KENTUCKY REGIONAL EXTENSION CENTER

Kentucky REC News

WEBINAR MARCH 22 – NAVIGATING TELEHEALTH AS THE PANDEMIC MOVES TO ENDEMIC

As the pandemic becomes endemic, we’re looking toward the future of access to healthcare. Can you see Telemedicine being a permanent part of your practice? Did you know that some of the service codes we have been using may not be included in the permanent Medicare Telehealth services list? Did you know the demographic using telehealth audio/video technology is mostly women ages 25-40?

Join us for our upcoming telehealth webinar where our experts will discuss Medicare’s additions to the permanent telehealth list, how to navigate service codes that are not included in Medicare’s updated lists, what to expect from the state telehealth committee, and more.

Webinar – NAVIGATING TELEHEALTH AS THE PANDEMIC MOVES TO ENDEMIC
TUESDAY MARCH 22 12:00 – 12:45 PM ET

Contact the experts at Kentucky REC with all your Telemedicine and Telehealth questions. We’re here to help: 859-323-3090.

WEBINAR MARCH 16 – QPP YEAR SIX: ELIGIBILITY


Now, early in the year, is the perfect time to begin reviewing your organization’s list of eligible clinicians in CMS’s Quality Payment Program. This is one of the first steps in preparation for a successful performance in the QPP. Join the Kentucky REC’s panel of knowledgeable advisors as they provide valuable programmatic details on the eligibility process for the QPP.

We will discuss eligibility criteria, MIPS determination periods, special statuses, participation information, reporting options, and how your eligibility can change throughout the year. We will show the various ways to check eligibility, and which area is definitive when finalizing which clinicians are required to submit. Also, learn how some clinicians may opt-in to the QPP to take advantage of their high-performing status within the program.

QPP YEAR 6 WEBINAR: ELIGIBILITY – Understanding Clinician & Reporting Eligibility
WEDNESDAY MARCH 16th 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.

FREE WEBINAR FEB 8 & FEB 10 – KENTUCKY WOMEN’S CANCER SCREENING PROGRAM

Kentucky Cancer Program is hosting a webinar about the KY Women’s Cancer Screening Program in the eastern half of Kentucky. There will be information about what the KY Women’s Cancer Screening Program is, who qualifies, how to enroll someone, and facilities in the area that offer services.

This live webinar will be hosted on two different dates:


Working Together to Keep Kentucky Women Healthy
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 8,2022
TIME: 9 – 10 AM
REGISTER HERE: https://bit.ly/3IEGIdd


Working Together to Keep Kentucky Women Healthy
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 8,2022
TIME: 12 – 1 PM
REGISTER HERE: https://bit.ly/3u39z79

More information is available HERE.

Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program
1-844-249-0708

Kentucky Cancer Program: https://www.kcp.uky.edu/

ONC SAFER GUIDES: AN OVERVIEW

What are the SAFER Guides?

Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience Guides (SAFER Guides) were developed and released by the ONC in 2014 and updated in 2016. This series of nine user guides support healthcare organizations in their ability to address EHR safety. Collectively, the SAFER Guides help healthcare organizations conduct self-assessments to optimize the safety and safe use of EHRs in three areas – Foundational, Infrastructure and Clinical Process. The SAFER Guides are intended to be used by EHR users, developers, patient safety organizations, and those who are concerned with optimizing the safe use of Health IT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:HealthIT.gov

How do SAFER Guides self assessments help my organization?

By completing a self-assessment using the SAFER Guides, providers can help develop a “culture of safety” within their organizations and ensure they are responsible operators of technology tools, including certified health IT products, which they use in the delivery of care.
 

Is my organization required to complete a SAFER Guides assessment?

On August 13, 2021 CMS issued the final rule for fiscal year (FY) 2022 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS). The final rule updates Medicare payment policies and rates for operating and capital-related costs of acute care hospitals and for certain hospitals and hospital units excluded from the IPPS for FY 2022. Under the rule, a new “SAFER Guides Measure” has been added to the Protect Patient Health Information objective.
 
Hospitals must attest to having completed an annual assessment of all nine guides in the SAFER Guides measure.
 

What are the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program attestation requirements for the SAFER Guides measure?

For Calendar Year (CY) 2022, this measure requires an eligible hospital or CAH to attest to having conducted an annual self-assessment of all nine SAFER Guides at any point during the calendar year in which the EHR reporting period occurs. The measure will be a “yes” or “no” requirement, but it will not be scored, and it will not affect the total score for the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program.
 

How is a SAFER Guides assessment completed?

In order to complete a self-assessment of the SAFER Guides, CMS expects that each eligible hospital or CAH will complete the checklist of recommended practices included at the beginning of each SAFER Guide. Following the checklist, a practice worksheet provides the rationale for, and examples of, how to implement each recommended practice, along with likely sources of input into the assessment of each practice, and fillable fields to record follow-up actions.
 

