September 2015
brought to you by the Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) National Campaign

Connect with HHQI on social media for valuable information and free resources related to health observances throughout the month of September. To kick things off, check out this educational 5-minute video from T.O.N.E. Home Health Services, Inc. about a life-threatening complication that kills 258,000 Americans every year.
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Congratulations to the new HHQI Agency of the Month

The mission of Home Health of Montana is to lead in the provision of patient-focused, superior home health care services in our neighborhoods and community, providing the same level of care and concern to our patients that we would provide to our own family members and loved ones. We deeply appreciate the faith and truth that patients and families place in us when we are invited into their home to provide care, and we guard that faith and trust carefully each and every day.

Nedra Gasvoda, RN
Home Health of Montana

Be in the spotlight. If your home health agency is active in the HHQI National Campaign and close to the national, risk-adjusted ACH 20th percentile and/or Oral Medication Improvement 80th percentile (or better), your agency is eligible for random selection as HHQI Agency of the Month. Nominate your agency today! 


More free HHQI resources now on YouTube 

Earlier in 2015, HHQI created a series of professionally produced videos designed to educate patients and clinicians on a variety of cardiovascular health topics. Ten information-packed videos help explain specific cardiovascular health issues and best practices for improvement 
in just 5-8 minutes. These helpful resources, as well as an extensive library of past HHQI webinars, are now available on HHQI's YouTube channel.

Browse HHQI's YouTube playlists and share your favorites!



Save the Dates: New "Third Thursdays" Event Schedule
Home health professionals are busy. Now, there's an understatement. In order to make the most of your limited time, HHQI's three primary online Networking events - LiveChat, Cardiovascular Learning & Action Network (CardioLAN) webinars, and Underserved 
Populations (UP) webinars - will each be held quarterly, rotating to always occur from 2-3pm (ET) on the third Thursday of the month.

Click on the Networking Event type below for specific dates and available registration or reminder links. You can also browse our online event calendar.


HHQI will be presenting two education sessions during the 2015 National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., on October 30. Attendees will receive valuable guidance and resources from HHQI RN Project Coordinators Misty Kevech, Crystal Welch, and Cindy Sun.

  • Session 610: How to Understand and Utilize HHQI's Cardiovascular QAPI Plan
  • Session 710: How to Improve Outcomes Related to Influenza & Pneumococcal Immunization (with special guest speaker Mary McGoldrick, MS, RN, CRNI, Infection Preventionist and Consultant for HH, Home Health Systems, Inc., St. Simons Island, GA)

You can also visit the HHQI team at Expo Booth #1026.

November 3 Webinar: Unleashing the Power of Data

Please consider joining the Quality Improvement Organization-Quality Innovation Network (QIN-QIO) National Coordinating Center (NCC) for their next National Learning & Action Network (LAN) webinar, Unleashing the Power of Data! This session in the Sharing Knowledge, Improving Health Care Series is open to QIN-QIOs, partners, providers, and beneficiaries.

Registration is required. Reserve your spot for this free webinar now: 


Upcoming Deadlines

September 8 - Comments due on CMS proposed update to Physician Fee Schedule
September 10 - Applications due for Million Hearts® CVD Risk Reduction Model
September 18 - Applications due for Family Caregiver Alliance's 2015 Gilbert Awards
CMS proposes changes to OASIS integumentary items

Proposed OASIS data set changes for CY 2017 include the addition of items allowing risk adjustment of the pressure ulcer measure (including reporting of height and weight to allow calculation of BMI, and reporting of PVD, PAD and DM as active diagnoses.) Additionally, changes to existing OASIS items M1308 - Current Number of Unhealed Pressure Ulcers at Each Stage or Unstageable, and M1309 Worsening in Pressure Ulcer Status since SOC/ROC are being proposed. CMS will accept comments online until September 4th.

Learn more from OASIS Answers. 

CDC updates vaccine information statements  

Both influenza vaccine information statements (VIS) - IIV and LAIV - have been updated for the 2015-16 flu season, and may be used immediately.

Important note:  These flu VISs, for the first time, are designed NOT to be specific to a single flu season.  In other words, they may be used next year, and in future years, unless there are significant changes to influenza vaccine recommendations that would require them to change.

Million Hearts« launches annual BP control challenge

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently launched an annual challenge designed to identify and honor clinicians and health care teams that have helped their patients control high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The Million Hearts« Hypertension Control Challenge recognizes exemplary public and private practices and providers that achieve sustained hypertension control rates of 70 percent or above. The challenge was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in support of Million Hearts, an HHS initiative aimed at preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

VNAA Blog: Ron Wyden talks home health

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) spoke recently at a typically Washington, D.C. health briefing sponsored by National Journal. Wyden is Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee and a long time progressive advocate for health care reform. His remarks focus on "four major reforms in the next 50 years." His first likely reform is that Medicaid and Medicare will lead a revolution in caring for people at home. Learn more on the VNAA blog site.
Court reinstates wage rule for home care workers

On August 21, a federal appeals court reinstated Obama administration regulations that guarantee overtime and minimum wage protection to roughly 2 million home health care workers who provide companionship services or live-in care. Learn more.
CMS to extend initiative to improve nursing facility care

On August 27, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new funding opportunity designed to enhance the Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents. The funding opportunity will allow the organizations currently participating in the Initiative to apply to test whether a new payment model for nursing facilities and practitioners will further reduce avoidable hospitalizations, lower combined Medicare and Medicaid spending, and improve the quality of care received by nursing facility residents.


September 11, 2015
10:30-11:45am CT
OnlineHealth Sciences InstituteBehavioral Intervention Technologies for Depression Roles, Research, Risks & Benefits
September 16, 2015
Charleston, WVThe Alzheimer's AssociationHands-On Dementia Experience
October 3, 2015
8:30am-12:30pm PT
San Francisco, CAFamily Cargiver Alliance4th Annual Latino Forum
October 26-27, 2015
Los Angeles, CANHF, PFCC Partners & HSAG6th Annual Patient and Family Centered Care Conference
November 6, 2015
10:30-11:45am CT
OnlineHealth Sciences Institute
Motivational Interviewing for Medication Adherence: Considerations for Telephonic Delivery
December 4, 2015
10:30-11:45am CT
OnlineHealth Sciences Institute
Engaging Patients and Families In Their Care: What It Will Take
Geriatric Home Health Resources from CHAMP

Champ logo 

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

This material was prepared by Quality Insights, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization supporting the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. 

Publication number 11SOW-WV-HH-MMD-090315