OFMQ Expands Long-Term Care Project in Oklahoma, Partners with OU on Dementia Care

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (October 25, 2017) – OFMQ, an Oklahoma City-based not-for-profit healthcare consulting company, continues to set the pace for improving quality in healthcare communities across Oklahoma. Recently, OFMQ was awarded an expansion of their long-term care work with the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). In addition, OFMQ is collaborating with the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Public Health- Promotion Sciences in their Step-Up for Dementia Care project.

“OFMQ has been a trusted advisor and partner for nursing homes and long-term care communities in our state for many years,” said Debara Yellseagle, Quality Improvement Director for OFMQ. “These projects allow us to continue those partnerships with emphasis on education for direct care staff and improving the patient’s quality of life experience.”

The OSDH expanded long-term care work will begin December 1 with additional recruitment and intensive training efforts. OFMQ’s field experts will collaborate with these facilities to adopt culture change by assisting healthcare staff in learning basic QI principles and adopting a system into their organizational structure, all while utilizing an in-depth educational curriculum developed by the OSDH.

OFMQ’s partnership in the Step-Up for Dementia Care project has already begun, with OFMQ providing key recruitment assistance, consultation on training activities and resources, as well as performing statistical analysis and evaluation of project goals.
For more information on these projects or requirements for participation, please contact us at QI@ofmq.com
Funding for these projects is made possible through grant awards from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) civil money penalty (CMP) program. The OSDH is responsible for administering the CMP-awarded funds. For further details on the CMP program, visit https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/LTC-CMP-Reinvestment.html.

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OFMQ Awarded New Quality Improvement Projects in Oklahoma, Now Recruiting

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (April 13, 2017) – OFMQ, an Oklahoma City-based not-for-profit healthcare consulting company, has been awarded two new contracts by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) to work with long term care facilities over the next three years. OFMQ’s field experts will work with these providers to target reducing unnecessary medications in long term care as well as improving quality and performance measures.

OFMQ has been a recognized leader and trusted advisor in Oklahoma, working with over 200 nursing homes for over fifteen years to help with improving the quality of care for residents,” said Gregg Koehn, Chief Executive Officer for OFMQ. “We are proud partners with OSDH and look forward to continuing that partnership in our mission to serve the needs of long term care providers, administrators, residents, and their families.”

OFMQ is now recruiting eligible long term care facilities to participate in these projects. At no cost to participants, OFMQ will provide onsite technical assistance, access to educational tools and resources, and opportunities for virtual and live educational events. In addition, facilities working on reducing unnecessary medications will take part in regional Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Breakthrough Series Collaboratives, hosted by OFMQ in cooperation with The Eden Alternative™ and the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy. For more information on these projects or requirements for participation, please contact us at QI@ofmq.com

Funding for these projects is made possible through grant awards from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) civil money penalty (CMP) program. OSDH is responsible for administering the CMP-awarded funds. For further details on the CMP program, visit https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/LTC-CMP-Reinvestment.html.

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OFMQ Recognized at National Conference for Contributions to Healthcare Quality Improvement

Date: February 6, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (February 6, 2017) – OFMQ, an Oklahoma City-based not-for-profit healthcare consulting company, has been awarded a special recognition by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for work to improve healthcare in the state of Oklahoma during 2011-2014. At the annual CMS Quality Conference in December 2016, OFMQ staff accepted this award for their contribution to a nationwide outcome of 87,000 lives saved, 2.1 million fewer patient harms and $19.8 billion in cost savings.

“OFMQ is honored to accept this award from CMS and to share our success with providers and other quality improvement stakeholders in Oklahoma,” said Gregg Koehn, Chief Executive Officer for OFMQ. “Our team worked on reducing adverse drug events, reducing hospital-acquired infections, making care transitions safer, as well as reducing falls and pressure ulcers. We look forward to continuing to serve providers across Oklahoma in meeting their healthcare quality improvement goals.”

