You want me to do WHAT to disruptive change?

October 2, 2014

Yes, that’s right– embrace it. The theme for WSHA’s 82nd Annual Meeting is “Embracing Disruptive Change in Health Care.” But it’s not just an idea– it’s the reality.

There are already many examples of our willingness to embrace change– just look at this week’s “Good Reads” and see stories about Choosing Wisely, about innovative ways to reduce readmissions, about how increasing Medicaid enrollment is reducing the need for charity care and how hospitals are planning carefully for the time when the ACA’s full cuts come line.

Our members are leading the charge in so many areas, and have for some time. IN 2007, we took the plunge to start publishing both price and quality data at and That groundbreaking work  on quality and transparency is continuing, and this year’s Annual Meeting will be an extraordinary place to see what ground we’re breaking next.

Hope to see you there!

Scott Bond
WSHA President and CEO

Project Access Northwest Seeking Hospitals to Participate in Exchange Premium Sponsorship Program

The Seattle-based nonprofit Project Access Northwest is inviting Washington State hospitals to participate in a program to subsidize Exchange premiums for eligible individuals. Project Access Northwest launched a pilot program earlier this year with contributions from three Seattle-area hospitals. To date, this program has subsidized Exchange premiums for over 100 individuals. The program serves individuals who make 200% or less of the federal poverty level. For more information, view this recent WSHA Bulletin or contact WSHA Policy Director Barbara Gorham. (Barbara Gorham,

House Judiciary Committee Looks at Crisis Immunity Legislation

On Tuesday, September 23, the House Judiciary Committee held a work session to consider granting hospitals and providers civil immunity when responding to a disaster or emergency. Last year, WSHA proposed legislation granting immunity to hospitals, providers, and credentialing entities when a lack of resources caused by an emergency makes it impossible to meet the normal standard of care. The legislature enacted the part of the bill granting immunity to credentialing entities during the 2014 session, but it did not enact the part granting immunity to hospitals and providers. The Department of Health has made this legislation a top priority for the upcoming session. (Barbara Gorham,

Hospitals Gear Up for ACA Open Enrollment 2014-2015

On Friday, September 26, WSHA brought hospital representatives together with the Exchange and the Health Care Authority to discuss the upcoming open enrollment period for health insurance coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act. This meeting was an opportunity to celebrate the success of the 2013-2014 open enrollment period, to share best practices, and to prepare for the next open enrollment period – November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.

All enrollment staff must be recertified by November 30, 2014 in order to continue to be In-Person Assisters (IPAs) or Certified Application Counselors (CACs). Hospital enrollment staff may choose to be trained as either an IPA by their Lead IPA organization, or to be trained as a CAC by the Exchange. CAC training is conducted entirely online, and will be offered between October 1, 2014 and November 30, 2014. The new CAC certification instructions and training materials are expected to be ready by October 1, 2014. This information can be accessed here. Use the username client and the password is Cl1#nt!  The Exchange tells us Chrome works better than Internet Explorer for this website. (Barbara Gorham,

Bree Collaborative Adopts Lumbar Fusion Bundle

On September 17, the Bree Collaborative adopted a standard definition for a bundle on lumbar fusion surgery intended to be offered to  purchasers and providers as a basis for contracting for services. Bree is a group of physicians and clinical leaders charged by the legislature with helping to implement changes to promote quality and reduce costs. While some Bree members asked that the vote be postponed to allow for additional dialogue with spinal surgeons, the majority supported moving forward without additional delays.

While WSHA supported the overall push for bundled payments, we had requested re-consideration of some of the elements. No significant changes were made to the original proposal. The Bree Collaborative emphasized adoption was only intended for willing providers and purchasers; the bundle as defined was just a starting point and could be modified during negotiations. (Claudia Sanders,

What does your county look like? Alliance Release of County-Level Data Report, Choosing Wisely

Last week the Washington Health Alliance released county-level data to show opportunity to reduce potential overuse of certain tests or medication. Variation between counties is considerable. The first of its kind report is part of Choosing Wisely®, an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation to help providers and patients engage in conversations about the overuse of tests and procedures and support efforts to help patients make smart and effective care choices.

In Washington State, members of the WSHA and WSMA Medical Officer Collaborative are serving on a Choosing Wisely Taskforce to support and promote the recommendations in our state.

Health care leaders should also review the Choosing Wisely Action Manual, which was developed to assist organizations with integrating evidence-based best practices. Read more about the impact of this report in a recently released WSHA bulletin. For more information regarding reporting measures and analyzed data, please review the report or contact Tanya Carroccio, Director of Quality and Performance Improvement. (Tanya Carrocio,

With Sepsis, Minutes Matter!

Last month was Sepsis Awareness Month. In that four-week period, more than a million people were impacted by sepsis, according to the Global Sepsis Alliance. In addition, 250,000 Americans die of sepsis each year. Reducing deaths from sepsis requires fast action by clinicians in recognizing and treating sepsis.

For the last 11 months, 15 Washington hospitals have been working with the Washington State Hospital Association to test implementation strategies and leading practice tools to reduce morbidity and mortality from sepsis. In less than a year, we have achieved a 38% reduction in severe sepsis and septic shock mortality – 134 lives saved!

Reduce sepsis in your organization. You can find great tools and resources on the WSHA sepsis page. (Rebecca Snyders,

2014 WHPAC Weekly Campaign Update

The 2014 WHPAC continues. To date, we have raised almost $99,000 toward our $170,000 goal. Congratulations to the following members who have already met goal:

  • Cascade Medical Center,
  • Kittitas Valley Healthcare,
  • Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics,
  • MultiCare Health System,
  • North Valley Hospital,
  • Othello Community Hospital,
  • Overlake Medical Center,
  • Skagit Regional Health,
  • Three Rivers Hospital, and
  • Walla Walla General Hospital.

We will be acknowledging members who have met their PAC goal during the annual meeting. Please get your contributions in to Lori Martinez by October 8th to meet the print deadline for the posters we are creating. (Lori Martinez,

Join the October 23 Safe Table for Safe Imaging Webcast

Exposure to unnecessary ionizing radiation through X-rays and CT scans is a growing concern for adults and children. Earlier in 2014, the Washington State Hospital Association joined the national 100K Children Campaign and developed protocols and decision-making tools to help physicians make the right diagnostic choice and optimize doses for pediatric patients.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn valuable information to help you prepare for the new imaging accreditation standards related to pediatric protocols and dose monitoring. Presenters will share the latest in best practices, tools and resources to help you, your patients and their families in reducing exposure.

For details about the webcast, visit our 100K Children Campaign Website. (Becky DeMers,

Begin the Countdown! 10… 9…. 8….

WSHA’s 82nd Annual Meeting is fast approaching, with only a little over a week until the big day. Start the experience off early by participating in WSHA’s Governance Skill Building Intensive Program and the New Trustee Orientation on Tuesday October 14th.

Then get ready for the annual meeting, “Embracing Disruptive Change in Health Care,” October 15th and 16th at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle.

We have even put together a WSHA Event app, to help everyone share their Annual Meeting experience in real time and stay in touch with the latest on transforming healthcare, expanding population health, patient safety and more! Information about how to utilize that app will be coming soon, but for now, download it by searching the app store for “WSHA Events.”

For more information and to register for the annual meeting, click here. (Lilia Cabello Drain,


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