(301) 657-9883

January is National Poverty in America Awareness Month

January is National Poverty in America Awareness Month, which aims to call attention to the growth of poverty in America. The COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated the issue for families and communities nationwide.

Poverty is a complex social issue; it can manifest in hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, disabilities, and social discrimination and exclusion, among other ways. People living in poverty having an increased risk of chronic conditions, lower life expectancy, and barriers to receiving quality healthcare.

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of Minority Health (OMH), 37.2 million Americans live in poverty, which is an increase of 3.3 million people since 2019. OMH also notes that in 2020, racial and ethnic minorities continued to be disproportionately affected by poverty, with the rates of poverty among Black (19.5%) and Hispanic (17%) Americans more than twice that of White Americans (8.2%).

CMS offers a number of resources to help  learn how to access health coverage, manage health care costs, and fully utilize benefits. For more information, visit https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/OMH/equity-initiatives/health-observances.

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities also provides resources to combat poverty.

CMMI Charts Fresh Course for Next 10 Years

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) outlined its goals to improve and expand healthcare delivery in Federal programs over the next 10 years in a new white paper released October 20.

The Innovation Center Strategy Refresh aims to bring “describes the Innovation Center’s refreshed vision and strategy and provides examples of approaches and efforts under consideration.” CMMI’s strategy includes five main objectives:

  • Drive accountable care: Increase the number of people in a care relationship with accountability for quality and total cost of care.
  • Advance healthy equity: Embed health equity in every aspect of CMMI’s models and increase focus on underserved populations.
  • Support care innovations: Leverage a range of supports that enable integrated, person-centered care.
  • Improve access by addressing affordability: Pursue strategies to address healthcare prices, affordability, and reduce unnecessary or duplicative care.
  • Partner to achieve system transformation: Align priorities and policies across the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and aggressively engage payers, purchasers states, and beneficiaries to improve quality, to achieve equitable outcomes, and to reduce healthcare costs.

CMMI's 5 Strategic Objectives for Advancing System Tranformation

Source: Innovation Center Strategy Refresh.

The refresh comes as CMMI enters its second decade after being created in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act. The Innovation Center launched more than 50 models in its first decade aimed at transitioning the U.S. health system to value-based care.

More information can be found here.

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