OFMQ offers a unique mix of clinical and technical expertise as well as a proven history of effective and innovative healthcare quality improvement services. With expertise in analytics, case review, health information technology, IT consulting, national quality measures, and quality improvement, OFMQ brings solutions and guidance for today’s hot topics in the healthcare community.

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OFMQ Named Subcontractor to Support Quality Improvement at IHS Hospitals in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (October 12, 2016) – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently awarded a new contract to help support best health care practices and other operational improvements for Indian Health Services (IHS) federal government hospitals that participate in the Medicare program. OFMQ, a not-for-profit healthcare consulting company based in Oklahoma City, will partner, along with several other organizations, as a subcontractor to HealthInsight, the Quality Innovation Network - Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) that won the award to support IHS hospitals in 8 states. OFMQ will implement this work in IHS hospitals in Oklahoma.

“Our top priority is the health and safety of patients that seek care at facilities we oversee. I am incredibly excited by this opportunity to bring resources and support to American Indian and Alaskan Native patients to improve the delivery of high-quality care to patients,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “Our QIN-QIO [HealthInsight] is well poised to assist with this transformation and will work with the Indian Health Service hospitals and clinicians to ensure beneficiaries get the best possible care.”

With a unique mix of clinical and technical expertise as well as a proven history of effective and innovative healthcare quality improvement services, OFMQ will deliver resources, consultation and frontline support to meet contract objectives and goals.

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OFMQ Awarded Grant to Improve Adult Vaccination Rates in Rural Oklahoma

Date: June 6,2016

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (June 6, 2016) – OFMQ, a not-for-profit healthcare consulting company based in Oklahoma City, has been awarded a grant through Pfizer’s Independent Grants for Learning & Change program. The grant project titled “Improving Pneumococcal Immunizations Rates in Oklahoma”, will target populations in rural Western Oklahoma and seeks to increase adult pneumococcal immunizations by at least five percent. Starting June 1, 2016, OFMQ’s practice advisors will begin working with primary care practices to identify, address and overcome physician and patient barriers contributing to low immunizations rates.

“OFMQ is proud to begin this partnership with Pfizer as we continue our dedication and commitment to advance healthcare quality and improve lives here in Oklahoma,” said Gregg Koehn, Chief Executive Officer for OFMQ. “Our team is looking forward to working with these rural practices through onsite visits, workflow and data analysis as well as hosting educational collaboratives addressing best practices for pneumococcal immunization.”

In addition to national and local grant work, OFMQ offers multiple healthcare quality improvement services including consulting for QI technical assistance, data analysis, education and training, and information technology solutions. For more information on OFMQ’s services and current healthcare improvement projects, visit www.ofmq.com

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Nominations now open for the 2016 Champions of Health awards

April 27, 2016

TULSA, Okla. – Individuals, groups and organizations that are working to positively change the health status of Oklahomans, through unique and innovative programs, are encouraged to apply for the 2016 Champions of Health awards.

Nominations open today and will be accepted through May 27 either online or by mail. There is no cost to submit a nomination and award categories include:

  • Champion of Children’s Health
  • Champion of Senior Health
  • Champion of the Uninsured
  • Community Health Champion
  • Corporate Health Champion

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, as well as receive a $15,000 contribution. Additional details on the categories and requirements can be found by visiting championsofhealth.org.

All winners will be recognized at the Champions of Health gala on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Since 2004, the Champions of Health program has honored more than 150 organizations that are working to reverse the negative health statistics in the state.

About Champions of Health:
The Champions of Health gala benefits the Oklahoma Caring Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides Oklahoma children with immunizations at no charge.

The Champions of Health awards program is presented by the Office of the Secretary of State and Native American Affairs, the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (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.

For more information about the Champions of Health program and to view video highlights from last year’s gala, visit championsofhealth.org .

