CMS’ Annual Report Highlights QIN-QIOs’ contributions to national health quality improvement for Medicare beneficiaries

MemphisAtom Alliance, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, is featured in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) newly released 2016 QIO Program Progress Report. Atom Alliance, facilitated by Qsource, a Tennessee-based regional healthcare consultancy, is one of 14 QIN-QIOs that contributed to the Program’s success in improving the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries throughout the United States.

The annual QIO Program Progress Report highlights how QIN-QIOs nationwide are bringing together local providers, partners and other stakeholders to achieve bold goals in healthcare quality improvement. It includes findings from the third year of the Program’s five-year performance period and features recent success stories from around the country, data-driven results from QIN-QIOs and Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care (BFCC)-QIOs, and top takeaways from the 2016 CMS Quality Conference.

“2016 was an outstanding year for both QIN-QIOs and BFCC-QIOs. QIN-QIOs were especially successful in achieving impactful results in the areas of care coordination, diabetes care and nursing home care,” said Dennis Wagner, Director of the Quality Improvement and Innovation Group (QIIG) within CMS’ Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. “QIN-QIOs’ work contributed to more than 24,300 hospital readmissions avoided, more than 27,800 beneficiaries educated in diabetes self-management, and a 21 percent reduction in inappropriate antipsychotic medication usage at nursing homes throughout the United States. Together, QIN-QIOs and BFCC-QIOs helped improve the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of care provided to our nation’s Medicare beneficiaries.”

One example highlighted in the national report’s “Snapshots of Success” section features atom Alliance’s successful quality improvement activities to combat the region’s diabetes epidemic. The five states that atom Alliance serves, [AL, IN, KY, MS, TN], fall within the 15-state “Diabetes Belt”, an area made up primarily of southeastern states identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes has alarmingly outpaced the national average of approximately 8.5 percent.

The QIN-QIOs help improve diabetes outcomes through a two-pronged diabetes self-management education (DSME) program: assisting healthcare providers in better understanding their patient populations and offering patients community-based DSME classes. To date, atom Alliance has helped more than 2,200 Medicare beneficiaries graduate the program and trained an additional 116 community DSME educators since 2015 to sustain and spread the program’s positive impact.

It’s an impressive milestone toward an enormous end-goal, according to Cori Grant, Qsource’s vice president of operations and director of the QIN Program for atom Alliance. “We’re working to reduce the burden of diabetes on our health, our communities and our healthcare system,” Grant said. “We know that diabetes can lead to kidney failure, heart failure, stroke, blindness, amputations, and many other painful, ongoing chronic conditions. We want to share what we’ve learned about identifying prediabetes risks, making smart daily choices and controlling diagnosed diabetes.”

The QIO Program Progress Report is available online at A printable PDF version is also available for download from that site.




About Qsource
Qsource is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) healthcare consultancy headquartered in Tennessee and serving 11 states. Qsource provides a wide range of expert services to assist organizations and providers in improving healthcare quality and delivery with better patient outcomes and cost savings. For more information, please visit

About atom Alliance
atom Alliance is a five-year, five-state initiative to ignite powerful and sustainable change in healthcare quality. Facilitated by Qsource, atom Alliance is working under contract to THE CENTERS for MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES (CMS) to improve quality and achieve better outcomes in health and lower costs in healthcare. Through atom Alliance, AQAF in Alabama, IQH in Mississippi and Qsource in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee are carrying out an exciting strategic plan, with programs in place to convene, teach and inform healthcare providers, engage and empower patients, and inspire, share knowledge and spread best practices with communities across the healthcare continuum.