KENTUCKY REGIONAL EXTENSION CENTER

Kentucky REC News

QPP WEBINAR AUG 18 – NPRM REVIEW 2022 PROGRAM YEAR

 

The 2022 Program update for the Quality Payment Program has been released in the latest Physician Fee Schedule Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). Our experts at the Kentucky REC will host a webinar on all of the updates to the Quality Payment Program MIPS track, and the Alternative Payment Model pathway.

CMS is moving from a siloed approach with individual categories, to a more aligned program using pathways for Alternative Payment Models (APMs). As expected, CMS is also providing more guidance in the MIPS Pathway model. Going forward, the MIPS pathway will include population health measures, promoting interoperability, and other measures that impact chronic health conditions.

During our webinar we will share:

  • proposed updates to the MIPS Pathway model
  • proposed updates to Alternative Payment Models (APMs)
  • the ending of the transition years of the program
  • alterations in quality measures that can be reported
  • changes in who is considered an eligible clinician

QPP YEAR 5 WEBINAR: 2022 NPRM REVIEW
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 18 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET

Below find links to the Proposed Rule, the fact sheet, and resources for additional information. The comment period for the NPRM closes September 13, 2021.

2022 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule

2022 Quality Payment Program Proposed Rule Overview Fact Sheet

Proposed Rule Resources

From CMS: Submit a Formal Comment by September 13

You must officially submit your comments in one of the following ways:
• Electronically, through regulations.gov
• Regular mail
• Express or overnight mail
• Hand or courier

Electronic comments are due no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on September 13, 2021 and mailed comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET, September 13, 2021.

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

IMPROVE PEDIATRIC ASTHMA CARE: GRANT ENROLLMENT OPPORTUNITY THROUGH JULY 31st – ONLY TWO AWARDS REMAINING!

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 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 for participation July 2021 – June 2022
• Deadline to Apply: July 31st, 2021

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

RESCHEDULED! WEBINAR SEPT 1 – QPP YEAR 5: FEEDBACK REPORTS & MID-YEAR PLANNING

 

DATE CHANGE! This webinar was originally scheduled July 28. However, as of July 27, CMS has not released the 2020 Feedback Reports. Therefore we are re-scheduling for September 1st.

Your QPP Feedback Report for the 2020 Program Year contains a lot of information to help you identify areas for improvement. Our Kentucky REC expert advisors will guide you through the Feedback Report and explain how you can use the information to help you finish 2021 well, and push you into a strong start for 2022!

We will discuss how to unpack the information from CMS to understand your payment adjustment, and identify both opportunities and strengths across the four performance categories. We’ll also share how you can leverage that information to help you plan for the future.

QPP YEAR 5 WEBINAR: FEEDBACK REPORTS & MID-YEAR PLANNING
WEDNESDAY SEPT 1ST 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET

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

UK HEALTHCARE & PARTNERS RECEIVE CDC GRANT TO IMPROVE STROKE CARE & OUTCOMES

UK HealthCare, UofL Health, the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program (KHDSP), and other state partners have been awarded the prestigious Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program Grant by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This $1.8 million grant aims to optimize both stroke prevention among those at high risk as well as improve the care and outcomes for stroke patients throughout Kentucky.

The grant will be spread out over three years and will allow the coordination and expansion of existing efforts to improve stroke-related health outcomes. Kentucky health care systems and community providers will work together to implement comprehensive stroke systems for those at high risk for stroke and those who have had a stroke.

“This award could not come at a better time, because Kentucky has among the highest rates of stroke-related deaths in the country,” said Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, chairman of the University of Kentucky Department of Neurology and co-director of the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute. “Over 2,000 Kentuckians die from stroke or stroke-related complications each year. Health behaviors and conditions that contribute to stroke are present at high rates in Kentucky with contributions from smoking, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, excessive alcohol use, and physical inactivity. Although there are several existing stroke programs in Kentucky, we are excited that this project will coordinate and expand upon these efforts to improve stroke outcomes for Kentuckians.”

Goldstein, who is also the principal investigator for the grant project, says the Coverdell award will also allow them to specifically target areas of the Commonwealth that are disproportionately affected by stroke, such as the Appalachian counties. The mortality rate due to stroke in that region is 14% higher than the national average and 8% higher than the rest of the state.

KHDSP and the Stroke Encounter Quality Improvement Project (SEQIP) have made significant strides over the last 10 years improving stroke systems of care in the Commonwealth and growing access to stroke care by increasing the number of certified stroke centers in the state, increasing delivery of acute stroke treatments that can reverse or minimize stroke deficits, and sharing best practices to help facilitate care delivery during hospitalization and after discharge. In a similar fashion, the UK/Norton Healthcare Stroke Care Network (SCN) works with area hospitals to provide clinical guidance and oversight to providers with the goal of ensuring stroke patients receive the right treatment at the right time.

This grant will coordinate and expand these existing efforts in Kentucky to improve stroke-related health outcomes by working with Kentucky health care systems and community providers to implement comprehensive stroke systems for those at high risk for stroke and those who have had a stroke.

