Washington State Medical and Hospital Associations Launch Opioid Task Force

The Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) and the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) announced today the launch of a joint task force to develop solutions to address the growing opioid epidemic, with an eye towards ways physicians and hospitals can play a more active role in tackling this issue.... Read More >>

Survey highlights hospitals’ progress, opportunities to increase equitable care

Hospitals are making some progress to achieve health equity, but more work needs to be done, according to a biennial benchmarking survey released June 22 by the AHA’s Institute for Diversity in Health Management. The survey found significant increases from 2013 in the percentage of hospitals that are using data on patient race, ethnicity and language to identify gaps in care and implement programs to improve quality.... Read More >>

Study: Medicare ACOs associated with modest reduction in spending for hospital care

Medicare accountable care organizations are associated with modest reductions in spending and use of hospitals and emergency departments, according to a study published last week by JAMA Internal Medicine. The study compared changes in spending and usage for beneficiaries cared for by ACO physicians and non-ACO physicians between January 2009 and December 2013.... Read More >>

Cantwell bill maintains flexibility for CAH hospitals providing therapeutic services

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell this week introduced legislation to delay enforcement of federal rules requiring “direct” supervision of therapeutic services provided in hospital outpatient departments through the end of 2016. Cantwell staff say they hope to move the bill through the Senate before the July recess. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) cosponsored the bill; similar legislation is pending in the House of Representatives.... Read More >>

WSHA testifies at court hearing on Western State Hospital on mental health reform

Zosia Stanley, WSHA policy director for access, testified at a court hearing June 27 on the need for continued reform to our state’s mental health system. Commissioner Craig Adams ordered the hearing to address the state’s system to provide mental health for those needing long term care, including the wait to get into Western State Hospital and the difficulty in transferring patients out.... Read More >>

WSNA Executive Director Judy Huntington to retire

Washington State Nursing Association (WSNA) Executive Director announced this week that she will retire as of May 12, 2017. She has held the position for more than 17 years, and in an email she said she chose to set her end date far in advance to give the WSNA Board of Directors to find her replacement. ... Read More >>

White House, Congress working to tackle opioid epidemic

Responding to the prescription drug epidemic has been a major issue on this year’s federal health agenda. In his FY 2017 budget proposal, President Obama proposed $1.1 billion for opioid abuse treatment, of which Washington State would be eligible for up to $20 million over two years, the White House said late last week.... Read More >>

Court ruling in ACLU/Skagit case

On Wednesday, the Skagit County Superior Court ruled against Skagit Regional Health in the lawsuit over whether the public hospital district is providing pregnancy termination services in line with the state’s Reproductive Privacy Act. Skagit and the Washington State Hospital Association are disappointed in the ruling.... Read More >>

WSHA editorial on mental health in The Seattle Times

In an op-ed published by the Seattle Times on Thursday, Cassie Sauer, WSHA's Executive Vice President, talks about the need for continued reform to our state's mental health system.... Read More >>

CMS Rural Road Trip to visit Olympic Peninsula

Officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will travel to five WSHA member facilities on the Olympic Peninsula June 21-23, holding 90-minute opening listening and learning session to share current legislative initiatives and engage communities on current concerns. They will visit Jefferson Healthcare, Olympic Medical Center, Forks Community Hospital, Grays Harbor Community Hospital and Mason General Hospital.... Read More >>

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