Call for Nominations: Annual Champions of Health Event

May 5, 2015
Individuals, groups and organizations that are changing the health of Oklahomans through innovative programming are encouraged to apply for the 2015 Champions of Health awards – a cause sponsored by the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ) and other healthcare community partners. For 12 years, the awards program has honored more than 150 organizations, projects and programs working to reverse the negative health statistics in the state.

All winners will be recognized at the Champions of Health gala on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa. Johnny Bench, an Oklahoma native and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, will be the 2015 keynote speaker. The Champions of Health Gala benefits the Oklahoma Caring Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides Oklahoma children with immunizations at no charge.

Nominations for the 2015 awards will be accepted by mail or online submission through May 28. Award categories include: Champion of Children’s Health, Champion of Senior Health, Champion of the Uninsured, Community Health Champion and Corporate Health Champion. Details and requirements for nominations can be found at www.championsofhealth.org/nominations.html.

Nonprofit winners in select categories will receive a $5,000 contribution toward their organization or program, and will be considered for the highest honor, the Dr. Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health Award. This recipient will receive a $15,000 contribution.

The Champions of Health awards program is presented by the Office of the Governor - Native American Liaison, the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, OFMQ, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, the Oklahoma Primary Care Association, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma State Medical Association in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma.

To learn how to nominate a Champion of Health or to view video highlights from last year’s gala, visit championsofhealth.org.
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OFMQ’s Work Highlighted on AHRQ National Webinar

February 26, 2015

Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ) received national attention for its participation in a project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) during a recent webinar entitled, “A National Web Conference on Projects to Inform Stage 3 Meaningful Use Requirements through Evidence,” hosted by AHRQ.  OFMQ was a partner, along with the Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC), for the 2-year initiative led by the Lewin group. OFMQ provided critical evaluations of Stage 3 Meaningful Use (MU) objectives in rural ambulatory/outpatient settings.

The project outcomes helped to identify recommended Electronic Health Record (EHR) innovations, specifically those associated with Clinical Decision Support (CDS). While there was a high rate of provider interest the project identified many challenges and concerns with full meaningful use of EHRs. The project findings will fill critical knowledge gaps that will help inform MU policy and barriers associated with implementation of Stage 3 MU.

Since 1972, OFMQ has been Oklahoma’s leading healthcare experts in analytics, case review, education, health information technology (HIT), IT consulting, national quality measures, and quality improvement.  Since 2007, OFMQ has worked with more than 1,500 primary care providers to implement and more meaningfully use EHRs.  For more information about OFMQ’s HIT services, please email ofmqhit@ofmq.com or call (877) 963-6744.

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Dr. Brett Gray Recognized as a 2014 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Champion

February 25, 2015

OFMQ proudly congratulates Brett Gray, MD, Cherokee Nation Health Services of Salina, Oklahoma for being a 2014 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Champion. He is one of 30 recipients in the nation. OFMQ has championed the Million Hearts® initiative through multiple projects, which as a result has contributed to Oklahoma leading the nation in program pledges.­­

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

Specifically, the Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge is a competitive challenge to identify practices, clinicians, and health systems that have worked with their patients to achieve hypertension control rates at or above 70%. The Champions used a variety of hypertension control strategies to achieve the 70% control rate, including the following:

  • Designating hypertension champions within a practice or organization, providing feedback to individual clinicians and clinic sites on hypertension control rates, providing incentives for high performance, and recognizing high performers.
  • Taking action to improve medication adherence, including patient rewards for medication adherence; prescribing once-daily regimens, fixed-dose combination pills, or 90-day medication refills; and frequent follow-ups.
  • Implementing consistent, strategic use of electronic health records that include clinical decision support tools, patient reminders, and registry functionality.
  • Using team-based care models to engage a broad scope of care providers, including but not limited to pharmacists and nurses, and expanding the team-based care model to include staff trained in blood pressure measurement techniques who can assist in obtaining patients' blood pressure readings.
  • Promoting patient self-measured blood pressure monitoring with clinical support, in which patients monitor their blood pressure at home, communicate the readings to their clinician, and receive medication adjustments or lifestyle modifications.
  • Staying connected to patients by conducting outreach and providing supports, through using patient portals, implementing steps to improve appointment adherence, and following up about blood pressure checks.

For more information about the Hypertension Control Challenge and the 2014 Champions, click here.

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Oklahoma Funds Education to Support Reduction of Antipsychotic Use

February 19, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma. –The Eden Alternative® has received funds from the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) to help reduce antipsychotic use in the State of Oklahoma.  Funds will support the delivery of Dementia Beyond Drugs, a training facilitated by award-winning author and geriatrician Dr. Al Power.  The goal of this 2-day educational experience is to shift the focus of dementia care from managing so-called “difficult behaviors” to, instead, identifying and responding to the unmet needs that are typically their underlying cause.  Gone unchecked, unmet needs can lead to distress and the subsequent overuse of antipsychotic medications for those who live with dementia.

“In my nursing home work, family members would often tell me that their loved ones looked better than they had in months.  They would often ask what pill I had prescribed to cause such an improvement,” says Dr. Power.  “But it wasn’t a pill. It was because we had stopped the antipsychotic drug and found other ways of providing support.”

Oklahoma follows Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee in providing the training to hundreds of nursing home employees.  Their actions are in response to the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, an initiative of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that advocates for reducing the prescribing of antipsychotic medications.  The overuse of such medications has been proven to decrease physical mobility and quality of life, while increasing confusion, hospitalizations, falls with fractures, and, in some cases, death.  Reducing antipsychotic use not only improves overall well-being, but also decreases healthcare expenses, due to the high cost of these medications.

The Eden Alternative has secured a partnership with the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ) to help recruit participation in and co-facilitate the training, which is scheduled for May 2015 at locations in Oklahoma City, Owasso, and Enid.  Project funds will cover training registration fees for up to 650 nursing home employees statewide, as well as surveyors and long-term care ombudsmen.

“OFMQ is thrilled to be working with The Eden Alternative on this project. We both have a common commitment to helping nursing homes experience transformational change, and these regional meetings will provide a rare opportunity to bring nationally-recognized education to our Oklahoma nursing homes,” said Lisa Wynn, Chief Operating Officer of OFMQ.

According to CMS data, Oklahoma currently has a high rate of antipsychotic use for long-stay residents, exceeded only by six other states in the U.S. States that have employed an array of interventions, including the use of available funds to provide Dementia Beyond Drugs training, are beginning to see a difference.  Statistics from CMS reveal that Tennessee has experienced a 24.8% reduction in the use of antipsychotic medications between 2011 and 2014.  Kentucky shows an 18.6% reduction for the same time period.

“We are very proud of the positive impact our training has had in reducing the use of antipsychotics and improving quality of life and well-being for nursing home residents across multiple states. We now look forward to achieving the same impact in Oklahoma and supporting the OSDH in their efforts to improve care for individuals living with dementia,” said Chris Perna, CEO of The Eden Alternative.

Funded registration is now open for qualifying organizations for all three Oklahoma-based training events. Click here to learn more or go to www.edenalt.org.

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New Projects Announced for State Nursing Homes

December 08, 2014

The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced the launch of five new projects to improve the quality of care and life for residents of nursing homes in Oklahoma. The projects are being implemented by three Oklahoma organizations and one from New York.

LeadingAge Oklahoma of El Reno will host a five-day comprehensive seminar providing enhanced training for 75 nursing home activity directors. The training will improve the directors’ knowledge and skills to offer cultural, recreational, spiritual, educational, social and rehabilitative activities for residents of nursing homes.

Geriatric Collaborative Care  Services,  based in Tulsa,  will  oversee a training program for the nursing home staff members of Oklahoma Methodist Manor  and Tulsa Jewish Retirement Community. The training will highlight strategies to improve early recognition
of geriatric syndromes and chronic disease changes in residents.  Through the training, unnecessary hospitalizations and possible accompanying complications may be reduced and prevented.

The Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality in Oklahoma City was approved for a project to improve quality of care by reducing the  number of residents reporting moderate to severe pain, and by reducing the number of residents with major injuries from falls. Quality improvement teams will identify areas for improvement and use evidence-based best practices to reduce pain and fall-related injuries.

 The Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality also was approved  to  begin a demonstration project in four nursing  homes to improve medication safety practices and reduce preventable adverse drug events. The project will compare medication safety practices in nursing homes with electronic health records and those without such records. The primary benefit will be improving care for residents by maximizing medication safety.

The Eden Alternative of Rochester, New York will provide multiple training sessions for 600 nursing home staff members and 100 surveyors and ombudsmen from the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and the Department of Human Services. The training is aimed at reducing the use of antipsychotic medications in residents with dementia by implementing person- directed care practices. Participants will gain information and develop new skills related  to the perceptions of and approaches to dementia care.

“OSDH is excited about the learning and improvement opportunities these projects will give Oklahoma’s nursing home caregivers and the residents they serve.   Each of these projects is designed to produce tangible benefits for nursing home residents,” said Henry Hartsell, OSDH deputy commissioner for Protective Health Services.

“These five projects target enhanced quality of life through better activities, more person-centered care, enhanced geriatric care training, and reductions in pains, fall injuries, and medication errors. The five project sponsors and OSDH expect to see measureable improvements within the next year,” said Hartsell.

The projects are funded with penalties paid by nursing homes under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Federal law requires OSDH to use Medicare and Medicaid penalties for the benefit of nursing home residents. Prior to announcing the awards, OSDH gained approvals from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to use penalty funds to support the projects.

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OFMQ Awarded Subcontract Work to Continue Improving Healthcare Quality

November 12, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Shayla Dobson Communications Coordinator
sdobson@ofmq.com
(405) 618-2814

OFMQ Awarded Subcontract Work to Continue Improving Healthcare Quality

Oklahoma City, OK – OMFQ will continue its dedication to improving healthcare quality by serving as a subcontractor to Telligen, Inc., the organization that was recently awarded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Innovation Network National Coordinating Center (QIN NCC) contract. Charged with supporting the network of QIN Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) across the country, Telligen and its partners will advance CMS’ new approach to improving healthcare for Medicare beneficiaries, families and caregivers nationwide.

Over the next five years, Telligen and its subcontractors, including OMFQ, will partner with CMS and 14 QIN-QIO contractors to support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) National Quality Strategy (NQS) and the CMS Quality Strategy to accomplish better care, better health for people and communities and affordable care through improvements.

The QIO Program is one of the largest U.S. programs dedicated to improving health and quality of care at the community level. QIN-QIOs make up a network of experts in healthcare quality improvement and work in partnership with patients and families, providers, and healthcare stakeholders in every care setting on data-driven quality initiatives to improve patient safety, reduce harm, increase patient and family engagement and improve clinical care in communities throughout the country.

"OFMQ is proud to play an integral role in this CMS contract work, which is right in sync with our organization’s mission," said Lisa Wynn, chief operating officer, OFMQ. “It’s an opportunity to improve patient care and provide better healthcare for our fellow Oklahomans.”

The Telligen team, which includes a number of experts and partners, will provide improvement tools and facilitate communication between QINs, providers, state and federal agencies, internal and external stakeholders, communities, patients, caregivers and families at both the national and local levels to support improved healthcare quality and value for more than 45 million Medicare beneficiaries throughout the country. OFMQ will provide technical support for the tasks of Improving Cardiac Health and Reducing Cardiac Healthcare Disparities, and Reducing Healthcare-Associated Infections in Hospitals, along with related analysis.