Where can I find the SAFER Guides assessment tools?

The SAFER Guides assessment tools and additional information are available HERE.
 

Is my organization still required to conduct a Security Risk Assessment (SRA)?

A security risk assessment must be conducted by all covered entities per the HIPAA Security Rule, regardless of participation in the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program. If participating in the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program, eligible hospitals or CAHs must attest to having completed both an SRA and a SAFER Guides assessment.

Resources:

Federal Register Final Rule

SAFER Guides Information

Call 859-323-3090 or email Kentucky REC our HIPAA Privacy and Security experts with your questions. We’re here to help.

WEBINAR FEB 16 – QPP YEAR SIX: 2022 PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Each new year brings challenges and opportunities within the world of healthcare. The last several years have been unprecedented in the level of those challenges, with clinicians and healthcare workers willingly stepping into the gap to provide much needed care for some of our most fragile patients. At the Kentucky Regional Extension Center, we appreciate your dedication and commitment to the communities you serve.

2022 brings new regulatory changes and updates to CMS’s Quality Payment Program as well. From limiting bonus potential in the Quality performance category, to increased weighting and addition of 5 new Cost measures, to updates with Promoting Interoperability, and additional insights into the implementation of MIPS Value Pathways (that will soon be replacing Traditional MIPS), more change is on the horizon. Now, more than ever, is the time to optimize your Health Information Technology, gain understanding around your data, and streamline workflows and processes to maximize your performance potential and improve outcomes.

Join us for our next webinar where we will 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 Overview: Foundations of Success in the QPP – February 16th at 12pm Eastern.

QPP YEAR 6 WEBINAR: 2022 PROGRAM OVERVIEW
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 16th 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.

CMS QUALITY PAYMENT PROGRAM SURS INITIATIVE ENDING

As a subcontractor to Altarum Institute of Michigan, Kentucky Regional Extension Center exclusively serves and supports the eligible providers in Kentucky under the QPP SURS technical assistance grant. However, after five years of support, the initiative will end on February 15, 2022. Contact the expert advisors at Kentucky REC for all your QPP, MIPS, and APM questions. We’re here to help: 859-323-3090.

From CMS QPP Listserv announcement December 8, 2021:

Over the past 5 years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has successfully implemented a technical assistance initiative for clinicians in small practices participating in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) known as the Small, Underserved, and Rural Support (SURS). This initiative provides free, customized technical assistance to practices with 15 or fewer Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians. Since QPP began in 2017, SURS technical assistance organizations have provided direct support to an average of 107,250 clinicians annually and achieved a 99% average annual small practice clinician satisfaction rate for the technical assistance received based on an average of 19,281 responses. Overall, the feedback we’ve heard from clinicians that have worked with SURS technical assistance organizations has been overwhelmingly positive and shows the strong impact this initiative has had on small practice clinicians’ participation in QPP.

As clinicians are preparing for the start of the 2022 performance year (PY), it is important to note that the SURS initiative will end on February 15, 2022 as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) only provided for 5 years of direct support. The practice-level program support provided by the external technical assistance organizations will no longer be available after this date. For those currently receiving MIPS support from the SURS technical assistance organizations, be assured that these organizations have committed to providing exceptional technical assistance organizations through February 15. CMS encourages small practices to take advantage of this initiative within the remaining time.

CMS is committed to providing continued support and educational resources for small, underserved and rural practices participating in QPP and will continue to have the following options available:

The Quality Payment Program Service Center will serve as a primary point of contact to help address your questions and concerns. The Service Center is able to address basic questions as well as more complex scenarios.
• Connect with the Service Center at 1-866-288-8292 (TTY 1-877-715-6222) or via email at QPP@cms.hhs.gov Monday – Friday 8 am – 8 pm ET
• The QPP website provides a centralized location for resources, and specifically, the Support for Small Practices page will provide updates and resources for small practices.
• We encourage all small, underserved and rural clinicians and their staff to bookmark this page (https://qpp.cms.gov/resources/small-underserved-rural-practices) for easy access to updates and available resources.
• Upcoming webinars and trainings will be listed on the QPP Webinar Library. Recordings, slides and transcripts of past events will also be available and posted to the Webinar Library.
• Sign up for the QPP listserv to receive updates on the Quality Payment Program and upcoming program deadlines.
• Encourage your fellow small, underserved and rural clinicians and their staff to sign up for the QPP listserv by entering their email address into the box at the bottom of any cms.gov webpage.
• CMS is looking into the possibility of creating a targeted listserv focused on small practices so that they can get you the information you need most.

What Should I Do Now?

