The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services selected the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut (CHCACT) as a Prime awardee of the Network of Quality Improvement and Innovation Contractor. This designation will allow NQIICs to bid on Task Orders over the next five years. As a Prime NQIIC awardee partnering with other Quality Improvement contractors under the new CMS Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract mechanism to support quality improvement efforts, each NQIIC may serve as:
- Quality Improvement Experts
- Facilitators/change agents for healthcare transformation by achieving bold aims at a high value
- Innovators of quality improvement
As a NQIIC awardee, CHCACT has demonstrated healthcare quality improvement expertise. Services supported by some of the NQIIC awardees may include:
- Provide direct technical assistance in specific areas of healthcare quality improvement (e.g., patient safety, opioid misuse, nursing home quality, etc.)
- Seek and gain commitments from patients, providers and stakeholders to achieve aims
- Use a Human Centered Design that involves teaming with patient and family members to improve healthcare processes and outcomes.
- Focused on helping providers and healthcare organizations to achieve quantitative results for improved outcomes, lower costs, better care, less provider burden, greater transparency and more.
- Supporting a diverse array of organizations and populations, including rural providers, vulnerable beneficiaries, clinical practices, hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis facilities and more.
- Support providers in efficient use of Health Information Technology and interoperability
- Serve as backbone organizations to form and engage Community Coalitions
- Convene and support Learning and Action Networks (LANs)
Clinical Quality Improvement Opportunity for PCAs
What is it?
CMS has issued an RFP seeking clinical quality improvement contractors to work with 117,000 clinicians nationally to improve clinical performance in strategic areas, with a focus on vulnerable and rural populations. As a designated Quality Improvement & Innovation Contractor for CMS, CHCACT is eligible to submit a proposal. CHCACT would like to facilitate participation for health centers nationally by partnering with PCAs on this proposal and initiative. If selected, CHCACT, and our partner PCAs, will receive a 5-year contract to provide quality improvement services in pursuit of the following aims:
- Improving Behavioral Health outcomes, including a focus on opioid misuse
- Increasing patient safety, with a focus on reducing readmissions, adverse drug events, and antibiotic stewardship
- Improving chronic disease management with a focus on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease
- Improving care transitions and reducing hospital admissions and readmissions
Why Would a PCA Want to Participate?
This is an opportunity for PCAs to enhance and feature the capabilities of their member health centers related to achieving the aims listed above. Through collaboration, PCAs can essentially create a health center quality improvement network, and create the opportunity for health centers to distinguish both their quality improvement capabilities and the effectiveness of their care systems from all other practice types when it comes to providing cost effective and patient-centered care for vulnerable populations.
This collaborative model of quality improvement will utilize a shared learning paradigm, where participating health centers will share their best practices and learn from the best practices of their peers across the country. This shared-learning model will be supported by individual technical assistance provided by PCA quality improvement advisors.
PCAs will receive funding from CHCACT to support their quality improvement efforts working with their member health centers. There will also be an opportunity for health centers to earn bonus payments based on their quality outcomes.
What Do PCAs Need to Do?
If interested in learning more, please reach out to Ken Lalime, CEO, at CHCACT. Ken can be reached at KLalime@chcact.org. CHCACT will be holding a web conference very soon to speak more about this exciting initiative.
In the meantime, please begin to think about which of your member health centers would find value in this national collaboration. CHCACT recommends the following characteristics. Health centers which are
- In good standing
- PCMH recognized
- Have a commitment to population health management or
- Participate in value-based payment arrangements who want to improve their system of care and performance under existing contracts