CMS to roll out ‘overall quality’ star rating

In April, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) will introduce a new star rating for hospitals that is intended to indicate “overall quality.” The single 5-star rating will combine 57 inpatient and outpatient quality reporting measures, and according to the American Hospital Association (AHA), the national distribution of the star ratings is on a bell-curve, with half of all hospitals receiving three stars. ... Read More >>

Investing in Washington

Several weeks ago, I was invited by former member Diane Cecchettini to an event to spotlight the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship. The Scholarship is a unique partnership that is helping to build the next generation of scientists, engineers and health care professionals.... Read More >>

Making the Equity-of-Care Pledge

WSHA leadership recently had the opportunity to participate in a reception and reading with Dr. Damon Tweedy, author of “Black Man in a White Coat.” Dr. Tweedy is a Duke-trained psychiatrist dedicated to health equity, and his book was also the topic of a recent column by Jerry Large in The Seattle Times. He addressed the intersection of race and medicine as a medical student, physician and patient. ... Read More >>

What are you wearing on Friday?

No, we’re not planning our outfits for homecoming — Friday is National Wear Red Day: a day to raise awareness around heart conditions and learn how to identify, treat and even avoid them. While all of February is National Heart Month, Friday puts a special light on how heart disease affects women.... Read More >>

Reaching out and working together: The catalyst to health care improvement in Washington State and San Ramon, Nicaragua

Changing payment models and system consolidation, severe limitations in mental health treatment capacity and data show treatment disparities based on race and ethnicity. The big thorny problems can seem overwhelming to us as health care leaders.... Read More >>

Physicians are returning to leadership roles

I was a hospital administrator for 30 years, all without ever providing medical care. That’s the norm — although physicians founded hospitals in earlier centuries, their focus constricted to patient care as the organizations grew in size and complexity. Professional administrators filled the gap to manage non-clinical areas, such as facilities, records, billing, finances and more. While an understandable shift, that evolution has resulted in lack of physicians who help run hospitals. While some doctors had the credentials to be both credible physicians and administrators, they were often an uncomfortable hybrid, not embraced by either “camp.” This is changing, it must change, and WSHA is helping to push the change.... Read More >>

Hospital affiliations … in Downton?

I was tickled to see the topic of hospital affiliations become a hot topic on the final season of Downton Abbey, despite the media poo-pooing (“Is the saga of the Downton Cottage Hospital the dullest plotline in TV history?” and “Downton Abbey's dreary hospital storyline a symptom of show's slow and painful death” and from the Guardian: “… Cousin Violet and Cousin Isobel are at war over something very tedious about a hospital”).... Read More >>

Take a deep breath

Winter gets a bad rap, with its cold commercials, wet sidewalks and dark days. For too many of us, it can be a dreary backdrop to a lot of family and holiday stress. But in reality, winter only just begins with the solstice. Its defining characteristic is that the days continuously get brighter and brighter. Winter begins with inside lights, and ends with outside light. That’s a season to appreciate!... Read More >>

Transparency and action

On Tuesday Dec. 9, the Washington Health Alliance, in partnership with Healthier Washington, released its 2015 Community Checkup Report, “Measuring Health Care in Washington State.” This is a broad and fascinating look at health care in Washington State. The report introduces metrics on the state’s newly adopted common measure set for health care quality and cost. ... Read More >>

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 >>

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