In support of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) strategic priorities, a request for proposals was issued in May 2020 to its network of Quality Improvement and Innovation Contractors (NQIIC) to support a new initiative entitled, "Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor (HQIC)." Pronounced "H-quick," the four-year effort is aligned with the CMS Rural Health Strategy. HQIC is designed to support rural and critical access hospitals, as well as those hospitals serving vulnerable populations. Altogether, CMS has identified more than 2,600 hospitals nationally that are eligible to participate, including more than 100 hospitals in Kansas.
KHC is part of an innovative, rural-relevant NQIIC proposal submitted to CMS prior to its June 25 deadline. KHC and key partners are dedicated to providing valued services, technical assistance, data, and intervention support to Kansas hospitals.
On behalf of KHC and the Kansas Hospital Association, we ask that Kansas hospitals plan to continue your partnership and trusted relationship with KHC in the next phase of this important work. CMS anticipates making its HQIC awards in mid-September 2020. Since 2012, KHC has successfully led previous cycles of CMS hospital-based initiatives statewide, namely the Hospital Engagement Network (1.0 and 2.0) and the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN). HQIC will support hospitals as we continue building momentum and capacity in patient safety to address national and local priorities.
HQIC will focus on three of the four CMS aims, which are aligned with the CMS Rural Health Strategy:
Aim 1: Improve Behavioral Health Outcomes, with a focus on decreased opioid misuse;
Aim 2: Increase patient safety with a focus on reduction of harm, and
Aim 4: Increase the quality of care transitions with a focus on high utilizers in an effort to improve overall utilization.
Note: Goal 3 is directly addressed in the QIN-QIO and clinician-based initiatives to improve chronic disease management and prevention (cardiac, vascular health, diabetes, and kidney disease.)
KHC looks forward to the next chapter in our partnership with Kansas hospitals and hope you will be a part of it with us.