• Friday, September 07, 2018 9:34 AM | Carol Burke (Administrator)

    ECHO® MOLST Launches September 13!

    By Patricia Bomba, MD, MACP, ECHO® MOLST Program Director

    At long last, the first ECHO® MOLST: Honoring Patient Preferences at End-of-life clinic will be held on September 13. The initial series will run for eight sessions through November 8.  The weekly ECHO® clinics, which are like virtual grand rounds, combine mentoring and patient case presentations.  See details on the ECHO MOLST flyer.

    Space is limited to the first 50 “spokes.”  A spoke is a single site that can include multiple physicians, nurse practitioners and other clinicians. Sign up now to participate by emailing Meg.Greco@excellus.com, ECHO MOLST coordinator.  By registering now, you will be guaranteed a spot on the spoke and will receive onboarding training to make the most of ECHO MOLST.

    Free CME will be provided.  The University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Office of Continuing Medical Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Office of Continuing Medical Education designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    ECHO MOLST provides seasoned physicians and nurse practitioners the opportunity to present challenging clinical cases and pose clinical, ethical and legal questions to the participants. MOLST experts will serve as mentors and colleagues, sharing their medical knowledge and expertise with physicians, nurse practitioners and other clinicians using the “All teach. All Learn.” ECHO model.  

    The launch of ECHO MOLST was delayed to the fall while awaiting new legislative changes and approval of the proposed revised MOLST form. The key target audience includes physicians and nurse practitioners who will be impacted by the new NYSPHL and MOLST form changes. The topics for the initial series is based on the “Core Elements for MOLST & eMOLST Education,” approved by the MOLST Statewide Implementation Team in 2014, that outline the educational needs based on clinical roles and the 8-Step MOLST Protocol.  Combining the case-based ECHO model with the “Core Elements” will meet the needs of the target audience.

    Project ECHO was identified as a platform for continued sustainable MOLST education in 2017.  The core MOLST team from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (MOLST Program Director, Program Manager & Coordinator) attended ECHO immersion training in October 2017.

    The ECHO MOLST planning group was formed in 2018 to launch ECHO MOLST: Honoring Patient Preferences at End-of-life.  Members include the core MOLST team from Excellus BCBS: Patricia Bomba, MD, MACP, Katie Orem, MPH, Meg Greco, MPA and key leaders from IPRO, one of the nation’s premier quality evaluation organizations: Sara Butterfield, RN, BSN, CPHQ; Carolyn Kazdan, MHSA, NHA; L. Christine Stegel RN, MSN, CPHQ, Fred Ratto Jr., BA, CPH and Lynn Wilson, MS.

  • Thursday, September 06, 2018 4:22 PM | Carol Burke (Administrator)

    Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program: New Covered Service Call

    Date: Wednesday, September 26

    Time: 2 to 3 pm ET

    Audience: Medicare fee-for-service providers

    Register here for Medicare Learning Network events.

    The 2019 Medicare and You Handbook includes information on the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, a new Medicare-covered service. Help your patients prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes and understand their treatment options. During this call, learn about the service, eligibility requirements, and how to refer your patients. A question and answer session follows the presentation.

  • Wednesday, September 05, 2018 8:21 AM | Carol Burke (Administrator)

    The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (NYS OASAS) today announced the expansion of the inpatient detox facility operated by Helio Health in Rochester. The facility will now have 40 beds available, an increase from the previous total of 25 beds. These additional beds are expected to be operational by the beginning of 2019. The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, which already provides approximately $1.3 million for Helio Health services in Monroe County, is providing $450,000 in annual operational funding to support the new beds.

    “We’re investing in treatment facilities across the state to help save lives, and ensure that individuals struggling with addiction have the resources they need to recover,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the Heroin and Opioid Abuse Task Force. “We’re aggressively working to combat the opioid epidemic in New York, and the expansion of Helio Health in Rochester will provide additional beds for residents of Monroe County battling addiction and seeking services and support.

    “Detox is a vital part of the OASAS continuum of care, and is the first step for many people in their recovery from substance use disorders,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s efforts to add more beds, more people in Monroe County will be able to access this service closer to where they live.”

