing Women at Risk for Developing CHD


Save the Date: March 19

In support of your cardiovascular health improvement efforts, HHQI invites home health agencies and other stakeholders to join the new Progressive Cardiovascular Learning & Action Network (CardioLAN). CardioLAN members are invited to attend monthly educational webinars that focus on cardiovascular health issues.


This month, Dr. Jean McSweeney, Interim Dean for the College of Nursing at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, will present evidence-based differences on providing care to women with cardiovascular disease. Dr. McSweeney will discuss the most recent research findings differing care between the genders. 


Please join us to ensure that the care you're providing is based on the most current evidence.


Please note: If you signed up for the Home Health Cardiovascular Data Registry (HHCDR) between September 2013 and July 2014, you are already a CardioLAN member. If you would like to be removed, please email us at


Cynthia Pamon, CMS
A Heart Health Q&A with Cynthia Pamon

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 (HHQI) National Initiative. 

Ms. Pamon recently discussed the QIO Program's cardiac health initiatives in QIO News. Click here to read the interview.

National Collaboration Provides Local QI Support

HHQI is collaborating with each of the 14 Quality Innovation Network - Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) in the country in order to provide additional quality improvement assistance related to cardiovascular health. Participating home health agencies will receive support from their local QIN-QIO contacts in addition to the HHQI National Campaign team. This powerful collaboration has the potential to provide tremendous benefits to your agency and your patients.


Below is a list of upcoming HHQI presentations by state. Please join the HHQI team and your state's QIN-QIO as we discuss the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Service's cardiovascular health initiative, and learn what's in it for your agency.


OhioHealth Services
Advisory Group (HSAG)
March 11, 2015Register Now
IdahoQualis HealthMarch 18, 2015Watch for Details
WashingtonQualis HealthMarch 18, 2015Watch for Details


Announcement from Millions Hearts
2014 Hypertension Control Challenge Champions Named

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Million Hearts initiative recently recognized 30 public and private health care practices and systems across the country as Hypertension Control Champions for their success in helping patients control high blood pressure.


The 2014 Hypertension Control Champions include private and tribal clinical practices and health services, ranging from solo practitioners to large systems and representing both urban and rural areas. Together they care for more than 3.5 million adult patients in 19 different states. Each Champion was able to achieve hypertension control rates of 70 percent or more.



Colon Cancer Awareness: Dress in Blue on March 6

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death. But it doesn't have to be this way; through screening, it is one of the most preventable diseases.

Dress in Blue Day™ 2015 is on Friday, March 6. Get decked out in your favorite shade of blue and snap a photo to share with us on HHQI's Facebook page! Or you can email your photos to

Thanks for Participating in National "Wear Red Day"!

1 in 3 women die from heart disease and stroke each year. On the first Friday of each February, the American Heart Association encourages the nation to wear red in an effort to bring attention to the fact that 80% of cardiac events can be prevented with educational and lifestyle changes. 

Thanks to everyone who participated and to All About You! Home Care Services and WVMI & Quality Insights for sharing your photos!



CMS Special Open Door Forums
Discussion of Face-to-Face Documentation Forms


CMS is hosting several Special Open Door Forums to discuss voluntary paper or electronic clinical templates for Face-to-Face documentation.  The forms are being developed with input from physicians/practitioners and Home Health Agencies.  The initial call was held in February with additional calls scheduled for March 11, April 8, and May 6 at 1 pm (ET).


Click here to learn more and to see sample forms and PowerPoint handouts from February's session.

Geriatric Home Health Resources from CHAMP

Champ logo 

The Collaborate for Homecare Advances in Management and Practice (CHAMP) Program was the first national initiative to advance home care excellence for older people. CHAMP's valuable resources and e-presentations are still available online.