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A monthly newsletter highlighting events and resources for Nursing Homes & Partnerships for Community Health

In This Issue:
The Latest News from CMS


National Nursing Home Stakeholder Call 
The CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are hosting a National Nursing Home Stakeholder Call on Thursday, January 5, 2023, at 3:00 pm ET. Long-term care providers, facility staff and resident advocates are encouraged to attend. This event is open to the public. Registration is required. Register Here 


Upcoming Learning & Action Network (LAN) Event
  • Combined Partnerships for Community Health and Nursing Homes: Leveraging Technology to Support Safer Transitions of Care
    Thursday, January 26 at 12:30 p.m. ET | 11:30 a.m. CT (30 min.) 
    Post-hospital contact with a primary care team is an established pillar of safe transitions. The prevailing model of telephone outreach is usually limited in scope and operationally burdensome. In this session, Eric Bressman, MD, MSHP, Fellow, National Clinician Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania, and Corporal at Michael J. Crescenz, VA Medical Center, will share learnings from a study to evaluate use of an automated text message-based program to reduce hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
    Register Here
Previous Learning & Action Network (LAN) Event
  • Combined Partnerships for Community Health and Nursing Homes: Emergency Preparedness in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care​​
    Recorded on November 10
    Extreme weather events, natural disasters, and other emergency events are increasingly common in post-acute and long-term care. In this session, we reviewed several practical strategies to help your team prepare for an emergency event. We also discussed best practices to mitigate the effects of trauma on residents and staff.
    View Slides | Watch Recording | Additional Resources

Register for Upcoming LAN Events | Watch Previous LAN Events and Bite-Size Learnings
We want your feedback

Were You Able to "Use Tomorrow" What You Heard During the LAN Events? 
If Yes, Click Below. 

Nursing Homes LAN Attendees: Click here
Partnership for Community Health LAN Attendees: Click here


Upcoming Infection Prevention Shop Talks
  • January 2023 Shop Talk Call
    Thursday, January 19 at 2 p.m. ET | 1 p.m. CT (60 min.)

    **ANCC Contact Hours Awarded**
    Join the monthly Shop Talk sessions hosted by the Alliant patient safety team. Attendees will receive updates on the NHSN database and CMS requirements. This month, we will review the COVID-19 Weekly Vaccination Module updates for long-term care facilities. There will also be a live question-and-answer session to help with your immediate needs. Submitting data accurately into NHSN will help you more confidently plan your risk assessments and quality improvement initiatives.

    ​​​​Register Now
View Previous Shop Talks

Join the Alliant Health Solutions-LTC NHSN Group!
Joining the group and conferring rights to Alliant Health Solutions-LTC to view NHSN data allows for seamless support and technical assistance.
View Step-By-Step Guide


Leadership Lesson
​​​Words of advice from leaders on the front lines.

This month’s leadership lesson is from JoVonn Givens, MPH, Task Order Director at Alliant Health Solutions, the QIN-QIO for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennesee

Find Your Word To Live By

“Today, make your word a priority in your thoughts and actions. Be open to the possibilities.” Ali Edwards, designer and blogger

We hear the phrase “New Year! New Me!” every year around this time. We hear about resolutions that have been set, and if you are like me, you make resolutions but don’t always stick to them. I decided to make a shift a couple of years ago and come up with a word for the year. I reflect on the past year and decide what I want to accomplish in the new year. I put the word in the back of my planner as a reminder and vision board for the year. In 2022, my word was “Joy.” I sought joy in every situation, whether it was easy to find or not. I found that I didn’t sweat the small stuff. In 2021, my word was “discover.” I was ready to mark some things off my bucket list, and I did!

Over the next couple of weeks, I challenge you to think of the word you want to live by in 2023. It can be for your professional life, personal life or both. This is also a great challenge for your team so they can support and encourage each other. You could even come up with a team or facility word! Watch this video on self-care to help you get started. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team to generate ideas:

  • What do I need to focus on?
  • What do I want to live by?
  • How can I improve my professional and/or personal life?

There is no right or wrong answer. When you have decided on a word, feel free to share it with me at, and I will share my word with you.

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year.

​​​​​Read on our Website 

Best Practice Corner
Each month Alliant Health Solutions collects exemplar practices from organizations across the seven-state region. Thank you for your leadership, creativity and perseverance. 

Alabama Organization Releases Virtual Mental Wellness Handbook 
Mental Health America in Montgomery, Ala. (MHA-M) has released a virtual handbook, It is OK to be NOT OK. The handbook contains activities and resources for mental and emotional well-being, disaster-related distress, anxiety, depression, self-care and coping. MHA-M has prioritized non-medical workers in Alabama, such as nursing assistants, food service workers, and environmental services staff. However, the information provided in the handbook is for all frontline health care workers. Visit for virtual and downloadable copies, or email for physical copies (while supplies last). After people have read the handbook, they can take a quick survey to provide feedback and enter a drawing to win one of three $100 Visa Gift Cards. The deadline to complete is survey is February 13, 2023. Organizations can also request posters to display at worksites. The posters include instructions to access the virtual toolkits.

Tennessee Department of Health Healthcare Resiliency Program-Capital Investments Application Portal Now Live
The Healthcare Resiliency Program-Capital Investments (HRP-CI) application portal is now live. The portal can be accessed at

Do you have a promising practice to share? Please reply to this email, and we will feature you in an upcoming issue.

Health Equity Corner
Alliant Health Solutions' health equity lead, Rosa Abraha, curated the following health trainings, events and resources related to health equity. Check out the resources listed below. 

CMS Aims To Improve Health Equity Data To Reduce Disparities 
CMS is improving its data to contribute to a fair health care system, including continuing the development of equity scores, refining the Health Equity Summary Score, and addressing bias in various tools and methods.
Read More

AHRQ Releases Annual Update on U.S. Health Care Quality, Equity
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released its 2022 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (NHQDR), which provides policymakers, health system leaders and the public with a statistical portrait of how effectively the healthcare delivery system provides safe, high-quality and equitable care to all Americans. This year’s report includes data on four special emphasis topics: maternal health; child and adolescent mental health; substance use disorders; and oral health. 
Read the Full Report
| View NHQDR Data Tools

Podcast: AHSCAST - Making Health Care Better

graphic of AHScast logo and recent episodes Everyone deserves quality health care.
Tune into the Alliant Health Solutions Making Health Care Better podcast every other Thursday as they interview guests committed to making health care better. If you are a health care consumer, provider, insurer, system or consultant, this is the podcast for you. View All Podcast Episodes



Our team is collecting and curating the essential trainings, events, resources and vaccine updates about COVID-19 and other viruses on our website so you can find the information you need. We've also outlined the essentials below.

View All COVID-19 News & Resources

Training & Resources

Help Protect Your Loved Ones With the Bivalent Booster: A Message From the Alliant Medical Director
Alliant Health Solutions medical director, Dr. Swati Gaur, created a special video message to the families of nursing home residents. In this brief message, Dr. Gaur addresses the following:

  • How the Bivalent booster specifically targets the Omicron variant currently circulating in the United States.
  • How COVID-19 rates remain elevated in the older population although lower for younger populations.
  • How the Bivalent booster can avoid making the COVID-19 virus deadly—and instead become just another viral infection for your loved one this winter.
Watch the Video

Checklist of Current Versions of COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance and Clinic Support Tools has a checklist of current versions of vaccine guidance and support tools that are updated at least monthly and indicate when each guidance document was last updated. View the Checklist

The Importance of Timely Use of COVID-19 Therapeutics
On November 22, CMS issued a memo on the importance of the timely use of available COVID-19 therapeutics, particularly for high-risk patients who test positive for the virus. Providers delivering care in congregate care settings should ensure their patients and residents are protected against transmission of COVID-19 within their facilities, as well as receive the appropriate treatment after testing positive for the virus. Read the Memo
Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Jeremy Bischoff

Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Data
The National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) has created an interactive dashboard using emergency medical services (EMS) data to share information on opioid overdose, naloxone use and more. You can access the dashboard HERE. While this is different from the data Alliant uses from CMS, it gives you a sense of what is happening in your state or county.

2022 CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain 
The 2022
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Clinical Practice Guideline is intended to help clinicians:

  • Improve communication with patients about the benefits and risks of pain treatments, including opioid therapy for pain
  • Improve the safety and effectiveness of pain treatmen
  • Mitigate pain
  • Improve function and quality of life for patients with pain
  • Reduce the risks associated with opioid pain therapy (including opioid use disorder, overdose, and death)

View the Guideline

​​​​​​Pain Management in the Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Setting Clinical Practice Guidelines
The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA) developed clinical practice guidelines for pain management in the (PA/LTC) setting. The guidelines can be accessed HERE. The guidelines cost a fee, so if you do not have access, speak with your medical director to see if they can access them. In addition, Alliant will host a three-part webinar series in early 2023 to review the guidelines. Please be on the lookout for the invitations.

Prevent Opioid Overdose With Naloxone 
Clinicians play an important role in raising awareness about naloxone, a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when given in time. Visit the CDC’s naloxone website to learn how to talk with patients about naloxone and reduce their risk of opioid overdose. You can also earn free continuing education credits. Visit Website

Opioid Resources:

  • Medicine Disposal​​​​​​Use this resource to safely dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medications. Download Resource
  • Do’s & Don’ts of Pain Medicine Use this resource to learn how to safely use pain medicine. Download Resource
Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Tanya Vadala

December NHSN Updates for Long-Term Care Facilities: Vaccination Modules
Long-term care (LTC) facilities that are required to report annual health care personnel influenza vaccination data into the National NHSN must do so using the Healthcare Personnel Safety (HPS) Component. Reporting weekly influenza vaccination data through the NHSN LTC Facility Component does not fulfill this reporting requirement. The CDC is not collecting weekly influenza vaccination data for LTC residents and health care personnel covering the 2022-2023 influenza season. Please ignore tabs for reporting weekly influenza vaccination data for residents and health care personnel in the LTC Facility Component. The tabs will be removed in January 2023 to avoid further confusion. 
The deadline to report the annual health care personnel influenza vaccination summary data through the NHSN HPS Component is May 15, 2023.



Watch Our NHSN Shop Talk Shorts Series!​​​

​​​​​We know you're busy. Our new video series answers the most common questions we receive regarding navigating NHSN in a brief way. Available videos cover the following topics:

View NHSN Shop Talk Video Series

Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Amy Ward

CMS Nursing Home Infection Prevention Has Never Been More Important Than It Is Now
Alliant Health Solutions and our training partner, Rainmakers Strategic Solutions, are reaching out to nursing homes with direct care staff who participated in infection prevention (IP) training to increase readiness for future pandemics and improve knowledge of direct care staff. Rainmakers is requesting confirmation that direct care staff received IP training that covered the following topics:

  1. Hand hygiene
  2. Standard and transmission-based precautions
  3. PPE
  4. Environmental hygiene
To minimize time away from your priorities, we created the following link to the training assessment for your facilities:

Got questions? Need help? Want more information? Contact Rainmakers Strategic Solutions at 800-950-5636 or email
Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Amy Ward

Tools To Help Patients Reach and Maintain a Healthy Weight  
The third week of January has been coined “National Healthy Weight Week” in the United States since 1994. This health awareness campaign was created to combat a rise in obesity, which the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data highlights as an ongoing health issue, with the prevalence of obesity reportedly continuing to increase. The prevalence of obesity is currently 39.8% among adults aged 20 to 39 years, 44.3% among adults aged 40 to 59 years, and 41.5% among adults aged 60 and older. National Healthy Weight Week, which falls on January 15-21 this year, is a great time to help patients focus on their healthy weight, nutrition, physical activity, quality sleep, and stress management goals to help prevent and treat obesity.

Obesity further complicates existing chronic diseases, including declines in mental health that may contribute to serious mental health disorders. In addition, the holiday season and winter months may be critical times to support individuals struggling with weight management and mental illness. 

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases developed an interactive “Body Weight Planner” to help adults make individualized calorie and physical activity plans to reach a goal weight within a specific time frame and determine ongoing lifestyle changes to maintain it. This is a tool for providers to use during care planning and shared decision-making conversations with patients around implementing specific action plans to accomplish lasting lifestyle changes, including improving nutritional intake, increasing daily physical activity, developing quality sleep patterns and managing stress in a healthy way. View the Body Weight Planner 

Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Ingris Garcia

Earn NAB and ANCC Credits With Our 2023 Partnership for Community Health and Nursing Home LANs
NAB and ANCC credits will be available to participants of our Partnership for Community Health (PCH) and Nursing Home half-hour webinars. The webinars are typically held on the fourth Thursday of every other month at 12:30 p.m. EST/11:30 a.m. CST. Take advantage of these brief webinars highlighting best practices that impact readmissions and emergency department visits and/or improve transitions of care. NAB and ANCC credits are also available for some of our Affinity Group series. Visit the Alliant Health Solutions Virtual Events Page

Study: Automated Text Message-Based Program Reduces Use of Acute Health Care Resources After Hospital Discharge
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open, an automated text message-based program was associated with a statistically significant 41% lower odds of 30-day use of acute care resources. Initial follow-up calls were conducted by the discharging hospital with subsequent primary care-based transitional care management programs utilizing the automated texting strategies to “augment support for patients after hospital discharge with limited added burden to staff.” Read the Study
Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Carolyn Kazdan

CDC PNeumoRecs VaxAdvisor 
PneumoRecs VaxAdvisor is a mobile app that provides patient-specific guidance consistent with the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) pneumococcal vaccination recommendations. The app eliminates the challenge of interpreting and synthesizing multiple vaccination recommendation statements. It doesn’t request or collect any personal identifying information, and it doesn’t store any information. To use:

  • Enter a patient’s age.
  • Note if the patient has specific underlying medical conditions.
  • Answer questions about the patient’s pneumococcal vaccination history.

Then, the app provides patient-specific guidance consistent with the immunization schedule recommended by the ACIP.

The PneumoRecs VaxAdvisor app is free for iOS and Android devices. A web version can also be accessed via a mobile device or computer. If using the web version, the screen size will need to be adjusted to look like a smartphone for a better user experience. The CDC will release guideline changes and enhancements to the app through app updates.

Click Here for additional information and links to download the app.

Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Carolyn Kazdan

Members of the Beneficiary & Family Advisory Council are our partners in making health care better. To join us in this important work, contact Mel Brown or submit this referral form.

Browse resources our council has worked on below: 

Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide To Promote Personal Health and Safety
The Extreme Cold Prevention Guide combines all the critical content of the CDC Winter Weather website into one downloadable, printable file. Print this PDF file to ensure you have essential winter weather health and safety information, even when the power goes out. Download the PDF

Contact members of the BFAC via Melody Brown

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This material was prepared by Alliant Health Solutions, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the official views or policy of CMS or HHS, and any reference to a specific product or entity herein does not constitute an endorsement or that product or entity by CMS or HHS.12SOW-AHS TO1-NH TO1-PCH--3037-12/28/22
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