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Category Archives: Current Affairs

IRF and LTCH Public Reporting Update – CDC & NHSN Rebaseline Guidance

October 21, 2016

CMS Open Door Forum

As noted in the Rebaseline Timeline posted in the June 2016 National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Newsletter, the CDC submitted standardized infection ratios (SIRs) to CMS using the new 2015 baseline starting with 2016 Q1 data.  The Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) and Long-term Care Hospital (LTCH) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Preview Reports that CMS provided on September 1, 2016 contained calendar year (CY) 2015 healthcare-associated infection (HAI) SIRs in accordance with the new NHSN baselines based on nationally collected data from 2015. However, providers were unable to use NHSN to verify the accuracy of the HAI data contained within their preview reports for the Compare sites during the 30-day preview period established for this purpose.

Consequently, CMS will begin publically displaying the NHSN data on the Compare sites for IRFs and LTCHs in the next quarterly refresh in spring 2017 instead of in fall 2016.  Providers will have the chance to appropriately review their HAI data and inquire about data they believe to be discrepant. IRFs and LTCHs will receive preview reports in December 2016 for the data that will be displayed in spring 2017.

This change will affect the posting of quality performance data on the following quality measures:

  • NHSN Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) Outcome Measure (IRFs and LTCHs)
  • NHSN Central-Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI) Outcome Measure (LTCHs only)

When the IRF and LTCH Compare websites are launched in fall 2016, the following quality metrics will be displayed:


  • Percent of residents or patients with pressure ulcers that are new or worsened (short stay)
  • All-cause unplanned readmission measure for 30 days post-discharge from Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities


  • Percent of residents or patients with pressure ulcers that are new or worsened (short stay)
  • All-cause unplanned readmission measure for 30 days post-discharge from long-term care hospitals

To assist IRFs and LTCHs in understanding the use of the rebaselined data and how to monitor their data using the new baseline, a document has been posted in the downloads section of the IRF Quality Public Reporting and LTCH Quality Public Reporting webpages.

Rural Health Information Hub

October 19, 2016

View the Rural Health Information Hub updates.

Rural Health Research & Policy Centers

October 19, 2016

View the Research Alert.

Sneak Preview of Presenters

October 19, 2016

We want to take a moment to share a few of our Get Link’d Conference SPEAKERS AND PRESENTERS!

Just $59 to attend

November 15-16, 2016
Hilton Garden Inn in Columbia, MO.

Senior Health Policy Advisor for the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (HRSA) , DR. PAUL MOORE will the general session speaker.  His lifetime of experience related to rural healthcare from both his family heritage and more than 30 years in community and hospital pharmacy.

Judy Shanley, Vice President, Education and Youth Transition at Easterseals will be sharing her knowledge of Mobility Management and Design Thinking Principals from the National Center for Mobility Management. Judy is working with NCMM, Easterseals, and Federal Transit Administration in developing Mobility Management certification program.

Carrie Porter,  Transportation Specialist/ Older Americans Act Sonusltant for the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources.  Serving 70 counties and 11 tribes in Wisconsin, she provides training and technical assistance to programs across the state. Carrie takes mobility management seriously and is working to bring Mobility Management Certification to a new level.

Visit our Website for more information about the Get Link’d Conference and Register On-Line Today!

CMS Region 7 Monthly Partner Briefing

October 19, 2016

Dear Partner,

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Kansas City Regional Office invites you to our monthly Marketplace Partner Briefing.

Topics: 2017 Open Enrollment

Presented by Nickolas Clasen and Elissa Balch, Regional External Affairs, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Who should attend:  Navigators, Enrollment Assistance Personnel, Certified Application Counselors, and Champions for Coverage

When: Thursday, October 27, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. CST

If you are aware of any organizations that may benefit from attending this webinar, please feel free to forward this invitation to them.

We look forward to your participation.  If you have any questions or have difficulty registering, please contact or call ( 816) 426-6319.

Can We Count On You to #ShareYourService?

October 18, 2016

October 19:  Thunderclap!

Open Forum on Thunderclap

This year, in an effort to increase awareness of the NHSC’s Corps Community Month we have launched a Thunderclap campaign. We are reaching to you in hopes you will share our message with your followers.

You can join by clicking on this link and selecting “Support with Facebook,” “Support with Twitter,” or “Support with Tumblr.” By pledging your commitment, you will automatically send a message to your social media followers at 12:00 PM ET on Wednesday, October 19. This message will highlight the impact of the NHSC, which provides care to more than 10 million Americans.

Thank you in advance for helping us spread the word about the Corps’ mission to strengthen and grow our country’s primary care workforce!

The National Health Service Corps

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

October 13, 2016

What’s New

Rural Health Solutions Summit – Wednesday, October 19 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm ET.  The CMS Rural Health Council was established earlier this year, convening experts to strategize improved health care access for rural Americans, support the economics of providing care, and make sure that innovation fits the rural health care market. Since the Council’s formation, CMS has conducted nearly two dozen listening engagements nationwide on key rural health issues, such as telemedicine, hospice, and hospital support. The Summit will take place in the CMS Grand Auditorium in Baltimore; if you can’t make it there, you can still register to watch at one of ten CMS Regional Offices, or at your desk by live stream broadcast. 

Essential Community Provider List – Deadline Saturday, October 15.  If you haven’t yet, it’s time to review the 2018 Essential Community Providers (ECP) list, a non-exhaustive list of available health providers for plan year (PY) 2018. The presence of rural providers such as Rural Health Clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers and Critical Access Hospitals on the ECP list is very important for contracting with Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) under the Marketplace.  To confirm your information has been included for the 2018 health plan year,  visit the draft ECP list and click on “Check to see if you are on the list” under question 6 of the petition.  If your information is missing or incorrect, you may submit the required information on the ECP petition questionnaire. Leaving any required data field blank may result in being dropped off the ECP list for PY 2018. Get help with designation from the ECP Frequently Asked Questions or by sending your question to

#RuralResults. On October 5th,  White House Rural Council convened a forum of policy, business and nonprofit leaders to announce significant gains since the Council was formed in 2011 and new actions to continue the support for rural communities (see Funding Opportunities below). Accompanying the forum was a memorandum from the Council outlining lessons learned and the best strategies for Federal government engagement at the local level.  Read more about successful federal-local partnerships on the USDA Results page of Secretary Tom Vilsack, the White House Rural Council’s Chairman, and see the response to #RuralResults on social media.