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October 2018

2018 Georgia HIMSS Annual Conference


Kevin Soltysiak, Quality IT Partners/Quality Healthcare Partners Director of Business Development, attended the 2018 Georgia HIMSS Annual Conference, held on October 16, 2018 at the Cobb Galleria, Atlanta, GA. While Governor Nathan Deal was not able to attend due to the recent hurricane. Hal Wolff III, President and CEO of HIMSS shared a state of HIMSS address.

The sessions for the day’s events were broken out into four tracks, CHIME, Financial Management, Healthcare Information Technology, and Clinical Informatics. The sessions were very informative, and topics pertinent to the issues and challenges faced in Healthcare Technology. The Healthcare Information Technology track on Cybersecurity and data breaches was extremely relevant with the recent news and presented by several of the industry experts, including the State of Georgia, CISO, and local health system CISO. The Financial Management sessions covered the shift to value based reimbursements, and offered insights into what the future may hold as the shift from fee for service to value based care progresses.

The day wrapped up with the CIO panel including Geoff Brown for Piedmont Health System, Jeff Buda, Floyd Medical Center, Chris Beasley, Houston Healthcare and Dee Cantrell with US Retina. Each CIO discussed two-three challenges or initiatives they have in progress or planning at their health systems and acknowledged some of the great work and support provided to them by vendors in attendance.

The networking reception provided the opportunity to meet with formers associates, and introductions to new members of Georgia HIMSS.ey, Houston Healthcare and Dee Cantrell with US Retina. Each CIO discussed two-three challenges or initiatives they have in progress or planning at their health systems and acknowledged some of the great work and support provided to them by vendors in attendance.


September 2018

Jim Garrett, CISSP, GCFA, CKE, MBA

Chief Information Security Officer and

Executive Health System Security Specialist at Quality IT Partners

Congratulations Jim Garrett on being named in Becker’s Hospital Review ‘32 Hospital and Health System CISOs to Know – 2018’. 


Jim Garrett. Interim CISO at University Hospital (Newark, N.J.). Mr. Garrett serves as interim CISO of University Hospital, where he assisted in the hospital’s completion of Meaningful Use attestation. He also supports the governance risk and compliance framework to conduct Meaningful Use and HIPAA compliance assessments. Mr. Garrett previously served as CISO for the State of New York and oversaw the state’s enterprise information security office. He also was 3M’s first CISO.

This is a huge honor!  Congratulations Jim.



June 2018

NAHQ’s Commissioner’s Meeting – June 19-21, 2018


Sandra Greenawalt, Quality Healthcare Partners consultant, serves as a Commissioner on the Certification Committee.  There are over 11,000 healthcare professionals who hold the Certified Healthcare Quality Professional (CPHQ) designation.  NAHQ is the professional home for Healthcare quality professionals (HQPs). HQPs play an essential role in every facet of the healthcare system, including:  inpatient care facilities, post-acute and long-term care settings, home health services, ambulatory and community–based settings, health plans, managed care, and healthcare consulting firms.   HQPs demonstrate a commitment to improving clinical outcomes, implementing process improvement strategies, and ensuring stakeholder engagement and satisfaction.

Topic’s discussed at the June 2018 Commissioner’s Meeting:   

  • Shifting the mindset from being a “health care” system to a “health” system incorporating wellness and prevention with care. In the not-too distant future, health delivery systems will, and should, be paid for keeping people healthy and out of the hospital rather than for procedures and admissions. The economic framework of health care will be turned upside down, with profit being directed toward maintaining the health of populations rather than toward just thwarting illness.
  • QI (Quality Improvement) needs to focus on the role social determinants play on health systems and health care.
  • Focus on High-Need, High Cost Patients. Often these adults dealing with multiple chronic conditions and sometimes disability and functional limitations as well.  They struggle to get the range of medical, behavioral and social services they require to stay well. Shortcomings in primary care for these patients is of major concern in all advanced nations.
  • Aging population – cost of service.
  • Drug usage and costs (pain management, Opioid Crisis).

