Kelsey Jones

Kelsey Jones advises clients on quality improvement programs, implementation science, and evidence generation and communication activities.

She supports clients in identifying opportunities to engage with healthcare stakeholders and generate new evidence to demonstrate the value of products and services, as well as inform clients' organizational strategy. She has experience developing and validating quality measures (including electronic clinical quality measures), implementing performance improvement activities, collecting and analyzing prospective and retrospective data for novel analyses, creating educational materials, establishing Learning Collaboratives, and disseminating and publishing findings. Kelsey has special expertise in translating evidence into quality and value messages and integrating the patient voice into product development and outcomes research.

Prior to joining Avalere, Kelsey interned at the Greater New York Hospital Association and served as a Roosevelt Scholars Teaching Assistant at the Roosevelt Institute.

Kelsey holds an MPA in policy analysis from the University of Georgia and a BA in international affairs.

Authored Content

The CDC recommends HBV vaccinations for persons with a history of current or recent injection drug use, but uptake remains low. Avalere research shows an opportunity to leverage alternative care settings to address the growing rates of HBV infection.

Join us for a live conversation exploring actionable strategies for driving greater vaccine access and adoption.

In the recently released Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed rule for the CY 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, CMS proposed to include an Avalere-submitted malnutrition-focused improvement activity (IA) in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

As one of the most common chronic conditions in the US—affecting approximately 10.5% of the US population and growing—diabetes (and the optimal management of this condition) remain a persistent healthcare challenge.1

Immunization Information Systems (IIS), or immunization registries, are used across the US to provide consolidated and complete accounts of patient immunization history in a given city, state, or region.

Avalere was pleased to partner with the nutrition community to develop and test the Global Malnutrition Composite Score, which has now received conditional support from the Measure Applications Partnership (MAP)—pending endorsement by the National Quality Forum (NQF)—for inclusion in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted seniors nationwide, with this population at an increased risk of hospitalization or death following a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) rates have grown substantially over the years and have placed a significant burden on the US healthcare system. While prevention efforts continue to advance, including the availability of screening tools and early prevention therapies, systemic disparities still preclude equitable access to preventive services. These will need to be addressed as a key component of strengthening patient access to preventive care and lowering the incidence of disease.

As the pipeline of novel vaccines expands, so does the pipeline for other “vaccine-like” products.

Avalere conducted a national survey of more than 200 independent primary care providers concerning the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their ability to support continued vaccination programs for patients. Over 90% of respondents indicated the COVID-19 pandemic has increased operating costs and led to revenue loss. Eighty-two percent indicated that an increase in vaccine administration fees would aid sites in overcoming barriers arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and 75% expressed interest in implementing new care delivery arrangements to facilitate immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposed CY 2020 MPFS rule includes provisions that, if finalized, would increase provider reimbursement for vaccine administration. However, the proposed crosswalk of the codes to a separate, nonvaccine related code could subject the code to future unrelated payment fluctuations.

On March 25, the British Medical Journal Open Quality published an article, “Impact of an Interdisciplinary Malnutrition Quality Improvement Project at a Large Metropolitan Hospital,” co-authored by Kelsey Jones and Kristi Mitchell.

Avalere’s efforts to advance the national Malnutrition Quality Improvement Initiative featured in newly published supplement of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Over the past several years, Avalere has collaborated with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to establish and support the Malnutrition Quality Improvement Initiative (MQii).

Although malnutrition can lead to greater risk of chronic disease, frailty, and disability, and increases healthcare costs, patients’ nutrition status is rarely evaluated and managed as they transition across care settings.

Avalere experts discuss the need for unique stakeholder collaborations to facilitate success in the transition to a value-based care system.

In the final episode of our podcast series for Malnutrition Awareness Week™, Avalere's Kristi Mitchell is joined by Bob Blancato to talk about the growing crisis of malnutrition care and its impact on older adults. Bob is the president of Matz, Blancato, and Associates, the national coordinator of the bipartisan 3000-member Elder Justice Coalition, and the executive director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs.

Avalere's Angel Valladares is joined by Dr. Ken Nepple in episode 4 of our maltnutrition podcast series discussing the implementation of eMeasures. Dr. Nepple is an associate professor in the Department of Urology at the University of Iowa Health System with great professional interest in nutrition care. He has led the MQii project at his facility as a measure testing site and participated in the hospital learning collaborative piloting the standardized toolkit.

New quality measures to address malnutrition among hospitalized older adults are now being evaluated by the National Quality Forum (NQF) for endorsement, and by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for inclusion in their Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program.

In epidode 3 of our malnutrition podcast series, Avalere's Kelsey Jones is joined Dr. Karim Godamunne, Chief Medical Officer, North Fulton Hospital and member of the MQii Advisory Committee, sharing why a multi-disciplinary approach, high-quality measures, good data, and patient engagement are all needed to advance malnutrition care.

For Malnutrition Awareness WeekTM, Avalere will be releasing a series of podcasts focused on new tools developed by the Malnutrition Quality Improvement Initiative (MQii)—a collaboration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Avalere Health, and other organizations dedicated to improving nutrition care. Listen to episode 1 featuring Dr. Alison Steiber, chief science officer at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Dr. Beverly Hernandez, the director of clinical nutrition at Tampa General Hospital.

Avalere and Mental Health America (MHA) developed a white paper to describe the current state of quality of care for individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD), provide an evidence-based assessment of challenges, and highlight potential opportunities for quality improvement.

Despite evidence demonstrating the benefits of optimal nutrition for healing and recovery, practice variation continues in hospitals for nutrition screening, assessment, diagnosis, and overall treatment and management of malnourished adults ages 65 and older. In response, Avalere launched the Malnutrition Quality Improvement Initiative (MQII) to support the delivery of high-quality care for older adults. The MQII not only aims to support the use of timely best practices for malnutrition care in the hospital setting but may also reduce costs associated with poor patient outcomes.

Despite its notable negative impact on patient outcomes and costs of care, malnutrition is an area that has largely remained unaddressed by national programs and initiatives.

Malnutrition is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, especially among the elderly.