Telligen and QPP: Here to stay

Monday, May 01, 2017 12:34 PM
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Providing quality improvement support to physicians

by Lyndsay Fluharty, MA, Senior Marketing and Communications Consultant, Telligen

Perhaps you’ve heard the name Telligen mentioned a few times over the past couple of years – at a conference, maybe a guest speaker for a Colorado Medical Society presentation, or possibly someone from Telligen stopped by your organization.

Telligen is a national health management solutions organization based in Des Moines, Iowa. In August 2014, Telligen acquired a majority of the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care’s (CFMC’s) health care quality improvement contracts with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (federal CMS). The integration brought together two organizations, both executing the health care quality improvement work as part of the federal CMS’ Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program. At the time of the union, the agency was also transitioning into a regional model for the QIO work, which now calls the multi-state model Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIO). Today, Telligen holds the QIN-QIO contract for Colorado, Iowa and Illinois, as well as other federal quality-improvement-related work in five other states.

As part of the QIN-QIO work, Telligen offers cost-free quality improvement assistance to health care providers by offering technical assistance, convening learning and action networks for sharing best practices, and collecting and analyzing data for improvement. By aligning statewide partners, Telligen supports ongoing health care initiatives to create a higher value health care system and better coordination of care. Since the beginning of the contract, Telligen has been working with clinicians and home health agencies to improve the cardiac health of Medicare beneficiaries; working with communities to provide diabetes self-management classes to rural and underserved populations, and partnering with pharmacies and nursing homes to decrease the use of unnecessary antipsychotic medications. As of last fall, Telligen began partnering with outpatient settings to create antibiotic stewardship programs to fight the spread of antibiotic resistance.

Quality Payment Program
A central element to Telligen’s work is the newly implemented Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP), which was passed in 2016 with bipartisan support and began in January of this year. The purpose of the QPP is to give clinicians the tools and resources they need to serve the more than 55 million Americans who receive health care through Medicare. The QPP is a shift to high-value, patient-centered care over volume. The program is designed to reimburse physicians and other eligible clinicians participating in Medicare Part B and provide them with the opportunity to earn payment incentives based on evidence-based and practice-specific quality data.

The QPP will reimburse physicians and other clinicians participating in Medicare and ultimately provide them with the opportunity to earn more by focusing on quality patient care. The details of the program are meticulous; therefore, the federal CMS has enlisted QIN-QIOs across the country to assist in the transition. Aspects of the QPP in which Telligen can provide support include: navigating the requirements of the incentive-based performance categories, assistance in the selection of applicable reporting measures, education on successful implementation of improvement activities, and the virtual availability of experts to provide tailored technical assistance.

There are many nuances to the QPP, thus making it feel like additional work. “The intent of the QPP is to release the reporting burden for practices. Since the program isn’t going away, our job is to provide technical assistance and set practices up for success,” said Courtnay Ryan, quality improvement facilitator at Telligen,

To streamline the process, Telligen has partnered with the Colorado Medical Society and other organizations across the state to create a top-notch coalition of QPP experts. “The Colorado QPP Coalition is an amazing group of people across the state, dedicated to making sure all Colorado practices succeed. We are very fortunate in Colorado – I’ve never been a part of such a truly collaborative effort,” Ryan said.

If you have additional questions about QPP, visit the Colorado QPP Coalition website at If you have questions about Telligen’s work or would like to partner with Telligen on their other quality improvement initiatives, visit The QPP is more than physician reimbursement — it is the future of our health care system. And for that reason, Telligen is here to stay.

Posted in: Colorado Medicine | Practice Management


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