PEHTI Bulletin – January 2014

Dear PEHTI colleagues,

We thank you for your continuing commitment to the goals of PEHTI, i.e. to make HIV screening commonly available in conjunction with other routine screenings. Since March 2013, the PA Department of Health (PA DOH) contract with the Penn State College of Medicine (PSCOM) has been undergoing revisions which unfortunately impacted project operations. PEHTI is emerging from the challenging transition with even greater dedication to the initiative’s purpose which will guide the continuing collaboration between PA DOH and PSCOM under the framework of a multi-institutional Main Collaboration Center. Thank you for your patience.

In an effort to mitigate the impact of the above-referenced  transition and to ensure that the initiative emerges from the transition even stronger, an integrated PA DOH – PSCOM collaboration team has transitioned into a multi-institutional Main Collaboration Center which has been established to enable the team to more closely coordinate major technical improvements that are required of PA DOH as a condition of continued CDC funding. To advance this process, the PA DOH has increased engagement with PEHTI sites [to brief PEHTI sites on the ongoing deployment of the Critical Phase Interventions (CPI) exchange, protocols and point-of-care software for service monitoring, which is being rolled out to facilitate a major  improvement of the tracking of referrals to  prevention/care for newly-diagnosed persons.]

*In addition to the all-sites email sent on June 7, 2013, a summary of new directions was summarized along with other developments in the PEHTI Bulletins published bimonthly/every 2 months. The purpose of the bulletin is to advance closer engagement with PEHTI sites on major developments referenced above (which will continue to be covered in a series of  upcoming bimonthly webinars to be announced).
Below is a list of what’s covered in this month’s Bulletin:
In this issue ….
1. Updated PEHTI Contact Info, New Web Form and Project Team
2. Change of Data Submission Methods
3. Request for: a) Updates of PEHTI Site Point-of-Contact, and b) Site Scale-Up Pre-Qualification Info (which serves as a letter of interest in scale-up to true opt-out HIV screening)
4. USPSTF Grade A Recommendations for Opt-out Screening in Healthcare Settings
5. Imperative for Scale-up to True Opt-Out Screening Using EHPS Protocols
6. Health Insurance Billing Codes and Related Issues
7. New Project Sites Map
8. Featured Analyses/Studies of Relevance
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1. Updated PEHTI Contact Info, New Web Form and Project Team.
PLEASE NOTE that the PEHTI contact information has changed as reflected on the web site. The project team is also evolving with changing technical support priorities!
-NEW PEHTI CONTACT INFO & WEB FORM: For all communications with PEHTI, including testing supplies and any other help requests,  please  complete and submit your requests/communications with PEHTI through the PEHTI-CPI online help desk forms (if not already registered, registration is required to login). This facilitates proper documentation and follow-up of requests in the order in which they are received or by appropriate priority, and enables the project team to track and improve the quality and timeliness of technical support.
*PLEASE NOTE: To ensure that we can respond to your requests in a timely manner, please discontinue sending PEHTI business emails to Mary-Catherine Hess, Erica Carpenter or Staff of Orasure Technologies (unless your site is doing direct purchases of Orasure supplies, PEHTI-procured Orasure testing supplies must be ordered through PEHTI by submitting a request through the PEHTI-CPI online help desk forms (if not already registered, registration is required to login). The ‘old’ PEHTI web form on the PEHTI web site should no longer be used by existing/continuing/active sites, except for new site inquiries.
*IF YOU HAVE SUBMITTED REQUESTS TO PEHTI THAT ARE PENDING FULFILMENT: For sites which have responded to our recent communications and/or submitted requests for various support items, we have sent supplies and are still in the process of sending further responses to ourstanding requests. If you have not received any feedback by September 30, 2013, please resubmit your request through the PEHTI-CPI online help desk forms (if not already registered, registration is required to login). The PEHTI web contact form which is the PEHTI web site should no longer be used by existing/continuing/active sites to communicate with PEHTI, and should only be used for new site inquiries.
-PEHTI PROJECT TEAM: The project team is evolving as implementation matures; accordingly, the focus/priorities and project capacity are transitioning to technical support for: a) scale-up of site operations to truly routine opt-out HIV screening through EHPS protocols including more secure data submission, b) USPSTF grade A recommendations on opt-out screening (& the implications for insurance reimbursement/billing), and c) Critical Phase Interventions (CPI) focus areas of referral tracking, and linkage to and retention in prevention/care.
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2. Change of Data Submission Methods
