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e-News | September 2014

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

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Quality Forum Launches New Website

The Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum officially debuted its new website Sept. 18, 2014.
The site features an all-new design with specialized portals tailored to health care consumers, providers and payers/purchasers.
“We developed our new website with our key stakeholder groups in mind,” said Quality Forum CEO Cindy Munn. “We are pleased with the outcome and believe this new platform will provide everyone with the same resources they have come to expect from us, but with improved functionality.”
Marcia Blanchard, VP of Operations, added, “The most important objectives we had in designing this new site was to make it more user-friendly and to feature information specific to our target audiences, and we hope these audiences find this information valuable in learning more about what we are doing to improve health care quality and outcomes in Louisiana.”
To view the new website, click here.

LifePoint Hospitals Joins LaHIE
The Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE) welcomes LifePoint Hospitals as the latest health system to sign on to the statewide health information exchange (HIE).
Cindy Munn, Chief Executive Officer of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, says, “The enrollment of LifePoint is a testament to our ongoing efforts to bring health care communities across the state together to provide patients with better service and care.”
LaHIE is the electronic platform that allows for the exchange of personal health information securely between authorized providers and organizations across the state’s health care system.
To learn more about LaHIE, click here.

Quality Forum Welcomes New Board Members, Officers

The Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum has named new officers and members to its 2014-2015 Board of Directors.

Louis Minsky, MD
Minsky & Carver Medical Center
Member at Large
Donna D. Fraiche, Esq.
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
John Carroll, CFM, APPC, CRPC,
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
title Immediate Past President
B. Vindell Washington, MD, MHCM, FACEP
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady
Stephen Wright
CHRISTUS Health Louisiana

The new officers are Louis Minsky, MD, President (Private Practitioner with Minsky & Carver Medical Center for Wellness in Baton Rouge, La.); John Carroll, CFM, ARPC, CRPC, CSNA, AAMS, President-Elect (Vice President with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Alexandria, La.);Stephen Wright, Secretary/Treasurer (President/CEO of CHRISTUS Health Louisiana in Alexandria, La.); and Donna D. Fraiche, Esq., Member at Large (Attorney with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz in New Orleans and Baton Rouge). B. Vindell Washington, MD, MHCM, FACEP (Vice President of Performance Excellence and Technology for the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System in Baton Rouge) will serve as Immediate Past President.

Chuck Burnell, MD
Acadian Companies
Teri G. Fontenot, FACHE
Woman's Hospital
Wes Hataway, JD
Louisiana Workforce Commission
In addition, three individuals have joined the Quality Forum Board: Chuck Burnell, MD (Lead Medical Director with Acadian Companies in Lafayette, La.), Teri Fontenot, FACHE (President/CEO of Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge) and Wes Hataway, JD (Director of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration for the Louisiana Workforce Commission in Baton Rouge).

New Rule Means More Flexibility For EHR Technology

Federal health officials have given providers more control over how they use certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) to meet Meaningful Use objectives.
The new rule specifically applies to the 2014 reporting period for the EHR Incentive Programs, established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
All eligible providers and hospitals can use the 2011 CEHRT Edition or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition for the Incentive Programs.
CMS says the change gives providers more flexibility in meeting key aspects of meaningful use, such as providing clinical summaries to patients and reporting on public health data.
“The new rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services enhances both providers’ and hospitals’ ability to better serve patients and improves the likelihood of more facilities reaching Meaningful Use standards,” says Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Director for the Louisiana Health Information Technology Center (LHIT) Resource Center. “As the state’s Regional Extension Center, we are prepared to help providers understand the new rule and continue their efforts to meet Meaningful Use.”
According to CMS, the rule also finalizes the Stage 2 extension of meaningful use for certain providers through 2016 and announces the Stage 3 timeline, which is set to begin in 2017. This applies to providers who began utilizing EHRs meaningfully in 2011 or 2012.
To read the final rule, click here. For questions about the rule, please contact the LHIT Resource Center at 225.334.9299.

Quality Forum Puts On “HIT Hats” for NHIT Week

For the third consecutive year, the Quality Forum joined hundreds of health information technology (IT) organizations across the nation to promote the value of health IT for National Health IT Week, Sept. 15-19.
Here are some of the organization’s highlights:
  • The Quality Forum received a proclamation from Gov. Bobby Jindal recognizing National Health IT Week in Louisiana.
  • CEO Cindy Munn penned a health IT-focused op-ed piece that was published in several newspapers across the state.
  • Quality Forum staff attended the Consumer Health IT Summit, hosted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) in Washington, DC.
  • New blog posts highlighting key initiatives in health IT were published daily throughout the week.
    Click here to read the posts.
  • The Quality Forum led a week-long Twitter campaign, calling on all health care and health IT advocates, facilities and organizations to tweet photos of themselves wearing their “Health IT Hats”.
CEO Cindy Munn said, “We were proud to participate once again in National Health IT Week to bring awareness to the critical role health IT plays in improving health care quality and outcomes for Louisiana’s residents.”

Registration Underway For LaPOST Webinars

Health care professionals in southeastern Louisiana can register for an upcoming webinar to learn more about the Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) document.
The series is part of the LaPOST Coalition’s “LaPOST Ready” campaign, designed to educate physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and other health care providers in Washington, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.
Susan Nelson, MD, Chair of the Coalition, will serve as the featured speaker.
Nelson is Medical Director of Senior Services at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the National Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm Task Force Executive Committee and is board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics and hospice and palliative medicine.
The webinars are scheduled for the following dates:
  • Oct. 7, noon
  • Oct. 15, noon
Physicians can earn one hour of CME credit through the webinar, which is certified by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) through an educational partnership with the Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians (LAFP).
The program is also 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 webinars are free for all participants. To register, click here.

Deadline To Register For LaPOST Ready Kickoff Nears

The LaPOST Coalition is gearing up for another LaPOST Ready kickoff event this November.
“Conversations Change Lives “ aims to increase awareness about LaPOST in Tangipahoa, Washington and St. Tammany parishes.
The workshop will be held 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Nov. 6, at the Tchefuncta Country Club in Covington, La.
Featured speakers for the event will be Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair, and Patricia Bomba, Vice-President & Medical Director, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and Chair, MOLST Statewide Implementation Team.
To register for the workshop, click here.

Quality Forum Named WellSpot

The Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum has been named a WellSpot in accordance with the Well-Ahead campaign of the state Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).
DHH issues the distinction to worksites, hospitals, schools and other facilities that meet certain wellness benchmarks. The department says all places deemed a WellSpot have demonstrated a commitment to improving wellness outcomes.

Crystal White, Operations Coordinator for the Quality Forum, led the organization’s efforts to develop a wellness strategy to meet the requirements of the Well-Ahead program. Those efforts included internal information about wellness, preventive care and healthy choices.
Marcia Blanchard, VP of Operations, said, “As an organization, we are proud to be recognized by DHH as one of the WellSpots in Louisiana. The Quality Forum will continue to keep overall health and wellness at the forefront of our initiatives.”
To learn more about Well-Ahead campaign, click here.

Quality Forum To Present At GC3

Representatives from the Quality Forum will be among the speakers at this year’s HIMSS Gulf Coast Chapters Conference.
The event, now in its second year, is scheduled for Dec. 4-5 at the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans and will feature Quality Forum CEO Cindy Munn and Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Program Director Bobbie LeBlanc as speakers.
Participants at this year’s conference will take part in educational sessions focused on topics such as TeleHealth, Meaningful Use, health information exchange and the current challenges of health information technology.
Nadine Robin, Quality Forum Health IT Program Director and President of LaHIMSS, says “Our conference brings together health care professionals from across our region to share information and ideas in an effort to advance the state of health IT. We look forward to all the possibilities this year’s conference will bring.”
For more information on the Gulf Coast HIMSS Chapters, click here. To register for the conference, click here.

CMS: Providers Make Gains Toward Meaningful Use

New research suggests more providers are working to meet Meaningful Use standards. By 2013, 67 percent of all Medicare-eligible providers had attested to Meaningful Use of a certified EHR.
Of more than 392,800 providers eligible for the Medicare incentive program, half attested in 2011 or 2012.
Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Director for the Quality Forum, says, “This data reflects the growing commitment of health care providers to adopt and utilize health information technology to improve the quality of patient care.”
More data released by CMS shows that of the 58,000 health care professionals who attested to meaningful use of a certified EHR in 2011, 90 percent attested again the following year.
To review the data (listed as Quick Stats 31 & 32), click here.

      • Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, National Coordinator for Health IT and former Quality Forum Board President, spoke to Modern Healthcare in an article published Aug. 16 about the state of Meaningful Use attestation, her hopes for solving EHR interoperability and plans for the Health IT Safety Center. Read the full article here
      • Bernie Clement, CIO, Thibodeaux Regional Medical Center, referenced the work the Quality Forum is doing with the LaHIE during a podcast Aug. 19 with Thibodeaux Regional Medical Center is a LaHIE participant. Listen to the podcast here.
      • Sabrina Heltz, Senior VP of Healthcare System Quality for BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana and former Quality Forum Board member will serve as a presenter Sept. 23 during a panel discussion at the 2014 Information Management Symposium in Rochester, NY.
      • Quality Forum CEO Cindy Munn wrote a blog entry Aug. 29 commemorating the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and highlighting efforts the state took to rebuild its health care system. The post, entitled “The Spirit of Louisiana,” received hundreds of hits, shares and mentions through social media. Read the blog post here.
      • LaHIE is featured as one of numerous health information exchange (HIE) interfaces on the Strategic Business Systems website. Click here to view. 
      • The Alzheimer’s Association has made a recommendation supporting the implementation of LaPOST to strengthen legal protection of Louisiana patients with the disease. To view the recommendation, click here.
      • The Quality Forum and LaPOST participated in a live Twitter discussion Sept. 3 focused on ways to identify and manage medical declines in aging patients. #ElderCareChat is hosted by Click here to view the chat transcript, which includes some of the Quality Forum’s responses.
      • Susan Nelson, MD, LaPOST Coalition Chair, appeared as the featured guest on "The Literate Patient" radio show with Joni Aldrich and Dr. Melissa Stewart Aug. 29 where she discussed the importance of having conversations about advance care planning. For more information on the W4WN radio network, click here.
      • The Healthcare Journal of New Orleans published a press release on the Quality Forum serving as a partner for NHIT Week. To read it, click here.
      • The Advocate published an op-ed piece written by CEO Cindy Munn on how using health IT can improve health care in Louisiana. Click here to read the article.
      • WSFB in Connecticut published a story by WAFB listing the Quality Forum as one of 35 WellSpots recently named by DHH. To view the article, click here.
      • DHH also issued a press release announcing the new WellSpots across the state. Read it 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..