(301) 657-9883
Econometrica Announces New Health Director

Econometrica Announces New Health Director

BETHESDA, MD – Econometrica is pleased to announce the promotion of Kristie McNealy to Health Director. Dr. McNealy joined Econometrica in 2013 and has exceled as a qualitative research and evaluation expert, project manager, and business development lead. She has 20 years of experience in research, clinical medicine, quality measure development, program evaluation and monitoring, and project management in a variety of healthcare fields.

As a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), Dr. McNealy has worked on multiple programs related to improving and measuring the quality of care, including directing the development and testing of quality measures for the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), and has worked on contracts related to several Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) models, including Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Advanced, BPCI Model I, the Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP), Million Hearts, and Partnership for Patients (PfP), in roles including program evaluation, monitoring, and quality measurement strategy. She also has expertise in a variety of qualitative research techniques, including conducting structured telephone interviews and site visits and coding and content analysis.

Dr. McNealy takes over for Monique Sheppard, who has guided the Health Group for the last 10 years. Dr. Sheppard is moving into a company-wide business development role, where she will oversee several cross-group development projects, including promoting our joint venture, TAG Research LLC, and meeting with our clients and partners to market our ever-growing technical capabilities.

Dr. Sheppard is an epidemiologist and biostatistician with more than 28 years of experience in quantitative evaluation, data collection and analysis, national survey and evaluation projects, measure development, policy analysis, learning solutions, technical assistance and training, and rapid-cycle evaluation. She provides subject matter expertise and leadership guidance on projects for a variety of Federal and non-Federal clients. Her research has appeared in numerous publications, including the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, American Journal of Health Education, and the Journal of Safety Research.

About Econometrica:

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

As a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), Dr. McNealy has worked on multiple programs related to improving and measuring the quality of care. She also has expertise in a variety of qualitative research techniques, including conducting structured telephone interviews and site visits and coding and content analysis.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

CMS Releases New Course for SNF Providers

CMS Releases New Course for SNF Providers

CMS SNF CourseBETHESDA, MD – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new web-based training course that provides an overview of the assessment and coding the items in Section K related to height, weight, and nutritional approaches for skilled nursing facility residents. The on-demand, 30-minute course includes interactive exercises to test skilled nursing facility providers’ knowledge related to the assessment and coding of K0200: Height and Weight and K0510: Nutritional Approaches.

The new training was developed as part of the Post-Acute Care (PAC) Training contract, which assesses training needs, develops training materials, delivers training to providers and stakeholders, and evaluates the outcome of the trainings for changes and clarification needed due to the passing of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act). The primary goal of the project is to deliver relevant, accurate, and engaging training to assist providers in complying with coding and data submission requirements associated with quality reporting programs (QRPs) for the skilled nursing facility, long-term care hospital, inpatient rehabilitation facility, home health agency, and hospice care settings..

The latest training can be found through the CMS’ skilled nursing facility QRP training web page.

If you have questions about accessing the course or feedback regarding the training, please email the PAC Training mailbox at PACTraining@EconometricaInc.com. Content-related questions should be submitted to the SNF QRP Help Desk at SNFQualityQuestions@cms.hhs.gov.

About Econometrica:

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

The new training was developed as part of the Post-Acute Care (PAC) Training contract, which assesses training needs, develops training materials, delivers training to providers and stakeholders, and evaluates the outcome of the trainings for changes and clarification needed due to the passing of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act).

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

Econometrica’s Health Group Expands Clinical Expertise

Econometrica’s Health Group Expands Clinical Expertise

BETHESDA, MD – Econometrica’s Health Group has further expanded its knowledge base and team of clinical experts. Through our recruiting and continuing education initiatives, our team stands ready to offer a wide range of expertise to organizations and agencies in the public and private sectors.

Health Group staff members understand medical coding related to Current Procedural Technology (CPT); the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM); and the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), Level II, which are the three main code sets used to bill Medicare claims. Our staff members can identify the purpose and applicability of these code sets and explain how to use each one when assigning diagnoses and coding procedures across a wide variety of patient services in various settings.

Accurately coding patient services is critical to ensuring the best quality and efficacy of care for all Medicare beneficiaries. Econometrica staff members can support the understanding and accurate application of ICD-10-CM coding guidelines. We can describe the major features of the codes that are part of Level II HCPCS and identify and explain the information contained in the appendixes of the CPT code set. Econometrica has further experience with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Evaluation and Management (E/M) Services Guide, and our staff members can clarify the determination of E/M services levels. We are experienced in the practical application of coding operative reports and E/M services.

For example, Econometrica staff works to inform our Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Advanced project participants about how codes work for the quality measure documentation, ensuring we are comprehensive in our methodology and instructions to registries.

Our Health Group is well equipped to assist organizations supporting Medicare beneficiaries with a wide range of expertise among our staff members. To learn more about the Health Group and our services, clients, and capabilities, visit the Health Group page on the Econometrica website.

About Econometrica:

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

 

Our Health Group is well equipped to assist organizations supporting Medicare beneficiaries with a wide range of expertise among our staff members.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

AHRQ’s MEPS-HC Health Policy Booklet Abstraction Tool Wins Prestige

AHRQ’s MEPS-HC Health Policy Booklet Abstraction Tool Wins Prestige

BETHESDA, MD – An Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) project on which Econometrica played a key role won an award for developing “an efficient data abstraction tool and the support of well-trained, highly skilled abstractors.”