Support for the QIN-QIOs will be focused on the program’s strategic initiatives, including:

  • Reducing healthcare‐associated infections in hospitals
  • Reducing hospital readmissions and medication errors
  • Working with nursing homes to improve care for residents
  • Supporting clinical practices using electronic health records to track and improve care management and care coordination
  • Promoting disease management and prevention of cardiac disease and diabetes
  • Reducing healthcare disparities through community, provider, and patient-centered care and services
  • Improving patient and family engagement
  • Providing technical assistance for CMS value based purchasing programs, including the physician value based modifier program

 

In addition to this subcontract, OFMQ has been awarded contracts from CMS and other provider entities:

  • VIQR Outreach and Education Support: As a subcontractor for the Hospital Inpatient Values, Incentives, and Quality Reporting (VIQR) Outreach and Education Support contract from CMS, OFMQ will provide technical support for existing performance measures as well as production of instruction manuals.
  • VIQR Monitoring and Evaluation: OFMQ leads monitoring and evaluating efforts for several reporting programs (including HVBP) and also identifies strategies and tool development to assess the impact of Quality Improvement Organizations in the 11th Scope of Work.
  • Baylor Scott and White Health Care System Contractor: OFMQ experts will perform chart abstraction looking at cases specifically pertaining to Pneumonia, Immunizations and SCIP.

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About OFMQ

Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ) is a not-for-profit, consulting company dedicated to advancing healthcare quality. Since 1972, we’ve been a trusted resource through collaborative partnerships and hands-on support to healthcare communities. We are experts in analytics, case review, education, health information technology, IT consulting, national quality measures, and quality improvement. Visit www.ofmq.com for more information.

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An Important Message from OFMQ's CEO

August 1, 2014

Dear Friend of OFMQ:

Healthcare is evolving and OFMQ is evolving with it. That’s why I’m eager to share exciting news with you firsthand about emerging opportunities occurring at OFMQ. In light of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services QIO program changes, we are expanding our consulting service lines in the areas of quality improvement, information technology, health information technology, long-term care, care review and analytics to better serve healthcare providers and our fellow Oklahomans.

Since 1972, OFMQ has experienced a rich history of success and demonstrated strong leadership across various healthcare settings, collaborative projects and national initiatives. Using a unique mix of clinical and technical expertise, our hands-on approach to healthcare consulting services and our dedication to providing support statewide will continue.

How does this impact you and your organization? You can expect our reputation for integrity, expertise, quality and collaboration that you have experienced in the past to be ongoing hallmarks of our service in future endeavors. We will also be offering our services through different contracting opportunities, some commercial, some through grants and contracts.

We remain your trusted advisor and fully committed to advancing healthcare quality and improving lives across our state. It’s an honor to serve you and we look forward to assisting you in providing quality healthcare services that meets your business needs. To utilize our services, visit www.ofmq.com to explore opportunities for OFMQ to assist you. Thank you for your continued loyalty and interest in working with OFMQ. As we transition into the future, let’s continue joining together to embark upon new ways for improving Oklahoma’s healthcare standards.

Sincerely,

Gregg Koehn, CPA
President and Chief Executive Officer, OFMQ

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Upcoming Hospital Reporting Submission Deadlines Extended

With the recent migration of My QualityNet to the QualityNet Secure Portal, technical issues have been reported to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These issues are being addressed as quickly as possible. As CMS continues to determine emergent issues, prioritize critical fixes, and assess submission deadlines for Quality Reporting Programs, the following data submission deadlines have been extended:

Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program

  • Clinical Process of Care Data and Population and Sampling data for Quarter 1 2014, formerly due on August 1, will now be due on August 21, 2014.
     

Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program

  • Clinical Process of Care Data formerly due on August 15, and Population and Sampling data formerly due on August 1, for Quarter 1 2014, will now be due on August 28, 2014.
  • CLABSI/CAUTI or MRSA/CDI templates for hospitals selected for validation, formerly due on August 1, will now be due on August 28, 2014.
  • Healthcare-Associated Infection data due on August 15 to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) will not change.


