Kentucky REC 2023 Client Hospital Awards

Kentucky REC 2023 Client Hospital Awards

Kentucky REC advisors are proud to work with numerous Kentucky hospitals on the CMS Promoting Interoperability Program. Awardees were chosen by the advisor team and presentations were made at our Annual Conference. Below are the organizations chosen in 2023 for their exemplary performance.

Distinguished Large Hospital System Award - ARH

The Healthcare System of Appalachia, ARH is ranked as one of the Top 10 Employers in Kentucky by Forbes Magazine. They are a not-for-profit health system operating 14 hospitals: Barbourville, Hazard, Harlan, Highlands, Mary Breckinridge, McDowell, Middlesboro, Morgan, Our Lady of the Way, Paintsville, Summers County, Tug Valley, and Whitesburg in Kentucky; as well as Beckley in West Virginia.

We began advising ARH on the Medicare PI Program at the beginning of 2021. We scheduled regular, recurring calls for the PI team and dug into the work- providing education, drilling-down on program details, and monitoring reports. We’ve watched them work together as a team and improve their performance tremendously. We’re proud to report that for the past two years, ARH has successfully attested to the Medicare PI program for all 14 hospitals. This year, they are on track to do the same with near perfect scores. We are so proud of them, their performance, and their teamwork! Congratulations, ARH!

Hospital Legacy Award - Russell County Hospital

Russell County Hospital is a twenty-five-bed community hospital that has served the residents of Russell Springs, KY and surrounding areas since 1981. We have worked with RCH since the inception of the Kentucky REC in early 2011, advising them on what was then the original EHR Incentive Program, when we used to call it Meaningful Use. We began that original work under a grant from the Office of the National Coordinator. When we transitioned over to a sustainable model, they stuck with us. Over the past 12 plus years, RCH has used nearly every service offering provided by the Kentucky REC, from MU to PI, SRA, PTN, VBPS, MIPS and every acronym in between. We enjoy working with the RCH group – they are a really great team. We appreciate our relationship and hope to work together for another 12 years. To show our appreciation we are awarding them with the KY REC Client Hospital Legacy Award. Congratulations Russell County Hospital!


Multi-State Hospital Partnership Award - Rural Hospital Group

Rural Hospital Group is in the business of investing in small-to-medium sized rural hospitals located primarily in less populated and more remote areas of the Central United States. This is where rural hospitals are usually the sole provider of emergency, acute care inpatient and outpatient clinic services to their communities.

While we have advised Crittenden Community Hospital in Marion, KY on the Medicare PI Program for many years, at the beginning of 2022 we added several other RHG facilities: Hillsboro Community Hospital in Hillsboro, Kansas; Lauderdale Community Hospital in Ripley, Tennessee; Drumright Regional Hospital in Drumright, Oklahoma; and Salem Memorial District Hospital in Salem, Missouri. Some were struggling to keep up with the ever-evolving requirements of the Medicare PI Program and were also reaching the program’s limit of allowable hardship exceptions at some locations. We’ve provided education and support, getting them back on track. We host a monthly conference call, bringing together the Promoting Interoperability team from each location.

This Community of Practice, bringing together multiple states, is acting as a collaborative environment to communicate, connect, and share best practices. As a result, all five hospitals have greatly improved their performance and successfully attested to the Medicare PI program. We’ve enjoyed crossing state lines and value this multi-state partnership and are very proud of their accomplishments! Congratulations, Rural Hospital Group!

Register Today! Oct 26 – Kentucky REC Annual Conference

2023 Annual Meeting
Lexington, Kentucky – Join Us in Person or Online

During our day together we’ll discuss quality initiatives, HIPAA, Social Drivers of Health, and more to ensure that clinicians, hospital and ambulatory administrators, and clinic staff are well prepared for the challenges of modern healthcare. Guest speakers will be joining us to present on relevant topics.

Keynote Speaker: Astronaut and UK College of Medicine Alum Story Musgrave!

About Story Musgrave

Attend the 2023 Annual Conference

About Story Musgrave

Attend the 2023 Annual Conference

Questions? Contact the Kentucky REC Annual Conference Team at Kentucky REC. 859-323-3090.


Kentucky Diabetes Learning Collaborative
Award Announcement

UK Healthcare’s Kentucky Regional Extension Center, the Kentucky Department of Public Health, and the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program are pleased to announce chosen practices to participate in the year-long Kentucky Diabetes Learning Collaborative (DLC) funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The grant focus is to improve diabetes clinical outcomes.

Selected participants:
• Bluegrass Internal Medicine – Owensboro, Kentucky
• Grace Health – Corbin, Kentucky
• HMH Primary Care – Cynthiana, Kentucky
• Kentucky Mountain Health Alliance (Little Flower Clinic) – Hazard, Kentucky
• Monroe County Medical Center – Tompkinsville, KY
• Owensboro Health – Owensboro, Kentucky
• Shawnee Christian Healthcare – Louisville, Kentucky

These practices represent over 19 health care locations, 73 health care providers, and over 6,000 adult patients with diabetes.

