The December 2022 issue of Alliant Health Solutions Cares & Shares: A monthly newsletter highlighting events and resources for those caring for Medicare beneficiaries Email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
Alliant Quality Cares and Shares Newsletter
Please share this email with friends or colleagues using these links: Forward This blank Tweet This blank Send to Linkedin blank Send to Facebook blank blank blank View more services
(Please do not forward the email as it may impact your subscription settings)

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

In This Issue:
The Latest News from CMS


Quality in Focus (QIF) Provider/Supplier Training
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed a series of interactive videos called “Quality in Focus” (QIF) on the Quality, Safety & Education Portal (QSEP). The 10- to 15-minute videos are self-paced. They will help providers and suppliers participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs better understand how to improve health and safety in facilities. 
The QIF series aims to increase the quality of care for people with Medicare and Medicaid by reducing the deficiencies commonly cited during the CMS survey process, such as infection control and accident prevention. In addition, these resources will help providers and suppliers better understand surveyor evaluation criteria, recognize deficiencies, and incorporate solutions into their facilities’ standards of care, so they are more equipped to meet health and safety guidelines. 
The QIF interactive videos are tailored for specific provider and supplier types, with one to three videos per type. Each interactive video focuses on a specific health or safety citation to identify and resolve these deficiencies. QIF interactive videos are currently available for:

  • Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Infection Control Citations 
  • Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (IICF/IID) Program Implementation Citations 
  • Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) Local, State, Tribal Collaboration Process Citations 
  • Hospice Plan of Care Citations 
  • Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) Post-Intervention Debriefing Citations
  • Long-Term Care (LTC) Treatment and Prevention of Pressure Ulcer Citations 
  • LTC Free of Accident Citations 
  • LTC Medication Error Citations 
  • Outpatient Physical Therapy (OPT) Equipment, Buildings, and Grounds Maintenance Citations 
  • Comprehensive Outreach Rehabilitation Facility (CORF) Local, State, Tribal Collaboration Process Citations 
  • Home Health Agency (HHA) Incomplete Individualized Plan of Care Citations 
  • Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Preventative Maintenance Program Citations 
  • Portable X-ray Personnel Monitoring Citations 
  • End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Cleaning and Disinfecting Citations 
  • Hospital Patient Safety 

The information in the interactive videos is for informational purposes and is not meant to take the place of statutes, regulations or official CMS policy. The videos are found under the Quality in Focus tab of the Quality, Safety & Education Portal (QSEP) Training Catalog


Last Month's Learning & Action Network (LAN) Events
  • 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
  • December 2022 Shop Talk Call
    Thursday, December 15 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 Melody "Mel" Brown, MSM, AHS State Quality Manager-Georgia.

Learning From the Past To Improve the Future

The past year has been one of hope that the pandemic would be truly over and life would go back to normal. Though much has improved this year, we must now find our new normal or determine how to start over. As the Chinese military general, philosopher and author Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”

This past year, many lessons have been learned. The opportunity to exhibit strength, resilience, and integrity and apply innovative thinking has led to improvements in health care delivery throughout all settings. Processes and systems that were tested beyond expectations have been refined to be better prepared and equipped for whatever the future may hold. Leaders and staff have walked the trenches of responsibility together to ensure quality health care is at the forefront for every patient in their care. 

Looking toward 2023, I hope we all strive to overcome the pandemic with renewed strength and passion as we build the future of health care for generations to come. I hope you find comfort in the words of Maya Angelo, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

​​​​​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 Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) Leader Training 
The Tennessee Department of Health’s Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke Program is partnering with the Office of Minority Health and Disparities Elimination and the University of Chattanooga–engAGING Communities to assist community-based and faith-based organizations in supporting optimal health for all. Participants in this free, seven-week virtual training will develop tools to lead community CDSMP workshops. The workshop goals are to build confidence in the participant’s ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. Learn More

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

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

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)

See the guideline here.

​​​​​​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.

AMA 2022 Overdose Epidemic Report
The American Medical Association Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force strives to advance evidence-based recommendations for policymakers and physicians to help end the nation’s drug-related overdose and death epidemic. Their latest report on the national epidemic is now available. Access the Report

New Guidance on Naloxone To Strengthen Work of Harm Reduction Groups 
Combating the opioid overdose epidemic is an urgent public health priority for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is committed to advancing solutions to reduce opioid overdose deaths in the United States, including by supporting efforts to increase the public availability of and access to naloxone. To this end, the FDA has issued guidance for immediate implementation. Access the FDA Guidance

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

U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week Resource Round-Up

Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Health Care Personnel 
The Influenza Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel (HCP) measure was finalized in the FY 2023 SNF PPS Final Rule, published in the Federal Register on August 3. As a result, most CMS-certified skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) must report annual HCP influenza vaccination summary data through the NHSN HPS Component for the 2022-2023 influenza season. To determine if your facility is required to report, contact CMS at
  • The 2022-2023 influenza season is from October 1, 2022-March 31, 2023.
  • The deadline to report annual HCP influenza vaccination data is May 15, 2023.
  • A single summary report for the season is required.

Reporting weekly influenza vaccination data in the LTC Component does not fulfill this requirement. Please direct all questions regarding CMS reporting requirements and deadlines to



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

Healthy Eating Provides a Year-Round Immunity Boost 
`Tis the season of gathering with friends, family and loved ones for holiday celebrations. It is also a time of year when there tends to be a spike in the transmission of respiratory infections, including the common cold, influenza and COVID-19. The CDC report that seasonal influenza activity is currently high nationwide. The agency also estimates that there have been at least 6.2 million illnesses, 53,000 hospitalizations, and 2,900 deaths from flu so far this season. 

Even though we cannot guarantee our patients, residents, and community members full prevention from illness, we can help reinforce the importance of complementing the primary protection from vaccines with the power of a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle incorporating a nutritionally balanced diet, daily physical activity, healthy weight maintenance, adequate sleep, limited alcohol consumption, and tobacco avoidance or cessation is known to enhance the body’s immune system. Maintaining healthful habits may also improve the body’s response to the protective effects of immunizations. 
A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and unsaturated fats, complemented by adequate hydration, provides the most immunoprotective effects. Nutrients of particular importance for immune support include beta carotene, vitamin C, and zinc found in plant foods, as well as vitamin D and protein from animal and plant-based sources. Due to the location of the immune system in the intestinal tract, the use of probiotics from cultured dairy products and fermented foods that replenish “good” gut bacteria may contribute additional benefits. 

The United States Department of Agriculture’s interactive resources, including the MyPlate Plan application, are great tools to help your patients, residents, and community members enjoy delicious, healthy holiday meals packed with immunity-boosting nutrients and individualized to their dietary needs
View the MyPlate Plan

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

New COVID-19 Bivalent Booster Toolkit Available for Clinicians
During a meeting with White House COVID-19 Response Team members, leaders from health care associations were asked to educate their members and stakeholders about the importance, effectiveness and accessibility of the COVID-19 bivalent booster and the therapeutics available to treat those diagnosed with COVID-19. AMDA—The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine—partnered with the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, the Gerontological Advance Practice Nurses Association, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Academy of Physician Associates to create a toolkit for clinicians working in post-acute and long-term care settings. The toolkit, COVID-19 Vaccination and Therapeutics in PALTC Toolkit: Resources for Clinicians, includes resources developed by Alliant Health Solutions. Download Toolkit

CDC Digital Media Toolkit
The CDC has developed a digital media "fight the flu" toolkit with multi-lingual information, flyers and social media posts to share in newsletters and in offices. Check out their resources on their website.
Visit CDC Website

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: 

Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter 
Nearly three years of pandemic living has left us feeling sick of sickness. But the virus season is now upon us. With this in mind, it’s important to start taking precautions today to reduce your risk of getting a cold, the flu or COVID and make it through the winter healthy and safe. In an article published by the AARP, experts answer some common questions about staying staff this winter. Read Article

Contact members of the BFAC via Melody Brown

For archived issues:

Visit the
News & Announcements section of the Alliant Health Solutions website.

For more information about Alliant Health Solutions:

Share this email with a friend or colleague: Forward This blank

Connect with us!

Click here if you'd like to share your corporate profiles with us and we'll connect with you!
Quality Improvement Organizations logo co-branded with Alliant Health Solutions logo
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--2940-12/05/22
Copyright © 2022, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Alliant Health Solutions
1455 Lincoln Pkwy
Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30346