    Medically Supervised Withdrawal and Stabilization services offer medical assessment, information about recovery support, family treatment, clinical services, and medication to manage withdrawal symptoms. Detox programs are a short-term service designed to prepare and connect people to longer term treatment.

    The Helio Health facility is located at 1350 University Avenue in Rochester.

    New York State Senator Rich Funke said, “As a member of the Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, I will continue to advocate for additional treatment beds and support services for our community.  Every individual deserves the chance to begin their road to recovery as quickly and efficiently as possible.  I commend the organizations in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region for their continued efforts in our fight to address this growing public health epidemic.”

    New York State Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson said, “The opioid epidemic continues to plague our community, and I applaud Governor Cuomo and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse for committing additional resources to this fight. I also wish to thank Helio Health for providing families with the treatment options they need. Detox is the first step to getting people on the road to recovery, and by expanding the number of beds available to individuals beginning that journey, we can reduce the harm that opioid addiction is inflicting on our families and our community.”

    New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369). 

    Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website. Visit CombatAddiction.ny.gov to learn more about the warning signs of addiction, review information on how to get help, and access resources on how to facilitate conversations with loved ones and communities about addiction. For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the State’s Talk2Prevent website

  • Monday, August 27, 2018 11:45 AM | Carol Burke (Administrator)

    Registration is open for our "Innovation in Action" event on September 12! We'll be showcasing how technology is changing the trajectory of advanced heart failure, as well as new technology for opening diseased blood vessels. Register here: http://bit.ly/2PBHE7D 

  • Monday, August 27, 2018 8:50 AM | Carol Burke (Administrator)

    You're invited to participate in an expanded patient safety course this year – nearly all of the topics in the prior course will be covered in redesigned sessions plus we will have additional content on improvement and achieving high reliability.

    The faculty of the Division of Healthcare Management in the Department of Public Health Sciences are pleased to offer an innovative program on improvement science. This is a “mini” certificate course designed specifically for health care professionals, trainees, and students from medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, hospital administration, and health services research.

    Course Content The program, designed to increase your knowledge of how to improve healthcare quality and safety and to educate you on the latest theories on improvement science, consists of 11 sessions addressing topics such as leadership’s role in nurturing a culture of high reliability, an understanding of the science of errors and safety, the model for improvement in clinical practice, identification of “measures that matter” in healthcare, teamwork and communication techniques, performance improvement tools, ways to create a safer medication system, the challenges of health literacy and patient diversity, event reporting systems, designing care for to maximize value and safety, the impacts of information technology and safety, safety in clinical research and the business case for safety.

    Registration Information

    The registration deadline for the Rochester Improvement Science Education (RISE) Certificate Program is Saturday, September 22.  Sessions will begin on Thursday, September 6, 2018, and will be offered twice per month on Thursdays, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. There is no fee for this course.  Course materials will be available online.

    Existing MyPath/Achieve Users:  Please refer to the attached instructions to register for the course.

    New to MyPath?

    Click here to create an account and begin the registration process.

    Parking Information

    Parking fees will be the responsibility of the registrant. A light snack will be provided beginning at 5pm.

    Program Completion
    Successful completion of the program involves attendance at a minimum of 8 sessions. Those who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate of participation from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.  Physicians, dentists, nurses, dental assistants, hygienists, pharmacists, radiology technologists and social workers will be eligible for up to a maximum of 16.5 hours of continuing education credits.  For social workers, partial credit for this multi-part course may not be awarded.  Learner must attend all parts in order to earn the certificate for contact hours.  Physicians should note that medical staff privileges at SMH and HH, as well as participation in BCBS managed care products (including Blue Choice) require 50 hours of CME per year.  Physicians insured through UR and MCIC Vermont for malpractice insurance will be eligible for a reduced premium through the premium differential program.

    Please see the documents below for further information.  If you are unable to access any of the attachments, please feel free to contact Judy Hughes at 275-7712 or by email at judy_hughes@urmc.rochester.edu for another email version or fax copy. The materials are also available at the Quality and Safety Intranet Page for those who can access the URMC intranet.