The goal of the Diabetes Learning Collaborative is to assist health care organizations in making “breakthrough” increases in the adoption and use of clinical systems and care practices to improve health outcomes in people with diabetes.

Targeted clinical outcomes will include improvement in glycemic and blood pressure control. Targeted clinical system changes will include clinical decision support within the electronic health record (EHR) for Diabetes Self-management Education and Support (DSMES) referral, the establishment of bi-directional referral processes with DSMES providers, and other evidence-based care practices. Clinical participants will track referrals for DSMES, A1C and blood pressure values, and other clinical measures selected by participating practices.

The structure for this collaborative learning will be based on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Breakthrough Series. At the heart of this approach are three models. The Learning Model makes participating practices part of a network of experts and fellow-learners. The Chronic Care Model, (developed by Ed Wagner MD, MPH, and former Director of the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation), outlines all the elements of good chronic care. The Model for Improvement enables teams to rapidly test and implement changes to improve care.

Starting in May 2021, participants will join in conference calls, in person meetings, peer site visits, hands on technical assistance, and webinars with experts and other organizations in the collaborative.

Please join us in congratulating these practices for being selected to participate in this innovative project to improve the health of Kentucky residents.

Kentucky’s Juniper Health Recognized as a 2018 Million Hearts Champions

Juniper Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center with four locations in Morgan, Wolfe, Lee, and Breathitt Counties in Southeastern Kentucky, has been named a 2018 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champion. The practice shares this distinction with only 17 other practices around the nation, and is the sole state representative. Kentucky REC advisors have been honored to work with Juniper Health practice members on a Chronic Disease Pilot grant from The Kentucky Department of Public Health that focused on controlling high blood pressure and improving Diabetes: Hemoglobin A1c control. Juniper was a star performer on this grant and the only practice recognized in Kentucky as a Million Hearts Champion.

“We are excited to showcase successful strategies used by our 2018 Champions to keep blood pressure under safe control, prevent heart attacks and strokes, and save lives,” said Janet Wright, M.D., a board-certified cardiologist and executive director of Million Hearts®. “We hope that these Champions inspire teams all over the country to make hypertension control a priority.”

From the Million Hearts website:
The Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge is a competition to identify practices, clinicians, and health systems that have worked with their patients to achieve hypertension control rates of at least 80% through innovations in health information technology and electronic health records, patient communication, and health care team approaches.

Congratulations, 2018 Champions!
Million Hearts® has recognized 18 health care practices and community health centers from around the United States as 2018 Hypertension Control Champions. In their work, these Champions were able to achieve blood pressure control for at least 80% of their adult patients with hypertension. Together, the 2018 Champions cared for more than 53,000 adults. Here is the list of all 18 Million Hearts 2018 Champions.

Contact Kentucky REC experts with your questions about quality improvement. We’re here to help your practice. Call us at 859-323-3090.


Excerpted and edited from an IU CHIIS article: In May 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) challenged the nationwide Transforming Clinical Practice Initiatives (TCPI) Community to each submit at least two Patient and Family Engagement (PFE) Emerging Stories. 86 stories were submitted, and Great Lakes PTN was awarded as having one of the top 10!

Below are the highlights from GLPTN’s story:

Practice: Fayette Surgical Associates, Lexington, Kentucky, is a vascular surgical group that has provided care to the city of Lexington for over 30 years. They had over 20,000 active patients in their practice in 2017.

Patient and Family Engagement Intervention: Under the guidance of Kentucky REC Quality Improvement Advisor Kelly Fountain, Fayette Surgical Associates identified several areas for cost reduction and quality improvement through data analysis and the use of patient surveys.

Impact: Visit length increased, which improved patient satisfaction and increased the amount of time that patients and clinicians are able to spend with each other. The practice also decreased unnecessary Emergency Department visits by prioritizing post surgery follow-ups. Fayette Surgical also: improved comprehension by simplifying their written handouts to patients; increased usage of their patient portal; and reduced costs.

You can read the original CHIIS GLPTN article here.

Pictured above: GLPTN QIA, Kelly Fountain, Kentucky REC, with the award for Fayette Surgical Associates

Pictured above: Dr. Adkins and Care Team members, Fayette Surgical Associates

Need help with the Quality Payment Program? Contact our Quality Improvement and Practice Transformation experts at Kentucky REC by calling us at 859-323-3090.

Congratulations to Rob Edwards—MediStar Award Winner

We are pleased to announce that UK HealthCare Kentucky Regional Extension Center’s Executive Director, Rob Edwards, has been awarded the Centerstone Healthcare Advocacy Award, part of the 2017 MediStar Awards presented by IGE Media.

The Centerstone Healthcare Advocacy Award is presented to an individual or organization that has worked to raise awareness of health challenges in our region and worked to affect change.

Since 20017, IGE Media, publisher of Medical News, has recognized excellence in the business of healthcare at the exclusive MediStar Awards, which honors seven healthcare professionals for their achievement in advocacy, innovation, education, leadership, aging care, as well as announces the physician and nurse of the year.

Congratulations to Rob for this excellent honor!