“This award validates the voluntary efforts of stroke center personnel, EMS representatives, community partners, KHDSP staff and colleagues in public health, as well as all other stakeholders who have worked tirelessly, across geopolitical boundaries, in a collaborative effort since SEQIP’s inception in 2009 to advance stroke systems of care in our state,” said Kari Moore, chair of SEQIP and project co-investigator. “We are excited to continue to build upon these efforts supported by the Coverdell award.”

“The Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program will allow expansion of our statewide efforts to serve rural and underserved citizens of the Commonwealth, to reduce disparities, and monitor our progress,” said Dr. Kerri S. Remmel, chair of the University of Louisville Department of Neurology and co-chair of the KHDSP Task Force. “The program will facilitate continuous quality improvement in the full continuum of care from the moment a patient has a stroke through their emergency services, hospitalization, and rehabilitation to their outpatient preventive care. We are extremely enthusiastic about collaborating with our partners in the Coverdell Program to improve stroke systems of care in Kentucky.”

As part of the Coverdell initiative, the Kentucky Stroke Improvement Cooperative (KSIC) will be created to provide leadership for improving the quality of stroke care in the Commonwealth. Building from the KHDSP Task Force and SEQIP, the UK and UofL Stroke Programs, and the SCN, this group will lead the collaborative effort to transform Kentucky’s stroke care and outcomes by improving health approaches and practices.

This will be accomplished by utilizing collaborative workgroups to turn knowledge into behavior change and to increase the use of evidence-based guidelines for health systems change. KSIC will accomplish its purpose by increasing public awareness of stroke and related issues in the community.

  • Identifying and eliminating disparities that affect the health outcomes of Kentuckians.
  • Providing education about stroke and its management.
  • Serving as a link between the community and stroke care and supportive resources.
  • Utilizing data to prioritize coalition goals and activities.
  • Increasing diversity of its members.

The KSIC will be a catalyst for enhancing activities of other organizations promoting the health and well-being of all Kentuckians at risk, having and living with the effects of stroke.

“There has been a lot of great work across the Commonwealth to improve the care of stroke patients,” said Brent McKune, managing director of the UK HealthCare Kentucky Regional Extension Center and project co-investigator. “The Coverdell funding gives us the opportunity to provide a coordinated effort to provide support and improve processes to ensure a high quality of care.”

Since its inception in 2005, the Coverdell Program has funded programs to ensure that all Americans receive the highest quality stroke care, a leading cause of death and long-term disability, by supporting coordinated stroke systems of care.

Joining nine other states currently funded by the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program, Kentucky’s program will:

  • Increase access and participation in the statewide Kentucky Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force from the current 38 hospitals to help close the gap in stroke care for high-burden populations. In addition to focusing on hospitals, the project will expand participation to encompass the community, primary care clinics, EMS, rehabilitation centers and long-term care facilities.
  • Expand coordination between existing programs including the Kentucky Stroke Encounter Quality Improvement Project, the statewide UK/Norton Healthcare Stroke Care Network, and the 36 certified Stroke Centers in Kentucky.
  • Expand existing systems of care to coordinate and extend access to rural and underserved populations.
  • Increase the dissemination of evidence-based guidelines for improvement of hypertension, obesity and diabetes control, which are the leading risk factors for stroke disproportionately affecting high-burden populations.
  • Reduce stroke disparities and deaths over the long term and improve outcomes throughout Kentucky with a focus on Appalachia and underserved communities at highest risk.

“We look forward to this exciting work and hope to lead the way in improving stroke-related care for the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Goldstein said.

This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $600,000 per year for three years, with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

You can read the original article HERE.

From UK NOW, By Hillary Smith and Megan Housley – June 24, 2021

QPP YEAR 5 WEBINAR JUNE 23 PROMOTING INTEROPERABILITY DATA VALIDATION

 

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 KYRec@uky.edu. We aim to be your trusted healthcare advisor!

CMS 2021 QUALITY PAYMENT PROGRAM – APPLICATIONS FOR HARDSHIP & EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES NOW OPEN

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.

Questions?
Contact the Quality Payment Program at 1-866-288-8292 or by e-mail at: QPP@cms.hhs.gov. 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.

JUNE 8 2021 – FREE KHC COMMUNITY HEALTH FORUM: HIGH VALUE CARDIOVASCULAR CARE

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.

HIGH VALUE CARDIOVASCULAR CARE
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

Physician

Owensboro Health

Mike Imburgia, MD

Mike Imburgia, MD

Founder

Have a Heart Clinic

Trudi Matthews, MA

Trudi Matthews, MA

Executive Director

Kentucky Regional Extension Center

HIPAA WEBINAR MAY 27

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.

KENTUCKY HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE INCENTIVE OPPORTUNITIES

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. Business entities may submit up to FIVE (5) separate applications per program, for separate locations.

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. Business entities may submit up to FIVE (5) separate applications per program, for separate locations.

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. Business entities may submit up to FIVE (5) separate applications per program, for separate locations.

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. Business entities may submit up to FIVE (5) separate applications per program, for separate locations.

Provider Assistance Program Application

Deadline: August 31, 2021

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

FREE FAYETTE COUNTY CE OPPORTUNITY FROM UK’S HEALING COMMUNITIES STUDY

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: http://research.uky.edu/scheduleHCS

If you have any questions, please contact Monica Roberts, PharmD, at monica.roberts@uky.edu.

You can visit the UK HEALing Communities website HERE.