Pennsylvania success stories

PA Local Success Stories
Quality improvement endeavors can often feel overwhelming, but chances are, you can learn from the experiences that another physician, hospital or nursing home has had in a similar situation. Coupled with support from Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, learning what has worked for others — and what didn't — is a valuable strategic planning component. 

We encourage you to read the success stories, contact us for more information, and also let us know if you have a Quality Insights' success storyto share.

Graduates of the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program in Pennsylvania
recently shared comments about their experiences participating in classes held at the Cheltenham ShopRite supermarket.

“The class was incredible! I have not had a class like this in many years... 

Merakey (formerly NHS Human Services) is a behavioral health practice that operates in multiple states (including Pennsylvania, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey and New York). Merakey Project Manager Sam Gillin began working with Quality Insights in November 2017 to better position the practice for successful Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting.

Urology of Central PA is an independent and progressive 18-provider practice located in Camp Hill that started working with Quality Insights in May of 2017. According to Andrea Dietz, Director of Clinical Operations, “Our team thought we were prepared for MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System) success in early 2017 when we hired consultants to help us with our Security Risk Assessment. We also had access to their team of experts to assist in this project.” Dietz reported that her practice spent $5,500 on these consultative services in 2017.

EDC logoLance spent much of his career traveling Asia and Europe as a freelance writer and photographer. It never crossed his mind that he could develop diabetes, but when he was back in the United States his doctor suggested that he get a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test. It indicated that he was diabetic. That was more than 13 years ago.

EDC logoAs the supportive services coordinator for three low-income senior living apartment buildings in Central Pennsylvania, Marge Gore is always looking for ways to improve the health and well-being of her residents. A strong advocate of patient empowerment, Marge gives her residents tools and resources to self-manage their lives. That is why she found the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) initiative to be a good fit for her needs.

Everyone with Diabetes Counts LogoAlthough Maxine has a pre-diabetic condition, she felt that she fell short when it came to interpreting food labels and understanding the importance of diet and exercise. Luckily, Maxine found a free resource to help get her health on track and learn how to avoid complications in the future – Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC).

Campbell & Philbin Medical Associates is a six provider practice that has two locations in Pittsburgh, PA. Lynn Karaffa, Practice Manager, has been working closely with Lisa Sagwitz, Quality Insights Practice Transformation Specialist, to better understand the intricacies of the new Quality Payment Program (QPP).

EDC Logo PictureWhen Robert was told by his doctor in December 2015 that he had pre-diabetes with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, he knew he had to make some lifestyle changes. 
Robert met with a registered dietitian from a nearby Shop Rite grocery store. The dietitian looked at his medical history and offered several suggestions in an effort to help. She helped him create meal plans to lower his A1c level and an exercise plan for weight loss. By the end of the year, Robert had lost a considerable amount of weight, and his A1C had improved slightly.

EDC LogoThe Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) team in Pennsylvania recently created a video to illustrate the success of the program at Enon Baptist Church. Watch the video

The practice of Levi Walker, MD, PC, a solo internal medicine practice in Pittsburgh, PA, has been working with Quality Insights for several years on a variety of projects. Danielle Walker heads up the practice’s efforts for meaningful use attesting, PQRS reporting, and now it’s preparation for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2017.

The practice of Richard A. Mercurio, M.D. has been working with Quality Insights since 2014, and prior to that, a participating practice with the Pennsylvania Regional Extension Center for Health IT (PA REACH) program, of which Quality Insights was the grantee. Located in Kittanning, PA, this practice has three providers, including a physician, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner.

Western PA Physicians of WMC Physician Practices, LLC has been working with Quality Insights on various projects since the spring of 2015. It is a large multi-specialty group with many physicians and mid-level providers in multiple locations across West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Not only can being a multi-state organization pose some interesting quality improvement reporting challenges, but there are several different electronic health record (EHR) systems in use within this healthcare organization which also adds to the complexity. 

Partners in Nephrology and Endocrinology (PINE) is a 26 physician practice with eleven locations throughout the Pittsburgh area. Throughout these multiple office locations, three different electronic health record (EHR) systems are utilized which makes reporting for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) EHR Incentive Programs a bigger challenge. 

One in three American adults — about 80 million people — has high blood pressure, putting them at increased risk for heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other health problems. To combat this major health threat, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) launched the Target: Blood Pressure nationwide initiative to help healthcare providers and patients achieve better blood pressure control at the best levels to improve health. Quality Insights is partnering with them to introduce this program to physician practices in our five-state network.

Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. However, in some places in Pennsylvania, not everyone is able to keep pace with these advances. In the case of Leonida Family Practice, with offices in Mt. Pleasant and Greensburg, PA, this four provider practice (two physicians and two CRNPs) is located in a beautiful but rural, mountainous region. Internet reception can be unreliable and cell signals are spotty in this area. As a result, many of Leonida’s patients do not own cell phones or connect to the internet. This limits the practice’s ability to connect patients with valuable online resources and makes patient portal usage a challenge. It also limits some of the functionality of the practice’s electronic health record (EHR) system and interoperability.

EDC LogoWhen the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program conducted a diabetes education class at the Jewish Community Center in York, Pennsylvania earlier this year, a special guest speaker brought valuable insight into foot care for people with diabetes.

Dr. Maria Kasper, a podiatrist with Martin Foot and Ankle in Pennsylvania, spoke to the class about diabetic complications, foot problems and the practice’s own clinical trials with diabetic foot ulcers.

EDC LogoWhile teaching an Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) class earlier this year, Angie Alwood, a Community Health Worker for Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, found herself in a situation that she felt strongly required her help.

One of the class participants, Patrick, had just left the hospital the day prior to the class. His blood glucose (sugar) level in the hospital had been approximately 700 mg/dL. Prior to coming to the day’s class, his sugar level was 570 mg/dL.

Everyone with Diabetes CountsAlthough class is over for the graduates of the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program at Newport Senior Center in Newport, Pennsylvania, they will continue their diabetes self-management journey through a newly-formed support group coordinated by the Center’s manager, Pat Ibaugh. 

Logo of EDCA support system – that is what Toni and Gus found when they met at an Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) class earlier this year at the September House Senior Center in York, PA.
Gus and Toni met at the first in a series of six EDC classes at the center. A program of Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, EDC is a community-based approach that encourages participation and provides a structure to support people with Medicare in their commitment to managing diabetes. Participants learn about diabetes risks, nutrition, weight management, how to properly manage medications and much more.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Jefferson) is an Academic Medical Center, serving patients in Philadelphia and the surrounding communities in the Delaware Valley. Amanda D. Melendez, BS, MPH, CIC, Infection Control Manager, and Sara Townsend, MS-HQS, CIC, Infection Control Practitioner, share their hospital’s journey toward Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) reduction.  

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