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Home Health Quality Initiative - Immunizations

Contact Information

Idaho
Chanda Sundara, CPHIT, CHP chandas@qualishealth.org (208) 383-5939

Washington
Carol Higgins, OTR (Ret), CPHQ carolh@qualishealth.org
(206) 288-2454

 

Influenza and pneumonia are vaccine-preventable diseases


According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), immunization rates among adults have historically been low and they vary between immunization types in the Medicare population. There is an even greater variation between racial and ethnic groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even though influenza and pneumonia are preventable, combined they were the 8th leading cause of death in the United States in 2012. Qualis Health invites home health agencies across Idaho and Washington to join our Immunization Initiative. The goals of the Initiative are to improve 1) assessment and documentation of Medicare beneficiary immunization status, 2) increase overall immunization rates, 3) reduce the immunization disparities and, 4) increase reporting to the state immunization registry.

Home health agencies are an especially important setting for this work. Although home health agencies are not required to provide immunizations to Medicare beneficiaries, there is a strong need to go beyond just assessing immunization status and encouraging patients to obtain them from their physicians or community health providers.

 

Healthy People 2020 immunization goals compared to current Idaho and Washington rates*

 

immunization rate table

*Data based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an ongoing, state-based, random-digit-dialed telephone survey of non-institutionalized civilian adults aged 18 years and older. Get more information about BRFSS.

 

How Qualis Health can help Home Health Agencies improve overall patient care and quality goals:

  • Value-Based Purchasing Reporting of Performance Measures – coming to Washington in 2016 as one of 9 pilot states based on the newly released Proposed Rule
  • Improved Processes for assessing and providing immunizations
  • Patient and Family Engagement

 

These services are provided through Qualis Health’s Medicare QIN-QIO contract at no charge to participants.  In return, participating home health agencies are asked to:

  • Share with Qualis Health your agency HHQI Immunization reports so we can assist you in interpreting the findings and exploring opportunities for improvement.
  • Designate individual(s) to participate in onsite and remote learning activities and provide resources to support your team—including time to attend learning sessions, implement changes, and participate in phone calls.