Year in Review

View key milestones achieved by the QIO Program in 2016 as it entered the third year of its five-year performance period.
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Strategic Innovation Engine Gathers Innovative Practices

The QIO Program’s Strategic Innovation Engine (SIE) kicked off its initiative to gather and spread innovative practices in June, reaching out to providers, insurance companies, government agencies, professional associations and other health care industry stakeholders to discover what’s working in their community. Approved innovative practices will be selected based on their value and ease of implementation. The SIE will combine the selected practices into Quality Improvement Innovation Packages (QIIPs) and disseminate them widely for implementation throughout the health care community.

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Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) Contract Awards

In September 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded $347 million to 16 national, regional or state hospital associations, QIN-QIOs and health system organizations to continue the former Hospital Engagement Networks’ efforts in reducing hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions in the Medicare program. Through 2019, the newly designated Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks will work to achieve a 20 percent decrease in overall patient harm and a 12 percent reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions as a population-based measure (readmissions per 1,000 people) from the 2014 baseline.


As the data are ever-evolving, the numbers included in this video reflect the most current data available at the time of filming. Please visit the AHRQ website for the most up-to-date information.

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Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Honor

CMS leaders accepted the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (SAMMIE) for Federal Employees of the Year. The award was made for achieving major improvements in hospital patient safety in collaboration with diverse public-private sector partners like Quality Improvement Organizations and Hospital Engagement Networks, and including physicians, nurses, hospitals, social service providers, employers, patients and their advocates. The reductions resulted in an estimated 87,000 lives saved, 2.1 million fewer patient harms and nearly $20 billion in cost savings.

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Special Innovation Projects Awards

In October 2016, CMS awarded 20, two-year Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) to 12 QIN-QIOs. The SIPs are quality improvement projects that align with the goals of the CMS Quality Strategy, addressing critical health care issues that represent a significant opportunity if spread locally, regionally or nationally. QIN-QIOs were eligible to submit proposals for two types of SIPs: Projects addressing issues of quality occurring within the QIN-QIOs’ local service area, and projects focusing on expanding the scope and national impact of quality improvement interventions that have proven but limited success. Read more about a SIP led by Great Plains QIN-QIO.

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Indian Health Service Contract Award

CMS awarded a contract in September 2016 to HealthInsight – the QIN-QIO serving Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah – to assist Indian Health Service (IHS) hospitals with building capacity in the primary areas of leadership, quality improvement support to front line staff, data and analytics standardization, clinical standards of care, quality improvement practice, and patient, family and tribally centered care. HealthInsight, as the leader of this work, will work collaboratively with multiple partners and stakeholders like the IHS Area Offices, Tribal Communities, and Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIINs), among others, to improve the quality of care delivered across the hospital system. Additional information can be found here.

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CMS Establishment of Quality Payment Program

CMS formally established the Quality Payment Program in October 2016 and launched a user-friendly website to help stakeholders understand the program, participation options and measurement criteria for its January 2017 launch. QIN-QIOs offer technical assistance to providers participating in the Quality Payment Program.

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Debut of Person and Family Engagement Strategy

In December 2016, CMS announced the new Person and Family Engagement (PFE) Strategy, which outlines key tenets, foundational principles, values and goals for establishing a health care system that proactively engages persons and caregivers in the definition, design and delivery of their care. Based on stakeholder research, CMS began replacing the word "patient" with "person" to reflect the focus on the individual – who is not always in the position of being a patient. At the regional level, QIN-QIOs partnered with PFE Advisory Councils, and BFCC-QIOs worked with beneficiaries on immediate advocacy efforts and the Beneficiary and Family Advisory Council (BFAC) to further focus on persons at the center of their work.

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Largest-Ever CMS Quality Conference

CMS held its largest CMS Quality Conference to date, with more than 2,400 attendees from the QIN- and BFCC-QIOs, Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIINs), Practice Transformation Networks (PTNs), Medicaid/CHIP, End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks, Support and Alignment Networks (SANs), provider and partner organizations, as well as beneficiaries.

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Increased Transparency and Quality Data for Consumers

CMS unveiled new Compare websites for both Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) and Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), helping families compare key quality metrics, such as pressure ulcers and readmissions, for over 1,100 IRFs and 420 LTCHs across the nation. QIN-QIOs work with providers to improve their scores on Compare websites.

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