Weekly Report for January 22, 2015 – Fourth Quarter on Enrollment

January 22, 2015

Scott Bond

For anyone who watched Sunday’s Seahawks game, the message was clear and thrillingly delivered: Do. Not. Give. Up.

We should all have that same sense of fourth quarter urgency when it comes to outreach and enrollment in health insurance. This year’s open enrollment period ends February 15, which is just a few weeks away.

This is a critical time for hospitals, health systems and all providers to be reaching out to patients and the community to ensure we are reaching everyone with the enrollment message. There was a great radio story yesterday, warning people of the coming tax implications for not enrolling. From the story:

“That’s because the penalty for being uninsured in 2014 is $95 or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater. Next year, it’s 2 percent. Smith says the smartest move for people to avoid those penalties is to sign up for insurance before Feb. 15, the end of the health law’s open enrollment period. But a lot of people may not think about this until they file their taxes in April. For them, it will be too late to sign up for health insurance and too late to do anything about next year’s penalty…”

Barbara Gorham and Mary Kay Clunies-Ross have been actively engaged with members and the Health Benefit Exchange from the very beginning, but if you need to hear the message from a couple of Seahawks, that too can be arranged.

Press on,

Scott signature

Scott Bond
WSHA President and CEO

Kadlec Donating $18 Million For Hiring Faculty Members at WSU
Tri-Cities Nursing Program


In addition to providing space for the nursing school, Kadlec has donated $18 million to the WSU Tri-Cities nursing program. The gift will pay for five new faculty positions, and ultimately attract highly qualified health care education leaders and practitioners to the area.

The opportunity to provide higher quality education and training to potential nurse practitioners will set the stage for filling regional needs as health care demands for the baby bomber and millennial generations continue to rise.

At the January 12 formal ceremony to accept the donation WSU staff and faculty praised the hospital’s donation and its relationship with WSU Tri-Cities as a transformation in health care education.

This exciting investment received coverage in the Tri-City Herald. (Lilia Drain, liliacd@wsha.org)

Kadlec board member Wayne Martin and Kadlec CEO Rand Wortman along with Washington State University Tri-Cities staff hold a plaque commemorating the partnership between the university and hospital.

Inside Olympia: It Begins

Last week was an eventful first week in Olympia, with the Senate passing a rule requiring a 2/3 vote before a new tax can be considered on the floor. Already at stake for hospitals in the budget debate are payments for Medicaid enrollees receiving care in hospital-based clinics (Read the issue brief here and some examples of the essential care hospital-based clinics provide.)

WSHA strives to be a resource to members, policymakers and the public during the legislative session. One of the most important ways we keep in touch with you is Inside Olympia. Read it here and subscribe now! This week’s edition also has a list of some of the formal and informal ways that we will keep in touch throughout the session. (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, 206/216-2894)

Everett Herald Weighs in on Funding for Health Care

WSHA is a member of the Washington Healthcare Forum, a coalition that represents a mix of organizations who work to ensure that Washington state residents have access to a high-quality health care safety net, and it includes hospitals, physicians and insurance providers. As the legislature prepares to tackle some very big budget problems, WSHA and the other members of the Forum are playing close attention to how patients and providers will be affected. The Everett Herald recently met with several Forum members, and weighed in with their perspective. It’s worth reading. (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, 206/216-2894)

Open Enrollment for WAHealthplanfinder

Open enrollment for Washington Healthplanfinder is coming into the final stretch, with the public facing a Feb. 15 deadline to enroll in health insurance. Opportunities to enroll are kicking into gear, and the Exchange just announced the kick-off of a major enrollment drive. This weekend, the It’s About Time: Enrollment Drive will provide help in eight locations for residents who would like to enroll in a health plan for 2015 coverage. Six of the enrollment events will take place in shopping malls across the State as part of continuing marketing and outreach efforts. Read more about what is happening here. The call center is also open extended hours.

Hospitals are working hard to enroll patients and community members and are reporting that enrollment is going much more smoothly than last year. Hospitals and clinics who need further assistance can contact their lead organization or the Call Center. (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, 206/216-2894)

Image courtesy www.wahealthplanfinder.org  

Industry Partner Spotlight: Evergreen Professional Services

Washington Hospital Services is pleased to introduce you to one of our newest Industry Partners, Evergreen Professional Services. Evergreen brings 26 years of experience providing hospitals and health systems complete receivables recovery services that minimize outstanding receivables, while maximizing your bottom line.

Evergreen is dedicated to preserving the integrity and reputation of their health care clients, during and after the collection process. They help increase profitability and communication by assisting patients in the resolution of obligations.  For more information about Evergreen’s rates, services and flexible solutions, please contact Jessica Johnson at (800) 241-1305 ext. 1277 or e-mail j.johnson@everprof.com

Skagit Regional Health Welcomes New Leaders

Fresh leadership for Skagit Regional Health will continue to take health care in the area to the next level, providing excellent care and services to the entire region. New leaders for the hospital include:

Roxanne Olason, RN, BSN, MHSA NEA-BC, FACHE joined Skagit Regional Health as Chief Nurse Executive in November. An experienced health care administrator and educator, she most recently served as a member of the faculty at Lake Washington Institute of Technology School of Nursing in Kirkland. Additional previous experience includes service as Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient and Clinical Services with the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Healthcare in Billings, Montana.

Dr. Jean-Paul Creusat joined Skagit Regional Health in September as Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO). A surgeon by training, Dr. Creusat has been involved in clinical informatics, and the intersection of technology and computers to benefit the patient and provider and has worked with the State Department, the National Institutes of Health and the United Nations.

Skagit Regional Health welcomes Jeffrey Gibbs, MD to the role of Chief Physician Officer (CPO) in January. Following this, Dr. Gibbs established a cardiology practice in Illinois, from where he moved to Seattle to join Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) in 2004. Dr. Gibbs worked in patient care and served in multiple leadership roles, including Chief of Medical Specialties and interim Chief Medical Officer, during his tenure at PacMed. Dr. Gibbs received a Master of Health Administration at the University of Washington in 2014.

Join us in welcoming and congratulating these new executives to Skagit Regional Health!


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