1. Bookmark the QPP website Support for Small Practices page.
2. Sign-up for the QPP listserv.
3. Small practices participating in QPP for PY 2021 should make plans to submit data early while technical assistance support is still available (before February 15, 2022). The data submission window for PY 2021 opens on January 3, 2022 and closes on March 31, 2022.

Reminder: Under current policies, we automatically calculate a quality score from Medicare Part B claims measures at the individual and group level. Some small practices may not be aware of the implications of their PY 2021 claims reporting due to some of the policies we introduced at the onset of the COVID-19 PHE. As a result, these small practices may wish to request performance category reweighting on behalf of the group through the PY 2021 EUC Exception Application, citing COVID-19 as the triggering event.
• PY 2021 EUC Exception Applications can be submitted by signing in to qpp.cms.gov and clicking Exception Applications on the left-hand navigation.
December 31, 2021 is the deadline to submit an EUC Exception Application for PY 2021.

CMS understands clinicians in small practices, including those in rural locations, health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas are a vital part of our healthcare system. Therefore, they remain committed to providing educational resources to help maximize participation in QPP beyond the end of the SURS initiative on February 15, 2022. CMS is working with SURS technical assistance organizations to identify areas where greater support is needed for small practices so that they can improve existing resources, or develop new resources, and ensure small practices continue to be successful in QPP.

 

As a subcontractor to Altarum Institute of Michigan, Kentucky Regional Extension Center exclusively serves and supports the eligible providers in Kentucky. However, after five years of support, the QPP SURS technical assistance grant will end on February 15, 2022. Contact the expert advisors at Kentucky REC for all your QPP, MIPS, and APM questions. We’re here to help: 859-323-3090.

DEC 2 ANNUAL CONFERENCE FEATURED PRESENTATION: HIPAA SECURITY


DECEMBER 2, 2021 – Kentucky REC Annual Conference

Hybrid Event with Special Guest Speakers – In Person and Virtual

Lexington Kentucky, Malone’s Prime Events Center

FEATURED PRESENTATION – HIPAA SECURITY: Proper Safeguards are the Key to Passing an Audit

The HIPAA Security Rule is made up of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards that all covered entities are required to implement. If ever audited by OCR, a covered entity would need to prove that these safeguards are in place. Kentucky REC expert advisor Amy Daley will cover the safeguards required in detail, with examples for each.

View our Agenda

During our day together, we’ll have guest speakers, along with presentations on quality initiatives, HIPAA, Telehealth, and more to ensure that clinicians, hospital administrators, and clinic staff are well prepared for the challenges of modern healthcare. Our valued partners at KHIE, the Kentucky Health Information Exchange, will be presenting along with us.

We are pleased to be hosting our first ever HYBRID event to give our attendees the option to attend either in person* or virtually. All registrants will receive links to session recordings after the event.

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

*Masks are required during our in person event based on UK HealthCare COVID guidelines.

DEC 2 ANNUAL CONFERENCE FEATURED PRESENTATION – HOSPITAL PROMOTING INTEROPERABILITY


DECEMBER 2, 2021 – Kentucky REC Annual Conference

Hybrid Event with Special Guest Speakers – In Person and Virtual

Lexington Kentucky, Malone’s Prime Events Center

FEATURED PRESENTATION – Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program for Hospitals

Kentucky REC expert advisor Kristina Feathers will discuss the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals. She will review recent changes finalized by CMS to continue the advancement of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) utilization, focused on improving interoperability and health information exchange to ensure program participants maintain successful reporting in 2021 and beyond.

View our Agenda

During our day together, we’ll have guest speakers, along with presentations on quality initiatives, HIPAA, Telehealth, and more to ensure that clinicians, hospital administrators, and clinic staff are well prepared for the challenges of modern healthcare. Our valued partners at KHIE, the Kentucky Health Information Exchange, will be presenting along with us.

We are pleased to be hosting our first ever HYBRID event to give our attendees the option to attend either in person* or virtually. All registrants will receive links to session recordings after the event.

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

*Masks are required during our in person event based on UK HealthCare COVID guidelines.

DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR CY 2021 ECQM SUBMISSIONS AND MEDICARE PROMOTING INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAM ATTESTATION

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended two deadlines affecting eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) participating in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program and/or the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program.

The deadline for the submission of electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) data for the calendar year (CY) 2021 reporting period, pertaining to the fiscal year (FY) 2023 payment determination, has been changed from Monday, February 28, 2022, to Thursday, March 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT).

The Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program attestation deadline for eligible hospitals and CAHs has been changed from Monday, February 28, 2022, to Thursday, March 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. PT.

For CY 2021 reporting, all other aspects of program requirements remain the same.

Questions? Contact the experts at Kentucky REC for all of your Medicare Promoting Interoperability questions. We’re here to help: 859-323-3090.