Monitor quality metrics within and across settings:

  • Collaboration between payers and providers: payers are better at accounting for and analyzing not only for social determinants (shelter, food) but other health determinants like race, ethnicity, sex, language.
  • Payers are addressing the growing issue of Non-Beneficial Treatment (NBT) at the End of Life.
  • HQPs need to leverage HQ competencies to demonstrate accountability through quality scorecards, defining quality/cost, patient satisfaction and financial stewardship.
  • HQPs need to understand the failure points in transitions of care to establish measures that will predict downstream outcomes, i.e. lack of discharge instructions impact on home care outcomes.
  • Providers will want to partner with strong performers on quality/cost metrics
  • HQPs need to facilitate the development of productive relationships with multiple key stakeholders including suppliers such as pharmaceutical companies. Integrate social determinants into work.
  • HQPs need competencies to address the uniqueness of rural and underserved areas (healthcare access and health determinants/social issues).
  • HQP’s need competencies to review sources of evidenced based health as they relate to care transitions (e.g. selecting the best care transition model for the health care facility).
  • HQP’s need competencies to describe legal, ethical and financial issues related to populations served.
  • HQP’s need to identify social health issues that impact an individual’s health outcomes and longevity.

Consumer Involvement and advocacy:

  • HQPs will need to involve consumers in improvement and safety initiatives and advocate for consumer membership on organizational boards, patient advocacy councils and committees/task team, this takes a different skill set.
  • HQPs will need to work directly with consumers when they start to own their own data (i.e., Block Chain Technology), implications for privacy and transparency rules and regulations. HQPs would need help patients interpret their data and understand how to share access to caregivers. This could lead to better care as patients would have access to entire case all the time and could share just in time. Consumer Education
  • HQPs need to be skilled in simplifying the communication of complex measures. Transparency of information is good but how does a healthcare consumer decide what is valid and reliable with so many rating systems – CMS, Joint Commission, Healthgrades etc. Now even consumer reports how do consumers sort out conflicting data? How do HQPs help both consumers and providers decipher information?
  • HQPs will need to incorporate the concept of teaching consumers to be good stewards of resources by educating them on patient/customer benchmarks, metrics and the value equation of quality/cost



April 2018


The American Case Management Association (ACMA),  National Conference, Houston, Texas – April 2018


The American Case Management Association (ACMA) held their National Conference in Houston, Texas on April 22 -25, 2018.  The conference brought together case management and transitions of care professionals from across the country to collaborate, network and learn the latest best practices.  Susan Stern, Clinical Executive Director at Quality HealthCare Partners, attended and was amazed at advancements being made in the field of Case Management / Care Coordination.

Case Managers and Transitions of Care professionals have been traditionally known for performing utilization review and discharge planning in acute care hospitals and health plans. New demands are being placed on developing new Care Coordination and Population-Based Programs that is changing the entire profession.

Dr. Daniel Kraft, a distinguished physician-scientist was the key note speaker and examined the rapidly emerging game changing and convergent technology trends, and how they are and will be leveraged to change the face of health care.  The conference also had experts on Joint Commission and CMS requirements and regulations that impact acute care hospitals, home health and critical access hospitals.

There are currently 50 hospitals in the USA that have had their Medicare Conditions of Participation revoked due to deficiencies. It is proposed in the near future more CMS audits will be initiated and more hospitals will be cited for failure to follow the regulations. There were several sessions on the need for meaningful and reliable data to monitor compliance and leaders to be more involved in early identification of probable problems or issues.

Susan also attended the session on developing dashboards that are actionable and achievable. Case Management leaders should find problems they can solve not just measure. The session was well worth the time and indicates there is a growing trend for analytic professionals who understand and can provide dash boards in real time for hospitalists, emergency room, quality, nursing and case management. Exhibitors from Cerner, Epic, Midas, Meditech, Allscripts, and Navihealth demonstrated new products and features to automate care coordination efforts across the continuum into ambulatory care.

The conference ended on a high note with an incredible virtual choir showing how teams can be created and engaged.  There were 2000 plus attendees at the ACMA conference. As a certified case manager the opportunity to network and learn more about changes in the field was well worth the trip and valuable to building a team of consultants able to step in and evaluate case management programs or be interim case management managers/directors.


January 2018


Here We Grow!

We have officially gained our copyright to the trade name of Quality Healthcare Partners! As we grow and expand our business offerings, this will allow us to integrate our functional healthcare services side by side with our IT services.  It will also assist with the customer’s perspective of who we are and what we do.


Quality Healthcare Partners services: Revenue Cycle, Midas+, Care Management, Case Management, Compliance, Interim Services, Accreditation and Quality Management, Population Health, Contract Negotiation



Quality IT Partners services: Cerner, Epic, Siemens, Allscripts, QuadraMed,

McKesson, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, IT Project Management, IS Planning, IS Selection, Hospital MOB, Infrastructure, Medical Imagine Archive, IT Security



January 2018

Groundbreaking Research 15 Years in the Making!

