SOURCE: Qsource


March 05, 2015 12:34 ET

Qsource and NSI Merge to Strengthen Care for Midwestern Patients With Renal Disease

MEMPHIS, TN --(Marketwired - March 05, 2015) - Qsource, a non-profit regional healthcare consultancy based in Memphis and operating throughout Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana, announced plans today to merge with Indianapolis-based Network Strategies & Innovations, Inc. (NSI) to advance quality of care for persons with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). The agreement expands Qsource's healthcare services portfolio and creates a new corporate infrastructure for NSI while retaining its name and recognition as a leader in ESRD care, performance management and patient-outcomes analysis.

For more than 40 years, Qsource has worked with government, public and private sector organizations to improve the quality, effectiveness and accessibility of healthcare services throughout the entire continuum of patient care and across all healthcare settings.

As a Quality Innovation Network - Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO), under contract to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Qsource works with healthcare providers, partners, stakeholders and healthcare consumers to ensure that quality care is delivered to Medicare beneficiaries. 

NSI focuses its healthcare quality improvement activities on chronic kidney disease, dialysis and kidney transplant care for persons with ESRD, and currently operates three of the nation's 18 ESRD Networks under their own contract with CMS. These networks are known throughout the region as The Renal Network (TRN) [Networks 9 & 10], which serves the states of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois, and Heartland Kidney Network (HKN) [Network 12], which serves Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Both The Renal Network and the Heartland Kidney Network place a high priority on patient-engagement. According to Susie Stark, chief executive officer of NSI, "active and informed patients lead to better treatment results. We have a variety of programs, including our Learning & Action Networks (LANs), where beneficiaries can provide input to help healthcare providers respond to the unique needs of renal disease patients, and can help identify the best ways to spread best practices or design and implement activities that promote improvements in patient health management."  

Working directly with healthcare providers, NSI monitors the quality and improvement of care ESRD patients receive, collects data to administer national Medicare ESRD programs, and provides technical assistance to providers caring for persons with ESRD, in addition to assisting ESRD patients with grievances.

Both ESRD Networks will maintain a local presence, with current staff continuing operations while utilizing the expanded resources and expertise provided by the Qsource merger.

According to Dawn FitzGerald, Qsource's chief executive officer, the affiliation provides an opportunity to improve patient care, while achieving economies of scale and eliminating duplicative time, resources and costs.

"NSI and Qsource have a steadfast commitment to strengthen patient care, and to continually identify barriers, break down silos, and invent and improve new models of care that are effective and cost-efficient," FitzGerald said. "Through this partnership, and with NSI's particular expertise in renal disease, we can expand our services to achieve targeted, patient-centered care for dialysis and transplant patients, and together identify ways to help prevent renal disease by looking upstream in chronic care delivery."

Qsource will support the three ESRD Networks by providing corporate support and consolidating operational and administrative functions for finance, human resources, information technology (IT), and procurement.

Under terms of the agreement, NSI and its three ESRD Networks will become an independent subsidiary of Qsource by the end of 2015.

Qsource is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) healthcare quality improvement and information technology consultancy headquartered in Tennessee since 1973. Qsource provides a wide range of services to assist organizations and providers in improving health, and improving healthcare quality and delivery with better patient outcomes and cost savings. Qsource corporate offices are located in Memphis, Tenn., with additional offices in Nashville, Tenn., Little Rock, Ark., Indianapolis, Ind., and in Louisville, Ky. For more information, please visit

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