Amy Pulliam
(918) 551-2064
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OFMQ Awarded Commendation Status as CME Provider

February 17, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – OFMQ continues to set the pace as a healthcare quality leader and education provider throughout Oklahoma. In early February 2016, OFMQ’s Continuing Medical Education (CME) program was awarded an “Accreditation with Commendation” status from the Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA). CME credits are required for Oklahoma Medical Doctors in order to maintain their medical licensure. Receiving Accreditation with Commendation places OFMQ in the top tier of continuing medical education providers.

OFMQ has been a trusted resource for Continuing Medical Education (CME) since 2001. OFMQ also provides continuing education for registered nurses and long-term care administrators. “OFMQ is proud to offer these CE services to providers across the state of Oklahoma,” said Diane Wiebusch, operations coordinator, OFMQ. “Our mission is to advance quality and improve lives. Setting the benchmark as a continuing education provider helps us to meet this mission.”

For more information on how OFMQ can assist your practice or organization with CE, visit http://www.ofmq.com/continuing-education-ce-provider or call us at 405-840-2891.

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Final Rules Issued by CMS and HHS to Advance EHRs with Added Simplicity and Flexibility

OKLAHOMA CITY (October 7, 2015) – As an organization committed to sharing newly released and important Electronic Health Record (EHR) information, OFMQ announces that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released Meaningful Use final rules on October 6. The final rules simplify requirements and add new flexibilities for providers and hospitals making electronic health information available.

“The simplicity of the final rule does not negate the importance of Meaningful Use.  It is important that we increase patient and family engagement through the usage of patient portal to promote more involvement in one’s care,” said Lindsey Wiley, HIT Manager for OFMQ.  “Care coordination and the ability to communicate electronically between settings of care are imperative to increase efficiencies and provide the highest quality of care possible for patients.”   
After considering more than 2,500 comments on the two proposed rules to create the final policies, CMS made significant changes to ease the reporting burden for all providers, support health information exchange, and improve patient outcomes. In summary, some of the highlights include:

  • New Final Rule combines Stage 3 and Changes to Meaningful Use in 2015 through 2017 proposed rules
  • 90-day reporting period in 2015
    • EPs can use any consecutive 90-days between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015
    • EHs can use any consecutive 90-days between October 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015
  • Full calendar year reporting period in 2016 (unless you are a first time Meaningful User)
  • Multiple Objectives and Measures removed that are redundant, duplicative or topped out.
  • NEW Objectives for 2015:
  • Protect Patient Health Information
  • Clinical Decision Support
  • Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE)
  • Electronic Prescribing
  • Health Information Exchange (Summary of Care)
  • Patient-Specific Education
  • Medication Reconciliation
  • Patient Electronic Access
  • Secure Electronic Messaging (EPs Only)
  • Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting
  • Additional exclusions for providers that were scheduled to complete Stage 1 in 2015.
  • Changes to patient engagement objectives
    • Threshold for Measure 2 of Patient Electronic Access objective has been changed from greater than 5% to greater than or equal to 1 patient.
    • Secure Electronic messaging:
      • 2015 – functionality is enabled within the EHR
  • Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA):
  • Released April 16, 2015
  • Proposes to sunset MU payment adjustments for EPs at the end of 2018
  • Establishment of a Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) which would incorporate MU
  • In light of MACRA, final rule allows for 60-day comment period on provisions surrounding MIPS.

For more information, visit http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2015pres/10/20151006a.html. If you have questions, contact OFMQ’s Health Information Technology department for assistance at ofmqhit@ofmq.com.

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OFMQ is a Proud Partner in National Health IT Week

(September 30, 2015 – Oklahoma City, OK) – This October, OFMQ — as a partner in the advancement of health information technology to help improve healthcare —is a proud partner in National Health IT Week.  National Health IT Week is the premier event offering all healthcare stakeholders an opportunity to unite under one banner, expressing the benefits that health information technology (IT) brings to U.S. healthcare. “One Voice, One Vision.”

Comprehensive health care reform is not possible without system-wide adoption of health information technology, which improves the quality of healthcare delivery, increases patient safety, decreases medical errors, and strengthens the interaction between patients and healthcare providers.

