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e-News | May 2014

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

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Four Facilities Join List Of LaHIE Participants

University Health System, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, Louisiana State University (LSU) Department of Pediatrics – School Based Health Center (SBHC) and Lacomb Family Medicine have joined the list of Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE) signed participants.
University Health System, part of LSU Health Shreveport, also includes EA Conway Medical Center, located in Monroe. University Health operates LSU Health Shreveport’s teaching hospitals and clinics in both Shreveport and Monroe.
Caldwell Memorial Hospital, an acute care facility, is located in Columbia. The 47-bed hospital serves Caldwell Parish.
LSU Department of Pediatrics SBHC is located in New Orleans. The SBHC provides treatment for minor illness and injury, comprehensive physicals, behavioral health counseling, treatments for chronic or acute diseases, required vaccines and other services to target school populations.
Lacomb Family Medicine, located in Jennings, is operated by Amanda M. Lacomb, MD. The practice specializes in family medicine.
“We are proud to welcome these health care providers and facilities to the list of signed LaHIE participants and look forward to working with them throughout the onboarding process,” says Cindy Munn, Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum CEO. “With the addition of these organizations, the reach of the statewide health information exchange continues to grow, bringing the potential for faster, safer health care to the residents of Louisiana.”
To review a list of LaHIE participants, click here.

Munn Presents At Cajun CodeFest
Cindy Munn, CEO of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, presented an update on the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE) and other organizational initiatives at Cajun CodeFest 3.0, held in April in Lafayette.
Cajun CodeFest, billed as the signature event for the Center for Business and Information Technologies (CBIT) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette), is a 2.5 day coding competition open to students and professionals in the areas of software development, health care or business strategy industries. Coders compete as teams for cash prizes and the opportunity to present their ideas at national levels. The Quality Forum is the sponsor of the competition’s student and junior coder awards.
Munn, in her presentation, provided an overview of the Quality Forum with particular emphasis on the growth in reach and capabilities of LaHIE. In addition, she unveiled the organization’s new consumer-friendly video, “This Is How LaHIE Is Improving Health Care,” while announcing the launch of a campaign to increase awareness about the value of the statewide health information exchange (HIE).
“We are proud to be part of Cajun CodeFest,” says Munn. “The event showcases innovation in health care and technology and provides an opportunity for leaders in these areas to come together to share ideas for the future of health care in our state. The Lafayette region has long been a hot bed for technology and innovation in Louisiana and provides a perfect venue for this competition.”
To watch Munn’s presentation, click here. To watch the LaHIE video, click here. To learn more about Cajun CodeFest, click here.

LaPOST Webinar Series Underway

The Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) Coalition is continuing its efforts to increase awareness of, and provide education about, the LaPOST document in the Greater Monroe area as part of its third ‘LaPOST Ready’ campaign.
The campaign, which launched April 16 – National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) – in Monroe, includes a series of webinars designed to provide LaPOST education to physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, personal care assistants and administrators in the target region.
The webinar series 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, 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 webinars are 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.
The webinar series dates and times are as follows:
  • May 20, noon
  • June 12, noon
  • June 17, noon
  • July 8, noon
  • July 22, noon
There is no cost to participate in the webinars. To register, click here.

LaHIE Nears 700,000 Unique Patient Records

The Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE) now includes nearly 700,000 unique patient records, according to Brian Richmond, CTO of the Quality Forum.
With more than 180 health care providers, hospitals, clinics, home health agencies and other health care-related companies now signed to participate in LaHIE, the value of these unique patient records continues to grow, Richmond says.
“These patients’ medical information is available to authorized providers at the point of care, and the number of patient records in LaHIE climbs every month as more health care providers and facilities go live with the exchange,” he explains. “There is a growing emphasis on the value of this type of data in developing new strategies to improve population health, and we continue to work on the development of unique analytics services that will assist our state in identifying and addressing issues that impact health outcomes at the population level.”
To date, there are 45 facilities live with LaHIE and 100 more are actively onboarding, reports Richmond. The exchange is recording more than 32 million transactions per month.
“We are also very excited to be working with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’ Office of Public Health to bring the state’s 68 public health units into LaHIE,” adds Richmond. “We consider this a priority project as we continue to expand LaHIE’s reach and capabilities.”

LaPOST Workshop Set For May 20 In Baton Rouge

The LaPOST Coalition will host a LaPOST workshop, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., May 20, at Baton Rouge Rehab Hospital, 8595 United Plaza Blvd., in Baton Rouge.
The workshop will feature Susan Nelson, MD, Chair of the LaPOST Coalition, and will provide in-depth information about the use of the LaPOST document to improve end-of-life care for those with serious, advanced illnesses.
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 attend, but registration is required. To register, click here.

Jindal Issues National Healthcare Decisions Day Proclamation

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued a proclamation last month to formally recognize April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) and to promote the value of advance care planning in Louisiana.
In the proclamation, Jindal noted that NHDD is “designed to raise awareness of the need to plan ahead for end-of-life health care decisions and to encourage documentation of these health care decisions.” The proclamation notes, too, that Act 954 of 2010 “provides the specifics of a model form for patient use” and that “the Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment Coalition and other organizations throughout Louisiana are … educating the public about the importance of discussing health care wishes.”
“Healthcare Decisions Day in Louisiana is an opportunity for more citizens to have conversations about and document their health care wishes so that fewer families will have to struggle with making difficult health care decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient,” Jindal stated.
Joining Jindal in recognition of NHDD, Monroe Mayor James Mayo, at the launch of the LaPOST Coalition’s ‘LaPOST Ready’ campaign in Monroe on April 16, issued a similar proclamation in that city.
“We are so pleased to have the support of our state and local leaders in promoting the importance of advance care planning,” says Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair. “As a partnering organization in NHDD, our mission has been to educate the public about the advance care planning options available to them here in our state and to encourage them to utilize those options to document their care goals and wishes. The support of our governor and our local leaders is critical to advancing that message.”
To learn more about NHDD, click here.


