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FSMB joins with partners to educate health care professionals on safe prescribing of opioid analgesics
Release Date: January 22, 2014
The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and FSMB Foundation are collaborating with several partners to provide state medical boards with resources to educate health care professionals on the safe and responsible prescribing of extended-release (ER) and long-acting (LA) opioid analgesics for patients with chronic pain.
In a collaboration led by the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), the UNMC and partners CE City, the France Foundation, and the FSMB and the FSMB Foundation, recently received a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) grant from the ER/LA Opioid Analgesics REMS Program Companies to provide educational programming in ER/LA prescribing to health care professionals.
The grant will provide resources for the FSMB and its philanthropic arm, the FSMB Foundation, to award REMS grants to state medical boards to conduct free live seminars on ER/LA prescribing for health care professionals in their respective states, and provide free online continuing medical education resources on the FSMB Foundation's website.
"Health care providers who prescribe these medications to treat chronic pain are in a key position to balance the benefits and risks of chronic opioid therapy," said Humayun Chaudhry, DO, President and CEO of the FSMB. "State medical boards are, in turn, in a key position to provide educational resources to help the licensees in their states learn safe, responsible prescribing of opioid analgesics."
The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that manufacturers of ER/LA opioid analgesics make available comprehensive prescriber education in the safe use of these medications, with the goal of reducing serious adverse outcomes resulting from inappropriate prescribing, misuse and abuse of these drugs - while maintaining patient access to pain medications.
Given the broad spectrum of health care providers who prescribe opioids, the educational activities will be targeted to a multidisciplinary, interprofessional audience of prescribers. However, the primary audience for the program are clinicians who are registered with the DEA, eligible to prescribe Schedule 2 and 3 drugs, and have written at least one ER/LA opioid prescription in the past year. All education will be offered free to learners; live programs are anticipated to begin in June 2014.
The REMS grant is the latest initiative by the FSMB aimed at addressing the rise of opioid abuse and related deaths in the United States, while safeguarding legitimate access to medications for patients with pain. Initiatives launched by FSMB include:
Updating of FSMB's model pain policies. In 2013, the FSMB adopted updates to its longstanding model pain policy, "Model Policy for the Use of Opioid Analgesics in the Treatment of Chronic Pain." Since the last revision of the policy in 2004, a significant body of research and experience has accrued, providing new insights into the risks of opioid prescribing. In addition, the FSMB adopted the related "Model Policy on DATA 2000 and Treatment of Opioid Addiction in the Medical Office."
Release of revised version of "Responsible Opioid Prescribing." The FSMB Foundation released an updated second edition of "Responsible Opioid Prescribing: A Clinician's Guide," which provides prescribers with an understanding of expectations of regulators and offers pragmatic steps for adopting a risk management approach associated with any use of opioid drugs. The book, available in print and ebook formats, provides important new material, including research on opioid prescribing that was not available when the first edition was published in 2007.
Continuing Medical Education for prescribers of opioids. The FSMB, in collaboration with Boston University School of Medicine and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, is co-sponsoring a series of live and online CME activities, entitled Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education (SCOPE) of Pain. SCOPE of Pain is designed to help licensees safely and effectively manage patients with chronic pain, when appropriate, with opioid analgesics.
Source: Federation of State Medical Boards
athenahealth and CECity Launch First-of-its-Kind Health Data Exchange Gateway to Advance Interoperability with Registries and Meaningful Use Quality Reporting
American College of Physicians first to use gateway to connect practices to ACP Genesis Registry to satisfy Meaningful Use Specialized Registry requirements and improve patient care
View Press Release
Director, Provider Products
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WATERTOWN, MA, PITTSBURGH, PA, and WASHINGTON, DC – January 14, 2014 - athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN), a leading provider of cloud-based services for electronic health record (EHR), practice management, and care coordination, and CECity, a leading provider of cloud-based registry services for performance improvement and value-based reporting, today announced a partnership through which the companies will launch a first-of-its-kind health data exchange integration and reporting service, automating the flow of information directly from practices using athenaClinicals®, athenahealth's award-winning EHR, to clinical registries from national medical specialty societies and other registries. The American College of Physicians (ACP) will be the first national medical organization to receive clinical data from athenaClinicals to its registry through CECity's clinical quality data gateway (ImpaQt Gateway™).
"In partnership with CECity, and through a combination of our open cloud-based platform and commitment to free data flow in health care, we continue to expand our providers' ability to effortlessly transmit key clinical data from their EHR to the places it needs to and should go," said Doran Robinson, vice president, Healthcare Transactions, athenahealth. "We believe data exchange should be a core service embedded in health information technology (HIT) to satisfy things like Meaningful Use, but more importantly to advance the delivery of high-quality, well-coordinated care. This partnership is an important differentiator for athenahealth; with CECity, we are establishing a key platform integration point that enables any provider using our athenaClinicals service to meet Meaningful Use specialized registry requirements with no additional effort and at no additional cost, so they can focus on their primary role of efficient, high-quality patient care delivery."
The ImpaQt Gateway will enable the seamless transfer of information from the national athenaNet® platform to appropriate "Specialized Registries" in order to satisfy the Meaningful Use Stage 2 - Menu Measure 6 requirement that went into effect January 1, 2014. The ImpaQt Gateway includes support for standardized data exchange formats from EHRs, as prescribed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Through secure, continuous data exchange, the ImpaQt Gateway accepts standardized EHR files, which are then automatically processed and logically stored in CECity's registry-based cloud platform. Practices are then able to control how they would like their EHR data to be channeled for use in a variety of applications hosted by CECity, including the specialized registries available for Meaningful Use, as well as PQRS, Bridges to Excellence®, Maintenance of Certification®, and other clinical practice improvement programs.
The first specialized registry to receive data through the ImpaQt Gateway will be ACP Genesis Registry™. Through a partnership with CECity, ACP Genesis Registry will accept data from athenaClinicals and provide participating health care practices with continuous feedback reports presented through online performance monitors. Each monitor offers providers a user-friendly view of their personal performance results compared to national benchmarks, benchmarks established by ACP, as well as peer comparators, and a custom analysis of their measure gaps. Linked opportunities to drive improvement and close performance gaps are available, which include population health and patient care management tools, targeted education, resources, and other evidence-based interventions from CECity's society, academic, and quality improvement research partners.
"We are proud to have the opportunity to partner with athenahealth and ACP to enable this milestone in healthcare," said Simone Karp, RPh, chief business development officer and CECity co-founder. "This collaboration represents a giant leap forward towards realizing the true vision of Meaningful Use, which is leveraging information to improve patient care. Together, through the use of cloud-based platforms, we have made the secure exchange and reporting of clinical data simple. We have enabled performance measurement and national benchmarking as a seamless outcome of the practice workflow. And, most importantly, we are now able to engage health care professionals in patient safety and quality initiatives by transitioning the focus from measurement to improvement."
"ACP Genesis Registry will help physicians to satisfy Meaningful Use specialized registry requirements and improve patient care," said Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP, who leads ACP's Division of Medical Practice. "Participating practices will be able to easily transmit data from athenaClinicals, reducing the burden on physicians by eliminating the need for duplicate data entry and custom reporting."
Access to the ACP Genesis Registry, performance monitors, improvement resources, and social learning networks will be offered to participating athenahealth practices through CECity's MedConcert® Portal, the leading multi-tenant platform for performance improvement. CECity and athenahealth plan on making additional quality reporting and improvement solutions available through the athenahealth Marketplace in the near future, including solutions that may leverage the same data exchanged for Meaningful Use.
About the American College of Physicians
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the anticipated integration of athenahealth's services with the ImpaQt Gateway, the benefits conferred thereby, and the availability of additional solutions. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. athenahealth undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances, or otherwise. For additional disclosure regarding these and other risks faced by athenahealth, please see the disclosure contained in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, available on the Investors section of our website at http://www.athenahealth.com and on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov.
Quality-Network Initiative Focuses on CMS Compliance, Patient Care, Clinical Outcomes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
PHOENIX, January 29, 2014 — United Drugs, the nation's largest member-owned pharmacy services administration organization (PSAO), is implementing Pharmacy Quality Solutions' EQuIPP™ information-management platform to help its network of 1,300 independent pharmacies better understand performance metrics and to improve patient care and clinical outcomes.
With the shift to value-based purchasing, the U.S. healthcare system faces its most significant transformation since the advent of managed care in the 1980s. Payers are navigating the complexities of a new reimbursement environment and independent pharmacists must meet ever-increasing Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) compliance requirements," said United Drugs' President Robert McMahan, PharmD.
In the traditional fee-for-service reimbursement environment, measuring volume was critical. But, today, payments also hinge upon quality, added Jon Copeland, RPh, CEO of United Drugs' parent organization American Associated Pharmacies (AAP). "Our network pharmacies cannot focus solely on old metrics in the dynamic and competitive world of accountable care, CMS Star ratings, medication adherence, and bundled payments. Today's emphasis must be on innovative and improved patient care."
The ability to dashboard and track quality performance is a key component of United Drugs' 2014 quality-network strategy. "Our goal is to leverage the EQuIPP platform — and a variety of other tools to be announced soon — to increase Star ratings measurements for our pharmacies in a way that will provide greater network access going forward," McMahan said.
Pharmacy Quality Solutions' President David Nau said, "Measuring performance is powerful in transforming the quality of the medication-use system, but only if pharmacies have access to standard dashboards that objectively reflect how they compare against meaningful quality measures. Our goal is to accelerate this transformation by making EQuIPP services broadly available so we can rapidly move from measurement to improvement. EQuIPP use by the United Drugs' nationwide membership is a major win for quality expansion."
About United Drugs
About Pharmacy Quality Solutions, Inc. (PQS):
Cardinal Health, Pharmacy Quality Solutions Help Community Pharmacies Benchmark Their Performance on Medicare Part D Star Measures
Springfield, VA. - December 9, 2013 - Pharmacy Quality Solutions, Inc. announced today that it will collaborate with Cardinal Health to help 600 community pharmacies track their performance on Medicare Part D Star measures.
Medicare Part D Star measures track key quality care indicators including medication use and compliance, and can be used by health plans to determine which retail pharmacies to include in their networks.
Through this collaboration, 600 of Cardinal Health's community pharmacy customers will utilize Pharmacy Quality Solutions' EQuIPP™ (Electronic Quality Improvement Platform for Plans and Pharmacies) tool – a national platform for medication-related quality measurement, benchmarking and collaboration among health plans, prescription benefit managers and community pharmacies.
EQuIPP™ aggregates data from multiple health plans and pharmacies to measure the quality of medication use, including non-adherence, and makes this measurement available to all participants. By serving as a neutral intermediary for quality measurement and benchmarking, EQuIPP™ enables pharmacies and health plans to focus on improving the quality and safety of medication use.
"Community pharmacies play an integral role in helping patients manage their overall health, particularly when it comes to medication use and adherence," said Steve Lawrence, senior vice president of Independent Sales for Cardinal Health. "We're excited to make this innovative tool available to our retail pharmacy customers, because it makes it easy for them to access invaluable information to better understand and constantly improve the level of quality care they provide to their patients."
Lawrence also noted that while the company has invited 600 retail pharmacy customers to be part of this initial collaboration, the company plans to expand access to customers more broadly in 2014.
"We are pleased to be collaborating with Cardinal Health in its efforts to help community pharmacies adapt to the changing healthcare landscape," said David Nau, President of Pharmacy Quality Solutions. "As Medicare Part D plans attempt to improve the quality of medication utilization for their patients, they are increasingly turning to their pharmacy networks as partners for quality improvement."
About Pharmacy Quality Solutions
Bone Health Collaborative Launches Fracture Liaison Care Coordination Study in the Cloud to Improve Quality of Post-Fracture Care in Patients with Osteoporosis View Press Release
CECity, NBHA and NOF Launch Study funded by Merck and Co. to Assess Hospital Use of Proven Fracture Liaison Service Model Across Communities Utilizing Cloud-Based MedConcert® Platform
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Pittsburgh, PA. - December 5, 2013 - Despite 15 years of documented international success of the Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) model of post-fracture care to identify patients at risk in order to prevent costly and deadly secondary fractures in patients with osteoporosis, relatively few hospitals have successfully implemented this approach as a standard of care in the United States. A collaborative of the nation’s leaders in osteoporosis patient care, quality improvement research, population health management and care coordination technology (Bone Health Collaborative) seek to study how to change that trend.
Led by the National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA), National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and CECity.com, Inc. (CECity), the Bone Health Collaborative today announced the launch of a cloud-based Fracture Liaison Service Demonstration Study (FLS Demonstration) that will provide participating hospitals with the FLS model of care and CECity’s cloud-based MedConcert® platform, to assess the hospitals’ adoption and implementation of a fracture liaison service across their communities. The FLS Demonstration Study, funded by Merck, is designed to demonstrate the ability to scale the FLS in the community setting, while measuring the impact on patient care. This includes targeting the nearly 80 percent care gap of older Americans who suffer bone breaks, but are not tested or treated for osteoporosis.
"With osteoporosis causing an estimated two million broken bones per year at an estimated direct cost of $19 billion, we know osteoporosis-related bone breaks are responsible for significant human and financial costs," said Robert Recker, MD, MACP, FACE, co-chair, NBHA, president, NOF and director, Osteoporosis Research Center, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. "There has never been a greater need for effective post-fracture prevention and care coordination programs. These programs are the key to sparing many Americans from the pain, suffering and reduced quality of life associated with broken bones, while at the same time producing enormous cost savings for the healthcare system."
One of the key difficulties in osteoporosis and post-fracture patient care is the fragmented U.S. healthcare system, which makes it difficult to coordinate patient care across hospitals, medical offices and multiple medical specialties in the community. In fact, only 23 percent of women over age 67 who have suffered a hip or other type of fracture are tested or treated for osteoporosis, and 25 percent of patients who break their hip die within the first year. Medicare spends more than $5 billion annually to treat fractures among seniors, yet the majority of patients are released without being evaluated for osteoporosis — the underlying disease which may have led to the fracture.
The FLS Demonstration Study will leverage the experience and resources of each partner including NBHA’s fracture prevention knowledge and expertise; NOF’s expertise as the leading osteoporosis and bone health organization representing patients and healthcare professionals; and CECity’s MedConcert performance improvement platform, to engage providers in breaking down walls in order to build innovative communities of practice designed to improve the safety and quality of patient care.
"We developed MedConcert to scale performance improvement by offering cost-effective tools for population health management, rapid cycle learning and communications that allow providers to connect across communities, regardless of their practice setting. The FLS Demonstration Study represents that perfect opportunity to combine proven best-practices in clinical care, with best-of-breed cloud technology, to assess the ability to accelerate and spread community-wide quality improvement," said Simone Karp, RPh, co-founder, chief business development officer, CECity. "We appreciate Merck’s dedication to the study of improving the quality of patient care, and we are excited to be partnering with NBHA and NOF to help improve outcomes for patients with osteoporosis."
The study will begin in early 2014 and run for approximately 12 months within the three initial sites selected for the study. The partners expect to publish results of the study by mid-2015.
"This Demonstration Project will advance the science of chronic disease management," said Dr. Sachin Jain, Merck’s chief medical information and innovation officer. "By helping us scale Fracture Liaison Services and other chronic care programs, we will help delivery systems achieve better clinical results for their patients."
The MedConcert "App Store" provides users with a wide variety of solutions to help improve performance, while simplifying their lives to drive engagement. Available MedConcert apps include solutions for Quality Reporting (PQRSwizard®, Bridges to Excellence®), Meaningful Use reporting (Specialized Registries, eCQMs), Patient Engagement (NCQA-certified PCMH CG-CAHPS), Maintenance of Certification (Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute’s Patient Safety Certification Program, Part IV Activities) and much more.
About the National Bone Health Alliance
About the National Osteoporosis Foundation
About the Fracture Liaison Service Model of Care
Health Mart and Pharmacy Quality Solutions Partner to Provide Performance Data Tools and Clinical Support for Health Mart Stores
San Francisco, CA. - December 3, 2013 - Health Mart®, a community franchise of more than 3,000 independently owned pharmacies across all 50 states, announced today that it will offer its member pharmacies access to EQuIPP™, an online information management platform that makes pharmacy performance data available to health plans and community pharmacy organizations. Health Mart stores will be able to review their unique performance data, compare them to benchmark, and then identify areas for improvement in patient care and clinical outcomes.
"As the old adage goes, you can't manage what you don't measure. We are pleased to have partnered with PQS and to provide our Health Mart franchisees access to EQuIPP™ pharmacy performance data," said Steve Courtman, president, Health Mart. "Public and private payors are increasingly using performance data to determine which retail pharmacies are most effective in impacting positive clinical outcomes for patients and selecting the top performers to be their preferred pharmacies. We are committed to providing our Health Mart stores with the tools, data and products needed to thrive in performance networks."
"We are excited to partner with Health Mart to drive awareness of the pharmacy measures and the importance of using performance metrics to improve clinical care," said David Nau, President of Pharmacy Quality Solutions. "If Health Mart owners better understand how they are being measured, they can determine where they are currently delivering strong clinical results and take steps to strengthen areas that can be improved, leading to the best possible patient care and outcomes."
EQuIPP™ is provided by Pharmacy Quality Solutions (PQS), a joint venture of the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) and CECity. PQA-endorsed measures are used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the Medicare Part D Star Ratings Program, a performance metric system used to rate prescription drug plan performance. Of the fifteen metrics included in a Part D Star Rating, five core pharmacy metrics are triple weighted and can influence nearly half of a drug plan's total composite score, making it critical that payors partner with high-performing pharmacies.
Supporting patient medication adherence and identifying and intervening on gaps in patient care are two metric areas where community pharmacies are uniquely poised to excel due to their strong personal patient relationships. Health Mart has a number of programs to help itsmember pharmacies address patient non-adherence. These programs include educational support to deliver behavioral coaching and medication synchronization services, as well as intervention tools such as refill reminders and McKesson's pharmacy intervention program.
Health Mart is a member of the Pharmacy Quality Alliance and is committed to supporting the organization's effort to standardize pharmacy performance metrics.
For more information, please visit McKesson's online newsroom at www.mckesson.com/newsroom.
About Health Mart®
About Pharmacy Quality Solutions and EQuIPP™
Springfield, VA. Oct 28, 2013 - Pharmacy Quality Solutions, Inc. (PQS), announced the hiring of Elliott M. Sogol, PhD, RPh, FAPhA to fill the newly created position of Vice President for Professional Relations. As PQS continues to work collaboratively with health plans, PBMs, and pharmacies, PQS tapped Sogol who has over three decades experience and a proven track record in the community pharmacy practice environment, the pharmaceutical industry, and academia. In this new role, Sogol will support community pharmacy engagement with EQuIPP™, the first national platform for pharmacy quality measurement, benchmarking, and feedback that enables pharmacies and insurance plans to monitor key quality indicators.
Release Date: September 24, 2013
The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality has been awarded a three-year, $7.3 million contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality to bring its proven checklist for reducing ventilator-associated pneumonia — the most lethal of all hospital-acquired infections — to hospitals nationwide.
Following on the heels of reducing these infections by 70 percent throughout Michigan and a similar program underway in 60 hospitals in Maryland and Pennsylvania, the researchers hope to reach hospitals in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with a system that couples a relatively simple series of steps with an education program and a culture that promote patient safety. If successful, the checklist program could save thousands of lives and millions of dollars in health care costs.
"We know that many hospital-acquired infections are completely preventable," says Sean Berenholtz, M.D., M.H.S., physician director of inpatient quality and safety at the Armstrong Institute and an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "We have found a way to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonias on a smaller scale. Now we are excited to be able to bring this approach to the entire country."
Severely ill or injured intensive-care patients who can't breathe on their own need ventilators, but they are at serious risk for complications including infections such as ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), which afflicts an estimated 250,000 patients each year. The risk of VAP increases about 1 to 3 percent for every day on a ventilator.
The national rollout mirrors another successful Johns Hopkins project, which, by a similar method, reduced deadly central line-associated bloodstream infections nationwide by 41 percent in more than 1,000 hospitals in 44 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
For VAP, the Johns Hopkins group looked at the evidence-based recommendations for prevention and distilled them into a checklist of five suggested therapies, known as the ventilator bundle, for caregivers to follow when assisting patients on breathing machines.
The five therapies include elevating the head of the bed more than 30 degrees to keep bacteria from migrating into the lungs; lessening sedation to allow patients to follow commands and allow staff to evaluate readiness to remove the breathing tube daily; regular oral care to remove bacteria-containing plaques that can lead to VAP; using special endotracheal tubes to facilitate suctioning of secretions; and making patients mobile as quickly as possible, even while still hooked up to the breathing machines. All are designed to shorten the length of time on the ventilator — a key to reducing complications including the risk of infection, the researchers say.
But checklists do not work in isolation. As part of the program, staff members also will be trained to use teamwork and better communication to ensure that the bundle is being properly administered. Caregivers will engage in a program to allow them to learn from their mistakes. Another strategy in developing a "culture of safety" involves educating patients' families about the therapies and encouraging them to ask questions to ensure that their loved ones are getting the appropriate care, a measure that can help keep caregivers on their toes, Berenholtz says.
Another element helps staff members to understand — and overcome barriers — to providing the best care for ventilated patients.
"Our staff members care a lot about patients and are working hard to do the right thing," Berenholtz says. "We hope this program will give them the tools to be successful."
Partners in the contract include the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and CECity, Inc.
Primary care in the United States faces unprecedented challenges from an aging population and the accompanying prevalence of chronic disease. In response, continuing medical education (CME) initiatives have begun to adopt the principles of performance improvement(PI) into their design, although currently there is a dearth of evidence from national initiatives supporting the effectiveness of this methodology. The specific aim of this study was to demonstrate the value of a national PI-CME activity to improve the performance of physicians treating patients with diabetes.
June 5, 2013 - The Affordable Care Act expands access to health insurance and includes numerous provisions focused on delivering care that is high quality, safe, and affordable. Reliable and meaningful quality measurement that focuses on important outcomes, including patient experience throughout the health care system, is an essential prerequisite for achieving this goal. In this Viewpoint, we describe the characteristics of the quality measurement enterprise of the future, outline a potential roadmap for the transition, and identify a set of opportunities for public- and private-sector collaboration.
PQA and CECity Launch Joint Venture to Deliver First National Pharmacy Quality Measurement, Benchmarking and Reporting Platform for Pharmacies and Health Plans View Press Release
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Pharmacy Quality Solutions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 20, 2013
Springfield, VA, March 20, 2013 - The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) and CECity.com, Inc. (CECity) today announced the launch of Pharmacy Quality Solutions, Inc. (PQS), a joint venture created to deliver EQuIPP™ (Electronic Quality Improvement Platform for Plans and Pharmacies), the first national pharmacy quality measurement, benchmarking, and reporting platform for pharmacies and health plans. EQuIPP™ measures the quality of patient medication use, including non-adherence, and makes this measurement available and understandable. EQuIPP™ enables pharmacies and health plans to focus on improving the quality and safety of patient care delivered.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) brought attention to the quality of medication use through the Medicare Part D Star Ratings program which assesses plan performance against PQA measures. The role of appropriate medication use in a high-value healthcare system was reinforced by a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office that indicated a 1% increase in prescriptions filled by Medicare beneficiaries would save Medicare roughly one-fifth of 1 percent in expenditures, or approximately $1.1 Billion annually.
The formation of PQS aligns PQA's expertise and neutrality in measuring pharmacy performance with CECity's award winning cloud platform for performance measurement and Big Data analytics. PQS provides pharmacies and health plans with a single trusted source for continuous performance measurement of PQA measures, including those used in Medicare Part D Stars, using dashboards to compare their performance with their peers in near real-time.
"Measuring performance is powerful in transforming the quality of the medication-use system, but only if pharmacies and health plans have access to standard dashboards that objectively reflect how they compare against meaningful quality measures," said PQS President David Nau, PhD, RPh, CPHQ, FAPhA. "Our goal at PQS is to accelerate this transformation by making this service broadly available to all US pharmacies and health plans, so that we can rapidly move from measurement to improvement."
Many of the nation's health plans, as well as a significant number of community pharmacy organizations are part of the PQS national rollout of EQuIPP™ this year. By aggregating data from multiple health plans within one performance database, EQuIPP™ uniquely enables community pharmacies to evaluate their performance across a broad cohort of their patients. In addition, health plans are now able to view robust benchmarks on medication-use quality as well as efficiently and consistently evaluate quality across all pharmacies in their networks.
EQuIPP™ also provides tools and resources that pharmacies may use to improve their performance. These resources include support for continuous professional development and patient engagement. Performance improvement strategies provided by EQuIPP™ will help pharmacies close quality gaps, and adapt to value-driven healthcare.
PQS hits the market with significant contracts in place and will embark on a collaborative marketing effort to expand access and connectivity to the EQuIPP™ platform. Potential collaborators include health plans, pharmaceutical benefit managers (PBMs), electronic medical record (EMR) companies, registries, and other technology companies that are interested in assisting their provider networks through data aggregation and data exchange services.
About EQuIPP™ and Pharmacy Quality Solutions
CECity, HCI3 Forge Alliance to Connect Bridges to Excellence® Programs with Quality Improvement Tools and Online Communities via MedConcert® View Press Release
Partnership Leverages Cloud Platform to Facilitate Recognitions, Empower Physicians with Ways to Improve, and Expand Access through EMRs, Data Aggregators, and Registries
Francois de Brantes
Simone Karp, RPh
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 2013
HIMSS13 NEW ORLEANS, LA - March 4, 2013 - Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3) and CECity.com, Inc. (CECity) today announced a strategic alliance designed to scale and accelerate practice-based learning and performance improvement for physicians that participate in Bridges to Excellence®, the nations' leading pay for performance program, using CECity's cloud-based MedConcert® platform.
MedConcert is healthcare's premier multi-tenant social platform for continuous performance improvement, quality reporting, care coordination and lifelong learning.
Bridges to Excellence (BTE) programs are used by health plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, WellPoint, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and others to recognize and reward clinicians who deliver better patient care. Physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are able to measure the quality of care delivered to patients with certain chronic conditions and may earn financial incentives from participating health plans.
Under the Alliance, CECity and HCI3 will connect the BTE Recognition programs with a variety of quality tools, resources, and private social networks in MedConcert, all of which are designed to foster improvement in patient care, by closing gaps in performance as they are identified through the BTE programs.
"Nothing is more powerful in accelerating the transformation of health care in the U.S. than having clinicians receive and act on meaningful quality measure dashboards," said Francois de Brantes, HCI3's Executive Director. "Our Alliance with CECity will enable all clinicians who participate in any BTE program to gain better insights on the quality of care they are delivering to their patients, assess potential gaps, act on those gaps, and observe over time the impact of the practice changes they have implemented."
In addition, as the exclusive performance assessment organization for BTE, CECity will be able to streamline and scale the access to BTE Recognitions by offering all participating clinicians, as well as their EMR or other data aggregator partners, one central, user-friendly portal for reporting, benchmarking, recognition, learning and improvement.
Opportunities to align clinical quality measures in BTE with other reporting programs available through MedConcert, such as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use), and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs, will be explored in order to lower current reporting burdens on providers, and deliver additional value for participating clinicians and health systems that are engaged in quality improvement.
"Our mission is to scale and accelerate performance improvement through our innovative technologies, by connecting leaders in quality like HCI3, their participating clinicians, and health systems, with CECity's world-class content and research partners who are focused on quality improvement," said Simone Karp, RPh, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of CECity. "We are honored that MedConcert has been selected as the platform for Bridges to Excellence, and we are excited by the possibilities to improve the experience of BTE participants, and the quality of care given to their patients."
HCI3 and CECity will also collaborate to expand access and connectivity to BTE for EMRs, registries, and others technology companies interested in assisting clinicians and health systems through data aggregation and exchange services. If your organization is interested in joining the BTE program as a data aggregator, please contact CECity (email@example.com) or visit CECity at Booth 5018 at HIMSS13.
About the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc.
February 14, 2013
Simone Karp, RPh
Philadelphia, Pa. – February 14, 2013 The American College of Physicians (ACP) in collaboration with CECity, developer of MedConcert®, a social cloud-based performance improvement platform, will pilot and test the impact of a technology-based quality improvement program on physician participation, value to practices, rapid-cycle learning, and patient outcomes.
The one-year pilot program, "Improving the Quality of Diabetes Care," will tailor MedConcert with diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention content. More than 11 percent of adults in the United States – an estimated 26 million people – have diabetes, which is associated with multiple complications and co-morbid conditions, including cardiovascular disease.
"This initiative will provide important data to help us determine the feasibility of recruiting physician offices to participate in an integrated, technology-based quality improvement program and assess facilitators and barriers," said Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP, who leads ACP's Medical Practice, Professionalism & Quality division. "The data also will enable us to assess the ease of adopting this type of technology into the workflows of physician practices and whether it correlates with improved care processes, patient satisfaction, and patient outcomes."
Up to 50 internal medicine practices in three states in the pilot will have access to the following web-based tools:
Physicians may access MedConcert's secure social networks to engage in peer-to-peer clinical communities that enable patient coordination of care and real-time communications for sharing best practices. MedConcert also houses a library of diabetes and CVD resources and educational materials, including patient education tools, linked to specific gaps in performance identified in the registry data, which are also available to participants.
A report on the results of the pilot quality improvement program is expected by the end of the year. The Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health will conduct the program evaluation.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians (www.acponline.org) is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 133,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook).About CECity
Founded in 1997, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based CECity is the health care industry's leading software as a service (SaaS) provider of cloud-based applications and distribution networks for Performance Improvement and Lifelong Learning. Health care professionals and organizations, including quality organizations, health plans, hospitals, pharmacy chains, certifying boards, licensing boards, publishers, professional societies, academic medical centers and educational providers, count on CECity to power their solutions for continuous performance improvement, registries, professional development, patient safety and adherence, population health informatics and quality reporting in support of health care and payment reform.
MedConcert, powered by CECity, represents the health care industry's first multi-tenant cloud-based platform that is designed to connect stakeholders in a meaningful way to bridge the "House of Medicine" and the "Practice of Medicine" to drive continuous performance improvement, coordination of care, and lifelong learning. MedConcert is a real world implementation of the Learning Health System, which has been proposed by CMS, IOM and others as a critical component of driving quality and improving patient care.
CECity and Pennsylvania Collaborative Partners Win URAC Gold Quality Improvement Award View Press Release
Award Recognizes Success in Improving System-Wide Provider Performance on PQA Adherence Measures, Used for CMS Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings, Leveraging CECity's Social Cloud Platform
Annette D. Boyer, RPh
(888) 669-7444 x 312
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pittsburgh, Pa. - October 16, 2012 - CECity and the Pennsylvania Collaborative, a strategic consortium that includes Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Rite Aid Corporation, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), Gateway Health Plan, and the University of Pittsburgh-School of Pharmacy, have received URAC's prestigious Gold Award for Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection. This top honor in the category of Health Information/Decision Support recognizes health care management programs that demonstrate quality improvement in the health care delivered to consumers.
The program, titled "ASPIRE (Advancing Safety and Performance Improvement for Pharmacy Excellence): Integrating Quality Metrics with Focused Interventions to Improve Adherence," leveraged CECity's innovative social cloud-based platform to successfully, and cost-effectively, scale and spread continuous quality improvement as measured by PQA's medication adherence measures, for Rite Aid pharmacies, providers, and patients across Pennsylvania.
Through CECity, multiple health plans were able to contribute data, which was merged to generate a single performance profile for each pharmacy, complete with identification of that pharmacy's critical performance gaps. A single "How Do I Improve" button then dynamically linked each provider to their own personalized pathway for learning and improvement, which included recommended organizational, professional, and patient-centered tools that were continuously evaluated across the wide geographic network to measure their effectiveness in closing the gaps.
"The Pennsylvania Collaborative serves as a perfect example of how health plans and community-based pharmacy providers can collaborate to improve medication adherence at an individual and population level," said David Nau, Senior Director at PQA. "PQA looks forward to continuing our collaboration with CECity to bring the power of this technology to pharmacies and health plan partners across the country as we work to enhance patient value."
"We would like to thank URAC for this wonderful honor, and applaud our partners in the Pennsylvania Collaborative for their leadership and shared vision in creating a continuous learning health system model for improvement," said Annette Boyer, RPh, Vice President at CECity. "By combining our cloud platform and this proven model for provider engagement, we are now able to rapidly scale quality initiatives. This includes EQuIPP® (the Electronic Quality Improvement Platform for Plans and Pharmacies), the nations' pharmacy quality improvement benchmarking service, and MedConcert®, the first platform to meaningfully connect all stakeholders, including physicians and other healthcare providers, hospitals, pharmacies, health plans, and their patients, to support ongoing performance improvement, lifelong learning, and enterprise-wide care coordination."
Key results of the ASPIRE program included successfully "moving the needle" on the PQA chronic disease adherence measures, which are used for the CMS Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings, aggregating system-wide performance measurement across multiple health plans, and measuring the impact of focused and community-generated interventions on performance. The ability to engage providers in quality improvement, rapid cycle learning, and clinical communities across wide geographic regions was also demonstrated.
URAC, a leading health care accreditation organization, honored the winners as part of its 2012 Quality Summit and Award Program held October 9-11 in San Francisco, CA. Entries were judged by a panel of prestigious, independent judges including recognized experts in program evaluation, care coordination, health information technology, employer and purchaser decision making and patient safety. Entries were reviewed and scored by the judges based on objective criteria including whether the program was measurable, if it was reproducible and delivered through a collaborative approach.
"URAC's Best Practices awards program is a unique celebration of innovative health care management programs. These organizations have implemented leading programs that have made a difference in the lives of the consumers they serve with demonstrable results that matter," said Alan P. Spielman, URAC President and CEO. "This year's winners are recognized for their leadership in delivering on the promise of a quality health care system that puts consumers first."
About Rite Aid
About Gateway Health Plan
About the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, Program Evaluation Research Unit (PERU)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/13/12
Orlando, FL, September 13, 2012 – CECity has launched the MedConcert® cloud-based platform to Blue Cross and Blue Shield executives from across the country at their 2012 Blue National Summit in Orlando, Florida. MedConcert, the premier cloud-based "learning health system" platform provides a secure, HIPAA-compliant social enterprise solution that enables all stakeholders to collaborate, communicate, coordinate care, and engage in a continuous cycle of learning and improvement, in order to achieve the vision of high-quality, high-value health care for patients and their families.
Through MedConcert, health plans can now develop custom applications ("Apps") that connect them to their provider and health system networks "across walls". Instead of sharing performance results periodically, health plans and their providers can now monitor and assess their performance gaps in real-time, based on a set of measures that matter, such as those contained in the CMS Medicare Advantage Star Ratings, ACO, and Pay for Performance programs. The MedConcert (patent pending) rapid learning system then dynamically links the provider's performance gaps to an extensive library of interventions for improvement from leading publishers, academic medical centers, and medical specialty societies that are focused on improving quality and safety. The MedConcert platform can also align the Apps with the professional needs of providers, in order to lower their burden and to save them time, while developing a culture of continuous performance improvement as envisioned by the Institute of Medicine (IOM)*.
MedConcert's secure social networks link physicians and their care teams with patients, as well as a wide area network of providers across the medical neighborhood, to instantly enable care coordination, patient navigation, and patient engagement. Professionals can also connect across organizations to share best practices, benchmark their performance, and communicate regarding "what works" through peer-driven quality learning and action networks, in order to drive up the quality and drive down the unnecessary cost of care.
To learn more about MedConcert and how CECity's differentiated model is transforming healthcare delivery and quality contact CECity at 1-888-669-7444 x1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The new IOM report, "Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America," describes a continuously learning health system, one that aligns science and informatics, patient-clinician partnerships, incentives, and a culture of continuous improvement to produce the best care at lower cost. The report's recommendations speak to the many stakeholders in the health care system and outline the concerted actions necessary across all sectors to achieve the needed transformation. http://iom.edu/Reports/2012/Best-Care-at-Lower-Cost-The-Path-to-Continuously-Learning-Health-Care-in-America.aspx
July 24, 2012
Philadelphia, PA, July 24, 2012 – The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) today announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will include ABIM's Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Maintenance of Certification Program Incentive for 2012, enabling ABIM board certified physicians to earn an additional bonus payment beyond the PQRS incentive for participating in MOC.
July 22, 2012
If television's "House" and Dr. Perry Cox from "Scrubs" have taught us anything, it's that terrific physicians can have lousy bedside manners. And hospitals with bland food and noisy hallways can still provide quality care.
In the May edition of CardioSource WorldNews, Sachin Jain, MD, sits down with CECity's CEO to explore the convergence of CME and Performance Improvement, and how CECity's MedConcert platform might help revolutionize practice-based learning and improvement.
Click here to read the article
May 25, 2012
QHC Advisory Group, LLC
Simone Karp, RPh
Huntington, NY – May 25, 2012 – May-Lynn Andresen, RN, has been named Vice President, Business Development, at Quality in Health Care Advisory Group, LLC(QHC). In this role, Andresen will be responsible for building relationships with healthcare professional, provider, and payor organizations for the group’s innovative healthcare consulting practice. Andresen will also serve as a liaison to CECity.com, Inc. (CECity), the leading provider of cloud-based platforms for performance improvement, with which QHC has formed a strategic alliance. Together, with Andresen’s support, QHC and CECity will deliver an unmatched solution that combines expertise and web-based technology to address the burgeoning needs of stakeholders under healthcare and payment reform. In addition, Theresa Jacobellis, MS, has been named Marketing Director for the group, responsible for branding, public relations and multi-channel communications.
May-Lynn Andresen, a registered nurse with roots in critical care, has had a career spanning the fields of quality and performance improvement, clinical research, patient, professional, and community education and outreach, fundraising, project development and strategic planning with a special emphasis in cardiology, surgery and developmental disabilities and autism. She is also a renowned patient and family advocate, consultant and speaker.
Andresen has experience in new program development and strategic planning. She has held senior leadership roles within the hospital and ambulatory settings, not-for-profit organizations and as an IRB Director. She has founded innovative programs to bridge gaps in care and services. Andresen has expertise in human behavior as well as individual, family and group dynamics and strives to establish collaboration across disciplines and settings. She is co-founder of the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities(a comprehensive multidisciplinary program providing diagnostic, treatment, school consultation, social skills training and clinical research), the Westbrook Preparatory School(the first residential secondary school in the state of New York for students with high functioning autism/Asperger syndrome) and the Rock Out Autism Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is based on the concept of person-development through mentorships.
She has lectured on topics such as cardiology, autism and advocacy to multiple audiences across the US including physicians, dentists, nurses, psychologists, educators, government leaders and parents. Andresen has been honored by North Shore University Hospital with the Nurse Excellence Award, named Nurse of Distinction by the Nassau Suffolk Hospital Council, received the Ambulatory Nursing Center of Excellence Award from both Schneider’s Children’s Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center and in 2012, received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Long Island Chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children. She has also had multiple television and radio appearances.
Theresa Jacobellis has more than two decades of experience in healthcare communications. She specializes in health literacy, marketing communications, media relations, and grant writing. As Director of Public and External Affairs, she oversees the communications and marketing efforts of a 537-bed tertiary hospital on Long Island. She is also Chair of the Public Relations Committee of the Nassau Suffolk Hospital Council, a consortium of not-for-profit hospitals on Long Island. Formerly, she served as Director of Public Affairs at a 428-bed community hospital where in addition to public relations and marketing functions she was also responsible for foundation and corporate grant seeking and grants administration. Earlier, she held similar positions at an academic medical center and a multi-hospital health system.
Jacobellis has published articles on the use of social media strategies in healthcare marketing and communications. This expertise will be particularly helpful in support of communications and research related to the use of the social networking tools within the CECity platform. She has presented educational lectures on grant writing and social media as a health communication tool. Her publications and marketing campaigns have garnered national awards including the Aster Award, the Healthcare Advertising Awards, and the Cardiovascular Advertising Awards. She holds a Master’s degree in Health Communication from Boston University.
“We are thrilled to have May-Lynn join the QHC team and anticipate that she will enhance our strategic position and help us reach new markets across the country,” said Bernard M. Rosof, MD, CEO of QHC. “Theresa’s expertise will help us establish QHC’s brand identity and expand our communication efforts across multiple channels to more effectively reach out to current and potential clients.”
“May-Lynn and Theresa bring unique perspectives, key relationships and vital skill sets to QHC, and we look forward to working with them and the entire QHC team as we continue to build a seamless solution in support of healthcare providers that will result in improved patient care,” said Lloyd Myers, President of CECity.
American College of Physicians and CECity to Test Cloud-based Platform Integrating Secure Social Networks, Communications, Professional Portfolios and Quality Reporting Tools with an App Store To Address National Patient Safety and Quality Priorities
January 23, 2012
David B. Kinsman, APROrlando – January 23, 2012 – A new partnership is set to provide expanded access to MedConcert, a new and innovative multi-tenant cloud-based platform for healthcare, designed to cost-effectively scale and spread continuous quality improvement and address key patient safety issues. The announcement of the alliance of The American College of Physicians (ACP) and CECity.com, Inc. (CECity) came at this week's 37th Annual Meeting of the Alliance for CME.
Simone Karp, RPh
The strategic alliance is beginning with a diabetes pilot test in ACP state chapters. Working closely with internists and their practice teams, the pilot will test the full power of MedConcert to improve diabetic patient care processes and outcomes. Applications (Apps) will include ACP's innovative Medical Home Builder along with an automatically populated PQRS-based diabetes registry, patient survey tools, and a Facebook-like communication networking capability. In addition, pilot participants will have access to pay-for-performance and recertification opportunities.
Dr. Louis Diamond, MD, FACP, president of Quality Healthcare Consultants and adviser to the project, noted that, "As we continue the journey from a focus on performance measurement to improvement, we need a platform to link interventions to the specific identified gaps in care. Such a platform must be user friendly to individual healthcare professionals and teams, facilitate communications, and importantly, learning. Such a platform is MedConcert, powered by CECity, and the focus of this pilot".
Dr. Michael Barr, MD, MBA, FACP, senior vice president of the Division of Medical Professionalism, Practice & Quality at ACP adds, "ACP is very excited about this collaboration with CECity. MedConcert represents a truly innovative approach to engaging physicians and other health care professionals in meaningful quality improvement activities. This unique platform combines quality improvement tools with educational content, innovative graphics to highlight improvement opportunities and progress, and the ability to create networks of like-minded colleagues through its social networking features."
MedConcert provides healthcare providers and organizations access to a cost-effective, reusable platform in which Apps can be plugged in to address a wide variety of critical quality, safety and financial needs. Apps include patient surveys, clinical registries, quality reporting, population health management and coordination of care applications, to address issues such as reducing hospital readmissions through enhanced care coordination.
Using Web 2.0 social networking tools available within MedConcert, healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations are able to build secure communities of practice, which have been demonstrated to drive the quality improvement process. The platform provides professionals within these communities with access to communication and collaboration tools to support the sharing of best practices through learning and action networks, private messaging services that enable patient-centered care coordination across disparate systems, professional portfolios in support of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and Continuing Medical Education (CME), and registry-based performance improvement solutions to help physicians better manage their practice and the health of their patient population.
"CECity is proud to partner with the ACP to launch MedConcert. Our goal is to connect health care professionals 'across walls' in a meaningful way to create communities of practice that enable care coordination, drive continuous performance improvement and encourage lifelong learning," said Simone Karp, RPh, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of CECity. "In this new era of patient-centered health care we need affordable, scalable innovations that allow all stakeholders to collaborate to achieve the "Triple Aim" for patients and that support the physician practice under new financial models, such as ACOs. We appreciate the opportunity to realize this vision in collaboration with the ACP through MedConcert."
Use of administrative claims data is an innovative way of measuring the effect of continuing medical education on physician practice behavior and patient outcomes.
January 10, 2012
WASHINGTON – "In 2012, meaningful use will soar," National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Farzad Mostashari asserted at the Jan. 10 meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee.
"Meaningful use will continue to be the cornerstone of our activities," he told committee members. "We can expect to see the numbers continue to rise," he said of participants in the federal incentive program for electronic health records adoption.
"We're going to do everything we can to ensure that every provider can be successful at meaningful use," Mostashari said. "Vendors and providers are going to be asked to step up to the challenge – and it is a challenge. But, it's a challenge well worth meeting."
Also in 2012, Mostashari predicted interoperability and exchange would be the "second and more complex challenge," following meaningful use. The emphasis will be on containing the costs and reducing the risks and liability of exchanging health data. Information "will flow at the speed of trust," he said.
In 2012, the business case for care coordination, which requires the exchange of healthcare information, will be driven by payment reform, not only through federal efforts, but also by the way states and private plans will pay providers. "As we increase the value of data exchange and reduce the cost, information will flow," Mostashari said.
The health IT czar said exchange would go slowly at first, with providers sharing only with providers they know on a first-name basis. "It will then go from a trickle to a flow, to a flood, as trust builds over time," he said.
Consumer health IT will be a another emphasis for this year, with the government looking to find ways to encourage the uses of consumer eHealth, apart from EHRs, Mostashari said. "EHRs can improve patient self-management."
Last, but not least, Mostashari said quality measurements are slated for emphasis this year. "Across the entire lifecycle of quality measures, there is lots of work to be done."
"We will be moving forward on the next generation of quality measurement," he said. "We need the infrastructure for measuring quality, but also for improving quality."
Mostashari conceded that many of this year's goals are the same as last year's, only on a grander scale.
"There's a lot on the table for 2012. There will always be some challenges we meet better than others. Looking back on 2011, it was our biggest [EHR adoption] year to date; 2012 will be even bigger," he said. "We got here by being pretty good about staying true to our principles. This doesn't mean we can't be bold, but have to keep our feet on the ground."
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield worked in collaboration with CECity, Inc., and Rite Aid pharmacies in western Pennsylvania. A total of 50 Rite Aid pharmacies in five counties, with about 120 pharmacists, participated in the project. Two hours of live training were delivered to the participating pharmacists. The training topics included an overview of quality measurement, a description of the PQA measure set, and an orientation to the demonstration project procedures.
Highmark used the PQA/National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) technical specifications to calculate the performance measures using data from Rite Aid pharmacies and then supplied the results to CECity. The measures were calculated on a quarterly basis using 12 months of data for each quarterly report. CECity adapted their existing Lifetime platform to develop, maintain, and deliver the performance reports to the Rite Aid pharmacies. The pharmacy performance scores were posted for three consecutive quarters on the reporting website. Each time the report was posted, pharmacists could view their pharmacy's scores for each performance measure
and compare their pharmacy against the average score for the other Rite Aid pharmacies in their region (n = 4–8 pharmacies per region) or against the average scores of the entire project population (n = 50). The second and third posting included an icon that indicated whether the score had changed since the last posting, what direction the score changed, and whether the change was in the desired direction.
Rite Aid hosted an electronic feedback survey tool that allowed pharmacists to respond to a brief electronic survey upon reviewing each performance report for their pharmacy. Feedback was elicited after each round of the reporting process. The survey consisted of both open-ended responses eliciting qualitative feedback and a number of items scored on a Likert-type scale, in order to elicit more quantitative feedback.
Georgia Practice Improvement Outcomes Revealed with AAFP's METRIC, Powered by CECity's Performance Improvement Platform.
CHICAGO – Sept. 29, 2011 - The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and CECity.com, Inc. (CECity) announce a strategic alliance to offer physicians access to an integrated system for participation in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Maintenance of Certification Physician Quality Reporting System (MOC:PQRS) program. ABMS is the organization overseeing the certification of physician specialists in the United States. CECity is a leading provider of products and services for performance improvement and lifelong learning. MOC:PQRS was created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 to improve patient care through alignment of certification activities with federal public reporting initiatives.
CECity has worked with ABMS to develop and launch a suite of tools to help physicians fulfill MOC:PQRS requirements, including: a customized version of its online registry (PQRIwizard for MOC™), a patient experience of care survey and module for reporting the completion of requirements to CMS.
The tools are available to physicians Board Certified by an ABMS Member Board that agreed to meet certain CMS requirements. In 2011, the qualified boards participating in MOC:PQRS include the: American Board of Allergy and Immunology, American Board of Dermatology, American Board of Neurological Surgery, American Board of Nuclear Medicine and American Board of Radiology.
"We are excited to join with CECity to promote activities that increase alignment between federal quality reporting and MOC learning and practice assessment," said Kevin B. Weiss, MD, ABMS President and CEO. "In doing so, we have taken a significant step forward in increasing the value of MOC while advancing health care quality for the benefit of the public."
"CECity is proud to partner with ABMS to offer MOC-based solutions that will rapidly scale quality programs and directly impact patient outcomes," said Simone Karp, RPh, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of CECity. "We appreciate this opportunity to participate in advancing health care quality by connecting stakeholders in a meaningful way that facilitates lifelong learning and continuously drives performance improvement." CECity and ABMS will be developing additional registry-based products that enhance MOC, knowledge assessment, practice assessment and quality improvement. The new MOC:PQRS tools are now available at http://MOCmatters.abms.org.About ABMS
For more than 75 years, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has been the medical organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. It assists its 24 Member Boards in their efforts to develop and implement educational and professional standards for the evaluation and certification of physician specialists. ABMS Member Boards provide physician certification information to ABMS for its certification verification service programs. ABMS is recognized by the key health care credentialing accreditation entities as a primary equivalent source of Board Certification data for medical specialists. Patients can visit www.CertificationMatters.org or call toll-free (866) ASK-ABMS to see if their physician is Board Certified by an ABMS Member Board. For more information about ABMS, visit www.abms.org or call (312) 436-2600.
The 24 Member Boards that make up the ABMS Board Enterprise and cover over 150 medical specialties and subspecialties include the: American Board of Allergy and Immunology, American Board of Anesthesiology, American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, American Board of Dermatology, American Board of Emergency Medicine, American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Medical Genetics, American Board of Neurological Surgery, American Board of Nuclear Medicine, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Board of Ophthalmology, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Otolaryngology, American Board of Pathology, American Board of Pediatrics, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Board of Preventive Medicine, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, American Board of Radiology, American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery and American Board of Urology.About CECity
Founded in 1996, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based CECity (www.cecity.com) is the health care industry's leading software as a service (SaaS) provider of cloud-based applications and distribution networks for Performance Improvement and Lifelong Learning. Health care professionals and organizations, including quality organizations, health plans, hospitals, pharmacy chains, certifying boards, licensing boards, publishers, professional societies, academic medical centers and educational providers, count on CECity to power their solutions for continuous performance improvement, registries, professional development, patient safety and adherence, population health informatics and quality reporting in support of health care and payment reform.
For more information about CECity, visit www.cecity.com or call (412) 586-3311.
Hoboken, N.J. May 26, 2011. Wiley-Blackwell, the scientific, technical, medical and scholarly publishing business of the global publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JWa, JWb), announced a strategic alliance with CECity, Inc. to provide physicians and other healthcare professionals with new, customized quality and learning solutions. CECity is an established provider of cloud-based healthcare information technology platforms that link performance improvement, lifelong learning and quality reporting to drive high-quality clinical outcomes and patient care.
This partnership will employ CECity's market-leading technology capabilities with Wiley's quality content to develop personalized eLearning and performance improvement services for healthcare professionals. These services are essential to physicians seeking to maintain Board Certification and Licensure and will permit users to access clinically meaningful programs integrating CECity's performance improvement technology with relevant Wiley educational and professional content. The alliance will also provide opportunities for Wiley-Blackwell and CECity to develop novel performance improvement and continuing education content delivery services, in conjunction with Wiley's existing society publishing partners.
"As a leading publisher in medicine and the health sciences, Wiley-Blackwell has partnerships with leading professional societies and extensive expertise in content development and dissemination," said Shawn Morton, Journals Publishing Director, Medicine, Wiley-Blackwell. "We are enthusiastic about our alliance with CECity, the most recent example of our commitment to technology-enabled content delivery, and are especially excited about the opportunities we can provide our society partners through this new relationship." Bill Deluise, Executive Editor, Education and Content Development at Wiley-Blackwell, added that "our position as the global leader in society publishing and the strong service culture Wiley-Blackwell shares with CECity will enable us to deliver innovative learning opportunities as benefits of membership in collaboration with pre-eminent professional organizations." Simone Karp, RPh, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of CECity, concluded that "CECity is pleased to partner with Wiley-Blackwell to offer solutions that will continue to drive performance improvement and close the quality gap in healthcare. Integrating Wiley's stellar content library into our performance improvement and lifelong learning platforms will undoubtedly provide a service for professionals and professional organizations that will help rapidly scale quality programs and go a long way to improving patient outcomes."About Wiley
Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 400 Nobel laureates in all categories: literature, economics, physiology/medicine, physics, chemistry and peace.
Wiley's core businesses include scientific, technical, medical and scholarly (STMS) journals, encyclopedias, books and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, online applications and web sites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, NJ, with operations in the US, Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia. The company's web site can be accessed at www.wiley.com. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.
Wiley-Blackwell is the international STMS publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, with strengths in every major academic and professional field and partnerships with many of the world's leading societies. Wiley-Blackwell publishes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols. For more information, please visit www.wileyblackwell.com or our online platform, Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), one of the world's most extensive multidisciplinary collections of online resources, covering life, health, social and physical sciences, and humanities.About CECity
Pittsburgh, PA based CECity (www.cecity.com) is the healthcare industry's leading software as a service (SaaS) provider of cloud-based applications and distribution networks for Performance Improvement, Quality Reporting, Maintenance of Certification and Licensure, and Lifelong Learning. Healthcare professionals and organizations, including quality and physician organizations, societies, health plans, hospitals and health systems, pharmacy chains, certifying boards and educational providers, count on CECity to power their high stakes solutions for healthcare education, performance assessment and improvement, patient registries, REMS, continuous professional development, certification, patient education, and quality reporting in support of payment reform.
PITTSBURGH, PA July 1, 2011 – CECity.com, Inc. (CECity) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with the Texas Medical Association (TMA) to offer CECity's PQRIwizard to TMA members to help simplify quality reporting for the CMS Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).
PQRS is an incentive-based initiative from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) whereby eligible professionals can receive a 1-percent incentive payment for reporting quality metrics on Medicare Part B patients.
CECity's PQRIwizard, an online CMS-qualified registry for PQRS participation, helps guide professionals through a few easy steps to quickly collect, validate, and report their data to CMS. PQRIwizard's data collection tools are easy for physicians and providers to use, whether their practice uses a paper-based system or an electronic medical records system. Thousands of satisfied health care professionals have used PQRIwizard for their PQRS reporting.
"We are very pleased to work with the Texas Medical Association to provide their members with access to the PQRIwizard," commented Ariann Polasky, PQRIwizard Product Manager for CECity. She went on to say, "Our goal is to simplify the quality reporting process and decrease the burden on the physician for PQRS reporting, while also facilitating a quality improvement process through real-time reporting capabilities within the PQRIwizard."
Through the Texas Medical Association, members are able to gain access to the PQRIwizard at a discounted rate. Further discounts are available for group practices of 10 or more.
Texas Medical Association members are invited to visit www.texmed.org/PQRIwizard.aspx to learn more.
As a CMS-qualified registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System, CECity has developed the leading platform, known as the PQRIwizard, which helps simplify quality reporting. This unique platform guides professionals through a step-by-step process to help aggregate data, calculate quality measures in real time, and validate the results for submission to CMS. CECity's patent-pending platforms are also emerging as the standard for scaling quality initiatives and performance improvement, enabling innovative models for P4P, P4PI, ACOs, and more.
About Texas Medical Association
Today, with more than 45,000 physician and medical student members, TMA's vision is still to "improve the health of all Texans." TMA supports Texas physicians by providing distinctive solutions to the challenges they encounter in the care of patients.
A new report from Ambient Insight titled shows that the U.S. corporate market for self-paced e-learning products and services reached $6.8 billion in 2010, and projects that revenues will reach $7.1 billion by 2015. Growth in the healthcare segment is soaring at 41.5%. A recent collaboration between Wiley-Blackwell, the medical and scholarly publishing arm of John Wiley & Sons, and CECity, a developer of cloud-based health IT platforms, illustrates the emerging opportunities in the healthcare eLearning industry. The collaboration will provide physicians and other healthcare professionals with customized e-learning solutions. Integrating Wiley's "stellar content library" in its e-learning platforms will "provide a service for professionals and professional organizations that will help rapidly scale quality programs and go a long way to improving patient outcomes," said Simone Karp, co-Founder and chief business officer of CECity.
CECity's Chief Technology Officer Wins Pittsburgh Tech Council's Top Award
PITTSBURGH, pa – (April 13, 2011) – CECity's CTO, Andrew Rabin, took home the top honor as Chief Information Officer in the Growth Category at Pittsburgh Technology Council's fifth annual recognition event. The award, given jointly by the Pittsburgh Technology Council and Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group, honors outstanding leaders within southwestern Pennsylvania's technology sector who demonstrate innovation and creativity throughout one's career.
CIOs were judged on their innovation and creativity in planning and deployment of enterprise systems, their ability to set goals for the future of IT within their organizations, and their management philosophy and service to the industry and community. Award winners in all categories (Growth, Enterprise, Global, and Non-Profit) received an award acknowledging their accomplishments as well as the prestigious recognition of Chief Information Officer of the Year.
"The pace of healthcare reform has created both strategic opportunities and challenges for our clients to improve quality, reduce costs and increase patient safety. Some of the largest and most influential healthcare organizations are leveraging our technology to achieve these goals through Performance Management and Improvement," Mr. Rabin commented. He went on to say, "While I am very proud of receiving this award, it's not just about me as an individual but more importantly, it's a recognition of our entire team's work here at CECity."
Andrew has over 20 years of health care industry experience with a focus on customer requirements definition, software specification, business process improvement, performance measurement systems, total quality management, and information system development. Andrew holds a BSME degree from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business from the University of Pittsburgh.
NCQA's ADHD PI-CME Receives Alliance for CME 2011 Award for Outstanding Educational Collaboration
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), CE Outcomes, LLC, and CECity.com, Inc. have been officially recognized by the Alliance for Continuing Medical Education (CME) with the 2011 Award for Outstanding Educational Collaboration in creating the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Performance Improvement(PI) CME Program. This award recognizes "those organizations best demonstrating innovation or uniqueness in achieving effective CME collaboration."
The project team's goal was to address the quality gap identified by the 2009 State of Health Care Quality Report which revealed that only 35.8% of children newly diagnosed and treated with ADHD medication received the appropriate follow-up care. The ADHD program is a structured long term process by which physicians and practicing providers with prescribing authority can use performance measures to retrospectively assess how well their practice is doing in treating patients with ADHD. They can then apply these measures and guidelines to their practice over a period of time and re-evaluate their performance. This program is significant because it innovatively integrates national recognized healthcare performance measures and technology to engage participants in an active learning experience that provides feedback relative to national data and peers.
The ADHD PI-CME program is available on a HIPAA-compliant web-based platform, NCQA Quality Improvement Connection (https://www.ncqaqiconnection.org) though May 2012. This activity is approved for up to 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ or 20 Prescribed Credits by the American Academy of Family Physicians. In addition this activity is approved through the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Approved Quality Improvement (AQI) Pathway and is eligible for 20 points towards the Self-Evaluation of Practice Performance requirement of Maintenance of Certification (MOC), as well as, being approved by the American Board of Pediatrics as a Part 4 activity for 10 Maintenance of Certification (MOC) points.
This ADHD program is supported by an educational grant from McNeil Pediatrics, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. administered by Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC.
NCQA offers Pediatric ADHD Performance Improvement Program
The National Committee for Quality Assurance is offering an online pediatric ADHD performance improvement program to providers with perscriptive authority. Read more about how participants completing the activity can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credits, prescribed AAFP credits, ABIM points toward MOC, and/or ABPD MOC points.
The American College of Chest Physicians Leads New Collaborative on Non-small Cell Lung Cancer
The initiative will address specific unmet needs and clinical gaps related to the diagnosis, assessment, and personalized care of patients with NSCLC. In addition to the ACCP, key collaborators on the project include the American Society for Clinical Pathology, National Institute for Quality Improvement and Education, CECity, and The France Foundation.
The movement toward improvement in healthcare quality and patient safety has led to greater emphasis on practice performance measurement and physician accountability. Health information technology provides clinical data for quality measurement but hasn't provided the link to practicebased learning and improvement. An electronic portfolio for practice-based learning and improvement (ePortfolio) that combines practice data for identification of competency and performance gaps along with learning and process interventions offers true practice-based learning and performance improvement. Automated reporting can assist in the ever-increasing burden of documentation for maintenance of licensure, maintenance of specialty board certification, credentialing, payer recognition programs, and other physician accountability requirements.
A new study on the quality of physician care provides evidence of the benefit of specialty Board Certification and suggests the necessity of continuous professional development programs, such as the American Board of Medical Specialties Maintenance of Certification® (ABMS MOC®) program.
The government's Hospital Compare website created to provide hospital-specific quality information to consumers, does little to help patients choose facilities for risky surgical procedures, according to a newly published study in the Archives of Surgery.
To receive their full Medicare payment update, hospitals are required to report on surgical quality measures related to infection prevention and other processes of care. For instance, users of the Hospital Compare website can access hospitals' compliance rates with set standards for preoperative antibiotic administration.
Dr. David Nash reviews CECity's Lifetime platform and the impact it will have on three emerging healthcare trends: Continued professional education, performance improvement and maintenance of board certification.
HIT needs to support quality improvement. Providers need reliable information about their performance to guide improvement activities. Realistically, HIT infrastructure is needed to ensure that relevant data are collected regularly, systematically, and unobtrusively while protecting patient privacy and confidentiality. Patients, including individuals with limited English proficiency or disabilities, need to have meaningful access to their health records to ensure accuracy and completeness. Systems need to generate information that can be understood by end users and that are interoperable across different institutions' data platforms, policies, and procedures. In addition, information systems are necessary but insufficient for ensuring high quality health care.
Quality improvement typically requires examining patterns of care across panels of patients rather than one patient at a time. Unfortunately, information systems often are not designed to collect data to support quality improvement as the primary purpose. Retrofitting legacy health information systems to capture data on quality measures is often labor intensive. Also, many benefits of improved information technologies require systems that go beyond simple automated recordkeeping. Ideally, performance measures should be calculated automatically from health records in a format that can be easily shared and compared across all providers involved with a patient's care.
Watch for increasing momentum in pay-for-performance programs in 2010. Healthcare business advisory the Camden Group says it expects "a true revolution" in the way healthcare providers are paid, and the P4P model will convert the healthcare industry to the model that is already in use in other metrics-driven industries.
…Such incentives as payments, quality improvement skills training, and technical assistance may be required to get practices onboard with P4P programs, say researchers at the North Carolina Family Medicine Research Network.
PQRIwizard - 100% Success Rate in 2008 PQRI Program
In 2008, 100% of eligible professionals that relied on the PQRIwizard, and submitted valid patient data, received their incentive payment from CMS!
More than 85,000 physicians and other eligible professionals who successfully reported quality-related data to Medicare under the 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) received incentive payments totaling more than $92 million, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today, well above the $36 million paid in 2007.
CME360 to Support ACCME's Online Program & Activity Reporting System
CME360 to support ACCME's Online Program & Activity Reporting System!
CECity is excited to announce that CME360 will support the ACCME's Online Program & Activity Reporting System when it becomes available to accredited CME providers. At this time, the ACCME has announced that this new system will be operational in January 2010.
A recent press release from the ACCME provides insight into the type of information that Providers will be required to submit in order to fulfill their annual reporting requirements.
CME360 will support the automated generation of reports in the necessary format for direct upload to the ACCME system. This format utilizes the Medbiquitous Medical Education Metrics (MEMS) XML standard. As part of CECity's participation in the Medbiquitous Consortium, we are a member of the MEMS Working Group and have played a key role in the development of this standard
The ACCME announcement also provides information as to how accredited CME providers should incorporate Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) from the National Library of Medicine as a mechanism to categorize their activities. To support this requirement, today CME360 users have access to robust Indexing functionality which supports the ability to link outcomes data and results to activity level information and resources. CME360 provides multiple levels of Indexing giving users access to many taxonomies, including but not limited to the following:
CECity is a founding partner in the Stand For Quality initiative which aims to improve the quality and affordability of health care for all patients.
March 24, 2009: Stand for Quality delivers its recommendations to the Obama administration and Congress
MedDigest, powered by CECity's Velocity eLearning Platform, has been nominated as a CODiE Award Finalist for Best Medical and Health Information Product. This category is awarded to the best medical and/or health related information solutions used by professional medical/health staff.
About the CODiE Awards:
CECity Awarded Two eHealthcare Leadership Awards for 2008
Strategic Healthcare announced the recipients of the 2008 eHealthcare Leadership Awards and presented CECity with two awards for the Best Health/Healthcare Content for a Physician/Clinician-Focused Site. CECity's 2008 winning entries are CE Medicus (www.cemedicus.com) and MedDigest (www.meddigest.com).
The eHealthcare Leadership Award program is the leading awards program that exclusively recognizes the very best Web sites of healthcare providers, health plans, healthcare associations, online health companies, pharmaceutical/medical equipment firms, suppliers, other healthcare organizations, and business improvement initiatives. Over 1,100 entries were received from a wide range of healthcare organizations for the 2008 program. Entries were judged by up to 114 individuals and rated based on a standard of Internet excellence and how they compared with others in their group classification.
CECity's award winning websites, CE Medicus and MedDigest, utilize CECity's VelocitySM platform to deliver healthcare e-learning.
CECity Partners with Sermo for Interactive CME Delivery
Sermo offers physicians a fully automated online CME experience, and access to a vast library of CME activities, through its partnership with CECity. Through this relationship, thousands of CME opportunities will be available to physicians through Sermo. Sermo's technology presents a particular educational activity to the physician when it is relevant to a physician or group of physicians discussing a medical issue. When a physician selects the activity, he or she is taken to an independent CECity powered site to access and complete the course. CME activities from leading CME accredited providers are hosted, or made accessible, from within the CECity platform.
This meta-analysis summarizes the effect of Internet-based instruction for health professional learners compared with no intervention and with non-Internet interventions.
CECity's Registry Platform Approved by CMS to Report Physician Quality Data for PQRI 2008
CECity's "PQRInet Wizard™" to provide physicians with an easy online approach for
PITTSBURGH, September 3, 2008 – The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced its approval of CECity as a qualified registry platform that can submit quality data to CMS on behalf of eligible physicians and other professionals for PQRI 2008 reporting.
To help professionals easily participate, CECity will be offering its simple web-based "PQRInet Wizard™", which will enable professionals to rapidly and securely collect their quality data and submit the results to CMS for consideration under the PQRI incentive payment program for 2008. Similar to online tax preparation software, the PQRInet Wizard will guide the professional step-by-step through a simple five (5) step process. Following submission professionals may opt to continue to use the system as a patient registry.
Organizations interested in offering a private, custom-branded, PQRInet reporting solution for their own professionals (e.g. employees, members, associates, etc.), should contact CECity business development (email@example.com) for details.
"CECity is proud to have been selected by CMS as a qualified registry for PQRI 2008", said Simone Karp, R.Ph., co-founder and Chief Business Officer for CECity, "Our hope is that by offering health care professionals, and professional organizations a cost-effective, convenient on-ramp, we can help to rapidly expand participation in quality reporting and drive performance improvement to enhance the quality of patient care".
CECity Awarded Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) Demonstration Project in Collaboration with Rite Aid and Highmark
PQA Announces Official Launch of Demonstration Projects>
July 9, 2008, Alexandria, VA
PQA, Inc., a pharmacy quality alliance, announced the funding and launch of five demonstration projects to test the feasibility of creating systems to monitor the quality of pharmacy performance. PQA, Inc. is partnering with over 20 organizations, including health plans and pharmacies in testing new models for data aggregation, report generation, and quality improvement related to pharmacy services and use of medications. The awardees are:
In announcing these grants, PQA's Executive Director, Laura Cranston, RPh, emphasized, "As we focus on providing high quality, effective pharmacy services, it is critical to evaluate the care delivered by a particular pharmacy. We have to understand and develop the best ways for doing this. Learning more by using the PQA-endorsed pharmacy measures and PQA-developed reports in real-world settings will provide critical information to get us there. We are pleased with the diversity of plans, health information exchanges, quality improvement organizations, community pharmacies and academic institutions that have come together to be the early adopters to test in their pharmacies the 15 PQA measures as well as the questionnaire of consumer experiences."
"Producing pharmacy performance reports is the first step along a continuum of achieving value-based health care", states PQA Chairman, Bruce Roberts, who serves as Executive Vice President of the National Community Pharmacists Association. Pharmacies and providers will gain experience in producing and, more importantly, utilizing these reports to continue to enhance the high quality care being provided. Once we determine best practices, we will begin to shift our focus toward creating a consumer-centric report that can provide transparent, user-friendly data on the performance of pharmacies in delivering patient-focused pharmacy services."
PQA, Inc. has allocated over $ 800,000 of its funds to support these demonstration projects. Cost-sharing by the participating demonstration projects was required of all project applicants. The demonstration projects will conclude in summer 2009.
PQA, Inc. is a membership based alliance that represents a broad group of stakeholders including pharmacist practitioner groups, health plans, pharmacy benefit management companies, government agencies (including CMS), employers, long term care pharmacy groups, pharmaceutical manufacturers, consumer groups, patient advocacy organizations, and quality improvement organizations. The mission of PQA is "to improve health care quality and patient safety through a collaborative process in which the key stakeholders agree on a strategy for measuring performance at the pharmacy and pharmacist-levels; collecting data in the least burdensome way; and reporting meaningful information to consumers, pharmacists, employers, payers, and other healthcare decision-makers to help make informed choices, improve outcomes and stimulate the development of new payment models."
For more information about PQA and our demonstration project partners, visit www.PQAalliance.org or contact Laura Cranston, RPh, Executive Director, PQA, 703-690-1987 for additional information.
CECity Honored at 2008 Medbiquitous Annual Conference
Medbiquitous Deputy Director Valerie Smothers presents CECity Chief Technology Officer Andy Rabin with the 2008 Medbiquitous Implementer's Award.
Web Training to Fight Hospital-acquired Infections Planned
Simone Karp, R.Ph.
JHF and PRHI to launch Tomorrow's HealthCare
Web platform planned for healthcare process improvement training, research and peer support
The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) plan to create a "virtual community" for clinicians engaged in healthcare process improvement.
JHF and PRHI, one of the Foundation's operating arms, will launch a web platform featuring online training in their Toyota-based healthcare process improvement methods, the latest findings from demonstrations worldwide and peer support networks where doctors, nurses and administrators engaged in process improvement can exchange information.
Pittsburgh-based CECity, the nation's leading developer and provider of online continuing education and performance improvement technologies for healthcare professionals, will collaborate in launching the website, to be called Tomorrow's HealthCare, and in developing additional tools and training packages. Jim Mitnick, a technology consultant who established the award-winning Turner Knowledge Network for Turner Construction, also will play a key role in the new venture.
"The pioneers of process improvement in health care need the latest information as soon as it's available, not a year or more afterward when it's presented at conferences or published in peer-reviewed journals," said Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of JHF and PRHI. "They also need to turn information from demonstrations in their specialties into curriculum to teach and inspire students and peers."
JHF has committed $500,000 over two years to launch the web platform and DSF Charitable Foundation has joined the effort by committing to match JHF's investment in the project by up to $1 million.
"We believe Tomorrow's HealthCare holds tremendous promise and will constitute yet another way that JHF and PRHI remain at the forefront of efforts to improve quality and safety in health care," said Nick Beldecos, Executive Director of DSF Charitable Foundation.
With support from JHF, PRHI began offering its Perfecting Patient CareSM (PPC) curriculum for applying industrial process improvement methods in health care more than seven years ago. Adoption of these disciplines in health care still is not widespread.
"Process improvement in health care has been largely the work of passionate clinical leaders," said Stephen Raab, MD, who has done groundbreaking work applying PPC/TPS principles in pathology. "Training in these methods still is not part of the established curriculum in medical and health professional schools."
However, recent developments, including Medicare's plans to withhold payment for certain errors and hospital-acquired infections, are beginning to increase demand for work redesign methods that enable clinicians and institutions to meet new standards of safety, quality and efficiency.
JHF and PRHI have offered fellowships to support "champions" of quality. The new web platform will help these champions expand their learning networks and advance JHF's ongoing initiatives in healthcare quality reform. Education and training available on the site responds to the lifelong learning requirements health professionals must fulfill with continuing education credits.
Portals, maintained by gatekeepers and content developers for various medical specialties, will be added to the site over time. Specialties will be chosen based on process improvement areas in which JHF and PRHI have provided support, such as pathology.
Dr. Raab, who introduced PPC/Toyota methods at UPMC Shadyside Hospital's pathology lab, said the new web platform "will facilitate and strengthen working relationships between clinicians seeking to improve their specialties."
Under a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Raab, who recently was named Pathology Vice Chairman at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, has worked on quality and process improvement in concert with pathologists at nine institutions across the country.
"My expectation is that Tomorrow's HealthCare will stimulate more collaborations like ours and possibly accelerate the work we're already doing," he said.
"This is the way professionals increasingly interact and disseminate knowledge," said Simone Karp, who heads business development at CECity. "The world is now flat, thanks to modern technology. People communicate across all boundaries. Given the time constraints facing busy healthcare professionals, and the growing pressures on providers and health systems to improve quality, the need to rapidly access information that can help directly improve their performance becomes critical.
Performance improvement programs and continuing medical education credits also are gradually becoming a required part of continuing professional development for physicians and other allied health professionals. Pennsylvania requires courses in risk management, for example, and national medical boards require many physicians to complete performance improvement programs to maintain their board certification. Programs offered on Tomorrow's HealthCare will be designed to streamline access to these needs.
CECity was selected to support the planned website based upon its award winning technology and its decade of experience in hosting healthcare-related continuing education.
"CECity's expertise and Jim Mitnick's experience will enable us to move quickly to begin serving needs in the process improvement niche," said Dr. Feinstein.
The network Mr. Mitnick established at Turner serves as the company's fulcrum for professional development. It also enables subcontractors and partners to access tools and information Turner sees as crucial to their work.
Tomorrow's HealthCare is expected to draw additional grants and eventually to support itself with revenue generated from online process improvement training and from support of continuing education and continuing medical education courses.
CECity to Present CME360 at the Alliance for CME's 2008 Product Showcase
Join CECity at the Alliance for CME's product showcase, titled: "CME360° Online Community-How to Collaborate & Achieve Better Outcomes Using Web-based Tools." RSVP welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to register at the door. First 50 people to RSVP will receive a $15 Starbucks gift card.
Session details: Monday January 21, 2008 - JW Marriott Palazzo E - 12:15-1:00pm.
Insurer Names METRIC As 'Best Practice Initiative' in Its P4P Program
Article available in AAFP 'News Now' November 2006 eNewsletter.
Insurer Names METRIC As 'Best Practice Initiative' in Its P4P Program
A Pennsylvania-based insurer has announced that it will accept AAFP's quality improvement initiative known as METRIC -- Measuring, Evaluating and Translating Research Into Care -- as a best practice initiative in its physician pay-for-performance program.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield's decision will give as many as 1,000 Pennsylvania family physicians the opportunity to use METRIC to earn points (five of a possible 115) toward Highmark's QualityBLUE program.
Bruce Bagley, M.D., AAFP's medical director for quality improvement said the Academy has been promoting METRIC to health plans and seeing some interest, but Highmark is the first plan to take action. "With this decision, Highmark has acknowledged that health plans have a role in promoting systematic improvement in office-based care. We believe that many other companies will follow Highmark's lead," he said.
The METRIC initiative was launched in 2005 and was initially designed to help FPs fulfill the requirement for part IV of the American Board of Family Medicine's Maintenance of Certification Program for Family Physicians. METRIC modules currently are available on three clinical topics: diabetes, coronary artery disease and asthma. A fourth module on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is expected to be available soon on the Academy's Web site.
"METRIC is exactly what insurance companies are looking for," said Bagley. "This program helps family physicians measure and document quality care in an objective way. METRIC users report making permanent changes in their office practices," based on lessons learned while working through the educational program.
John Jordan, EVP of the Pennsylvania AFP, called Highmark's move a "step in the right direction," and he pointed out that it was a step the insurer took voluntarily.
"Highmark should be recognized for its decision," said Jordan. By virtue of that decision, Highmark is acknowledging that the Academy offers members exceptional educational programs that can help physicians improve their practices, he said.
Highmark also has agreed to accept the American Board of Internal Medicine's Maintenance of Certification Practice Improvement Modules, or PIMs, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance Physician Recognition Programs as best practice initiatives that, upon successful completion, would earn physicians the same five points.
Michael Madden, M.D., a medical director in Highmark's quality and medical performance management department, said Highmark's decision just makes good business sense.
"Counting participation in these national programs toward our pay-for-performance program will help streamline our physicians' quality improvement activities," Madden said. "We have the best practice initiative as part of the program, but a lot of the physicians do not know how to do it. They need more educational quality improvement activities than we are able to provide them."
Speaking specifically about METRIC, Madden added, "The AAFP has the resources -- through METRIC -- to meet an educational need of the physicians. We want physicians to succeed. The AAFP gives them a good framework for doing that."
Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Family Physicians
CECity Presents New Innovations in Online Education at Recent CME Meeting
At the 2006 Alliance for Continuing Medical Education meeting in San Francisco, CA, CECity was pleased to participate with our partners in multiple presentations highlighting innovations in education and quality improvement.
One of the presentations highlighted DynamicCME, an innovative, fully interactive continuing education experience, which leverages the latest in web-based technologies to uniquely integrate medical and pharmacy claims data with evidence-based medical education to encourage physician behavior modification in their practices.
Click the link provided below to view the presentation in its entirety. (Adobe Acrobat Required)
In addition, CECity also participated in the following presentations:
CECity's Performa System Powers AAFP METRIC
Article available in 'Physician's News Digest' October 25, 2006 eNewsletter.
Physician's News Digest
A daily round-up of local and national medical news
Highmark Inc. is coordinating its QualityBlue physician pay-for-performance program with programs from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
Effective immediately, the insurer will give physicians credit towards the best practice component of its pay-for-performance program if they participate in either the ABIM's Maintenance of Certification Practice Improvement Modules (PIMs), AAFP's METRIC modules or the NCQA Physician Recognition Programs. Under QualityBlue, physician practices receive points towards their quality scores by participating in a best practice initiative, beyond the clinical quality measures included in Highmark's program, while physician practices must meet certain eligibility requirements and a minimum quality score to participate in the QualityBlue program.
Copyright (c) 2006, Physician's News Digest, Inc.
CECity's New CME360 Outcomes Platform Featured in Medical Meetings
Click here to read a review of the latest CECity technology tool.
WellPoint Pharmacy Management Receives 'Standard Of Excellence' From Web Marketing Association (DynamicCME.com)
West Hills, California, October 17, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall)- WellPoint Pharmacy Management, announced today that its unique provider education web site, www.dynamicCME.com, has been awarded the 2005 "Standard of Excellence" WebAward for outstanding achievement in website development by the Web Marketing Association. This international competition recognizes outstanding Website development and focuses on the entire Website; it assures Internet users that the site is creative, innovative and user-friendly.
"We are pleased to have received this recognition," said Ren Elder, president, WellPoint Pharmacy Management. "Leveraging technology enables us to provide our clients with dynamic solutions to implement cost-effective and value added business solutions."
DynamicCME, designed with CECity, an industry leader in web-based continuing medical education and quality improvement technology, is a comprehensive, web-based education portal that WellPoint Pharmacy Management provides to its clients. DynamicCME delivers a real time, interactive continuing education experience to client providers. WellPoint Pharmacy Management launched the site in March 2005, and was the first Pharmacy Benefits Manager to provide this type of unique and real-time interactive, web-based CME education portal for client physicians nationwide.
This unique and secure application uses provider-specific medical and pharmacy claims data to display current practice patterns and appropriate prescribing benchmarks around key clinical issues within each CME program. The goal is to bridge the gap between clinical guidelines and clinical practice using technology that offers physicians, 24-hour/7 days a week access to patient-specific medical education. DynamicCME incorporates National Committee for Quality Assurance and Health Employer Data and Information Set standards, as well as National clinical guidelines and practice pattern data to guide providers toward best practice prescribing.
WellPoint Pharmacy Management is the nation's leading health plan-owned pharmacy benefit management company. WellPoint Pharmacy Management is the trade name of Professional Claim Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP). With complete pharmacy benefit management services for employers and health plans nationwide, WellPoint Pharmacy Management's products include, clinical management programs, drug formulary management, claims processing, benefit design consultation, pharmacy network management, local network contract development, specialty pharmacy, manufacturer discount programs, prescription drug databases and utilization management. In addition, WellPoint Pharmacy Management provides mail order pharmacy fulfillment services through its affiliate, PrecisionRx, Inc. WellPoint Pharmacy Management can be found on the web at www.wellpointrx.com.
CECity.com, Inc. (CECity) is the leading technology provider of online continuing healthcare education, quality improvement and eCME and eCE distribution solutions. CECity develops healthcare specific, turnkey technology solutions, which can be fully branded for its clients. CECity's products range from online eLearning/eCME management solutions that automate, track, process and measure eCME, to quality improvement systems that seek to positively impact healthcare provider behavior and measure patient outcomes.
CECity Announces New World Headquarters and State-of-the-Art Recording Studio
CECity is pleased to announce the new location of our World Headquarters, in the heart of Pittsburgh's Waterfront Town Center. With over 18,000 Sq. Ft. of office space, CECity is now able to accommodate its rapid growth and meet the expressed needs of our CME & CE partners.
CECity's new home includes state-of-the-art facilities and features our 3,000 Sq. Ft. recording studio; capable of capturing audio & video, with the ability to stream radio & TV activities online in real-time!
CECity's New Address:
NOTE: ALL CECity phone, fax, mobile & Email information remains the same!
Comparison of the Instructional Efficacy of Internet-based CME with Live Interactive CME Workshops
CME Research Update:
CECity Bestowed Three New Awards for Excellence in 2005
Following a successful 2004, CECity was bestowed three new awards for online excellence in 2005. Adding to the William Campbell Wyeth Felch Award for research in CME, as well as three additional web awards, that were awarded in 2004, CECity was honored with the following awards for 2005:
CE Medicus eCME Portal:
CE Medicus eCME Portal:
Standardizing Evaluation of On-line Continuing Medical Education: Physician Knowledge, Attitudes and Reflection on Practice
CME Research Update:
Alliance for Continuing Medical Education Presents 2004 CME Research Award for University of Alabama/CECity Collaboration
PITTSBURGH, January 23, 2004 - The Alliance for Continuing Medical Education has presented the 2004 William Campbell Felch/Wyeth Award for Research in CME for a collaboration involving the University of Alabama (UAB) School of Medicine, Division of CME and CECity, the leader in online continuing healthcare education technologies, for the innovative Study of Continuing Online Physician Education (S.C.O.P.E.). The award, which annually recognizes outstanding research projects that advance the quality and integrity of continuing medical education, was presented during the Alliance's 29th Annual Conference in Atlanta, Ga.
"Both CECity and UAB are extremely excited and honored to have received this award from the Alliance," said Simone Karp, R.Ph., Co-founder and Executive V.P. of Business Development for CECity and Linda Casebeer, Ph.D., principal investigator for the study, in remarks prepared for the presentation. "We thank the Merck Foundation and the participating CME providers for their collaborative efforts in completing this landmark study that demonstrated the significant impact that online CME has on physician knowledge and practice behavior. We also would like to thank the 1,800 physicians who participated in helping to shape the future of Internet-based CME."
S.C.O.P.E. was conducted to evaluate the effect that online CME can have upon physician knowledge gain, attitudes and practice behavior, and was supported through a grant from the Merck Company Foundation. For the first time, standardized evaluation templates were applied across various online media types and across content from multiple CME providers. The activities were delivered via the CE Medicus CME portal (www.cemedicus.com) and the UAB CME website. CECity's automated systems collected, tracked and managed participant data before, immediately after and four-weeks post-completion of the CME activity.
"This award from the Alliance recognizes an important milestone in CME research and it also demonstrates what can be achieved through collaboration and a commitment to the delivery of quality online education," Casebeer said. "S.C.O.P.E. sets the stage for future studies in which the impact of eCME on physician performance and patient health outcomes can be evaluated."
The study, titled "Standardizing Evaluation of Online CME: Physician Knowledge, Attitudes and Reflection on Practice," has been submitted for publication to The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions (JCEHP).
About UAB School of Medicine