Good data, good decisions

The New York Times has created a deeply fascinating way to explore cost variation across the country, and it bears thought. On Tuesday, they published “The Experts Were Wrong About the Best Places for Better and Cheaper Health Care.” Medicare spending on procedures is a rich dataset of cost variation and has been used as a lens on the issue of cost variation.... Read More >>

Hospitals: Check your birth filing forms — honor same-sex marriage

Recently, WSHA staff were contacted by a member of the Washington State Senate because a large hospital was using an outdated birth filing form. The correct form was developed in 2012, shortly after passage of state law allowing for same-sex marriage. The new form allows same-sex couples to be listed as parents; the old form does not.... Read More >>

Senate approves budget deal; site neutral provision correction rejected

Congressional leaders released a 2,009-page bill Dec. 16 that funds the government through Sept. 30, 2016. Lawmakers rejected a hospital-backed technical correction to the November budget deal’s site neutral provision and a fix for cancer hospitals advocated by the Seattle Cancer Alliance.... Read More >>

WSHA Provides Reports, Webinar on Medicare Joint Replacement Bundles

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized its rule concerning the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program. The program will make hospitals that provide lower joint replacement surgeries in specified geographic areas financially responsible for costs related to an episode of care, including post-acute services. ... Read More >>

WSHA comments on draft balance billing legislation

On December 4, the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) sent interested stakeholders, including WSHA, draft legislation concerning balance billing for services by a provider who is not contracted with a patient’s health plan, when the services are provided at a contracted hospital. ... Read More >>

Promote organ donations in your hospital

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Division of Organ Donation and Transplant is encouraging hospitals to establish organ donor registration as a routine, especially among small and rural hospitals. HRSA is encouraging hospitals to participate in the giving spirit of the holiday season.... Read More >>

CAH Necessary Provider documentation needed for CMS survey

As a reminder, CMS requires all Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) that are designated Necessary Providers (NPs) to provide documentation during their survey that proves the hospital received this designation from the state prior to 2006.... Read More >>

New HCA resources on Accountable Communities of Health: FAQ and conference calls

The state Health Care Authority (HCA) released a new Frequently Asked Questions document and announced monthly conference calls to answer questions and provide general updates on the Accountable Communities of Health (ACHs).... Read More >>

WSHA Provides Reports and Analyses of Medicare Outpatient Rule to Hospitals

On November 20, WSHA provided hospitals with an analysis of the Calendar Year 2016 Medicare outpatient prospective payment system final rule. WSHA also provided facility-specific impact reports to hospital Chief Financial Officers. The new payment rates include a 2.1 percent market basket increase that is offset by an ACA-mandated reduction of 0.7 percent and an additional adjustment reduction of 2 percent due to lab services that should have been bundled being paid separately in error. ... Read More >>

Insurance Commissioner Plans Balance Billing Legislation

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler plans to submit proposed legislation in the upcoming 2016 session to limit balance billing of patients for out-of-network emergency services when a patient receives care at a facility contracted as in-network with their health plan.... Read More >>

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