A New Era for Care Of Mental Health Patients

Next Sunday is the solstice, the shortest, darkest day of the year. It is perhaps fitting that a few days after that, December 26, will mark when the Supreme Court’s decision on psychiatric boarding and the use of single bed certifications takes full effect. This will also hopefully mark the beginning of a period of... Read More >>

Grateful for Good Leadership

Next week, the WSHA Board of Trustees will be having its final meeting of the year. There might be holiday ornaments on the walls, but it’s a workhorse of a meeting agenda, filled with topics critical to the future of WSHA and the future of health care in our state. In planning for the meeting, it... Read More >>

HCA Revises Reporting to Enable Additional Medicare DSH Payments

The Health Care Authority (HCA) has completed changes that should help many hospitals obtain significant additional Medicare disproportionate share hospital funding. WSHA became aware that HCA’s process for counting and reporting Medicaid days for the period from January 1, 2011 through December 2013 did not include days for patients covered by Basic Health and Disability Lifeline... Read More >>

A Letter of Thanks

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season and the end of another year. I always look forward to this opportunity to pause and reflect. Those of us who work in health care are very lucky. Our work makes a material impact on people’s lives every single day. We get to see miracles. As health... Read More >>

On Successful Partnerships

On Monday, the state Department of Health announced that eight hospitals in our state have committed to providing treatment to a patient with Ebola, should the need arise. While all health facilities are screening patients, actually treating Ebola is a bigger challenge that requires weeks of preparation. On Tuesday, Ebola was also the topic of... Read More >>

Exchange Outreach and Enrollment: Are You Ready?

The second open enrollment period for the Washington Health Plan Finder ran from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. This webcast covered the success of the first open enrollment period in 2013-2014, and some important changes for this open enrollment period.... Read More >>

Hospital Engagement with State Transformation

The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) is moving forward with its plans to transform the health care system. The agency recently issued a grant opportunity to establish ten communities of health in the state. Now is the time for hospital leaders to make sure they are appropriately represented in the governance structures of these newly created organizations. ... Read More >>

Veterans: Serving Country, Serving Patients

Veterans Day is an important opportunity to recognize the veterans who have served our country so well. Too often, these proud men and women are coming back to a civilian economy that doesn’t allow for an easy transfer of their skills and experience. Also, many employers have fears and prejudice about military life. The AHA... Read More >>

WSHA Responds to HCA Hospital-Based Clinic Cut Proposal

As part of the process to develop a budget proposal for the upcoming biennium (State Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017), the Health Care Authority’s (HCA’s) recommendations to the Governor included a cut to the Medicaid payment rates for hospital-based clinics of $42 million over the two-year period. (See a hospital-specific estimate of the impact of this cut.) While we... Read More >>

Expanding Access to Health Care: The Time is Now

An interesting article in Forbes talks about a recent McKinsey study looking into the effects of the ACA. The headline: competition and choice are increasing for consumers, and premium rate increases are slowing down. This is big news, and good news. This time two years ago, Washington State had about 1 in 7 residents without health... Read More >>

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