    Patient Safety Program Announcement_Share RISE 8.14.18-rp.pdf

    Class Schedule_RISE_Fall_Share.pdf

    Faculty List_Share.pdf

    Registration Instructions for Existing MyPath Users.pdf

    Don’t miss this opportunity to promote improvement science and patient safety by learning about the science, tools, and strategies for achieving safer patient care.

    Robert J. Panzer, MD
    Chief Quality Officer
    Associate VP, Patient Care Quality & Safety
    Georgia & Thomas Gosnell Professor in Quality and Safety
    University of Rochester Medical Center
    Email: Robert_Panzer@urmc.rochester.edu
    Phone: (585) 273-4438
    Fax: (585) 273-1118
    Pager: (585) 275-1616 #1497

  • Monday, August 27, 2018 8:42 AM | Carol Burke (Administrator)

    The Medical Reserve Corps. (MRC) is a program to recruit medical and non-medical volunteers that sign up to be notified of any emergencies or disasters in Monroe County where volunteers are needed to support the community. Notifications also go out for training opportunities and other non-emergency opportunities for the volunteers to help the community. This is a non-emergency opportunity for the members to get involved in the community, learn about general emergency preparedness, and to learn about the differences in the day to day struggle for people with disabilities.

    Instructions for signing up are attached here. Or, you may schedule a time to meet with Aaron Cignarale to go over the advantages of the MRC and how it can be used to really impact our community if we can get more people involved.

    Aaron Cignarale 
    Public Health Emergency Preparedness Specialist 
    Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator 
    Access and Functional Needs Coordinator 
    Monroe County Department of Public Health 
    Office of Public Health Preparedness 
    111 Westfall Road, Room 854 
    Rochester, NY  14620 
    Office: (585) 753-5453 
    Cell: (585) 478-4996 
    Fax: (585) 753-5131 

  • Wednesday, August 15, 2018 9:40 AM | Carol Burke (Administrator)

    Sharing Federal Strategies to Address the Opioid Epidemic

    Wednesday, August 15, 2018
    1:30 -3:00 pm Eastern Time
    Conference Call Only

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will host a Special Open Door Forum (SODF) for opioid prescribers to educate them on federal resources and strategies to combat the opioid epidemic.

    The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. This SODF brings together representatives from various federal agencies to discuss strategies and resources for safe prescribing as well as other opioid-related topics.

    You will hear information from the following federal agencies:

    • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Food and Drug Administration
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    • Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

    We look forward to your participation.

    Special Open Door Participation Instructions:

    Participant Dial-In Number: 1-800-857-1738

    Conference ID #: 7785347

    Note: TTY Communications Relay Services are available for the Hearing Impaired. For TTY services dial 7-1-1 or 1-800-855-2880. A Relay Communications Assistant will help.

    A transcript and audio recording of this Special ODF will be posted to the Podcast and Transcripts website at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/PodcastAndTranscripts.html for downloading.

    For automatic emails of Open Door Forum schedule updates (E-Mailing list subscriptions) and to view Frequently Asked Questions please visit our website at http://www.cms.gov/opendoorforums/

  • Monday, August 13, 2018 5:07 PM | Carol Burke (Administrator)

    Physicians have until October 15, 2018 to collect their supporting information and attest for achieving 2017 Promoting Interoperability. 

    Participating Eligible Professionals (EPs) can receive an $8500 per year incentive for each of up to four years of participation.  Grant funded free technical services are available from Strategic Interests to assist with your current and future attestations for Stages 2 and 3 through the Eligible Professional 2 Program.

    About the Medicaid Eligible Professional Program (EP2) Program and Services Available

    The Medicaid Eligible Professional Program (EP2) is a New York State Department of Health (DOH) initiative providing FREE outreach, assistance, and support services.  In the Buffalo and Rochester areas, NYeC has selected Strategic Interests as the supporting Technical Agent to assist providers in achieving the various stages of Promoting Interoperability.  These free EP2 Services include:

    • Readiness Assessment
    • Project/Program Support
    • Audit Readiness and Preparation
    • HIE Connectivity


    Enrollment is a simple two-step process:

    • Filling out/confirming a list of the eligible providers in a spreadsheet-based roster
    • Completion, with single signing authority, an electronic Practice Participation Agreement/Business Associate Agreement.  This will be done through Docu-Sign. 

