Weekly Report for June 25, 2015 – Celebrating Chelan!

June 25, 2015

Scott Bond, WSHA CEO

More than a dozen WSHA and AWPHD staff spent most of the week in Chelan for our annual Rural Leadership Conference. Despite the excruciatingly beautiful weather, hospital board members and executives packed the conference rooms from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.

This wasn’t easy or comfortable work, either: The speakers were high-caliber thinkers who engaged attendees in conversations about the financial sustainability of their hospitals, the quality of the care they provide, and what the industry’s move toward population health really means in a rural environment.

And while no one has the answers, what we did hear in the conference rooms and hallways was commissioners talking about the need to improve their communities’ health.

I was really struck by the strength of the speaker lineup this year (see agenda). They brought new energy into the room every day– Maureen Swan came with tough, practical insight into the national rural hospital scene; Todd Linden came from Grinnell, Iowa, to lead discussions on engaging communities and moving to value; and Lauren Taylor, co-author of The American Health Care Paradox, shared how rural communities might not just survive, but might lead the change of the paradox completely.

You can see the conference materials here.

I’d be remiss not to mention the great sponsors we had for this event. They make it possible for us to bring everyone together in a variety of venues over the course of the conference, and their presence is very much appreciated by staff and attendees.

And staff! Thank you all for everything you did to make this happen. Even though hundreds of people met for three days with nary a hitch, you’re already talking about how to make it better for next year. That is a great spirit.

Thank you all, and see you next year!

Scott Bond, President and CEO
Washington State Hospital Association

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.

30th Annual Joe Hopkins Award Nominations Open

WSHA is now accepting nominations for the 30th Annual Joe Hopkins Memorial Award, to be presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting Oct. 7-8. The award was created to acknowledge an individual who displays the spirit of Joe Hopkins’ vision and dedication to Washington’s hospitals, with a special focus on his interest in rural health.

WSHA invites hospital administrators, CEOs, trustees and commissioners to submit nominations here by downloading a submission form and returning it to Rural Project Manager Jacqueline Barton True by Thursday, September 3. A committee of past recipients will choose the 2015 winner.

Joe Hopkins was a leader in rural health issues as an administrator of Cascade Valley Hospital from 1977-1987 and administrator of Mark E. Reed Hospital. He also chaired WSHA’s Board of Trustees from 1985-1986. He was a member of the American Hospital Association (AHA) Regional Advisory Board and House of Delegates when he passed away in 1987. (Tim Pfarr)

Free Video to Educate Public on How to Use Their Insurance Coverage

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering a free video for providers aimed at helping patients understand how to use their health insurance. Available in English and Spanish, “Coverage to Care” helps teach patients how to avoid getting “lost” in the system, whether they are new to coverage or not. If needed, use these instructions to order a free copy from the CMS Product Ordering website. (Jacqueline Barton True)

DOH Adopts Final Rules for Hospital Construction Standards

The Department of Health (DOH) has adopted changes to hospital licensing construction standards. The revised rules are available here and will go into effect on July 18, 2015.

The revised regulations incorporate stakeholder input and the 2014 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities published by the Facility Guidelines Institute. The hospital licensing construction standards set minimum requirements for new construction and renovation of licensed acute care hospitals in Washington State. (Zosia Stanley)

Coalition Receives National Grant to Expand Choosing Wisely® program

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation has awarded grants to a select seven health care initiatives focusing on implementation of the Choosing Wisely campaign.

The Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force has received a 34-month grant to expand this already groundbreaking work. WSHA is a strong supporter of the Choosing Wisely campaign, which works to reduce wasteful – and potentially harmful – care, as well as diminish the unnecessary overuse of antibiotics, imaging and medical procedures.

Read more about the Task Force grant recipient in this Washington Health Alliance press release and about the nationwide recipients in this Choosing Wisely press release.

Contact Carol Wagner, Senior Vice President for Patient Safety, for more information.

2016 DSH Applications Are Due Soon

The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) is now accepting applications for Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments for 2016. The deadline for applications is August 1 for the Low Income and Small Rural DSH programs. Applications received by HCA after that date will not be considered.

The Certified Public Expenditure (CPE), Low Income and Small Rural DSH programs obtain federal matches for state and hospital funding. This provides additional payments to offset some of the costs for hospitals that provide high volumes of services for Medicaid and uninsured enrollees.

  • DSH applications and information can be found here. Hospitals can contact Mary O’Hare, DSH Program Manager, for more information.
  • Hospitals participating in the CPE program can obtain application information here. Applications are due early-to-mid-July. Contact Scott Miloscia, HCA analyst, for more information.

On a related note, WSHA is in contact with HCA regarding the status of DSH payments for 2015, which have been delayed by a court order challenging the formula for determining eligibility. WSHA is encouraging HCA to make provisional DSH payments to hospitals to the degree possible. (Andrew Busz)


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Washington State Hospital Association
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Seattle, WA 98104

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206.283.6122 fax


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