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e-News | February 2018

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Clinics, Staff Receive NCQA Recognition

02 18 NCQA recognitionThe Quality Forum would like to recognize the clinicians and staff of several Louisiana clinics for receiving Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The Louisiana State University Family Medicine Clinic in Alexandria earned Level 1 recognition for its residency program and clinic, under the direction of Practice Lead Debra Mathews, RN. The Pediatric Center of Southwest Louisiana received Level 2 recognition for sites in Lake Charles, Sulphur and Moss Bluff with Rhonda Richard and Leah Cowick directing the effort. Finally, Valentine Medical Center in Gretna renewed its Level 2 recognition with direction from Office Manager Delia Popovich. Recognition denotes the use of evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term, participative relationships. Quality Forum Practice Consultants Jody Marsh and Michelle Jewell, RN, CPE, provided the groups with PCMH assessment, project management, practice/workflow redesign and virtual/on-site coaching during the practice transformation process. For more information about the Quality Forum’s PCMH-related services and benefits, please click here.

Training Continues for Long-Term Care Facilities

02 18 Training for LTCAs reported in August 2017, the Quality Forum has received additional funding to continue educational training for long-term care facilities on advance care planning (ACP) and the LaPOST document. Provided by a grant from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) using civil money penalties (CMP) paid into the Nursing Home Residents’ Trust Fund, the current funding runs through June 2018. The focus of this year’s training incorporated feedback received from a comprehensive facility survey conducted in 2017. New components this year will include educational videos for Certified Nursing Assistants and Life Care Planners; webinars for facility staff; on-site seminars; and streamlined materials for long-term care professionals, residents, family members and caregivers.

ICYMI: Health Info Infographic

02 18 Health Info InfographicThe Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently featured a handout that focuses on “Sharing Sensitive Health Information: Protecting Your Privacy and Improve Your Health.” The material depicts the basics related to sharing medical records and talking to medical providers about problems with substance abuse. The infographic can be used to encourage discussion with patients.

Views from Past Board Presidents: John Carroll, C(K)P, AIF, CRPC, AAMS

02 18 Past president John CarrollIn 2017, the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum marked its tenth anniversary. Throughout the year, we featured commentaries from past Board Presidents about the organization and our changing health care landscape. In the final installment, outgoing Board President John Carroll, C(K)P, AIF, CRPC, AAMS, offered his insights regarding the Quality Forum’s initiatives, achievements and challenges. With more than 30 years of experience in corporate benefit planning and private wealth management, he is the chief executive officer of Wellspring Advisor Group, LLC in Alexandria, La., and a Wealth Advisor.

"From its inception, the Quality Forum was designed as a neutral leader to bring parties together. This placed the organization in a very unique, yet difficult, position of bringing regulators, payers, consumers and providers to the table to achieve overall improvement in health outcomes for the people of Louisiana. Being a neutral convener has allowed the organization to reach out to parties that would normally be very reluctant to share information for fear it would be used against them. Whether you work in a hospital, a physician practice, or if you’re a consumer, it’s understood that with statewide data from various organizations, information becomes the key driver. 

With regard to achievements, there has been a group effort on the part of the Board and the Quality Forum staff to move the "bar." Our Board is made up of an incredible amount of talent representing the leadership of the state’s major employers, hospitals, physician groups, insurance companies and consumers. I am incredibly proud of not only the talent of those involved but how well we have been able to work toward a common goal – to improve health outcomes. Very few people realize that the Quality Forum is recognized as one of the leading organizations of its type in the nation. I was born and raised in Louisiana, and we seldom get recognized as being in a national leadership position. Yet, in spite of constant obstacles, budget cuts and health care legislation uncertainty, the organization has been able to make a real difference, and I think the best is yet to come.

One of our challenges will be continuing to have the support of our legislature even with budget cuts, and helping them understand the long-term, positive effects of programs designed to improve utilization and efficiencies. We will also be challenged by changes to health care legislation and the unknowns that surround this. If I take a "big picture" look, it really deals with inefficient utilization of resources due to patient behavior. We have to start educating our population to use more preventative care, so we can reduce emergency department utilization and have a real impact on chronic health issues such as heart disease and diabetes. This will take years to accomplish and will be difficult, but with quality data and analysis, technology can truly help us move toward clinical improvement of results, measurement of trends and ultimately, a proactive approach to addressing problems before they happen."

09 17 News Notes

On Nov. 9, 2017, the National Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm hosted a webinar entitled "How States Have Used Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Funds to Support their POLST Paradigm Program Efforts.” Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair, shared her experience with CMP funding along with two other National POLST Paradigm Task Force member presenters. The webinar is available for viewing on the POLST webinars web page.

On Dec. 3, 2017, the People in Business section of The Baton Rouge Advocate, The New Orleans Advocate and The Acadiana Advocate recognized Michael Fleming, MD; Ruth Kennedy; and Cheryl Tolbert for being named to the Quality Forum Board of Directors. The board appointments were also mentioned in the November 2017 Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement Member Newsletter as well as the Nov. 24, 2017 issue of Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge eNews.

Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin announced that Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, former Quality Forum Board President and founding board member, joined their faculty in January 2018. DeSalvo will serve as a professor in the Division of Primary Care and Value-Based Health, with a primary appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine and secondary appointment in the Department of Population Health.

Raymond A. Peters, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, also a former Quality Forum Board President and founding board member, joined the College of Business faculty at Nicholls State University in February. He will oversee the Master of Business Administration and Executive Business Administration programs for the university, which is located in Thibodaux, La.

In January 2018, Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair and former Quality Forum board member, began serving as Medical Director of Post-Acute Care for the Ochsner Health Network and as a Palliative Medicine Physician with the Ochsner Health System.

Information about the upcoming advance care planning (ACP)/LaPOST educational seminars in Lafayette featuring Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair, as the key speaker, appeared in the Feb. 12 issue of Healthcare Journal of New Orleans eNews and the Feb. 14 issue of Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge eNews.

The Times-Picayune is celebrating the tricentennial of New Orleans by highlighting 300 people who have shaped New Orleans. One of the iconic New Orleanians featured in the 300 for 300 project is Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, former Quality Forum Board President and founding board member.

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