Deadline Approaches for the Medicaid Quality Incentive

February 11, 2015

Deadline Approaches for the Medicaid Quality Incentive

February 15, 2015 is the deadline for the data submission for PPS hospitals to qualify for increased payments through the Medicaid Quality Incentive and for non PPS hospitalls to potentially receive recognition. The program was created by the Hospital Safety Net Assessment legislation and gives PPS hospitals the opportunity to earn a one percent incentive payment based upon improvements in nine quality measures.

In March, the hospital Chief Financial Officers will receive a copy of their data and will need to sign an attestation that the data is accurate. The rate increases for qualifying hospitals will be on July 1, 2015. For more detailed information on the program, visit (Amber Theel,

You’ll See It First: Preview Begins Next Week for Transparency Web Site

WSHA will update the WSHA transparency web site next week. Hospitals will have the opportunity to preview their data before the public release. Please let us know early during the preview period if any issues are seen so that they can be corrected before the new information goes live. A WSHA email will be sent to Quality Leaders next week providing more information.

The WSHA transparency website gives consumers valuable information to help them make decisions and ask questions about their health care. This information can also help answer legislators’ calls for more information about hospitals. If you have not yet seen the site, (Jonathan Bennett,

Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest

Peace of mind. Family harmony. Wishes honored. Quality care. These are the aspirations of Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest. The vision is to ensure everyone in Washington State receives care that honors personal values and goals at the end of life. This is a joint initiative of the Washington State Hospital Association and Washington State Medical Association.

Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest has also released a comprehensive new website,, designed to help people create end-of-life care plans and guide them through sharing those plans with loved ones and health care providers. The resources and tools on the website are free and available to anyone. Health care professionals can also find valuable resources on the site and participate in trainings to prepare them for conversations around their desires on end-of-life care, recording patient wishes and ultimately honoring those choices.

For more information, contact Carol Wagner, WSHA Senior Vice President Patient Safety at

Clarification of New Joint Commission Sentinel Event Policy for Severe Maternal Morbidity

In January 2015, the Joint Commission revised its definition of a sentinel event and subsequently issued a statement clarifying the new definition as it relates to severe maternal morbidity. The new definition defines a sentinel event as “a patient safety event (not primarily related to the natural course of the patient’s illness or underlying condition) that reaches a patient and results in any of the following: death, permanent harm, or severe temporary harm” with severe maternal morbidity being defined as “receiving 4 or more units of blood products (subsequently revised to 4 or more units of RBCs) and/or ICU admission (2,3).” This revision created confusion as to whether all severe maternal morbidities would be included. In a joint statement, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, The Joint Commission, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, clarified that some cases that meet the criteria for severe maternal morbidity for would still not be considered sentinel events, as they could be primarily related to the natural course of a patient’s illness or could be excluded based on other factors after further review.

For more details and examples of cases that would or would not meet the criteria for a maternal sentinel event, please review the January statement.  (Carol Wagner,

Measles, Providers and Our Community

Several learnings have emerged in the media related to the measles and providers.

  1. Hospitals have been surprised to find that not all contract staff were immunized. Of special concern are providers in the emergency room and hospitalists.
  2. Many physicians may not have seen measles in their career. A helpful document from the CDC can be found at
  3. The public does not understand that although it may be OK with them if their child gets the measles, this decision could significantly impact others.

We are fortunate to live in an era when we can be protected against illnesses such as measles. Welcome your thoughts. (Carol Wagner,

CMS Extends Submission Deadline for NHSN Metrics

The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) announced Wednesday that recent maintenance to the system was successful and users can now resume activity. Due to recent problems with the NHSN system, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have extended the deadline for data submission to NHSN from Sunday February 15 to Friday, February 27 at 11:59 pm PT.

According to NHSN,This extension applies to the February 15 deadline and those facility types currently required to report HAI data to NHSN under the various CMS Programs, including Q3 2014 data from acute care hospitals (IQR), PPS-exempt cancer hospitals (PCHQR), and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and Q4 2014 data from long-term acute care hospitals (LTCHs/LTACs).”  Hospitals are encouraged to submit several days in advance of the deadline to allow time to address any issues. For questions, please email the NHSN Helpdesk at  (Carol Wagner,

EMPower Breastfeeding: Upcoming Opportunity for Support for Hospitals

EMPower Breastfeeding: Enhancing Maternity Practices (EMPower) is a three-year, CDC-funded hospital-based quality improvement program designed to support hospitals in the achievement of Baby-Friendly USA© designation. Selected hospitals will receive intensive training, tailored coaching, and cost sharing for technical assistance and designation fees.

Senior leadership from interested hospitals can attend one of two Hospital Recruitment Webinars on February 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm EST or February 26, 2015 at 2:00 pm EST. Registration details will be shared after Feb. 17.

The application will be available on the EMPower website beginning February 18, 2015 by 3:00 pm EST.
For more information, please visit or email Handel,


Contact Us

Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

Map / Directions

206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax

Staff List