In April 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded all 14 Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) from the CMS QIO Program a four-year contract to improve immunization rates and reduce immunization disparities among Medicare beneficiaries residing in 37 U.S. states and territories.
Under the contract, QIN-QIOs will work directly with health care practitioners, providers and beneficiaries in collaboration with key partners and stakeholders to implement evidence-based practices and systems changes that improve the routine assessment of beneficiaries’ vaccination status; improve immunization rates – especially among minority and underserved populations; and increase the documentation of beneficiaries’ immunization status.
Among other activities, QIN-QIOs will develop Learning and Action Networks for stakeholders in their respective states/territories to educate participants on immunization best practices and share successes and lessons learned. They also will help physician practices capture data about immunizations that their patients receive in the community, record it in their electronic health record systems (EHRs), and report it to each state’s/territory’s immunization registry. QIN-QIOs will integrate the immunization project with their other quality improvement work.
By 2019, CMS aims to align with Healthy People 2020 goals by achieving national absolute immunization rates of 70 percent for influenza, 90 percent for pneumonia and 30 percent for zoster (shingles), as well as to reduce disparities among racial and ethnic minorities, rural Medicare beneficiaries and dual-eligible Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries. Additionally, CMS aims to provide one million previously unimmunized beneficiaries with pneumonia immunizations and to achieve an absolute rate of 90 percent for adult immunization status assessment, appropriate immunization or referral, and documentation of immunization status.
Following is a table showing the specific states in which QIN-QIOs will be conducting quality improvement activities under the contract: