So now that the legislature has adjourned, how was it?
It was certainly the longest session ever– that’s a quantifiable truth. There were some incredibly tense weeks in June for lawmakers, advocates and agencies. It was also one of the busiest– you can quantify that by the fact that substantially more bills were introduced this year than in previous years. Many of those were health-care related.
- Lawmakers deserve enormous credit for making major policy and budget advances for mental health. We were very involved in those conversations, and while there is still a lot to be done, our state is headed in the right direction.
- The suspect and inmate guarding bill provides greater safety for both patients and hospital staff when caring for people who are in custody for violent or sexual crimes.
- Pre-packaged medication can now be provided to patients leaving the emergency room during times when the local pharmacy is closed. This is a humane change that allows patients to start on their treatment right away.
- Improvements to the all-payer claims database will increase cost and quality transparency in Washington, and provide hospitals with important data for quality improvement.
Senior Vice President, Advocacy and Government Affairs
Washington State Hospital Association
Kadlec employees help community beat the heat
Employees from Kadlec Regional Medical Center recently collected and distributed more than 250 cases of bottled water as well as sunscreen and lip balm to the Tri-City community to stay safe during this summer’s oppressive heat. Temperatures in Southeast Washington have routinely hit the triple digits this summer, and some people in area have few options when it comes to beating the high temperatures.
The Kadlec employees and friends distributed the supplies to police departments, fire departments and the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission, in addition to local parks and other locations where people may need help staying cool.
Tragic Loss of Tom Fritz, former INHS Leader
I am deeply saddened to share the news that a good friend and valued colleague, Tom Fritz, died Monday in an apparent drowning accident on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Tom retired from Inland Northwest Health Services six months ago. We recognized Tom at last year’s Annual Meeting after his successful 16 years at INHS.
Tom contributed much as a leader and community champion. He was always “all-in” for anything that improved the lot of others, and was deeply committed to improving the quality of life for those in the Spokane community. As he and I talked then and later, Tom had many adventures planned for these later chapters of life. He was 63.
More will follow, but in this moment, let’s hold his family in our hearts and minds. We have lost a very special person.
President and CEO
Washington State Hospital Association
WSHA’s 83rd Annual Meeting: October 7-8
Mark your calendars for Health Care 2.0 – Innovation, Insights and Imperatives – WSHA’s 83rd Annual Meeting is set for October 7-8 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle. Please join us to hear the latest on innovations in health care, expanding your population’s health, leading in patient safety, improving governing board effectiveness, influencing public policy, tools to lead and more!
Educational opportunities: Also offered this year is the Governance Skills Building Intensive for Trustees and Commissioners with an optional Orientation Basics for New Trustees & Commissioners, October 6 at the Edgewater Hotel.
Featured speakers include: Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, Executive Director of Digital Health, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Author of Mama Doc Medicine; and David Newman, MD, Director of Clinical Research, Dept. of Emergency Medicine, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
Book your hotel now – Rooms book fast! To reserve your lodging for the WSHA Annual Meeting contact The Edgewater Hotel, 1-800-624-0670 FREE, Hotel direct 206-728-7000; or Seattle Marriott Waterfront 206-443-5000. Ask for the Washington Hospital Association room block.
For more information contact Cynthia Hay, (206) 216-2526.
WSHA Wins on Certificate of Need
Last week, we announced that the Washington State Supreme Court unanimously invalidated the state Department of Health’s expanded Certificate of Need rule, which would have significantly increased the number and type of hospital transactions that require expensive and lengthy regulatory review before they are allowed to move forward.
“We are extremely glad to have the Supreme Court’s ruling resolve this issue,” said WSHA President and CEO Scott Bond. “At a time when the Affordable Care Act is pushing health care providers to improve quality and reduce costs through affiliations and partnerships, it does not make sense to create new barriers. Now that we have clarity on the legal issues, we can all move forward.”
“Through the course of this lawsuit, we have worked with DOH’s excellent leadership and staff members on issues such as Ebola response, perinatal health, population health, breastfeeding, patient privacy and the health care safety net in rural Washington. We share with them a commitment to building a stronger, healthier Washington, and we look forward to continuing to work with them.”
New Notice and Timing Requirements for Medical Liens
If someone is the victim of an accident or other wrongful act, their health insurance company will generally not pay for medical services once it is determined that another party will ultimately be liable. Because of this non-payment, current law allows hospitals and providers, such as doctors, to file a lien against the future personal injury settlement. These liens are known as medical liens.
A new law (HB 1503) on medical liens was enacted this session. The law creates new requirements to provide notice of the use of medical liens and to remove liens following payment. This provision applies to all Washington state hospitals that use medical liens. The law goes into effect on July 24, 2015.
WSHA and AWPHD Present: Fundamentals of Patient Safety
Patient safety and quality are primary fiduciary responsibilities for governing boards. WSHA and AWPHD are jointly beginning a series of “Fundamentals” webcasts for members of hospital and health system boards and commissions on a variety of topics. The first in the series is:
Fundamentals of Patient Safety For Boards
Monday, July 20
Carol Wagner, Senior VP for WSHA’s nationally recognized Patient Safety program, will share the essentials in two 20 minute segments. Afterwards there will be a short time for questions, and each segment will be taped for later viewing.
Madlyn Murrey Takes Executive Role at Seattle Children’s
Seattle Children’s announced today that Madlyn Murrey, RN, MN, has been appointed to the position of senior vice president and chief nursing officer of Seattle Children’s Hospital effective Aug. 24. Murrey will replace Susan Heath, who is retiring later this year.
“It was clear throughout the interview process that Mady is an excellent fit for Seattle Children’s,” said Lisa Brandenburg, president of Seattle Children’s Hospital. “She is an experienced nursing leader who is passionate about nurse engagement and retention, leadership development, and the crucial role nurses play in patient outcomes and clinical quality. She also is a strong advocate for quality improvement, patient safety and the elimination of preventable harm, and brings substantial experience in space and volume growth. I’m excited to add her to our executive team.”
AHA Award for Exceptional Hospital Care
The American Hospital Association (AHA)-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize recognizes an organizational commitment to quality improvement and safety by rewarding hospitals that are achieving this goal, and using their example as an inspiration to others.
The AHA is currently accepting nominations for the 2016 award. The winning hospital will receive $75,000; up to two finalists will receive $12,500 each. Other site-visited organizations (up to four) may be named Citation of Merit honorees. All U.S. hospitals are eligible for the AHA-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize.
Industry Partner ZeOmega Helps Members Coordinate Care
Washington Hospital Services Industry Partner ZeOmega is committed to helping WSHA members coordinate care across their health care communities. ZeOmega has helped organizations establish connections between disparate data systems of payers, providers, non-profits, social agencies, and government agencies both in Washington and across the country.
By bringing data together and producing actionable information, they have helped organizations improve the patient experience of care, improve the health of populations, and reduce per capita costs. For details on how ZeOmega approaches interoperability and data exchange visit their website. To learn more about ZeOmega or schedule an introduction, please contact Paul Unsworth, (206) 577-1806.