HCAHPS Star Rating Added to Hospital Compare

On April 16, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rolled out a new “star rating” on its hospital compare website, starting with ratings for Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). Hospitals will receive one to five stars for their scores on the HCAHPS patient experience survey, with five stars being... Read More >>

Weekly Report for April 16, 2015 – Washington Hospitals Services Growing to Serve You

Guest Message from Tom Evert, President of Washington Hospital Services and CFO of WSHA For thirty years, Washington Hospital Services has given WSHA members a place to pursue projects and services that fall outside of the association’s charter. For much of that time, WHS administered worker’s compensation and unemployment claims management services. In the last few... Read More >>


Telemedicine Although you might have already seen it in “Weekly Report,” we are thrilled to share with you that our telemedicine bill passed the House last week and is on its way to the Governor’s desk. The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate and by a huge majority in the House. As Scott Bond... Read More >>

CMS Publishes Approach to Limit Disruption to Physician Payments

The temporary patch to the federal “Sustainable Growth Rate” formula expired March 31, creating a 21 percent reduction to Medicare physician payments. A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, which would prevent the cuts, may be considered by the Senate when it returns April 13. If passed, it could be applied retroactively to April 1. ... Read More >>

Telemedicine passes both Houses: Huge win for patients

Legislation makes it easier to bring specialists face-to-face with patients April 9, 2015, SEATTLE, Wash. — On Wednesday, the House overwhelmingly passed SB 5175, the telemedicine bill. Once signed into law by the Governor, this legislation will ensure that if an insurance plan covers a health service when it’s provided in-person, the same service will... Read More >>

Action Needed: H.R. 2 – Please Contact Your Federal Congressional Delegation

To: CEOs and Government Affairs Representatives From:  Cassie Sauer, Senior Vice President; Chelene Whiteaker, Policy Director; John Flink, OAHHS-WSHA Federal Lobbyist Action Needed:  Based on an impending vote early next week by the U.S. Senate to repeal and replace the flawed Medicare methodology for reimbursing physicians (SGR fix), we are writing to request that you... Read More >>

Weekly Report for April 9, 2015 – Telemedicine Success

Great news to report from Olympia—the telemedicine bill passed both houses! Telemedicine was last year’s big heartbreak. The bill passed a unanimous House and had great hearings in the Senate. However, it was not brought up for a vote after misinformation occurred on the potential use of telemedicine services. Today, we celebrate. The bill passed... Read More >>

Senate Budget Proposal on Hospital Safety Net Assessment Program

Senate Budget Proposal on Hospital Safety Net Assessment Program   WSHA is still working to clarify the Senate proposal for the hospital safety net program, but it’s becoming clear that some of our information was incorrect, and that the picture for hospitals is significantly worse than it initially appeared.   In order to maintain their... Read More >>

Weekly Report for April 23, 2015 – The Return of Whooping Cough

We received a letter last week from Dr. Scott Lindquist, MD, MPH, who is our state’s Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases. He shared this bad news about the rise of pertussis, or whooping cough: “Now, pertussis is definitely on the rise again. So far this year there have been 319 reported cases of pertussis compared to... Read More >>

Update to Safety Net Assessment Program Accounting Recommendations

This memorandum is intended to update guidance to hospitals concerning financial reporting of hospital safety net assessment program-related expenses and payments. This update provides information on a recent Center for Medicare & Medicaid Service’s (CMS’s) approval of the Medicaid managed care contracts for the period ending December 31, 2013. ... Read More >>

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