CMS: Hardship Exception Applications Due July 1

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will accept Hardship Exception Applications until July 1, 2014, from Medicare providers who were unable to successfully demonstrate Meaningful Use (MU) for 2013 due to circumstances beyond the providers’ control.
The hardship exception will allow eligible providers to avoid the upcoming Medicare payment adjustment for the 2013 reporting year. Payment adjustments for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will begin Jan. 1, 2015, for eligible professionals.
The hardship exception is valid for one year, reports CMS.
Applications for eligible professionals can be found here. Eligible professionals submitting multiple National Provider Identifiers (NPIs) can find applications here.

DHH Launches Well-Ahead Initiative

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced last month the launch of its Well-Ahead Initiative, which will designate healthy places across the state that voluntarily champion and embrace health and wellness. The statewide effort includes a partnership among schools, businesses and other organizations to provide Louisiana residents with greater control and ownership of their health.
The first voluntary designation program of its kind in Louisiana, Well-Ahead “establishes healthy living designation criteria for organizations to follow that will result in better health outcomes for Louisiana residents,” according to a DHH press release. Examples of such criteria include breastfeeding-friendly policies, employee wellness strategies and tobacco-free environments.
DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert says, “Approximately 1.6 million, or one in three, Louisiana residents are obese. We must raise awareness on how Louisianans can improve their well-being.”
DHH notes that in 2013, Louisiana spent an estimated $28 billion on costs related to the treatment of primary chronic diseases and projects that by 2050, with investments in “smart and healthy living,” those costs could add $62 billion to the state’s economic output, the press release states.
Employers, schools, health care providers, universities, child care centers and restaurants can seek “WellSpot” designation, which includes three levels based on the amount of criteria met.
To read the DHH press release announcing the program, click here. To learn more about the WellSpot criteria, click here.

Registration Underway For TexLa Telehealth Summit 2014

Registration is underway for the TexLa Telehealth Resource Center’s Telehealth Summit 2014, June 23-25, in Galveston, Texas.
The TexLa Telehealth Resource Center (TRC) is one of 15 TRCs across the nation. Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, the center is tasked with serving as a focal point for the advancement and effective use of telehealth with special emphasis on rural and underserved communities.
The center’s Telehealth Summit 2014 will provide two days of education about telehealth, its potential and its future. Health care providers, policy makers, governmental agencies, employers, payers, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and hospital systems are among those encouraged to attend.
The event will feature Randolph Mantooth, actor/writer/producer/speaker, as the keynote speaker. Mantooth’s acting career includes the portrayal of ‘John Gage’ in the 1970’s television series, “Emergency.”
To register for the event or to review a tentative agenda, click here.

CMS Delays ICD-10 Conversion Until October 2015

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in April that the deadline to convert to the ICD-10 diagnostic and procedural codes has been delayed until Oct. 1, 2015.
The previous compliance deadline of Oct. 1, 2014, was negated by Congress with an April 1 legislation that ordered the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) not to set a ICD-10 compliance date any sooner than Oct. 1, 2015.
According to a statement by CMS, HHS is expected to release an interim final rule formally establishing that date as the deadline for ICD-10 conversion.
On its website, CMS says it is “examining the implications of the ICD-10 provision and will provide guidance to providers and stakeholders soon.”
To read the latest news from CMS about the ICD-10 conversion, click here.

    • Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Manager for the Quality Forum, has accepted a position as a Committee Member for the Advisory Board of the Masters in Health Informatics (MHI) program at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La.
    • John Fielding, Analytics Project Manager for the Quality Forum, will serve as “Lightning Round Speaker” on May 14 for the Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group, a group of professionals and students in the broad field of Microsoft SQL Server. In his presentation, “Not Just Another Speech About The Next Big Thing In Big Data,” Fielding will provide insight on IT trends among various industries and give tips on the use of analytics to meet those trends. To read the agenda for the meeting, click here.
    • Susan Nelson, MD, Chair of the LaPOST Coalition and Quality Forum Board Member, penned a post for the Quality Forum Blog on April 14. The post recognized National Healthcare Decisions Day and provided information about advance care planning options in Louisiana. Read the blog post here.
    • An article about the Medicaid Specialists Program available through the LHIT Resource Center was published in the March/April 2014 edition of the Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge. Read the article here.
    • published a piece on its website on April 12 about Patricia Bomba, MD. Bomba has long served as mentor to the LaPOST program in Louisiana and has been featured in numerous events and educational seminars in the state. The piece included links to several LaPOST videos, including an NHDD-inspired message from Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair. Find the article here.
    • The News-Star in Monroe published on April 8 an opinion piece from Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair, about National Healthcare Decisions Day. Read the item here. The piece was also published here in the Shreveport Times.

    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..
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