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC) Health Policy Booklet Abstraction project, on which Econometrica served as a subcontractor to SoftDev, won recognition in the 7th Annual FedHealthIT Innovation Awards. The awards recognize and honor innovation and results in the Federal health technology and consulting community that benefits the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Military Health System, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The MEPS-HC project involved the creation of an abstraction tool for use in extracting cost-sharing data elements from Summaries of Benefits and Coverage and other health insurance policy documents for private, Medicare, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage plans. Econometrica was responsible for training, implementing, and ensuring the quality of the data abstraction process using the abstraction tool developed by the team. The abstracted data will be compiled into a public-use database with individual-level cost-sharing data that links to the MEPS-HC data for use in research and consumption by a variety of stakeholders as well as the public.

“This represents the development of an efficient data abstraction tool and the support of well-trained, highly skilled abstractors to produce a robust, accurate and actionable data source for AHRQ’s use,” according to FedHealthIT.

The tool “modernized AHRQ’s available toolset by harnessing cognitive services in a way not previously used.” FedHealthIT also noted that “the solution strikes a smart balance between automation and human intelligence to best interpret artifacts, empowering AHRQ to leap forward after a twenty year wait for the critical information locked within the [health policy booklet] documents.”

AHRQ and the project and MEPS team will be recognized at a virtual ceremony June 22 and 23, 2021. Award winners were nominated and selected by a panel that included current and former Federal health leaders across Government and industry. More about the awards and other winners can be found at https://www.fedhealthit.com/2021/05/2021-fedhealthit-innovation-award-winners-announced/.

About Econometrica:

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC) Health Policy Booklet Abstraction project, on which Econometrica served as a subcontractor to SoftDev, won recognition in the 7th Annual FedHealthIT Innovation Awards.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

Healthy Eating and Kids: A Q&A With a Pediatrics Registered Dietitian

Healthy Eating and Kids: A Q&A With a Pediatrics Registered Dietitian

BETHESDA, MD – To celebrate today’s Tasty Tuesday for Every Kid Healthy Week, we interviewed a pediatric Registered Dietitian. Carol
Henderson,
a member of Econometrica’s Health Group, is a pediatrics Registered Dietitian who has worked with children and teens and their families for dozens of years. In particular, she worked with infants and children with feeding and growth issues and children diagnosed with chronic conditions and diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes, juvenile arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, and severe food allergies.

Interviewer: I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about what it is like working as a pediatric dietitian and what you want to accomplish when working with children and their families?

Carol: The primary goal when working as a dietitian with pediatric patients who are sick is to ensure adequate, proportional growth throughout childhood. Some children need to grow bigger and become stronger and some need to minimize their growth over time. Pediatric dietitians also evaluate a child’s activity level, daily schedule, parent/caregiver roles, timing of meals and mealtime environment, food availability, meal preparation, and sleep patterns to gauge an individual’s nutritional needs. These actions align with each of the daily themes we are celebrating during Every Kid Healthy Week:

  • Mindfulness Monday. Preparing healthy meals for a family is an investment that not only requires time, commitment, but also a state of mindfulness—a sense of calm that is needed to prepare meals, even during chaotic family times. Taking time out once a week to inventory foods on hand and create a shopping list may make it easier to put meals on the table.
  • Tasty Tuesday. Today, which is Nutrition and Healthy Eating day, is a good time to assess the nutritional quality of the snacks your child/children are eating and how often they snack throughout the day. It is important to develop healthy feeding habits (have set times for meal and snack intervals—especially for young children) so they can achieve their nutritional intake goals every day.
  • Earth Day Wellness Wednesday. Have you every quizzed your child to see where they think different food ingredients come from? This activity can turn into a project. You can select an ingredient in a dish you are preparing and ask if it comes from an animal, plant, or is it a mineral and go from there!
  • Thoughtful Thursday. Kids react to their environment and learn from others. Therefore, creating a pleasant environment where your child can sit and eat meals at regular intervals and interact with other family members contributes to their social and physical well-being.
  • Fitness Friday. Kids wiggle, squirm, run, and love to play—all things that contribute to their development. It is your job as parents/caregivers to find outlets for children to keep them active.

Interviewer: How did you pick dietetics as a profession? 

Carol: Dietetics found me! I was going to become a high school chemistry teacher. In college, I conducted my junior year teaching practicum in a local high school. A small group of students in one chemistry class thought it would be hilarious to capitalize on my untested teaching skills, so they combined all the reagents (acids and bases) that lined the lab benches and blew up the chem lab. Everyone evacuated safely and I stood in the middle of the chem lab while the sprinklers were raining down on me and said, “I don’t ever want to be a chemistry teacher!” Because chemistry is such an integral part of food science and dietetics, I found a new calling.

Interviewer: There are so many different paths you could have undertaken with a dietetics degree, why pediatrics?

Carol: My oldest sister had just completed medical school and she received her residency “match” at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. At the same time, I completed my Dietetic Internship at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, so we moved in together. A dietitian position opened at Cincinnati Children’s and I became one of two dietitians for a 750-bed hospital. That would not happen today. Nowadays, a children’s hospital of the same size would have more than 35 dietetic staff members. It has been a great blessing to have worked with children, teens, and their families as a pediatric dietitian and patient advocate for many decades.

Interviewer: Carol, do you have any parting thoughts you would like to share today?

Carol: The greatest gift I have received from working as a pediatric dietitian is the importance of play. Play consumes all children. I think as adults we should consume more play in our lives!

Interview edited for length and clarity. Thanks to Emma Wellington for conducting this interview. 

About Econometrica:

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

 

Preparing healthy meals for a family is an investment that not only requires time, commitment, but also a state of mindfulness—a sense of calm that is needed to prepare meals, even during chaotic family times.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield