AHQA Celebrates Quality Improvement Networks on The Awarding of Special Innovation Grants by CMS

AHQA Press Release: October 23, 2017

McLean, VA - Quality Improvement Networks (QINs) from across the country have been awarded 14 highly competitive Special Innovation Project (SIP) contracts from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). SIPs are locally and/or regionally focused and seek to utilize innovative solutions to address a variety of health issues ranging from the opioid crisis to mental and behavioral health. Projects also prioritize patient- and family-centered solutions to health issues, with an emphasis on patient experience and health challenges specific to rural and urban areas.

The 14 QINs, which consist of regionalized Quality Innovation Organizations (QIOs), have a long history of successful work with CMS to improve health outcomes and reduce costs for Medicare patients. QIOs are leaders in finding inventive solutions to improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries and adapt proven health solutions to better meet the needs of local communities.

“This latest round of SIP awards will allow for continued innovation and creativity within healthcare quality improvement—which really strikes at the heart of the QIO program,” said Alison Teitelbaum, executive director of the American Health Quality Association (AHQA), the leading trade association for the QIN-QIOs. “Many of these groundbreaking projects are in areas that support CMS’s strategic priorities, such as tackling opioid abuse and misuse, and they will be vital components in helping CMS reach its strategic goal.”

SIP award-earning projects and their respective AHQA member SIP contract recipients are as follows:

  • Addressing Opioid Misuse and Behavioral Health Disorders Using Innovative Interventions in Southwestern Ohio (Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG))
  • Chronic Kidney Disease Awareness and Prevention Program (CKD APP) (IPRO)
  • Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) via an Integrated, Systemic Approach Targeting At-Risk Beneficiaries with Diabetes and/or Hypertension (TMF)
  • EMS Integrated Health Care (Quality Insights)
  • Fighting Back Against Opioid Misuse – A Community Approach (QSource)
  • Improving Care Outcomes for Medicare Beneficiaries with Mental Illness and Opioid Use (GMCF)
  • Improving COPD-Related Health Care Utilization via the Use of a COPD Rescue Pack (TMF)
  • Local Quality Improvement Interventions: The Implementation of an Intervention to Improve the Ability of Rhode Island Nursing Homes to Serve Residents with Behavioral Health Needs (HealthCentric)
  • Opioid Safety: A Community Pharmacy Intervention to Prevent Opioid Adverse Drug Events (IPRO)
  • Patient, Family and Emergency Medical Service Early Recognition of Sepsis in Rural Communities: Critical to Reducing Progression of Sepsis Harm and Death (Great Plains)
  • Special Innovation Project – Opioids Naloxone (GMCF)
  • The Preference-Aligned Communication and Treatment (PACT) Project (Telligen)


KFMC Announces New President and CEO

January 29, 2018

The Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc. (KFMC) has announced the appointment of Sarah Irsik-Good, MHA, as their President and Chief Executive Officer effective February 7, 2018. Sarah has been with KFMC for 6 years and is currently a Vice President focusing primarily on organizational strategy and operations. Sarah’s leadership, innovation and positive energy are all strong assets to KFMC and will help ensure KFMC’s continued growth and success as a trusted partner in the improvement of both health and healthcare.

Sarah will draw on nearly 20 years of healthcare delivery system experience in furthering KFMC’s mission to “lead innovation to improve the quality, effectiveness and safety of healthcare.” Prior to joining KFMC, Sarah served as the Risk & Quality Manager, Education Coordinator and Compliance Officer for Kearny County Hospital in Lakin, KS. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies with an emphasis in Health Care Operations from Kaplan University and her Master of Health Administration from Ohio University. “I came to KFMC seeking to improve the quality of healthcare for all Kansans, particularly in a climate where rapid transformation was occurring. As part of KFMC, we’ve made great strides in assisting Kansas providers and consumers in successfully navigating the everchanging delivery environment. As we continue this work, I’m both humbled and incredibly excited to be able to lead this next chapter. I am focused on accelerating innovation by leveraging KFMC’s extensive experience, diverse skills, high quality services and intentional collaboration with partners, providers and consumers alike to improve the health of people and communities,” she stated about her appointment.

KFMC provides an expansive variety of customizable healthcare consulting solutions designed to offer strategic transformation to improve performance and outcomes. KFMC is a member of the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (Great Plains QIN), the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Utilizing the resources of such an extensive network, KFMC is a leader in promoting learning and engagement, improving health outcomes and healthcare delivery for Medicare consumers across the state and across multiple provider settings. KFMC has previously served as a Health Information Technology (HIT) Regional Extension Center (REC) and continues to provide HIT expertise and support to Kansas providers. KFMC is also the External Quality Review Organization (EQRO) for the Kansas Medicaid Managed Care program and is the Independent Review Organization for the Kansas Insurance Department. KFMC’s reputation and expertise in healthcare quality and HIT create viable solutions in the private and public sector, and through their consistent methodology, provide long-term sustainable outcomes and enduring partnerships.

Franklin County Health Department Sponsors Diabetes Workshop

January 9, 2018

By The [Ottawa] Herald Staff

The Franklin County Health Department will offer a free workshop series for area residents with diabetes and their caregivers, according to a press release.

The six-week workshop series is designed to complement medical treatments and education provided by healthcare providers, the release said. Workshop participants will receive a free copy of the book, Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Conditions.

“The self-management workshops are a great opportunity for individuals with diabetes and their caregivers to learn skills that can change lives,” Erin Laurie, health department health educator and WIC nutritionist, said. “The workshop series was developed by Stanford University and is being utilized around the world to improve self-management skills for those with diabetes. We are very excited to partner with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Foundation for Medical Care to bring these workshops to our community.”

An informational meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Franklin County Board of Commissioners chambers, 1418 S. Main St., Ottawa, the release said. The meeting allows participants to learn about the program and register for the workshop series, which begins Feb. 13 and ends March 20. The workshop runs 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday in the commission chambers.

Space is limited because of the interactive nature of the workshop series. Individuals and caregivers can pre-register by contacting Laurie at (785) 229-3536.

The workshop series is made possible through partnership with Kansas Self-Management Education, the release said. For more information, visit selfmanagekansas.org.

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KFMC Announces Two New Board Members

Dr. Eric Voth and Julie Roth appointed as new Board of Trustees members

February 7, 2018

The Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc. (KFMC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Eric Voth and Julie Roth as newest members to the Board of Trustees effective January 5, 2018.

Dr. Voth is a specialist in internal medicine, pain management, and addiction medicine as well as Vice-President of Primary Care at Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka, Kansas. He is the chairman of the Institute on Global Drug Policy, is recognized as an international authority on drug use, and lectures on drug policy-related issues, pain management, and appropriate prescribing practices. Dr. Voth also serves as an advisor on alcohol and drug abuse issues to the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, is a former member of the National Advisory Committee for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of HHS, and is a Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

Dr. Voth has advised several U.S. presidential administrations and testified for numerous Congressional offices on drug related issues for over thirty years. Dr. Voth provides expert testimony on general medical issues, pain management, and addiction issues for both defense and plaintiff cases.

Julie Roth, JD, partner at Spencer Fane in Overland Park, KS, represents large health systems, hospitals and physician practices, and counsels clients on the sale, acquisition, and development of complex joint ventures. With more than 15 years of experience, Julie regularly helps her clients by negotiating and drafting hospital-physician affiliation documents, such as employment agreements, professional services agreements, physician recruitment agreements and clinical co-management agreements.

Additionally, Julie counsels clients on regulatory compliance matters including HIPAA privacy and security rules, Medicare & Medicaid payment rules, Conditions of Participation, and EMTALA. She has substantial experience with electronic health records and the health information technology exchange, and assisted in the development of the Kansas Health Information Technology and Exchange Act, which aligns Kansas law with the HIPAA Privacy Rules. She earned her Masters’ degree in Health Services Administration and is a credentialed Registered Health Information Administrator.

The slate of board members for 2018 is listed below.

  • Spaulding, Ryan, PhD (Chair)
  • Bell, Donna (Vice Chair)
  • Hintz, Thomas (Secretary/Treasurer)
  • Cox, Robert, MD
  • Jacobson, John
  • Praeger, Sandy
  • Roth, Julie
  • Good, Sarah, MHA (KFMC President and CEO)
  • VanHouden, Charles, MD
  • Voth, Eric, MD
  • Wolfe, Brian, MD
  • Yost, Carla, RN.

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