The Taussig Cancer Institute at the Cleveland Clinic has been a client of ours for many years. When Quality first began our One Patient One World philanthropy initiative, we were introduced to Antoinette “Toni” Turchi through Dr. Vincent Touhy.  

Read More

We have stayed in close contact with Toni since meeting her in 2011. She is in good health and has been an unwavering advocate for Dr. Touhy, her physician and mentor, through his journey to developing this breast cancer vaccine. We are excited to share the following article with you not only because of the obvious positive impact this will have on those seeking prevention but also because we are honored to know someone who has the tenacity to keep making strides toward making cancer a thing of the past!


Cleveland doctor gets grant to start human clinical trials to test breast cancer vaccine

ABC News 5 Cleveland                                                                                                         
Jennifer Auh 

6:26 PM, Oct 31, 2017

7:06 PM, Nov 2, 2017


CLEVELAND, Ohio – About one in every eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives.

Dr. Vincent Tuohy with the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic is working on a vaccine that could possibly make preventing breast cancer as easy as getting a shot.

Dr. Tuohy has been working on developing this breast cancer vaccine since 2002 by genetically modifying mice to get triple-negative breast cancer by the time they are ten months old. His research team vaccinates the mice at 2 months old and waits to see if the mice develop breast cancer by ten months.

“They didn’t show any breast tumors (when they turned 10 months old),” he said. “We were very pleased with those results.”

He got the promising results seven years ago, but says he received lots of push back and skepticism.

“It was a new idea, a little too new,” he said. “A little too far out of the box.”

But Dr. Tuohy kept going, attributing his tenacity with what he calls stubbornness, something he says he got from his parents.

His vaccine contains a special protein to prevent triple-negative breast cancer, which can be hereditary and is the deadliest form of breast cancer.

His unique take is to tackle the cancer defensively, instead of offensively.

“The way we deal with cancer, we wait for it to happen,” said Tuohy. “Then, we beat the daylights out of it with surgery and chemotherapy and immunotherapy and hormone therapy and radiation therapy.”

His passion and tenacity paid off. Just last month, the Department of Defense awarded him a $6 million grant to hold human clinical trials.

While Dr. Tuohy is overjoyed by the news, his journey is far from over.

“This is the first attempt that we have at preventing just one form of breast cancer,” he said. “There are other forms of breast cancer that I think need to be prevented.”

In addition, Tuohy is working on developing a vaccine for ovarian cancer.

Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved.


Video and Article:



August 2017

Annual Georgia Summer HFMA Institute

This year Duane Kennedy had the honor last week, July 26th-28th, of attending the annual Georgia Summer HFMA Institute in Jekyll Island, Florida. Over the past couple months, Duane got to work closely with some leaders in in the Atlanta/Georgia Healthcare arena (on the HFMA program committee) on organizing the event. Attendees included 150+ professionals from around the Southeast, Northeast and Midwest.

Some insight from Duane: My favorite piece had to be the chance to network with everyone and spread ideas. I was overwhelmed with how many different routes the industry holds, and how many it will hold into the future with emerging technology and constant change to Revenue Cycle processes and regulations. With so many pieces to the Revenue Cycle, people are really digging deep to perfect processes where a lot of dollars fall in the cracks. Fortunately for us IT guys, a lot these solutions are software focused!

Along the with the chance to collaborate, we had 3 days of sessions. Some of my favorites included:
  • Inpatient Reimbursement (really makes me want to perfect my charging work and follow it all the way to monitoring denial rates)
  • Rural hospital CFO Panel (Highly interesting, as they discussed the challenges of providing care in rural health setting)
  • Data driven decisions; How to get the most out of your clinical data
  • The key to improving revenue cycle operations
  • Who you are becoming as a leader (maybe a classic “feel good” example, but I really take in forms of empowerment when I have the chance)
  • Ideas I might like to discuss into the future:
  • Learning new EDI strategies around Denial Management/Cash Management/Payment Acceleration. I was actually offered weekly learning sessions on a Denial Management solution from a consultant at “etactics”.
  • A target of rural Health Hospitals. They lack the ability to attract and retain financial, professionals.
I look forward to staying actively involved in the Georgia HFMA and being a constant resource for financial projects going into the future.