The DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation hosted a “Six Sigma” Yellow Belt Class, November 10-11 at the training rooms of Arlington School District. Patti Taylor of the DFWHC Foundation’s Patient Safety and Quality Committee served as official host to 31 attendees from North Texas hospitals.
Attendees were made up of nurses, quality directors and pharmacists. Eight teams were formed prior to the workshop with an emphasis on Hospital Engagement Network projects focused on improving patient care.
Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. It was introduced by engineer Bill Smith while working at Motorola in 1986. Jack Welch made it central to his business strategy at General Electric in 1995. Today, it is used in many industrial sectors including healthcare.
Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of a process by identifying and removing defects and minimizing variability in business processes. It uses a set of quality management and statistical methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization who are experts in the methods. Each Six Sigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of steps and has specific targets involving reduced process cycle time, reduced pollution, reduced costs, increased customer satisfaction and increased profits.
Six Sigma’s Yellow Belt certification is a two-day program that provides insight into the techniques of these metrics and improvement methodologies. The training provides an introduction to process management, enabling individuals to achieve objectives. Participants gather data and participate in problem solving exercises.
Official yellow belts are expected to be awarded to participants in December.
With open enrollment through the Health Insurance Marketplace having kicked off November 1, the DFW Hospital Council Foundation would like to recommend one of the easiest and most user-friendly sites at http://insurehealthtx.org/. “Insure Health, Insure Texas” is a campaign spearheaded by the Texas Hospital Association and implemented by hospitals with the goal of increasing the number of eligible but currently uninsured Texans in the federal health insurance marketplace. Check it out and pass it on!
Just two days until DFWHC’s complimentary breakfast meeting on Nov. 19 at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. The topic is “Fraud Prevention and Protection” sponsored by Global Edge.
Topics will include Spend Recovery, Fraud Prevention, Risk Assessments, Vendor Master File, Sanction Lists, Fraudulent Acts followed by a Q&A. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity.
You can register here.
By Richard Howe, PhD, Executive Director, North Texas Regional Extension Center
Last month, I briefly touched on some data quality issues that must be addressed to improve overall use of an EHR in a physician practice. Improving data quality will significantly enhance daily practice operations and long-term data analytics and population health management (PHM). Over the next three monthly blogs, I would like to discuss how some of the recent regulatory changes will impact your electronic health record (EHR) and the data analytics coming out of your EHR.
By way of background, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has set a goal of migrating 30% of traditional fee for service (FFS) payments to quality and/or value-based payments through Alternative Payment Models (APMs) by 2017. The APM goals are further increased to 50% of FFS by 2018. These APMs include bundled payment initiatives (BPI) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). This migration will pressure physicians to work in larger groups where the cost of EHRs and quality reporting becomes more efficient compared to individual reporting.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) legislation (April 16, 2015) introduced the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for physicians and repealed the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Under this legislation, physicians must eventually participate in a MIPS or an APM system.
As originally conceived, the SGR was supposed to update the Medicare physician fee schedule — but the SGR formula never really worked out and it was a continual source of conflict between CMS and physicians. Without MACRA, on March 31, 2015, SGR cuts of 21% would have gone into effect.
Now, however, MIPS replaces SGR in January 2019.
The new MIPS legislation will apply to: doctors of medicine or osteopathy, doctors of dental surgery or dental medicine, doctors of podiatric medicine, doctors of optometry, chiropractors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified registered nurse anesthetists.
MIPS purportedly was going to replace not only the SGR formula, but also Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Meaningful Use (MU). However, when you read the proposed MIPS rule, you can see that PQRS and MU are incorporated as two of the four “merit-based performance categories” (see next month).
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is obviously shifting the basis for Medicare payments from volume to value. MIPS is a new program in the Medicare fee-for-service payment system. It consolidates three existing programs — the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), and the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBPM), and meaningful use (MU) — into a single program.
Certainly, migration to MIPS or to APMs from FFS will require an up-to-date EHR in your practice that can track and report clinical quality, and not just billing. Next month I will describe in more detail how MIPS, PQRS, VBPM and MU will become integrated into a single program. Stay tuned!
You’re invited to a complimentary breakfast meeting on Nov. 19, 2015 at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. The topic is “Fraud Prevention and Protection” sponsored by Global Edge.
Topics to include: Spend Recovery, Fraud Prevention, Risk Assessments, Vendor Master File, Sanction Lists, Fraudulent Acts and Q&A.
Target Audience: Supply Chain Executives, Compliance Officers, CEOs, CFOs.
• Is it difficult and time consuming to keep your vendor master file up-to-date?
• Is there an opportunity to recover cash due to duplicate payments, overpayments, unclaimed rebates, etc?
• Is it difficult to assure on a daily basis that none of your vendors are on one of the nearly 100 national and international sanctions lists?
• Is it possible that there might be vendors perpetrating fraudulent acts in your facilities?
• Is it possible that there are employees in your organization with undisclosed conflicts of interest that you are unaware of?
The meeting is from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and a continental breakfast will be provided. To register, click here.