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Rural Health
News by Topic: Healthcare quality

CMS Releases Its Measures Under Consideration List for 2018 Pre-Rulemaking
Nov 30, 2017 - Blog post from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcing that they have released the annual list of quality and cost measures that are under consideration for Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs. CMS collaborates with the National Quality Forum (NQF) to get input from stakeholders on this list in order to provide more high quality care and achieve better individual outcomes.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Blog
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request Federal Register
Nov 27, 2017 - Notice of intent from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to revise information collection efforts related to the Rural Health Network Development (RHND) Program, which supports mature, integrated rural healthcare networks that have combined the functions of participating entities to address the healthcare needs of a specific rural community. The proposed revisions will change several measures in the areas of network infrastructure, sustainability, community impact, and access and quality of healthcare. Comments regarding these revisions must be submitted no later than January 26, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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MAP Rural Health Workgroup Final Roster
Nov 22, 2017 - The National Quality Forum's (NQF) Rural Health Workgroup's roster has been finalized. This workgroup was created to advise the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on issues related to measurement challenges in the rural population and to identify rural-relevant measures and gaps in measurement. The Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) Coordinating Committee provides oversight for this workgroup.
Source: National Quality Forum
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CMS: Medicare Program; CY 2018 Updates to the Quality Payment Program; and Quality Payment Program: Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstance Policy for the Transition Year Federal Register
Nov 16, 2017 - Final rule and interim final rule providing updates for the second and future years of the Quality Payment Program (QPP), and establishing guidelines for MIPS-eligible clinicians who may face uncontrollable circumstances due to widespread catastrophic events, such as hurricanes, during calendar year 2017. Also finalizes the low-volume threshold, which exempts clinicians and groups providing care to fewer than 200 Medicare Part B beneficiaries annually, or submitting $90,000 or less to Medicare Part B annually. Comments regarding provisions of the rule, which take effect January 1, 2018, must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern on January 1, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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Rural Health Coach Program Developed Between WIU, Area Hospitals
Nov 15, 2017 - Details the collaboration between Western Illinois University and Memorial Hospital in Carthage, Illinois to create a Rural Health Coach Program. The program uses a graduate student as a rural health coach to connect patients to community agencies.
Source: Western Illinois University
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Critical Access Hospitals Unlikely to Engage in Advanced EHR Use
Nov 8, 2017 - According to a new study, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are less likely than other hospitals to use Electronic Health Record (EHR) data for performance measurement and patient engagement. The study suggested that this disparity could indicate a digital divide impacting small, rural and safety-net hospitals' ability to effectively use this data to improve the quality of patient care.
Source: EHR Intelligence
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The Joint Commission Reports Increased Electronic Clinical Quality Measure (eCQM) Adoption and Reporting from U.S. Hospitals
Nov 7, 2017 - The Joint Commission's annual report, America's Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety found that an increased number of hospitals are adopting and reporting electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs). Reporting this data is linked with quality improvement and is voluntary.
Source: The Joint Commission
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CMS Finalizes Policies that Reduce Provider Burden, Lower Drug Prices
Nov 2, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) highlights two final rules, to be published in the Federal Register on November 15 and 16th respectively. The 2018 Physician Fee Schedule final rule will modernize the Medicare payment system to create greater competition in the biopharmaceutical market to lower costs. The Quality Payment Program final rule allows clinicians in small and rural practices to join together and share the responsibility of participating in value-based payments. This rule also decreases the number of clinicians required to participate, provides additional detail on clinician participation in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs), and includes a new hardship exception for small practices affected by the recent hurricanes.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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CMS: Medicare Program; End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Payment for Renal Dialysis Services Furnished to Individuals With Acute Kidney Injury, and End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program Federal Register
Nov 1, 2017 - Final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updating and revising the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) for calendar year 2018. This rule also sets forth requirements for the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) and updates payment rates for renal dialysis services furnished by ESRD facilities to individuals with acute kidney injury (AKI). Provides information specific to small rural hospitals and treatment facilities located in rural areas. Provisions of the rule take effect January 1, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS Administrator Verma Announces New Meaningful Measures Initiative and Addresses Regulatory Reform; Promotes Innovation at LAN Summit
Oct 30, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced a new approach to quality measurement called "Meaningful Measures," which involves only assessing the core issues that are vital to providing high-quality care and improving patient outcomes. This outcome-based approach is part of an effort to streamline quality measures, reduce regulatory burden, and promote innovation.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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