New Executive VP on the “weird” association

When CEOs who are new to Washington State first come to a WSHA meeting or event, it’s not unusual for them to say, “This is kind of a weird association.” he weirdness they point to is that our members come together in true partnership to solve health care issues and lead transformation. They are surprised that even competitors are willing to share what they learn about improving patient safety, and to pull together to increase patients’ access to health insurance and mental health services. After they’ve been here about six months, “This is weird” turns into “This is the best association I’ve ever been a part of!”... Read More >>

Patient safety efforts have saved 87,000 lives from 2010-2014

Patient safety measures that reward hospitals for reducing preventable infections, pressure ulcers and adverse drug events have led to a 17 percent decline in patient harm in the last four years, according to a new study from the Department of Health and Human Services. This means 87,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and nearly $20 billion in health care costs have been saved, nationally.... Read More >>

Second ‘comfort home’ opens for military families at Madigan Army Medical Center

The Fisher House Foundation opened a new ‘comfort home’ Nov. 17 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) for families of Madigan Army Medical Center patients. The home is the second the foundation has donated to the medical center, and it will house 11 military families while their loved ones are hospitalized. The first house has operated at near maximum capacity for several years.... Read More >>

Group Health finds at-home kits boost colon cancer screenings

Group Health doctors recently reported that offering an in-home colon cancer screening kit makes patients more likely to get screened for the disease by offering an alternative to unpleasant colonoscopies. The kits allow patients to check their own stools for blood, alerting them to whether they need to visit their physician for further testing or treatment.... Read More >>

New HCA resources on Accountable Communities of Health: FAQ and conference calls

The state Health Care Authority (HCA) released a new Frequently Asked Questions document and announced monthly conference calls to answer questions and provide general updates on the Accountable Communities of Health (ACHs).... Read More >>

WSHA Provides Reports and Analyses of Medicare Outpatient Rule to Hospitals

On November 20, WSHA provided hospitals with an analysis of the Calendar Year 2016 Medicare outpatient prospective payment system final rule. WSHA also provided facility-specific impact reports to hospital Chief Financial Officers. The new payment rates include a 2.1 percent market basket increase that is offset by an ACA-mandated reduction of 0.7 percent and an additional adjustment reduction of 2 percent due to lab services that should have been bundled being paid separately in error. ... Read More >>

Insurance Commissioner Plans Balance Billing Legislation

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler plans to submit proposed legislation in the upcoming 2016 session to limit balance billing of patients for out-of-network emergency services when a patient receives care at a facility contracted as in-network with their health plan.... Read More >>

HCA Incorporates WSHA Comments into Final Rule for Early Obstetrical Deliveries

The final rule for payment of early obstetrical deliveries adopted by the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) includes protections requested by WSHA for patients and providers. The rule is intended to deny Medicaid payment for early elective deliveries. The final rule allows payment for deliveries prior to 39 weeks if the early delivery is medically necessary.... Read More >>

Health Care Authority to Adjust November 1 Rate Cut for PPS Hospitals

On November 1, the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) reduced inpatient and outpatient hospital payments to prospective payment hospitals by 8 percent in order to apply budget neutrality adjustments due to the recent rebasing of the payment systems. In response to this significant change in Medicaid rates, WSHA requested HCA and its consultant, Navigant, review the calculations and provide WSHA with data sets to enable an independent analysis.... Read More >>

March of Dimes names state’s top nurses of 2015

The March of Dimes, nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, held its 12th annual Washington Nurse of the Year Awards November 20, recognizing the state’s top nurses in 19 categories for their work setting the standards of outstanding patient care.... Read More >>

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