KENTUCKY REGIONAL EXTENSION CENTER

Kentucky REC News

JOIN THE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE

IT TAKES A COMMUNITY: A CALL TO ACTION FOR KENTUCKY PROVIDERS

The pandemic has worsened the behavioral health challenges Kentuckians face, and more solutions are needed to address this mounting problem. It’s more important now than ever to share knowledge and best practices among providers along the behavioral health care continuum.

Join us as we bring together providers from across the Commonwealth to be part of a Behavioral Health Community of Practice, organized by UK HealthCare and Kentucky REC, where mental health experts will share ideas and best practices to optimize care for Kentuckians.

The Community of Practice format will be monthly one-hour webinars October 2022 through May 2023 from noon – 1 pm.
The webinars will connect primary care providers, specialists and organizations through learning sessions where behavioral health experts will present best practices, interactive trainings, group discussions, tools, and resources to optimize care.

Participants:
• Adult primary care, internal medicine, and pediatric primary care providers and staff
• Community mental health center providers and staff
• Community-based organizations
• State agencies
• Other behavioral health partners

Community of Practice participation is free and Mental Health First Aid Training classes will be offered on a first come first served basis.

Visit HERE for more information and to register for the first three webinars.

To learn more, visit THIS UK HealthCare web page.

QUESTIONS? Contact us at Kentucky REC or call us: 859-323-3090.

WEBINAR AUG 31 – ADVANTAGES OF INCORPORATING THE PATIENT-CENTERED MEDICAL HOME MODEL

Join us for an in-depth conversation about the advantages of incorporating a PCMH Model into your practice. We will do a quick overview of each distinction and then discuss health improvements, practice and staff benefits, as well as financial advantages. We will share a practice manager’s perspective of NCQA Recognition, and how the KY REC assisted them in becoming a PCMH Recognized organization.

The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition program provides a roadmap for achieving excellence in patient care. This national model for practice transformation helps practices improve in areas of patient-centeredness, access, communication, care coordination, quality, and efficiency. Kentucky REC expert advisors have years of experience in assisting practices to achieve and maintain NCQA’s PCMH Recognition through a transformation program. This program includes step by step education, gap analyses, documentation review and feedback, advice on overcoming transformation barriers, application guidance, the submission process, and more.

Advantages of Incorporating the Patient-Centered Medical Home Model into an Organization
 
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 31 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET

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

SURVEY ON CRITICAL HEALTH WORKERS IN KENTUCKY – CLOSES AUG 12

You are invited to complete a survey to assess the familiarity, utilization, and engagement of Community Health Workers (CHWs) among organizations across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The survey is being administered and evaluated through a partnership between the Office of Community Health Workers within the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) and the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative (KHC) with funding awarded from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to Train, Engage and Deploy Community Health Workers (CHWs) through “DP21-2109 Community Health Workers for COVID-19 Response and Resilient Communities.”

As healthcare community stakeholders and healthcare purchasers, your input is critical. Employers can maximize the impact of CHWs for their workforce and their communities.

Whether your organization does or does not currently employ CHWs, we still need your input.

Please complete the survey by clicking on the link below. It should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Multiple responses from within a single organization are allowable. The deadline for responding to this survey is August 12, 2022.

COMPLETE THE SURVEY

 
All information collected in this survey will be aggregated to understand the collective findings. No personally identifiable information will be distributed outside of the administering organizations. The administering organizations may contact survey responders for further information related to their submissions. Contact Natalie Middaugh, Director, Programs and Health Strategies, Kentuckiana Health Collaborative at nmiddaugh@khcollaborative.org with any questions.

WEBINAR AUGUST 17 – QPP YEAR 6: NPRM 2023 OVERVIEW

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Calendar Year (CY) 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Proposed Rule for the 2023 performance year (PY) and beyond, on Thursday, July 7th, 2022. This notice for proposed rulemaking impacts not only the Quality Payment Program (QPP) but also proposes changes to the PFS, potentially expanding access to behavioral health services, ACOs, cancer screening, and dental care in rural and underserved areas.

Our experts at the Kentucky Regional Extension Center will host a webinar on August 17th at 12pm ET highlighting the proposed updates to the Quality Payment Program, including proposed changes to: MIPS Value Pathways (MVP), Traditional MIPS, Alternative Payment Model (APM) Performance Pathways (APP), and Advanced APMs.

Join us as we explore these programmatic challenges, and how to turn them into opportunities for improvement when you partner with the expert advisors at the Kentucky Regional Extension Center.

QPP YEAR 6 WEBINAR: 2023 NPRM OVERVIEW
 
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 17th 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET

To access the CMS Proposed Rule, press release, and additional resources, please follow the links below:

2023 Proposed Rule
CMS Press Release – Provides additional details about the proposed policies for QPP and other CMS initiatives; this page includes the following resources and links:

  • 2023 Overview Fact Sheet – Outlines proposed revisions to QPP and the list of requests for information (RFIs) included in the 2023 PFS NPRM
  • 2023 Policy Comparison Table – Showcases the changes to QPP policies proposed in the 2023 PFS NPRM, in comparison to the existing policy; this includes appendices which identify policies previously finalized for the 2023 performance year and specifies the quality measures and improvement activities proposed for addition and removal; it also inncludes appendices which identify policies previously finalized for MVP reporting in the 2023 performance year
  • 2023 Proposed MVPs Guide – Includes the 5 newly proposed MVPs and the corresponding measures for the 2023 performance year

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

WANT TO IMPROVE STROKE CARE & OUTCOMES? GRANT PROGRAM AVAILABLE

Join us in improving health outcomes for people of the Commonwealth!

