Tuesday, November 1, 2016
In Practice 
Tips, Tools & Education for Improving Outpatient Care
VHQC is Now Health Quality Innovators (HQI)
Terri Lindsey, Improvement Consultant with Health Quality Innovators (HQI), is a Health Quality Innovator because "I want patients, families and caregivers to receive healthcare at home." Terri was one of many HQI team members who shared why they are innovators.
CMS News
Informal Review Request Period for the 2017 Value Modifier Open through November 30

The 2015 Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) were released on September 26, 2016. The 2015 Annual QRURs show how physician groups and physician solo practitioners performed in 2015 on the quality and cost measures used to calculate the 2017 Value Modifier as well as their 2017 Value Modifier payment adjustment. Access and review your 2015 Annual QRUR now to determine whether you are subject to the 2017 Value Modifier payment adjustment.

An Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) account with the appropriate role is required for groups and solo practitioners to obtain their 2015 Annual QRURs. The How to Obtain a QRUR webpage contains instructions for signing up for the appropriate role in EIDM and instructions for accessing the QRUR.

Physician groups or physician solo practitioners may request an informal review of perceived errors in their 2017 Value Modifier calculation during the informal review period of September 26, 2016 through November 30, 2016 at 11:59 pm at Eastern Time. Additional information about the 2015 Annual QRURs and how to request an informal review is available on the 2015 QRUR and 2017 Value Modifier webpage.

Helpdesk Information:
  • For additional assistance regarding EIDM, contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 1-866-288-8912 (TTY1-877-715- 6222) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday, or via email at qnetsupport@hcqis.org .
  • For additional assistance regarding the QRUR or the Value Modifier, contact the Physician Value Help Desk at pvhelpdesk@cms.hhs.gov or 888-734-6433 (select option 3).
Quality Payment Program Offers Innovative Opportunities for Clinicians
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new opportunities for clinicians to join Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) developed by the CMS Innovation Center to improve care and potentially earn an incentive payment under the Quality Payment Program created through the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The Quality Payment Program rewards clinicians with sufficient participation in Advanced APMs that align incentives for high-quality, patient-centered care. By giving more clinicians the opportunity to participate in these models, the announcement will extend the benefits of high-quality, coordinated care to more Medicare beneficiaries.

"Every day, the CMS Innovation Center is improving the future of Medicare by testing innovative care models across the country," said CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt. "Now, thanks to the bipartisan MACRA, clinicians have more opportunities and motivation to join these evidence-based approaches, which aim to improve care quality while creating cost savings."

Continue reading
Free HQI Webinar
Leverage Your EHR to Implement Blood Pressure Control and Treatment
Thursday, November 17 from noon to 1 PM

Join healthcare colleagues in Maryland and Virginia as Holly Dahlman, MD, FACP, a physician at Green Spring Internal Medicine in Maryland, describes an innovative approach to improving hypertension control. She will discuss how the practice uses their electronic health record system to implement effective blood pressure treatment protocols. 

Free HQI Resource
On Demand Webinar Discusses Using Patient Demographic Data to Address Health Disparities
Despite the many advances in healthcare, racial and ethnic minorities continue to experience health disparities, resulting in higher costs, lower quality of care and poor health outcomes. Listen as Megan Douglas, JD and Dr. Dominic Mack from the National Center for Primary Care identify strategies to collect and use demographic data to eliminate disparities. Access the recording here
Provider Resources
Tools and Strategies for Treating Chronic Pain
Are you struggling to help your patients manage chronic pain and reduce opioid use? PainNET, a flexible online learning community developed by CHC's Weitzman Institute, promotes the sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices. As a member of PainNET, providers and primary care practices receive free access to a library of tools and resources, a community forum, and more. For a subscription fee, members gain access to Project ECHOŽ for additional support and training or Pain eConsults for prompt consultations with pain specialists. Registration is free: http://painnet.net/.

Vital Signs: Disparities in Antihypertensive Medication Non-adherence 
More than 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not adhere to their blood pressure regimes. Tables 1, 2, and 3 in this Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report make comparisons by region, gender, age, race, income, number of agents, health status, number of prescribers, and FFS vs Advantage plan.

Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook          Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn 
This material was prepared by Health Quality Innovators (HQI), the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for Maryland and Virginia, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy.