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e-News | July 2014

e-News | Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum - February 2014

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LaHIE Reports Increase In Participants, Patient Records

The Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE) reports significant increases in the number of signed participation agreements, live facilities and unique patient records.
To date, LaHIE has signed participation agreements with more than 200 health care facilities and organizations across the state. Of that number, 54 are live and another 100 are actively onboarding, according to Brian Richmond, Chief Technology Officer for the Quality Forum.
The exchange also includes more than 725,000 unique patient records and records more than 32 million transactions per month, Richmond adds.
“These gains have been achieved in just the last two months, which we find to be a clear indicator of LaHIE’s growing value among Louisiana’s health care providers, facilities and organizations,” Richmond says.
He notes that there are several LaHIE-related projects currently underway, including the completion of a patient portal and continued development of a robust analytics platform.
“These projects are high priority, and we are excited about the potential they bring to health care delivery in our state,” says Richmond.
To review a list of LaHIE participants, click here.

LaPOST Webinar Set For July 22
The Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) Coalition’s efforts to provide education about the LaPOST document in the Greater Monroe area continue with a free webinar set for noon on July 22.
The webinar is the last in a series designed to provide LaPOST education to physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, personal care assistants and administrators as part of the Coalition’s “LaPOST Ready” campaign in the Greater Monroe region.
The webinar features Susan Nelson, MD, Chair of the LaPOST Coalition and Vice-Chair of the National Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm Task Force Executive Committee. Board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics and hospice and palliative medicine, she serves as medical director of Senior Services and PACE Baton Rouge at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System and St. Joseph Hospice. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine as well as an advocate for senior health. She works with the Louisiana State Medical Society Council on Public Health and the Louisiana Department of Health.
The webinar is certified by the American Academy of Family Physicians through an educational partnership with the Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians for one hour of CME credit for physicians.
In addition, the program is approved by the National Association of Social Workers -Louisiana Chapter, as authorized by the Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners, for one hour of CEU credit, which may be applied toward the continuing education requirements for licensure renewal.
The course is also certified by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Nursing Facility Administrators for one hour of continuing education credit.
There is no cost to participate in the webinars. To register, click here.

LaHIE Participants Among ‘Most Wired’ Hospitals In U.S.

Four LaHIE participants - Lafayette General Medical Center, Lafayette General Surgical Hospital, Opelousas General Health System and St. Martin Hospital - have been named to the Hospitals and Health Networks’ ‘Most Wired’ list for 2014.
The survey, now in its 16th year, notes that the newest ‘Most Wired’ class is focused on analytics and population health management and uses health IT to bridge gaps in care. In addition, the survey shows that:
  • 36 percent of the Most Wired hospitals aggregate data from patient encounters to create a community health record.
  • 43 percent integrate clinical and claims data so they’re accessible, searchable and reportable across the care continuum.
  • 69 percent use tools for analysis of clinical and administrative data to identify areas for quality improvement and cost reductions.
  • Two-thirds share critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers.
Lafayette General Medical Center and Opelousas General Health System were the first two hospitals in the state to sign on and go live with LaHIE in late 2011. Lafayette General Surgical Hospital and St. Martin Hospital, located in Breaux Bridge, joined LaHIE not long after.
“We congratulate these hospitals on this achievement. These facilities have, in every way, demonstrated their commitment to using health IT to advance quality of care for their patients,” says Cindy Munn, Quality Forum CEO.
To review the ‘Most Wired’ list, click here.

LaPOST Ready Event Planned For Aug. 7

The LaPOST Coalition, in collaboration with the Palliative Care Institute of Southeast Louisiana, will kick off its next ‘LaPOST Ready’ campaign with a special event at Tchefuncta Country Club in Covington on Aug. 7.
Registration and lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a one-hour program featuring Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair, to follow at noon.
This activity has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to one prescribed credit by the American Academy of Family Physicians through an educational partnership with the Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians.
This program has also been approved for one-hour general credit of continuing education contact hours by the National Association of Social Workers, Louisiana Chapter, as authorized by the Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners, and may be applied toward the continuing education requirements for licensure renewal.
One contact hour for this continuing education offering will be awarded by?St. Tammany Parish Hospital, an approved provider of nursing continuing education by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, LSBN CE Provider Number 26.
Online registration for the event will be made available via the LaPOST website in the coming weeks. Seats may be reserved in advance by contacting Monique Tyler via email atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sept. 30 Marks End of 2014 Reporting Period For Eligible Hospitals

Sept. 30 marks the end of the 2014 fiscal year and the end of the 2014 reporting period for eligible hospitals participating in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs.
Medicare eligible hospitals must attest to Meaningful Use for the 2014 program year by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Nov. 30, 2014. If demonstrating meaningful use under Stage 2 criteria, eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) must meet the following:
  • 16 core objectives
  • Three menu objectives selected from a total list of six
  • A total of 19 objectives
To review a Stage 2 tip sheet from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), click here.

DeSalvo: Privacy, Security Key Part Of ONC’s Work

Privacy and security are integral components of ONC’s efforts to advance health IT, says Karen DeSalvo, MD, National Coordinator for Health IT and former Board President for the Quality Forum.
In an interview with Security Media Group in June, DeSalvo explains that the growth in EHR adoption has brought with it an increased focus on privacy and security considerations by ONC. The office has increased it staffing in that area, she says, adding, “I hope that’s a clear signal that we consider this an important part of the work we do.”
DeSalvo noted, too, that “Big Data” and consumer engagement also play a role in privacy and security. She clarifies that while data collection is a critical element in improving population health, “It also comes with potential issues. And so again, part of our responsibility is to think through what those are and make certain that we are considering ways that we can protect privacy and security.”
To listen to audio of DeSalvo’s comments, click here.


HHS Announces Health IT Hypertension Challenge

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a challenge designed to help clinical practices use health information technology (IT) to reduce high blood pressure.
The EHR Innovations for Improving Hypertension Challenge is part of the national Million Hearts initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Launched by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and CMS, the initiative brings together health care organizations, federal agencies and private sector partners across the country to fight heart disease and stroke, which are the two leading causes of death in the U.S.
The challenge is an effort to identify and reward practices that have used clinical decision support to implement successful evidence-based blood pressure treatment protocols. These protocols must include the use of health IT tools such as EHRs, and the clinical decision support approach employed must support five specific elements:
  • Blood pressure measurement/recording
  • Blood pressure follow-up
  • Initiation and titration of medications
  • Patient engagement
  • Workup/referral for poor control
The challenge features two phases.
  • Phase 1 (three months): Practices will document the EHR tool used to implement the protocol and describe the details and results of the implementation. Practices must describe high blood pressure control levels and/or improvement to ensure that tools and strategies merit replication across practice settings.
  • Phase 2 (nine months): Practices will conduct, evaluate and document dissemination strategies for tools recognized in Phase 1. Submitters must demonstrate successful use of these tools in at least two additional practices.
Up to four winners will be named in Phase 1, and each will receive a $5,000 prize. Phase 2 will have a single winner of a $30,000 prize. Honorable mentions will also be named in both phases.
The deadline to submit is Oct. 6, 2014. Winners will be announced Oct. 27, 2014.
To review the details of the challenge, including judging criteria and submission information, click here.

CMS Proposes Policy, Payment Changes For 2015

CMS has issued the 2015 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Policy Changes and Payment Rates proposed rule.
A CMS press release issued July 3 states that the proposed rule “would update Medicare payment policies and rates for hospital outpatient department and ASC services and update and streamline programs that encourage high quality care in these outpatient settings.”
Calling the proposed rule a continuation of “the progress made so far in moving the OPPS from what currently resembles a hybrid of a prospective payment system and a fee schedule to a more complete prospective system,” CMS is proposing policy updates that will make a single payment for “all related or adjunctive hospitals services provided to a patient in the furnishing of certain primary procedures.”
CMS reports that more than 4,000 hospitals are paid under OPPS, and approximately 5,300 Medicare-participating ASCs are paid under the ASC payment system.
Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until Sept. 2, and CMS will respond to comments in a final rule to be issued on or about Nov. 1, 2014.
The proposed rule will appear in the July 14 Federal Register and can be downloaded at

    • Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Manager, and Jamie Martin, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, served as featured guests in #ElderCareChat, a live discussion via Twitter, on July 2. The chat, hosted, focused on ways in which health IT can assist caregivers in managing health care. The one-hour discussion had a total of 56 participants – including health care professionals, caregivers, health IT experts and health care consumers - from across the country. A recap of the chat can be found here.
    • Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge published on June 13, 2014, an article about the Oregon Health & Science University study about the success of POLST forms in ensuring end-of-life care wishes are met. The article includes the comments of Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair and Vice-Chair of the National POLST Paradigm Task Force. Read the article here. The article also appeared in the June 11 eNews edition of the Healthcare Journal of New Orleans.
    • Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Manager, has been named President of the Louisiana Chapter of HIMSS.
    • Diete Dobroski, Project Coordinator for the LHIT Resource Center, hosted a Magellan Health series of educational sessions focused on Meaningful Use for physicians, psychologists, social workers, licensed counselors, psychiatric nurses, administrators, practice managers and acute care hospitals and residential facilities. The series included meetings held across the state.
    • Turner 2.0, the Turner Industries newsletter, featured in its Spring 2014 edition the announcement that Daniel Burke, the company’s Director of Benefits, had been named to the Quality Forum’s Board of Directors. Read the newsletter here.
    • For the third consecutive year, the Quality Forum has been named a partner in National Health IT (NHIT) Week, an independent, virtual awareness week marked by individual partner-driven events to promote the use of health IT. NHIT Week will be held Sept. 15-19, 2014. The Quality Forum will announce NHIT Week activities in the coming weeks. To learn more about NHIT Week, click here.

    e-News aims to bring you a monthly summary of news about the Forum, its initiatives and related topics as we work together to shape health care in Louisiana. Your comments regarding current stories as well as ideas for future content are appreciated. Please address your feedback to Linda Morgan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..