KENTUCKY REGIONAL EXTENSION CENTER

Kentucky REC News

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.

DEC 2 ANNUAL CONFERENCE FEATURED SPEAKER – JESSICA SASS, UK HEALTHCARE

 


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 SPEAKER – JESSICA SASS, UK HEALTHCARE Deputy Executive Director
Implementing Population Health Management at UK Healthcare

As the leading academic-based medical center in the state and one of the largest referral centers in the nation, UK Healthcare has a mission to improve the overall health and well-being of Kentuckians across the Commonwealth and beyond. This presentation will encompass a case study of the strategic goals and implementation processes in developing a robust Population Health Management program within an Academic Medical Center and will identify elements critical for scaling and implementation across multiple care settings.

Jessica Sass is Director of Ambulatory Population Health at UKHC as well as a Nurse Practitioner for Family & Community Medicine. The focus of Sass’s work has been on transformative care, population health, care transitions and quality improvement.

She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at the University of Kentucky. Prior to this, she earned a Master of Science degree in nursing from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Missouri Western State College. Licensed as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse since 2004, she has worked in various care settings which include a critical access hospital in rural Northeast Kansas, providing care in the primary care clinic, emergency department and inpatient setting; the county health department in the Women’s Health Program, an Urgent Care facility and a Level 1 trauma emergency department.

In addition, Sass completed a fellowship with the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program focused on leadership and management skills, the Chief Quality Officer Professional Development Program through the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the Agile Implementation Bootcamp through the Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science (IU). She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the Kentucky Association of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives.

View our Agenda HERE

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.

DECEMBER 2 ANNUAL CONFERENCE FEATURED SPEAKER – ANDREW BLEDSOE, KENTUCKY HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE (KHIE)

 


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 SPEAKER – ANDREW BLEDSOE, KHIE Deputy Executive Director
 
Bridges to Coordinating Care: The New KHIE!

KHIE is an interoperable electronic network that supports the exchange of patient health information among healthcare providers across the Commonwealth and beyond. KHIE’s goal is to aid and assist in patient care delivery. Currently, KHIE has over 8000 connections within Kentucky where patient information is exchanged and provided back to healthcare agencies.

Andrew Bledsoe, KY State HIT Director and KHIE Deputy Executive Director, will provide a deep dive into the multitude of KHIE Services and how they can assist with both clinical care coordination and COVID reporting. Exciting KHIE enhancements include a connection to the National eHealth Exchange allowing access to important data from healthcare providers from across the country including the VA, DOD, and the SSA, further broadening the scope of care coordination. In addition, KHIE has recently finished functionality on an Image Exchange Program allowing images to be shared both from hospital PAC systems and displayed to users via the KHIE ePartnerViewer Provider Portal. Starting initially with KY hospitals, KHIE’s goal is to broaden the scope to include diagnostic centers and other healthcare disciplines that rely on imaging. Andrew will also describe improvements to the KHIE Provider Portal allowing users to automatically or manually add COVID-19 Lab Results, Vaccine Reporting, in addition to allowing users to upload notes designed to share patient data.

For more information, contact Andrew and his team at www.khie.ky.gov

View our Agenda HERE

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.

UPCOMING WEBINARS – QPP YEAR SIX: 2022 FINAL RULE

On November 2, 2021 CMS released the Quality Payment Program Year 6 (Program Year 2022) Final Rule.

In this Rule, CMS finalized changes impacting the Merit Based Incentive Payment Program (MIPS), including long awaited details surrounding MIPS Value Pathways, and the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) tracks of the QPP.
Our Kentucky REC experts are committed to helping our clients, practices, and providers throughout the state with the essential elements you need to know to navigate upcoming changes to this program.

Kentucky REC Quality advisors are hosting a series of webinars to discuss the Year 6 Final Rule, giving you important information to help you best address the changes in the Quality Payment Program. November 17th will be our client only first analysis of the Final Rule, followed by a Public Webinar, open to all, held on January 12th.

QPP YEAR 6 WEBINAR: 2022 FINAL RULE
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 12th 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 PUBLISHES 2022 PFS FINAL RULE FOR THE QUALITY PAYMENT PROGRAM

CMS Publishes 2022 PFS Final Rule for the Quality Payment Program

Excerpted From the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

On November 2, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the CY 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Final Rule, which includes the final policies for the 2022 performance year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The rule affects traditional MIPS, MIPS Value Pathways (MVPs), the APM Performance Pathway (APP), Advanced APMs, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program).

2022: QPP Final Rule Highlights

Key QPP policies in the 2022 performance year include:

  • Revising the definition of a MIPS eligible clinician to include social workers and certified nurse mid-wives.
  • Setting the MIPS performance threshold at 75 points and the exceptional performance threshold at 89 points.
  • Weighting the cost and quality performance categories equally (as statutorily required) at 30%.
  • Extending the CMS Web Interface as a collection type and submission type in traditional MIPS for registered groups, virtual groups, and APM Entities for the 2022 performance year only.
  • Finalizing a longer transition for electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs)/MIPS clinical quality measures (CQMs) measure reporting for Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) by extending the CMS Web Interface as an option for 3 years (through the 2024 performance year).
2023 and Beyond: QPP Final Rule Highlights – Additional Finalized Policies

The following updates were also included in the PFS Final Rule and affect future years of the QPP:

  • Finalizing 7 MVPs that will be available, beginning with the 2023 performance year.
  • Providing a description of the registration process and timeline for MVP and subgroup registration, beginning with the 2023 performance year.
QPP Final Rule Overview Webinar Details

CMS will host a webinar on November 10 to provide an overview of the final policies for the 2022 performance year of the QPP. During this webinar, CMS will answer questions from attendees, as time permits.
Title: 2022 Quality Payment Program Final Rule Overview
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Time: 12:00-1:30 pm ET
Registration Link: https://app.webinar.net/JV1KbW8n7ve

For More Information

To learn more about the CY2022 PFS Final Rule and all of the 2022 QPP finalized policies, please review the following resources:

  • Press Release: Provides additional details regarding today’s announcement.
  • QPP 2022 Final Rule Resources Zip File Contains the following:
  • Overview Fact Sheet: Offers an overview of the QPP Final Rule policies for the 2022 performance year.
  • Policies Comparison Table: Compares the final 2022 performance year policies to the requirements for the 2021 performance year.
  • MVP Policies Table: Provides an overview of the policies for implementation of MVPs beginning in the 2023 performance year.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Addresses the FAQs for the 2022 QPP Final Rule policies.

Questions

Contact the Quality Payment Program at 1-866-288-8292 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. ET) 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 experts at Kentucky REC for all your QPP, MIPS, and APM questions. We’re here to help: 859-323-3090.