Fall: Reflections and Directions

October 15, 2015

Fall is sometimes noted by the return of football, or the beginning of school, or the harvest or the equinox. But at WSHA, fall is truly marked by the Annual Meeting. Last week gave us our annual opportunity to scan the horizon and think deeply about how health care is changing to better meet patients’ needs.

After multiple sessions over the course of two days, it’s always interesting to see what lingers in your thoughts. David Newman, M.D. is an Emergency Room Physician and Director of Clinical Research, Department of Emergency Medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, gave a fascinating presentation about “New Insights in Evidence-Based Medicine.”

Starting his talk with a fascinating analysis of the events leading to the death of our first president, Newman walked through a broad variety of current treatments that are no more effective than the George Washington’s bloodletting. It was such a striking reminder that we have to rigorously and continuously examine our assumptions about what constitutes effective treatment.

Another part of fall’s seasonal calendar is our preparations for the legislative session. Since the Legislature passed a biennial budget last year, 2016 is slated to be a “short” year with only budget updates. But what does this mean, when the state Supreme Court is fining the state $100,000 a day as a penalty for not meeting the court’s expectations on education funding? Is it realistic to expect only minor tweaks to a budget under that kind of cloud?

There are many other threats to health care funding, and we are preparing for those. We’re also getting ready to address important policy issues, including mental health, interstate medical licensure, rural care flexibility, mental health care and more. This is a good time for hospital leaders to be reaching out to their representatives, and our policy and advocacy staff are available to assist.

We hope this is a rich season of reflection and planning for you as well.


Scott Bond
President and CEO


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