-As announced in our June 2013 email communications to all sites, and these PEHTI bulletins, PEHTI is continuing to roll out new   simplified requirements for secure/encrypted data submission:
-Transitioning from data capture and submission using flash drives to a new method of direct data capture through PEHTI-provided point-of-care software and encrypted submission to a more secure PA Dept of Health site-specific location (in compliance with CDC data security and confidentiality requirements, data submission via encrypted flash drive or email is no longer permitted and has been discontinued; if unsure how to proceed, please submit an inquiry through the PEHTI-CPI online help desk forms (if not already registered, registration is required to login);
-The change in data submission methods is being rolled out in conjunction with a requirement for use of PEHTI-provided point-of-care software for immediate submission of reactive test results to facilitate real-time tracking of referrals to prevention/care (non-reactive/negative test results remain on your system in the new submission software and are still submitted once a month);
* NEXT STEPS ON THIS ISSUE:
-We are in the process of following up with your respective sites to effect this transition;
-If your site has not yet been transitioned, please continue to collect and store data using the current methods for data capture for submission to PA DOH that you have been using  (including data for the past few months) until your site is provided with a new flash drive (to replace a previous recalled batch) or a web-link to download PEHTI-provided point-of-care software to be used; if unsure how to proceed please submit an inquiry through the PEHTI-CPI online help desk forms (Data submission via encrypted flash drives or email is no longer permitted).
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3. Request for: a) Updates of PEHTI Site Point-of-Contact, and b) Site Scale-Up Pre-Qualification Info (which serves as a letter of interest in scale-up to true opt-out HIV screening):
-Due to difficulties reaching some sites, changes in contact persons and patient attendance at various clinics, and the need to scale-up to true opt-out testing, continuing sites will be requested to complete and submit the continuing site re-qualification form (if not already done) for the purpose of obtaining information on current point-of-contact for day-to-day communication and continuing site readiness/ability to scale-up to true opt-out screening (incl. use of EHPS protocols to continue as a PEHTI level 1-stage 2 continuing implementation partner);
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4. USPSTF Grade A Recommendations for Opt-out Screening in Healthcare Settings
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Please check the PEHTI web site for recent announcement of a ‘USPSTF Grade A Recommendation for Opt-Out Testing in Healthcare Settings
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5. Imperative for Scale-up to True Opt-Out Screening Using EHPS Protocols:
-Due to scale-up difficulties for some sites/need to scale-up to true opt-out testing, our most recent June 2013 email communications to all sites requested completion and submission of the attached continuing site re-qualification form for the purpose of obtaining information on existing site readiness/ability to scale-up to true opt-out screening (i.e. continue as a PEHTI level 1-stage 2 continuing implementation partner);
* NEXT STEPS:
-SCALE-UP TO TRUE OPT-OUT SCREENING THROUGH USE OF EHPS PROTOCOLS: We will be continuing to work with sites on this issue including providing technical support for adaptation of a generic site workplan towards a custom site-specific workplan for achieving bechmarks for opt-out screening in healthcare settings;
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6. Insurance Billing Coding Guidance and Related Issues
-Please check the PEHTI web site for the latest information on the recent announcement of a ‘USPSTF Grade A Recommendation for Opt-Out Testing in Healthcare Settings‘ (see quick links) and PEHTI guidance and technical support on health insurance coverage and/or reimbursement/billing (if fee-for-service) for routine HIV screening in healthcare settings, where applicable (i.e. incl. managed care documentation of fulfillment of standard-of-care for preventive services and billing codes for services provided under fee-for-service health insurance).
* NEXT STEPS ON THIS ISSUE:
-We will be working with sites on this issue including a workplan towards achieving bechmarks for billing;
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7. New Map of Project Sites:
-A new map of continuing project sites has been posted on the PEHTI web site. We thank all PEHTI sites for your enthusiasm and collective effort which continues to make PEHTI grow!!
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8. Featured Analyses/Studies of Relevance:
-Confidential site-specific performance charts for each site can be viewed by registered staff of the site by logging in to the PEHTI-CPI online help desk and accessing the pre-/re-qualification form, ‘peformance tab’ ;
-All other public aggregate presentations of PEHTI analyses are posted at this section of the project web site ;
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