Kentucky REC News



Since we are halfway through the year, now is a good time to check-in on your Promoting Interoperability Performance. From verifying staff workflows and documentation, to understanding measures and system triggers within your EHR, it is important to take time to ensure reporting accuracy to optimize performance in the back stretch of 2021. Data validation processes not only apply to quality measures, but they can also be readily applied to PI objectives and corresponding measures. This will help you confirm data integrity and reinforce your confidence in your organization’s data and performance.

As a continuation of our webinar series exploring the application of data validation across the MIPS performance categories, join us for a discussion on ways you can apply this technique to the Promoting Interoperability Performance category. We will take an in-depth look at understanding the requirements for meeting PI objectives and measures, as well as how to take a systematic approach to verify your data to ensure accuracy, reliability, completeness and verifiability.

QPP Year 5 Webinar: Promoting Interoperability Performance – Applying Data Validation Techniques*
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 @ 12PM ET

*This webinar is for Kentucky REC contracted QPP clients only. If you are interested in this topic and would like to learn more about becoming a client, please contact us at (859)323-3090 or email us at We aim to be your trusted healthcare advisor!


Applications for the 2021 MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category Hardship Exception and Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exceptions are Now Open

From CMS:

Applications are now open for the MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category Hardship Exception and Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception for the 2021 Performance Year. Those interested must submit their applications to CMS by December 31, 2021.

Who is Eligible for a Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exception?

MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups may submit a MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category Hardship Exception Application whether they’re reporting traditional MIPS or the APM Performance Pathway. Exceptions are granted if they:
• Are a small practice
• Have decertified EHR technology
• Have insufficient Internet connectivity
• Face extreme and uncontrollable circumstances such as disaster, practice closure, severe financial distress or vendor issues, or
• Lack control over the availability of CEHRT

NOTE: If you’re already exempt from submitting Promoting Interoperability data, you don’t need to apply.

For APM Participants
MIPS eligible clinicians and groups with MIPS eligible clinicians participating in a MIPS APM can apply for Promoting Interoperability hardship exceptions and qualify for automatic reweighting just like other MIPS eligible clinicians. If you’re participating as an APM entity, you will receive the APM Entity’s score, but will be excluded from the calculation when CMS creates an average Promoting Interoperability score for the APM Entity.

Who is Eligible for an Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception?

MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups may submit an application to reweight any or all MIPS performance categories if they’ve been affected by extreme and uncontrollable circumstances extending beyond the Promoting Interoperability performance category. These circumstances must:
• Cause you to be unable to collect information necessary to submit for a MIPS performance category
• Cause you to be unable to submit information that would be used to score a MIPS performance category for an extended period of time (for example, if you were unable to collect data for the quality performance category for 3 months), and/or
• Impact your normal process, affecting your performance on cost measures and other administrative claims measures

NOTE: For the 2021 Performance Year we will continue to use our extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy to allow clinicians, groups, virtual groups, and APM Entities to submit an application requesting reweighting of performance categories due to the current COVID-19 public health emergency.

For APM Entities
APM entities participating in MIPS APMs are also able to submit an Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception Application that includes differences from the existing policy for individual, groups, and virtual groups.
• APM Entities are required to request reweighting for all performance categories
• Additionally, at least 75% of an APM Entity’s MIPS eligible clinicians must qualify for reweighting in the Promoting Interoperability performance category
• Data submission for an APM entity will not override performance category reweighting
• Users must have the Security Official role for their organization to submit an application on behalf of an APM Entity

How do I Apply?
In order to apply you must create a HCQIS Access Roles and Profile (HARP) account to submit an Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Application. For more information on how to obtain a HARP account, refer to the Register for a HARP Account document in the QPP Access User Guide, found by entering “access user guide” in the Resource Library.

• You must have the Security Official role to submit an application on behalf of an entire APPM Entity. For more information on how to obtain a Security Official role, refer to the Connect to an Organization document in the QPP Access User Guide, found by entering “access user guide” in the Resource Library.

Once you sign into QPP with your HARP credentials, click ‘Exceptions Application’ on the left-hand navigation and then select ‘Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances’ or ‘Promoting Interoperability Hardship.’

How do I know if I’m Approved?

If you submit an application for either exception, you’ll be notified by email if your request was approved or denied. If approved, this will also be added to your eligibility profile on the QPP Participation Status Tool.

For More Information

Visit the MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category Hardship Exception and Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception QPP webpages for more information and link to the application.
Download the 2021 MIPS Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exception Application Guide and the 2021 Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception Application Guide now available on the QPP Resource Library.

Contact the Quality Payment Program at 1-866-288-8292 or by e-mail at: Customers who are hearing impaired can dial 711 to be connected to a TRS Communications Assistant.


Contact the experts at Kentucky REC for all your QPP, MIPS, and APM questions. We’re here to help: 859-323-3090.


Our friends at the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative are hosting a free virtual event Tuesday, June 8, 2021, with Kentucky REC Executive Director Trudi Matthews serving as the Moderator of the Provider Panel.

June 8, 2021
8:00-10:30 AM ET
Virtual Event

You are invited to attend the upcoming KHC Community Health Forum, “High Quality Cardiovascular Care.”

REGISTRATION is open and free to the public. Attendees will learn about the current state of cardiovascular care in Kentucky, gain insights from primary care providers who reached levels of optimal care for their patients with cardiovascular disease, and hear from a patient on their health transformation journey, featuring the following speakers:

Jeremy Bradley, MD, FAAFP

Jeremy Bradley, MD, FAAFP


Owensboro Health

Mike Imburgia, MD

Mike Imburgia, MD


Have a Heart Clinic

Trudi Matthews, MA

Trudi Matthews, MA

Executive Director

Kentucky Regional Extension Center


Webinar – Key Aspects to an Effective HIPAA Compliance Program in a Virtual World
Thursday, May 27, 2021 12:00 PM ET

Our experts will discuss what comprises an effective HIPAA Compliance Program and how to adapt to the current Healthcare environment during and after the national emergency.

We will highlight the importance of and requirements for staying HIPAA compliant in terms of Privacy and Security. We’ll go over the definitions of safeguards including Administrative, Technical and Physical and will break down an effective compliance program into 6 basic categories including:

  • Security Risk Analysis
  • Policies and Procedures – Administrative, Physical and Technical
  • HIPAA Training & Education
  • Business Associate Tracking
  • Incident Tracking
  • Mitigation Planning

Our team will also discuss the current threats posed to the healthcare environment including recent breach reports, ransomware attacks, and other hot topics surrounding HIPAA security.

Call 859-323-3090 or email Kentucky REC HIPAA Privacy and Security experts with your questions, or if you want to talk to an advisor to schedule a Security Risk Analysis with us this year.


The Kentucky Health Information Exchange Incentive Opportunities

In collaboration with the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) is excited to offer three (3) separate incentive opportunities to help healthcare facilities mitigate the many challenges and barriers associated with the electronic exchange of health information.

Electronic Laboratory Reporting Incentive Program

KHIE is offering eligible healthcare facilities the opportunity to apply for a $20,000 incentive to offset the vendor fees associated with improving or establishing an Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) interface to the health information exchange (HIE).
Applicants are required to be a lab, including labs within hospitals and healthcare facilities, located and/or providing services in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Labs are also required to provide onsite testing and resulting. Funds may be used to offset technology upgrades or modifications required to establish an interface or to mitigate technical barriers directly related to electronic laboratory reporting.

ELR Incentive Program Application

Deadline: September 30, 2021

Electronic Case Reporting Incentive Program

KHIE is offering eligible healthcare facilities the opportunity to apply for a $10,000 incentive to offset the vendor fees associated with the implementation of technology to establish an Electronic Case Reporting (eCR) interface to the HIE.
Applicants are required to be a hospital or healthcare clinic, with an ordering facility, located and/or providing services in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Funds may be used to mitigate technical barriers or offset the costs directly associated with the implementation of the technology required to facilitate eCR.

eCR Incentive Program Application

Deadline: September 30, 2021

Provider Assistance Program

The Provider Assistance Program offers a more general incentive opportunity which can be used to help mitigate the many challenges associated with interoperability. KHIE is offering eligible hospitals the opportunity to apply for a $15,000 incentive and eligible providers & pharmacies the opportunity to apply for an $8,000 incentive.
Applicants are required to be an eligible hospital, healthcare facility or pharmacy located and/or providing services in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The incentive dollars may be used to offset the cost to connect to and utilize any of the numerous KHIE services.

Provider Assistance Program Application

Deadline: June 30, 2021

For any questions regarding these funding opportunities, please contact Brandi Genoe, KHIE Program Manager at


Continuing Education (CE) Opportunity from UK’s HEALing Communities Study – Fayette County

The HEALing Communities Study at the University of Kentucky is a collaboration between community members and researchers with a goal of reducing opioid overdose deaths using multiple evidence-based strategies. You can support one of these efforts and help improve patient care by participating in the HCS Educational Outreach Program for Primary Care Providers. This FREE continuing education program addresses the dual challenges of effective multimodal pain management and safe, appropriate opioid prescribing. Brief one-on-one educational sessions are tailored to the issues most relevant to your practice.

By participating, you’ll have access to:

    1. Two 20-minute virtual sessions with an HCS pharmacist, each worth 0.5 hours of HB1 CME
    2. Practice resources, including: patient education materials; reference tools; and local resource lists
    3. Additional online HB1 CME modules to supplement your live visit
    4. Ongoing support from HCS related to pain management and opioid safety

All primary care physicians, APRNs, and PAs practicing in Fayette County are eligible to participate, and our community coalition is eager to have UK providers participate.

To sign up for an educational session, select Medical Initial Visit and your preferred date and time on the following website:

If you have any questions, please contact Monica Roberts, PharmD, at

You can visit the UK HEALing Communities website HERE.




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.


Interested in improving care outcomes for Pediatric Patients with Asthma?

The Kentucky REC, as a trusted partner with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, is participating in an exciting new grant opportunity funded through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The goals are to improve the reach, quality, effectiveness, and sustainability of asthma control services, and to reduce asthma morbidity, mortality, and disparities throughout the state of Kentucky using the CDC’s EXHALE module.

This unique opportunity focuses on improving asthma care and education for pediatric patients, partnering with and improving school-based & community-based access to resources, and stream-lining referral processes for continuity of care in pediatric patient populations with asthma. The program lasts from June 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022.

The program includes:
• Advisory support for Quality Improvement
• Access to Asthma Self-Management Education and Support resources
• Practice tools
• Training opportunities for participating clinicians and staff.
• Financial support: $2,500 practice incentive to participants enrolling before June 1st, 2021; plus $2,500 for participation July 2021-June 2022
• On-going enrollment

Contact us at Kentucky REC or call 859-323-3090 to learn more about how you can participate.


We are in the midst of the final year of the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program: PY2021. The August 31, 2021 deadline is much earlier than all previous years. Along with the early deadline, the required responses to COVID-19 have made it difficult for many practices to achieve Promoting Interoperability. Therefore it is crucial to know exactly what is required, and the important objectives that need your attention.

We plan to have a guest speaker from a Kentucky practice who will share their best practices, and guidance on what has helped them be successful this past year. Besides the guest speaker, topics will include: program requirements, stage 3 measures, and important next steps. We are here to assist all eligible providers earn this final year’s incentive money.

Let us help you be prepared and successful when tackling Stage 3. Register now to learn more.

Webinar: KY Medicaid Promoting Interoperability (MU) for EPs: Preparing for PY2021

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 12:00 pm ET


Contact us at Kentucky REC with your questions about Promoting Interoperability. Our team of experts is here to help: 859-323-3090.


UK HealthCare is excited to announce that in the coming weeks, we will launch a revised transfer process – Kentucky Centralized Access and Transfer System (K-CATS) – to ensure care for the “right patient, at the right time, in the right location.”

Beginning Monday, March 15, outside facilities and providers will experience a new voice and face when dialing UK*MDs for patient transfers.

K-CATS was created in response to clinician feedback to improve the process of transferring appropriate patients who will benefit the most from our expertise and advanced care teams.

K-CATS will be staffed 24/7 with patient facilitators, nurse navigators and physician coverage.
The K-CATS team will serve as the control center for:

  • facilitating physician-to-physician consultation
  • arranging expedient clinic appointments
  • transferring patients into the UK HealthCare system

While the concept behind K-CATS has been in development for some time, it took on new urgency last July as UK HealthCare faced the complexity of COVID patient care and a significant increase in acutely ill Kentuckians needing complex, innovative care.

With input from both the UK HealthCare community and those who refer patients to us, we have been rethinking existing strategies and redesigning a new approach to increase efficiency, capacity management, transfer prioritization, and patient placement.

The K-CATS team will have access to:

  • eICU
  • telemedicine options
  • care navigation
  • procedural/diagnostic appointments
  • clinic appointments
  • direct admission to inpatient beds

It is our belief that K-CATS will provide greater efficiencies and stronger partnerships with Kentucky’s regional health care systems. At the same time, it will greatly benefit UK HealthCare providers, staff and patients.

The Contact Information for referring providers will not change. All calls will still go through UK*MDs. To refer a patient call toll free: 800-888-5533 or 859-257-5522 or Fax: 859-257-6325

For detailed information, please visit the Medical Contact Center page HERE.