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e-News | November 2017

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NCQA Recognizes Children’s International Medical Group Practices

11 2017 recognized PCMHThe Quality Forum would like to congratulate the clinicians and staff of the Children’s International Medical Group (CIMG) for recently receiving Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition (Level 2) from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Eleven CIMG practices earned this distinction for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term, participative relationships. Practice consultants Jody Marsh and Michelle Jewell, RN, CPE worked closely with Daisy Shipley, RN, CIMG’s chief nursing officer, along with staff from the practices in Amite, Baton Rouge, Bogalusa, Chalmette, Denham Springs, Franklinton, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, Slidell and Walker. To learn more about the Quality Forum’s medical home services and benefits, click here.

FYI: Information is Powerful Medicine

11 2017 ipm web bannerThe Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights recently launched a new campaign entitled, Information is Powerful Medicine.” The campaign theme promotes access to health records as a powerful tool in managing care and staying healthy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives individuals the right to see and receive copies of their health information. This information, in turn, can be the key to making informed health care decisions. Some examples include the ability to track lab results and prescriptions, understand health history, get x-rays and other medical images and share health information with others. For additional information, please visit, the Quality Forum’s patient engagement website, which includes a section about accessing health records.

Well-Ahead Louisiana Promotes Quality Improvement Efforts

11 2017 well ahead logo colorRecently, Well-Ahead Louisiana recognized the Quality Forum in a newsletter blog for working with several clinics to improve hypertension and diabetes outcomes in the adult population. Practice consultants Michelle Jewell, RN, CPE and Jody Marsh worked with Total Family MedicalAbbeville General HospitalRKM Primary Care Clinic and Winnsboro Health Clinic to implement quality improvement best practices with team-based care coaching and on-site technical assistance. For more information or to apply for participation in 2018, please email Marie Darr at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with contact information, location and questions. The deadline to apply is Nov. 30. Well-Ahead Louisiana is an initiative launched by the Louisiana Department of Health and aims to improve the health and wellness of Louisiana residents.

09 17 News Notes

The Nov. 14 issue of Health Affairs features a blog by Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI), about the road to health care affordability. In the blog, Mitchell explains how organizations are fighting the crisis. One example features the Louisiana Emergency Department Information Exchange (LaEDIE) and how it helps reduce non-emergent ED visits and inpatient admissions among the state’s Medicaid population.

Lonnie DuFour, director of telehealth, addressed approximately 50 members of the Louisiana Health Care Commission (LHCC) in Baton Rouge on
Nov. 17. Dufour presented “Telemedicine: Its Impact on Cost and the Health Care Delivery System” to the group. Under the auspices of the Louisiana Department of Insurance, the LHCC reviews and studies the issues affecting the availability, affordability and delivery of quality health care in Louisiana.

On Nov. 13, Humana Inc. announced that Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, former Quality Forum board president and founding board member, was elected as a member of the company's board of directors.

"Assessing the HITECH Factor: Physician Perspectives,” authored by CEO Cindy Munn, appeared in the November/December 2017 issues of Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge (pp. 44-45) and Healthcare Journal of New Orleans (pp. 46-47). A reprint of the article was also featured in the Oct. 24 issue of the Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians (LAFP) Weekly Family Medicine Update.

Views from Past Board Presidents: Louis Minsky, MD

11 2017 Louis Minsky MDDr. Louis Minsky has practiced family medicine in Baton Rouge for nearly 30 years. Currently with Minsky and Carver Medical Center for Personal Wellness, he is the chief of staff at Baton Rouge General and an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees. He also serves as the East Baton Rouge Medical Officer for the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Dr. Minsky, the Quality Forum’s immediate past president, is a member of the organization’s Executive Committee. He recently offered his perspective about the use of health care data collection and sharing.

“Data collection and data sharing play an important role in the education of physicians and health care providers. It’s important to know what we are doing right as well as where we miss our mark. Patients must understand their disease, too. Only then can physicians make significant gains to improve the outcomes. This affects us at a state level regarding our workforce and healthy places to live. At a local level, we can invest dollars to provide quality care for our communities, which affects our work environment, schools and families. Hospital systems are also becoming more involved in providing health and wellness along with acute care. Physicians have so much information now that it requires electronic medical records to assimilate and use data as well as to provide decision support.

Using data, providers, hospitals and physicians can affect change and outcomes for patients and communities in the next three to five years. Without positive change, we will see continued escalation in the price of health care delivery without significant change in the health of our communities and states. Without improving outcomes, we will spend more dollars to care for the chronically ill rather than investing in the infrastructure for healthy individuals to thrive.

In closing, physicians must embrace the changes in health care so that we all can be part of the ever-growing change. This is imperative for our profession as well as for the patients we serve. We all deserve better outcomes with healthier living and prosperity.”

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