With Meaningful Use now providing the way forward, eligible providers across the country increasingly understand the benefits for themselves and their patients, and are adopting Meaningful Use compliant electronic health records.

Initiated in 2006 by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), National Health IT Week has emerged as a landmark occasion for using health IT as part of the overall solution to improve America’s healthcare as a bipartisan, federally led, market driven initiative.

The Week consists of events in Washington DC and across the country, including National Health IT Week participants —vendors, provider organizations, payers, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, government agencies, industry/professional associations, research foundations, and consumer protection groups— all working together to elevate national attention to the advantages of advancing health IT.

To commemorate the week, OFMQ will host a WebEx on “Patient Engagement,” Wednesday, October 7 at 12:15pm. Patient engagement is an essential solution to providing better care and access to health information for patients. The virtual event will cover the Meaningful Use objectives that are related to patient engagement including patient portal usage, and secure messaging with providers, as well as marketing techniques to encourage patients to take a more active role in their healthcare. To register, participants may visit, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/patient-engagement-tickets-16313818069.

Visit www.HealthITWeek.org for a full list of partners and updates on the Week’s activities. Working together with our growing coalition of stakeholders, OFMQ is helping to transform healthcare for all.

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Built on Success: OFMQ’s Nursing Home Contract Gets Extended

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 18, 2015) – OFMQ has been approved to extend its nursing home projects with Oklahoma providers for another two years.  For the past eight months, OFMQ has been working closely with nursing homes on two separate projects funded by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). 

Due to intensive on-site work with the homes and through regionally-based educational offerings, OFMQ has seen results already.  Gregg Koehn, CEO at OFMQ, states, “We have worked with nursing homes in Oklahoma for more than 13 years and have had a long-standing relationship with OSDH through this work.  We look forward to our ongoing collaboration to improve care for residents in our nursing homes.” 

The first project will provide technical assistance, tools and resources for homes that need to improve their performance in publically-reported quality measures.  OFMQ is currently working with homes on improving resident self-reported pain and falls with major injury, and will expand to working to decreasing the incidence of urinary tract infections and pressure ulcers. 
“The four quality measures we are working on all take time for improvements to be seen, and, with the expansion of our current work into the next two years, says Joe Williams, Manager of Quality Improvement Projects at OFMQ, “We will be able to have an even greater impact with these homes.  We are looking forward to sustaining and spreading improvements already experienced, as well as tackling new improvement opportunities.”   

The second project will be conducted in collaboration with the Oklahoma University College of Pharmacy (OUCOP) and OFMQ’s Health Information Technology (HIT) Services Center. The project, which will focus on Medication Safety in Long-Term Care, compares medication management processes in nursing homes with Electronic Health Records (EHRs) compared to facilities that do not fully utilize EHRs for medication therapy administration.

In addition, the project also will provide the opportunity for the clinical pharmacy team to make recommendations to medication prescribers to optimize therapy and potentially reduce risk to frail elders living in the facilities. The team has focused their efforts to improve systems of medication use including meaningful application of EHR processes related to medication safety practices, applying knowledge related to the physiologic changes that occur with aging, and improving the process and using best-practices for early screening all medications used in the elderly.  Continuing the project through an additional two years will allow OFMQ and OUCOP to expand the number of facilities enrolled in the project and facilitate the transition to implementing and/or expanding use of existing EHRs to better manage the medication process, especially during transitions in care.

In just the first eight months of the project, more than 750 comprehensive medication assessments have been completed, and the team has noted a nearly 32 percent improvement in the rate of the adoption and use of a guideline-based medication screening tool. 

Keith Swanson, PharmD., CGP, Associate Professor at the OUCOP, claims, “The initial phase of this project was enlightening as we documented patterns of medication use and the health information systems utilized to care for these frail elders. We look forward to expanding our efforts to help reduce the risk of medication misadventures to elders living in Oklahoma.”

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