    Below is a summary of the program and a comparison of the Stage 2 and Stage 3 objectives:

    NYeC EP2 Summary.pdf

    MU Objective Comparison.pdf

    For more information or to enroll, email EP2@strategicinterests.com.  Staff from Strategic Interests are willing to set up a videoconference call with you or representatives from the practice to review the program and answer any questions. 

  • Thursday, August 09, 2018 8:33 AM | Carol Burke (Administrator)

    The 2018 Quality Payment Program Exception Applications for the Promoting Interoperability (PI) performance category and for Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances for the Merit-based Incentive System (MIPS) are now available on the Quality Payment Program website.

    Promoting Interoperatability Hardship Exceptions

    If you’re participating in MIPS during the 2018 performance year as an individual, group, or virtual group—or participating in a MIPS Alternative Payment Model (APM)—you can submit a Quality Payment Program Hardship Exception Application for the PI performance category, citing one of the following specified reasons for review and approval:

    • MIPS-eligible clinicians in small practices (new for 2018)
    • MIPS-eligible clinicians using decertified EHR technology (new for 2018)
    • Insufficient Internet connectivity
    • Extreme and uncontrollable circumstances
    • Lack of control over the availability of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT)

    An approved Quality Payment Program Hardship Exception will:

    • Reweight your PI performance category score to 0 percent of the final score
    • Reallocate the 25 percent weighting of the PI performance category to the Quality performance category

    Please note that simply not using CEHRT does not qualify you for reweighting of your PI performance category.

    You must submit a hardship exception application by December 31, 2018 for CMS to reweight the PI performance category to 0 percent.

    Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances

    MIPS eligible clinicians who are impacted by extreme and uncontrollable circumstances may submit a request for reweighting of the Quality, Cost, and Improvement Activities performance categories.

    "Extreme and uncontrollable circumstances" are defined as rare events (highly unlikely to occur in a given year) entirely outside your control and the facility in which you practice.

    These extreme and uncontrollable circumstances would cause you to be unable to collect information necessary to submit for a performance category, or to submit information that would be used to score a performance category for an extended period of time (for example, 3 months unable to collect data for the Quality performance category). In your application, you must indicate the performance categories that were subject to an extreme and uncontrollable circumstance and how the circumstance affected your ability to collect or submit data for the 2018 MIPS performance year.

    The application for extreme and uncontrollable circumstances must be submitted by December 31, 2018 for the 2018 MIPS performance year.

    For More Information:

    Visit the Quality Payment Program Website
  • Thursday, August 09, 2018 8:30 AM | Carol Burke (Administrator)

    If you submitted 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data through the Quality Payment Program website, you can now view your performance feedback and MIPS final score.

    CMS originally displayed a single payment adjustment amount, which included an additional adjustment for exceptional performance available to MIPS eligible clinicians and groups with a final score of 70 or greater. However, based on feedback from various clinicians and groups, we have updated the system so that your MIPS payment adjustment, and if applicable, your additional adjustment for exceptional performance, are now displayed separately. The system will continue to display your total MIPS payment adjustment, which is a sum of your MIPS performance and exceptional performance.

    How to Access Your Final Score and Feedback

    You can access your 2017 MIPS performance feedback and final score by:

    Upcoming Office Hours

    CMS will be hosting an office hours session on August 14 to provide a brief overview of MIPS 2017 performance feedback and targeted review and to answer frequently asked questions.

    Title: Performance Feedback and Targeted Review Office Hours Session

    Date: Tuesday, August 14, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

    Register: https://meetingconnect.webex.com/meetingconnect/onstage/g.php?MTID=e91df49e0f68fa7073866f0307f82b53b



    If you have questions about your performance feedback or MIPS final score, please contact the Quality Payment Program by:

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