Tips, Tools & Education for Improving Outpatient Care
In this issue:
  1. Spotlight on Excellence - Daily Planet
  2. PFAC Spotlight
  3. Health Quality Innovators of the Year Awards 2019
  4. MIPS Minute: Have You Upgraded to 2015 CEHRT?
  5. Tobacco Cessation Measure Changes
  6. Stay Up to Date on the New CMS Primary Care Models
  7. CMS Seeks Public Input on Patients Over Paperwork Initiative
  8. Ask the Experts: Shingles
  9. Improved Pathways to Hypertension Control and Elimination of Disparities
  10. Online Patient Websites for EHR Access Among Vulnerable Populations
  11. Topped-Out Measure Fact Sheet
  12. Upcoming Webinars
The Daily Planet received an award from HQI for successfully completing all five phases of Practice Transformation in the TCPi in 2017. Accepting the award from The Daily Planet are, from left, Board Chairman Scott Cardozo, retired CEO and President Peter Prizzio, Chief Operating Officer Helena DeLigt, and Medical Director Dr. Stephen J. Popovich.
Spotlight on Excellence - Daily Planet Meets Needs of Thousands in Richmond, Regardless of Ability to Pay for Health Services

Daily Planet Health Services, located in Richmond, Va., provided $1.94 million in uncompensated health services in 2017, illustrating their belief that everyone should have access to quality health service regardless of their financial, housing or insurance status. Daily Planet’s commitment to underserved Richmond-area residents makes them an obvious selection for Health Quality Innovators’ (HQI) June 2019 “Spotlight on Excellence” feature.

Read More »
PFAC Spotlight: PFAC Member Advocates for End-of-Life Decisions and More Conversations About Death and Dying

Each month, we are profiling one member of HQI’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). Read our June story about how Denny Klass's experience as a professor of religious studies and grief advisor influences his views on palliative care. 

Read More »
Nominate Your Team for the 2019 Health Quality Innovators of the Year Awards!

It's that time of year again! We are honoring organizations using evidence-based approaches to quality improvement that deliver better care, healthier communities and lower health care costs. Celebrate and share the ways you and your team are aligning with value to ensure high-quality care for every individual and community. Nominations are due August 30, 2019. Winners will be announced this fall! Questions? Call 804.289.5320 or email Amy Ridolphi at

Click here to review our award categories »
MIPS Minute: Have You Upgraded to 2015 CEHRT?

The last chance to upgrade to 2015 Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) is fast approaching! Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians (ECs) must use 2015 CEHRT in order to submit for the Promoting Interoperability (PI) category. ECs who do not use 2015 CEHRT will lose 25 MIPS points unless they qualify for an exception. The last opportunity to upgrade your CEHRT in time to report 90 days of PI measures is October 3, 2019. If you are reporting quality measures directly to the QPP Portal using your EHR, you will also need 2015 CEHRT in order to submit for the Quality category. 

Click here to learn more about the PI category »
Questions? Contact our team of QPP
experts at 844.357.0589 or
Tobacco Cessation Measure Changes

Are you collecting data to report for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) quality measure 226 Preventive Care and Screening: Tobacco Use: Screening and Cessation Intervention? Significant changes have been made to this measure, especially impacting Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations. The measure now only evaluates patients who screen positive for smoking, instead of including all patients screened regardless of tobacco use. Additionally, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) now only meet the measure if the cessation intervention occurs each time the patient is screened. 

Check out the new measure specifications and look out for new benchmarks in 2019 »
Stay Up to Date on the New CMS Primary Care Models

CMS announced the Primary Cares Initiative, a new set of payment models that will transform primary care to deliver better value for patients throughout the health care system. The initiative will implement five new payment model options under two paths - Primary Care First (PCF) and Direct Contracting. Check out the new CMS webinars for the Primary Care First Model Options and Direct Contracting Model Options

Click here to check out CMS webinars »

CMS Seeks Public Input on Patients Over Paperwork Initiative to Further Reduce Administrative, Regulatory Burden to Lower Health Care Costs 
CMS issued a request for information (RFI) seeking new ideas from the public on how to continue the progress of the Patients over Paperwork initiative. Since launching in fall 2017, Patients over Paperwork has streamlined regulations to significantly cut the “red tape” that weighs down our health care system and takes clinicians away from their primary mission—caring for patients. As of January 2019, CMS estimates that through regulatory reform alone, the health care system will save an estimated 40 million hours and $5.7 billion through 2021.

Click here to read more about the RFI »
Ask the Experts: Zoster (Shingles)
In "Ask the Experts" from the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) experts answer questions about Zoster (shingles). They address questions that the IAC has received about the disease and the vaccine recommendations.

Click here to read more about the disease issues and the vaccination recommendations »

Improved Pathways to Hypertension Control and Elimination of Disparities: Are We There Yet?

Hypertension, globally the most prevalent and potent cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor, is disproportionately uncontrolled in US minorities, including not only Blacks, but also Hispanics and Asian Americans. Although reasons for this disturbing lag in CVD progress are unclear and probably multifactorial, the obesity epidemic and co‐morbid hypertension are troubling.
Click here to learn more »
Online Patient Websites for Electronic Health Record Access Among Vulnerable Populations: Portals to Nowhere?
While there is an increase in the adoption of patient portals, studies of patient portals within safety-net settings have found that there are persistent barriers to their use, including perceived threats to security and a lack of technological access and skills. 
Click here to read more on how to identify specific usability barriers to patient portal engagement among a diverse group of patients and caregivers »
Topped-Out Measure Fact Sheet
Learn about topped-out quality measures and how they can impact your MIPS quality score with HQI’s Topped Out Measures Fact Sheet. Did you know only 6 quality measures were subject to the 7-point topped out scoring cap in 2018, but over 60 measures will be capped in 2019? See the Appendix for a list of all impacted measures and submission types. 
Click here too see the Appendix for a list of all impacted measures and submission types »
Upcoming Webinars
HQI MIPS Madness Trivia Challenge 

Thursday, June 20, 2019
noon - 1 pm ET

Register Now »
2019 MIPS Promoting Interoperability

On Demand

Register Now »
My Weight, My Way: Exercise Motivation for Older Adults

Thursday, June 20, 2019
2 pm - 3 pm ET

Register Now »
Allscripts Affinity Group: APIs and the Future of EHR

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
2 pm - 3 pm ET

Register Now »
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. HQI|11SOW|20190607-150158

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