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Sustaining Behavior Change and Getting Rid of Chronic Diseases

“Obesity is the terror within.” With that statement, Dr. Richard Carmona, shocked his superiors; Sustaining. It was during his tenure as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States under George W. Bush when the country was focused on terrorism. He said he needed a way to focus attention on what he knew was the greatest healthcare threat facing our country. So he said something disruptive and it got attention.

Dr. Carmona mesmerized the Idaho Healthcare Summit in Boise with the passionate story of his climb from disadvantaged, high school drop-out to combat-decorated Special Forces veteran, sheriff, RN, trauma surgeon, and finally Surgeon General. “The job of the Surgeon General,” he said, “is to protect, promote and advance the health, safety, and security of our nation.”

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Why Zip Code Matters in Addressing Determinants of Health

Tyler Norris, healthy communities expert* and Idaho native, enthusiastically facilitated the Idaho Healthcare Summit held in Boise on May 15th and 16th – “Why Zip Code Matters in Addressing Determinants of Health”. Over the two-day session, he not only talked about his passion, he worked the room, moving from table to table, eliciting feedback from the room full of healthcare stakeholders.

Norris engaged the group with his energetic discourse about what we need to invest in in our communities to create health and lower healthcare costs. After a century of increasing life spans in the U.S. he said, the millennial generation will be the first to experience a decline, living five fewer years than their parents’ generation. Norris questioned what we’ve been doing with three trillion dollars a year in healthcare spending to achieve that result.

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The New 2017 NCQA Standards

Based on feedback from practices, policy makers, payers, and other key stakeholders, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has revised its PCMH Recognition program to make it more manageable, reduce paperwork, and increase practice interaction with NCQA. It also supports ongoing, sustained recognition status with annual check-in instead of the current program’s three-year recognition cycle.

The new recognition process was released to the public on April 3rd, 2017 and has three parts:

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SHIP Screen Shot

Everything You’ve Wanted to Know About SHIP…But Were Afraid to Ask

In case you need a primer on what exactly SHIP is; or in case you don’t have enough acronyms in your life, in December 2014 the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare received a State Innovation Model (SIM) grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The grant funds a four-year Model Test that began on Feb. 1, 2015 to implement Idaho’s Statewide Healthcare Innovation Plan (SHIP).

Simply put, SHIP’s objective is to redesign the Idaho’s healthcare system to:

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Five Ways for Healthcare Providers to Get Ready for New Medicare Cards

Medicare is taking steps to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. Through this initiative the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will prevent fraud, fight identity theft, and protect essential program funding and the private healthcare and financial information of our Medicare beneficiaries.

CMS will issue new Medicare cards with a new unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) to replace the existing Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) both on the cards and in various CMS systems we use now. We’ll start mailing new cards to people with Medicare benefits in April 2018. All Medicare cards will be replaced by April 2019.

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