For more details, additional program resources are listed below:

The Hospital-Inpatient Reporting Support Team

Outpatient Quality Reporting Support Team

 

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Changes in the Beneficiary Protection - Case Review Program by CMS

OFMQ would like to take this opportunity to apprise you of forthcoming changes to the QIO program that will impact Oklahoma providers (hospitals, skilled nursing facilities/units, home health/hospice agencies and long term acute care facilities). CMS is in the process of making changes to the QIO program as you know it. CMS has restructured the QIO Program from its historical 53 contracts, in which each QIO performs both case review and quality improvement support for each state or territory, to a regional structure for case review and an industry-determined service structure for quality improvement initiatives.  In the new structure, or the 11th Statement of Work, case review and quality improvement functions will be performed by different contractors, the contract periods will be extended from 3 to 5 years, and there will be an enhanced focus on learning, collaboration and the dissemination of best practices.

Effective 8/1/2014 OFMQ will no longer be performing reviews of any kind (Discharge Appeals, beneficiary complaints, higher weighted DRGs, EMTALA, Sanctions,  referrals for quality of care, nor quality of care reviews) for CMS. CMS has regionalized the review processes that continue to be required by CMS and Federal regulations.

Specific contractors will process  beneficiary complaints while a different contractor will provide technical assistance to support providers and suppliers. QIOs will have new skills in the area of transforming practices, employing lean methodologies, assisting with value based purchasing programs and developing innovative approaches to quality improvement. The Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organizations (BFCC-QIO) manage all beneficiary complaints and quality of care reviews to ensure consistency in the review process while taking into consideration local factors important to beneficiaries and their families.

Quality Innovation Network (QIN) QIOs are responsible for working with providers and the community on multiple, data-driven quality initiatives to improve patient safety, reduce harm and improve clinical care at their local and regional levels. These changes to the program were done to restructure and approach the QIO work with a broad range of entities to perform the work to foster innovation, development of learning systems and continuous process improvement. Please see the attached information for details of the revised processes and timelines.

We are informing you of these changes in an effort to provide information that may be of assistance to your organization  to maintain continuity of services to both providers and beneficiaries.

Changes in the QIO Program by CMS

Quality Case Review and Appeals after July 31st 

  • Changes will be taking place on August 1, 2014. KePRO the newly appointed BFCC - QIO will conduct all reviews active as of 7/31/14 and new reviews from 8/1/14 forward. These changes are part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) design to reorganize the Quality Improvement Program (QIO).  The types of cases KePRO will be requesting and reviewing include:
    • Beneficiary complaint cases for quality of care review,
    • Higher Weighted DRG reviews, and
    • Discharge Appeals involving hospital inpatients, home health-hospice, skilled nursing units.
  • If a case is currently in the review process and still active on 7/31/14, please be assured that every effort has been made to ensure a seamless HIPAA secure transition with no disruption in case review services.
  • OFMQ’s Beneficiary Hotline 1-800-522-3414 will be managed and answered by KePRO’s staff for continuation of the same type of services as was provided by the OFMQ review staff.


Maintaining Local Presence

  • The redesign of the QIO program will not lessen the contractual obligation of the QIOs to meet the local needs of their constituents, regardless of geographic factors that are unique to care in the Oklahoma service area.
  • The importance of local QIO work is acknowledged by CMS and will be maintained through Medicare regulations.
  • Work through CMS’s QIO program will be conducted during the next 5 year period with focused projects in:
    • Improving Cardiac Health
    • Improving Diabetes Care
    • Use of Electronic Health Records
    • Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections in Hospitals
    • Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections in Nursing Homes
    • Care Transitions
    • Quality Improvement Initiatives


Contact Information

  • A list of the current BFCC-QIOs and QIN-QIOs for your area, and their contact information, are located at QIOProgram.org.
  • More information on the QIO Program can be found at QIOProgram.org or by contacting 1-800-MEDICARE.
  • KePRO will be the Beneficiary and Family Centered Care QIO for Oklahoma.

    Their address is:
    Rock Run Center
    5700 Lombardo Center, Suite 100
    Seven Hills, Ohio  44131
    Phone: 216.447.9604
                844.430.9504
    Fax: 844.878.7921
     

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