Weekly Report for August 13, 2015 – New views, new vision

August 13, 2015

Over the weekend, WSHA moved into new office space in downtown Seattle. Any home or office move is usually chaotic. Considering we’d been in our Elliott Avenue West offices for about 20 years, and we’re 70+ people strong, we had low expectations for Monday’s productivity. A lot could have gone wrong, and no one would have been surprised.

Here at WSHA, we know we have a great policy and advocacy team. They work tirelessly through session and the rest of the year to increase access to health care (you’ll be seeing the 2015 Legislative Summary very soon). We also know we have a fantastic patient safety team. For the last 10 years, they have been leading extraordinary improvements in health care quality, saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars.

This week was proof positive that the WSHA operations and support teams are also top-notch. When we walked into our new offices on Monday, everything worked. The computers went on, the Wi-Fi worked and the phones rang. After a companionable couple of hours of unpacking boxes and admiring our new views, we were once again back to work.
As more than one WSHA staffer noticed, our new office expresses some of health care’s major themes: Transparent. Lean. Efficient. Collaborative. Quite literally, our conference room wall expresses our values: Care. Community. Compassionate. Health. Even our conference room names remind us of the great state we serve: Palouse. Cascade. Orca.

We look forward to inviting you in! For directions and more information about our new space, visit our News Page.


Scott Bond President and CEO
Washington State Hospital Association


PeaceHealth Southwest unveils breast cancer awareness boat

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center’s Kearny Breast Center has a new way to celebrate cancer survivors. Last month, the hospital unveiled a donated pink dragon boat dedicated to life after breast cancer, taking it to Vancouver Lake for a Zen Buddhist blessing and an inaugural lap around the water. The boat will make several community appearances before diving into competition in 2016.

Read the story in The Columbian here.

The project stemmed from a local rower and breast cancer survivor, who worked with the Kearney Breast Center and the PeaceHealth Foundation to bring the boat to fruition. The boat is beautiful in that it is not only an artful tribute to those who fight cancer, but also a vehicle by which members of the community can stay healthy together. And much like rowing the boat, beating breast cancer takes a community working together. (Tim Pfarr)

Across the state, hospitals and health systems are doing amazing work to care for their patients and communities in innovative ways. Our goal is to feature all of our 100 members at least once through the course of the year. If you are a WSHA member with a story to tell, please contact Mary Kay Clunies-Ross.


Kittitas Valley Healthcare highlights positive changes

Kittitas Valley Healthcare recently developed a video that explains the transition to preventative, team-based health care at the hospital, and how it improves patient health and the quality of the care patients receive. This emphasis aligns closely with other initiatives, such as Healthier Washington, to make real advances in the health of the entire population.

Watch the video here, and see KVH patient care providers describe what changes their clinic patients can expect to see in response to health care reform.

“What we’re trying to do is make it better; make tighter, more seamless,” Kittitas Chief Medical Officer Dr. Don Solberg says in the five-minute video.  (Tim Pfarr)


Breastfeeding friendly hospitals to be recognized

WSHA and the Department of Health (DOH) have teamed up to recognized hospitals in our state that have taken steps to encourage breastfeeding.

The Department is planning an event Aug. 20 to recognize hospitals that have obtained a certification through the program, so now is the time to get recognized!Certifications are gold, silver and bronze, and five Washington hospitals already have obtained a gold certification:

See our joint press release here, visit the DOH webpage here or contact the DOH here for more information about the program. (Tim Pfarr)


Washington State uninsured rate down 10.4 percent from 2013

Washington State is one of only five states in the country that has seen a drop of more than 10 percent in their uninsured rates since 2013, according to a new Gallup poll released this week. Washington’s current uninsured rate is 6.4 percent. States that have both an insurance exchange and Medicaid expansion have seen the largest reduction in uninsured rates.

WSHA has long been a supporter of programs and policies that make it easier for Washington residents to get ?health ?insurance, as it means more people have better access to the care they need. The only states with larger drops in their uninsured rates were Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon and Rhode Island.
(Tim Pfarr)


Registration opens Monday for Annual Meeting

Registration for WSHA’s 83rd Annual Meeting (Oct. 7-8 at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle) will begin this Monday, Aug. 17. Click here to go to the registration page. You can also book your accommodations now, and rooms will fill quickly. Click here for more information about the Annual Meeting. This year’s theme is Healthcare 2.0 — Innovation, Insights and Imperatives.

Registration will also open Monday, Aug. 17 for the Governance Skills Building Intensive for Trustees & Commissioners (with optional New Board Member Orientation Basics session) at the Edgewater Hotel Oct. 6. Click here for more information or to go to registration page. (Tim Pfarr)


CMS proposes new rules for knee and hip replacements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) recently proposed a new rule requiring prospective payment hospitals in select metropolitan areas to participate in a new bundled payment initiative. Though this rule, as is, would only apply to hospitals that do knee and hip replacements in Snohomish, King, Pierce and Clark counties, the program could be implemented more broadly in the final rule or afterwards.

Read more about the proposal and what it means for Washington hospitals in Fiscal Watch. (Tim Pfarr)


Industry Partner releases review of recruiting incentives

For the last 22 years, Washington Hospital Services’ Industry Partner Merritt Hawkins has released a review of physician and advanced practitioner recruiting incentives. This highly anticipated review offers valuable benchmarking data that provides insight into compensation trends in more than 20 physician and advanced-practitioner specialties, as well as other recruiting incentives, such as production and quality bonus, sign-on bonus, relocation allowance, CMEs, and more.

The 2015 review, derived from more than 3,100 placement searches, is now available. It contains valuable information on topics impacting healthcare such as, The SGR Doc FixMIPSKing vs. Burwell, Population Health and Composition of the Primary Care-Led Team. 

A preview of the key findings is accessible here. Contact Corey Johnson at Merritt Hawkins (469-524-1752) to get a full complimentary copy of the review. (Paul Unsworth)


Contact Us

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

Map / Directions

206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax


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