The University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, and Kentucky Department of Public Health were awarded a Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program Grant in 2021. As the lead organizations in the project, we are working together to expand Kentucky’s existing efforts to improve stroke-related health outcomes by working with Kentucky health care systems and community providers to implement comprehensive stroke systems for those at highest risk for stroke, as well as those who have had a stroke.

We are looking for partners in primary care offices to leverage electronic health records and health information technology to identify patients at highest risk for stroke, such as those with a personal history of stroke and those with uncontrolled hypertension. Under the unified goal of preventing stroke, uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the highest indicators for stroke risk, and is a significant issue throughout Kentucky. As a participant in the strategy, the Coverdell team will be offering technical assistance to help your staff prevent stroke in patients with uncontrolled hypertension, as well as improve outcomes for patients who have had a stroke.

Benefits of participation include:

EHR technical assistance to help identify patients with uncontrolled hypertension
Assistance from the Coverdell Team and DPH in establishing and participation in the Care Collaborative
FREE Blood Pressure Monitors and Cuffs
Process improvement assistance to implement and sustain initiative
Technical assistance to track and measure improvements in patient population

Along with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, we will be providing CARE Collaborative training for your staff. The CARE Collaborative is an educational encounter between a healthcare extender and the patient that helps them identify their blood pressure zone and provides them with the tools to reduce their risk of stroke by lowering their blood pressure. You can find more information on the CARE Collaborative HERE.

Be a part of the inaugural Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program Grant award for Kentucky!

Contact us at Kentucky REC or 859-323-3090 to learn more.

GRANT FUNDED HYPERTENSION LEARNING COLLABORATIVE STARTS JULY 2022!

JUST A FEW SPACES REMAINING – Contact us now! Kentucky REC or 859-323-3090

The Kentucky Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program at the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) recently received a multi-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve hypertension clinical outcomes. One of the strategies Kentucky has chosen focuses on the implementation of a robust clinical quality improvement Hypertension Learning Collaborative (HLC).

This Collaborative will be a 12-month process by which health care organizations come together to learn from one another, and from experts in the field, and then undertake small tests of change to reach self-identified objectives within their own organizations. The focus for the HLC will be to assist health care organizations make “breakthrough” increases in the adoption and use of clinical systems and care practices to improve health outcomes in adults with uncontrolled hypertension. Targeted clinical outcomes will include improvement in blood pressure control and use of statin therapy. Clinical system changes will include: clinical decision support within the EHR for Cardiovascular Assessment; Risk Reduction; and Education Collaborative Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring (CARE SMBP) referral; the establishment of bi-directional referral processes with CARE SMBP providers; and other evidence-based care practices.

HYPERTENSION LEARNING COLLABORATIVE HIGHLIGHTS
JULY 2022 — JULY 2023
    • Receive monthly technical assistance, monthly webinars and quarterly Learning Sessions, with regular reporting
    • Educate patients on options for blood pressure screening, refer interested patients to Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring at Local Health Department
    • Conduct small tests of change using quality improvement methodologies
    • Financial Support: $1500 quarterly

 

HERE is a flyer with all the grant opportunities listed.

Contact us at Kentucky REC or 859-323-3090 to learn more.

QPP YEAR SIX WEBINAR JULY 20: 2022 COST CATEGORY

The increased Cost Category weighting has made this category equal to Quality in importance and often one of the most challenging to understand. While CMS has elected to issue the hardship exception to all clinicians for the past two program years due to Covid-19, we don’t expect to see that blanket application for Program Year 2022. This could be the first year for many providers to be evaluated on any one of the 25 cost measures available for eligible clinician and group scoring.

Join us on July 20th as we review some of the new measures, explain the attribution and evaluation process, and discuss how the cost category can be reweighted this year and in years to come.

QPP Year 6 Webinar: Optimizing Cost for Alignment*
Wednesday, July 20, 2022 @ 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 KYRec@uky.edu. We aim to be your trusted healthcare advisor!

SAVE THE DATE! HYBRID DEC 8 2022 ANNUAL CONFERENCE – WITH KHIE


SAVE THE DATE! DECEMBER 8, 2022 – Kentucky REC Annual Conference – With KHIE

During our day together, we’ll discuss quality initiatives, HIPAA, Telehealth, and more to ensure that clinicians, hospital and ambulatory administrators, and clinic staff are well prepared for the challenges of modern healthcare. We’ll have both in person and virtual options.

Details, Agenda, and Registration Coming Soon!

Questions? Contact us at Kentucky REC or call us at 859-323-3090.

QPP YEAR 6 WEBINAR JUNE 16: OPTIMIZING IMPROVEMENT ACTIVITIES FOR ALIGNMENT

We are nearly halfway through QPP Performance Year 6 and practices are working hard to maximize their performance in the QPP. Our next client webinar will focus on the Improvement Activities (IA) category. Join us to learn how your practice can optimize your performance, and align improvement activities with the work you are already doing.

Our panel of knowledgeable advisors will discuss how to select activities that are meaningful to your practice. We will also review IA changes for 2022, documentation requirements, and timelines to help you reach optimal IA scoring.

QPP Year 6 Webinar: Optimizing Improvement Activities for Alignment*
Thursday, June 16, 2022 @ 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 KYRec@uky.edu. We aim to be your trusted healthcare advisor!

QPP NEWS! CMS REWEIGHTING 2021 MIPS COST PERFORMANCE CATEGORY

From CMS:

CMS Reweighting 2021 MIPS Cost Performance Category

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recognizes the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency (PHE) continued to have on clinicians and the services they provided in the 2021 performance period.

Due to COVID-19’s impact on cost measures, we’re reweighting the cost performance category from 20% to 0% for the 2021 performance period. The 20% cost performance category weight will be redistributed to other performance categories in accordance with § 414.1380(c)(2)(ii)(E). Please see the table below for reweighting scenarios.

Why CMS is Reweighting the MIPS Cost Performance Category for 2021

Cost was already reweighted to 0% for all individual MIPS eligible clinicians, even if data were submitted for other performance categories, due to the automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (EUC) policies under § 414.1380(c)(2)(i)(A)(6) and § 414.1380(c)(2)(i)(C). Our analysis of the underlying data for the 2021 performance period shows similar results at the group- and individual-level across measures. As a result, we believe that reweighting shouldn’t depend on whether you choose to report as a group or individual.

Given these circumstances and in accordance with § 414.1380(c)(2), we’ll assign a weight of 0% to the cost performance category for the 2021 performance period and redistribute the prescribed weight of 20% to another performance category or categories.

Specifically, we don’t believe we can reliably calculate scores for some of the cost measures that would adequately capture and reflect the performance of MIPS eligible clinicians based on the following reasons, as shown by our analysis of the cost performance category data for the 2021 performance period:

• Most measures have higher observed and risk-adjusted costs at the episode-level. This indicates that risk adjustment at the episode-level doesn’t entirely account for differences in resource use, particularly for broader measures or measures that are clinically proximate to respiratory disease and COVID-19.

• There’s less of an effect at the provider-level for most measures where testing shows that scores don’t appear to be adversely impacted by higher case-loads of episodes with a recent or concurrent COVID-19 diagnosis. However, there are a small number of measures where scores may be adversely affected by the volume of episodes with a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Please note that starting with the 2022 performance period, instead of reweighting the entire cost performance category, individual cost measures can be suppressed if the data used to calculate the score was impacted by significant changes during the performance period, such that calculating the cost measure would lead to misleading or inaccurate results. This provision allowing greater flexibility was finalized in the CY 2022 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule.

Clinicians don’t need to take any action as a result of this decision because the cost performance category relies on administrative claims data.

MIPS Performance Category Weight Redistribution Policies Finalized for the 2021 Performance Period

The table below* illustrates the MIPS performance category weights and reweighting policies that apply to MIPS eligible clinicians, groups and virtual groups in the 2021 performance period.

*This table can be found at § 414.1380(c)(2)(ii)(E).

This reweighting of the cost performance category applies in addition to the extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (EUC) policies under § 414.1380(c)(2)(i)(A)(6) and § 414.1380(c)(2)(i)(C).

• Cost was already reweighted to 0% for all individual MIPS eligible clinicians, even if data were submitted for other performance categories, due to the automatic EUC policy.
• Cost will now be reweighted to 0% for all groups and virtual groups, even if they didn’t request reweighting through an EUC exception application.

As a reminder, under § 414.1380(c), if a MIPS eligible clinician is scored on fewer than 2 performance categories (meaning 1 performance category is weighted at 100% or all performance categories are weighted at 0%), they’ll receive a final score equal to the performance threshold and a neutral MIPS payment adjustment for the 2023 MIPS payment year.

Cost Data in Performance Feedback for 2021

We recognize that this is the second year that we’ve had to reweight the cost performance category due to COVID-19, and that clinicians need more insight into and familiarity with their performance in this category. To support this need, we’ll provide patient-level reports on the 2021 cost measures for which clinicians, groups and virtual groups met the case minimum. Patient-level reports will be available as part of the final performance feedback in August 2022.

Please note that we won’t include measure-level scoring information in performance feedback. As previously mentioned, we don’t believe we can reliably calculate scores for the cost measures that would adequately capture and reflect the performance of MIPS eligible clinicians.

Questions?

Please contact the Quality Payment Program at 1-866-288-8292 or by e-mail at: QPP@cms.hhs.gov. To receive assistance more quickly, consider calling during non-peak hours – before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m. ET.
• Customers who are hearing impaired can dial 711 to be connected to a TRS Communications Assistant.

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