Our annual Chelan conference, held June 21-24, is an amazing gathering for rural hospital leaders– it’s also a critically important one. In order to ensure our rural communities have access to high-quality health care, executives and boards need an understanding of the changes to both care delivery and payment. This work requires an increasingly high level of specialized knowledge, and Chelan is a valuable– and fun!– way to build that knowledge.
We know that people value our time in Chelan because the hotel rooms are booked long before registration is open. But if you’re one of those people who has postponed registering for the conference, the time has come for action! Visit the registration page now!
As Ben and Scott wrote about in May, this year’s meeting has more emphasis on providing the practical tools that boards and executives need to navigate the new complexities. There’s also more time to go deeper into some of these topics, as well as time to learn from each other. View the agenda here.
Already registered? Then it’s time to download the WSHA Events app. Since we’re going paperless this year, this app is going to connect you with the agenda, presentations, evaluations, sponsors and more. For directions on how to download the app, click here.
If you have any registration questions, please contact Cynthia Hay, (206) 216-2526.
Special for Board Members Attending Chelan!
If you’re a member of hospital board or commission, we want to call your attention to all of the “special for board members” educational sessions happening at Chelan. Included are:
Monday morning, 6/22, 8:30 – 11:15 am – “Making the Tough Decision to Ensure Access to Care.” We’re starting the conference with this breakfast and program specifically for board members. Noted national rural hospital consultant Maureen Swan kicks off this interactive discussion session on assessing essential partnerships. Senior WSHA staff members follow with an introduction of the Healthy Washington initiative.
Tuesday morning, 6/23 – 7-8:15 a.m. – Welcome Breakfast for New Board Members and Commissioners (RSVP requested)
Tuesday lunch, 6/23 – 12-2:30 p.m. – Expanded Annual Board Chair Luncheon, including a discussion on “What Board Chairs Need from CEOs and What CEOs Need from Board Chairs.” (RSVP requested)
In addition to these special topics, the rest of the conference agenda is inclusive of the many complex issues board members are facing. See all the details here. Please join us! To RSVP for a session, contact Deborah Swets.
The Industry Partner Program Goes to Chelan
Washington Hospital Services will showcase our expanded Industry Partner Program during the Rural Summer Conference in Chelan. Please stop by and visit our Industry Partner table to learn about the 23 services we now offer and enter into a drawing for amazing prizes! This year we will also be featuring several of our Industry Partners whose solutions are related to the conference topics. These are:
- Prista’s ActionCue software provides a platform to revolutionize how your organization manages risk, measures quality and improves performance.
- WellTrackONE offers a complete solution for conducting Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visit to help you manage at-risk populations while growing new revenue streams.
- H-Source shifts power away from suppliers and substantially reduces waste by allowing health care organizations to easily buy and sell excess supplies in an online market place.
- Network Service Solutions helps obtain funding for and implements broadband access and network connectivity projects.
Please take the time to meet these featured Industry Partners. We’ll see you in Chelan! (Paul Unsworth)
Island Hospital Finds Creative Way to Engage Community
Island Hospital in Anacortes opened its own farm stand, on June 9, to run every Tuesday through September 8. Sponsored by the hospital’s Employee Wellness Program, the farm stand will feature fresh local produce, jams, bread and gluten free goods. The stand will also offer recipes and health and nutrition tips. To-go bags will also be available for order and easy pickup.
The farm stand is a wonderful way to not only provide healthy, delicious options for hospital staff and patients, but supports local farmers and builds community around developing nutritious habits and sustainable practices.
Across the state, hospitals and health systems are doing amazing work to care for their patients and their communities. 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.
WSHA Bulletin: State’s Proposal to Waive Medicaid Requirements
WSHA recently published a policy bulletin information on the state’s plan to apply for a waiver of federal Medicaid requirements in order to accelerate its work on health care system transformation.
If the state approved, it is likely to have large implications for health care in our state. A waiver can provide significant new opportunities to receive additional federal funds for current and new programs undertaken by hospitals, counties, and public health agencies in care for vulnerable populations, such as those with behavioral health needs, the homeless, and others.
Many opportunities will be directed through the newly forming Accountable Communities of Health (ACH). At the same time, the state will be justifying expenditures for these programs based on savings from the medical care system. (Claudia Sanders)
Help Improve the Practice of Pharmacy
WSHA is encouraging hospitals to respond to a request for comment from the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission.
The Commission is seeking to improve the type, frequency and value of its communications for licensed individuals, regulated entities and stakeholder organizations. Responses are anonymous and the deadline is June 19.
WSHA has been working with the Commission and the Washington State Department of Health on ways to improve communications and resolve issues. While much work remains, improving communications is a key step in the right direction and we appreciate the Commission’s and DOH’s commitment to this effort. (Ian Corbridge)
HCA Announces New Options for PEBB
As part of the state’s move toward more value-based purchasing in health care, the state Health Care Authority (HCA) announced two new high-quality health plan options for those enrolled in the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) program. These Accountable Care Programs (ACPs) are the Puget Sound High Value Network LLC and the UW Medicine Accountable Care Network.
These networks will be assuming financial and clinical accountability for defined population of PEBB members, and will be paid based on their ability to deliver quality care and keep people healthy. The state will be looking to involve additional payers and more counties in this type of model in the future. This is part of the state’s transformation plan Healthier Washington.
Healthplanfinder Offering Coverage for Larger Businesses
Starting in November 2015, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange will expand coverage to businesses with up to 100 employees through Washington Healthplanfinder Business. Washington Healthplanfinder Business is a customer-friendly, online health insurance marketplace that allows employers to compare plans, decide their contribution level, and manage payments. It is also the place small businesses can access tax credits.
WSHA continues to support Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange and increased insurance coverage envisioned under the Affordable Care Act. (Zosia Stanley)
MultiCare brings on new Chief Information Officer
Starting on June 15, Robert Biernbaum will be starting his new job as MultiCare Health System’s new Chief Information Officer.
He most recently served as Vice President and Chief Medical Information Officer at Rochester Regional Health System in New York. He was also Chief of Emergency Medicine at Newark Wayne Community Hospital and he holds a Master’s degree in epidemiology and a Doctorate of Osteopathy.
WHS is excited to announce two new Industry partners!
Washington Hospital Services continues to expand member access to vetted vendors with the addition of Paradigm Solutions International and ZeOmega to our Industry Partner lineup.
Paradigm Solutions International is a leader in Business continuity/ Disaster Recovery planning. Their software solution allows for aligning all the parts of an organization into a single continuity/recovery plan.
ZeOmega offers Population Health and a platform for health information exchange. They are one of the few that comes with experience and successful solutions for both payers and hospitals. They are currently utilized by hospitals and health systems in Washington State.