December 31, 2014
Volume 57, Issue 52

Pandl Assumes Role as 2015 WHA Chair
Wallace is chair-elect in 2015

Therese Pandl, president/CEO of the Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) Eastern Wisconsin Division, will begin her service January 1 as chair of the Wisconsin Hospital Association in 2015. The WHA Nominating Committee announced Pandl’s nomination last fall.

A member of the WHA Board since 2012, Pandl currently co-chairs the WHA Enrollment Action Council, the Wisconsin Hospitals Issue Advocacy Council and the WHA Executive Committee. She has also served as a member of WHA’s Medicaid Reengineering Group and Council on Public Policy.

Prior to joining HSHS, Pandl was executive vice president and COO at Columbia St. Mary’s in Milwaukee. During her tenure with Columbia St. Mary’s, she served in a variety of roles including lead executive for St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee, vice president of operations, vice president of inpatient services and nurse executive; as well as director and staff positions.

Pandl earned both her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and her MBA at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a master’s in nursing from the University of Washington, Seattle. She was a Commonwealth Fund Nurse Executive Fellow and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Mike Wallace, MHA, FACHE, president/CEO of Fort HealthCare, will serve as WHA chair-elect in 2015 and chair in 2016. A member of the WHA Board since 2011, Wallace also chairs the WHA Council on Public Policy and is currently a member of the WHA Executive Committee, Network Adequacy Council and Wisconsin Hospitals Issue Advocacy Council. He was also a member of the WHA Medicaid Advisory Group in 2010.

Prior to joining Fort HealthCare in 2006, Wallace served at Trinity Regional Health System, located in Rock Island, Illinois and Bettendorf, Iowa. Previously, he was the chief executive officer at Lucas County Hospital in Chariton, Iowa. He also held similar positions while employed with HealthSouth Corporation, serving as chief executive officer of two hospitals in Phoenix, Arizona.

Wallace is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where he received a master’s degree in health administration. He received his bachelor’s degree from DePauw University, Indiana. Wallace has achieved Fellow status with the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and is board certified in health care management. He is a two-time winner of the ACHE Regents Award-Early Career Healthcare Executive and is a past winner of the Iowa Hospital Association Young Executive Achievement Award.

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WHA Membership Engagement Helps Drive 2014 Accomplishments
"Results" documents Association’s success in representation, advocacy, clinical performance

The past year could well be remembered as being one of the most challenging, yet successful, chapters in the history of the Wisconsin Hospital Association. The WHA 2014 Results ( documents the past year of Association activity that was focused on ensuring that Wisconsin hospitals and health systems could continue to deliver on their promise to provide the best care possible to every patient, every time.

In 2014, Wisconsin was again recognized as having one of the very best health care delivery systems in the country. That level of excellence would not be possible without collaboration among providers who recognize the importance of establishing partnerships with other community health organizations, and with one another, to meet the ever-growing demand for health care services by an aging population.

To achieve and sustain Wisconsin’s position as a top-ranked state takes leadership, innovation, clinical excellence and fiscal stewardship. Health care leaders here are driven by a passion to set, and then surpass, the highest standards of patient care in the nation. It is the reason that in spite of the uncertainty that envelops the industry, Wisconsin hospitals and health systems are well-positioned to continue to deliver on their promise to provide high-quality, high-value accessible care in every region of the state.

WHA is a partner with and advocate for its member hospitals and health systems. Voluntary leadership is a core strength of an Association that embraces advocacy as its highest priority, and WHA members lend their expertise to develop solid guidance on issues that matter. With member support, WHA can anticipate, address and resolve complex issues that could be divisive in less skillful hands.

The staff of the Wisconsin Hospital Association and the WHA Information Center are anxious to serve WHA members with the highest level of advocacy and service in 2015. Thank you for your support.

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Brenton’s Leadership, Vision Set Course for Appreciative WHA Team

The staff of the Wisconsin Hospital Association and the WHA Information Center would like to thank WHA President Steve Brenton for his inspired leadership over the past 13 years. It was his vision of what WHA could become that continues to guide our efforts and instill a strong sense of purpose for the work we do every day on behalf of our members.

We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this organization, and to have worked with and learned from a tremendous leader and mentor like Steve.

We all look forward to working with Steve as he moves into a new role as WHA senior policy advisor in 2015. His knowledge, experience and insight will continue to be an asset for the WHA staff and our members.

The WHA Team

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IRS Finalizes ACA Tax-Exempt Hospital Rules

The Internal Revenue Service on December 29 released a final rule regarding the requirements for tax-exempt hospitals added under Section 501(r) of the Affordable Care Act. It finalizes rules regarding financial assistance and emergency care policies, billing and collections, and community health needs assessments, among other policies.

The final rule can be found at and will be published in the December 31 Federal Register.

"In practice, many of these requirements took effect shortly after the ACA passed in 2010," wrote Emily McMahon, deputy assistant secretary for tax policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in an accompanying blog post ( "Charitable hospitals have been required to make a good-faith effort to comply with the statutory requirements since the law was passed, and have been able to rely on Treasury’s proposed regulations pending finalization. Today’s regulations finalize these requirements and provide time for hospitals to phase in the new requirements."

According to the rule, it appears that all tax-exempt hospitals will have at least one year to come into compliance with the final rule, as the regulations will apply to tax years that begin after December 29, 2015. In the meantime, the IRS indicates that tax-exempt hospitals may continue to rely on a reasonable, good faith interpretation of Code Section 501(r) and the previously issued proposed regulations.

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President’s Column: WHA Advocacy Evolves with Changes in Health Care Landscape

I’ve mentioned to many of you that WHA’s 2014 achievements represent a high watermark in your Association’s recent history. It was a remarkable year. This success wouldn’t have happened without the strong work of our fine team and your engagement.

2014 also marks my final year as WHA’s CEO. It’s been 13 years since I returned to Wisconsin from Iowa to help lead this fine organization, and I’d like to mention a few highlights that have occurred over that time.

  1. WHA is now an organization that increasingly represents regional integrated delivery systems with community hospitals at their core. This has happened without great fanfare and without diminishing our relevancy to members who have chosen to remain independent. This evolution has led us to engage in issues that weren’t of primary concern in the past but are now essential for members who employ physicians, own health plans and generate a majority of revenue from areas other than inpatient care.
  2. WHA members view their WHA membership to be of HIGH VALUE, as documented regularly through member surveys. WHA is viewed as a strategic partner whose effectiveness makes a real difference in the success of our members.
  3. WHA is a powerful advocacy voice. We get things done in Madison, often with bipartisan support, which is unusual given today’s political dynamics.
  4. WHA’s board and officers have been unified and proactive over the past decade. As an example, Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to voluntarily report hospital-specific quality and safety measures, and our ongoing commitment to financial and clinical performance transparency has served our patients well.
  5. WHA’s program priorities demonstrate that a trade association can be relevant in engaging members on issues unrelated to MONEY. Our work related to physician workforce, quality improvement and transparency, disaster preparedness, community benefits and insurance exchange enrollment have all been well received and have made a difference in improving Wisconsin’s delivery system.

Finally, I appreciate the Board’s wisdom in ratifying an internal leadership transition. Eric (Borgerding) has built a fine team of high-level, performance-oriented staff. WHA is well positioned to continue to be of superior relevance and value as we face the considerable challenges and uncertainty that are ahead.

It’s been a privilege to serve as WHA’s leader, and I look forward to continuing to work with you in my new capacity.

Steve Brenton

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Early Bird Discount for WHA’s Physician Leadership Conference Ends Jan. 15

Register today for WHA’s tenth annual Physician Leadership Development Conference, scheduled March 13-14, 2015, at The American Club in Kohler. Registration is now open at Take advantage of the registration fee discount by registering yourself and your team by January 15.

As a reminder, the special room rate at The American Club is only available until February 19 or until the room block fills (which it does quickly each year), so register and make your hotel reservations today.

This year’s event features a full-day session focused on the tools, techniques and skills to not just manage but lead strategic innovation and change within your organization, presented by Dr. William "Marty" Martin. In addition, the half-day session, presented by Barry Silbaugh, MD, will focus on moving a perspective and skill set from that of a physician working autonomously to leading a team and influencing others to change. Both Martin and Silbaugh are faculty from the American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL), formerly the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE).

As a reminder, a "host" registration option is available for senior-level hospital representatives (non-physicians) who accompany one or more of their physicians to the conference but do not need CME credit. AAPL is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. AAPL designates this live activity for a maximum of 11 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.TM Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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Register Today for Labor & Employment Hot Topics Webinar Series

There is still time to register for WHA’s three-part webinar series focused on important labor and employment issues, presented by attorneys from the labor & employment practice of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

The first webinar session, scheduled January 23, will focus on wage and hour litigation, current issues in labor law and tips to ensure compliance with ADA and FMLA regulations. Additional webinars focusing on other labor and employment issues will be offered February 20 and March 20. Webinars can be taken as a full series or individually. Full descriptions of each session, as well as online registration, can be found at:

Health care human resources professionals, hospital and health system in-house counsel and others interested in learning more about these important labor and employment issues should plan to participate. Attendees are encouraged to participate in this webinar series as a team, to learn together through one, low-cost registration. While attendees are encouraged to attend all three sessions, registration for individual sessions is available.

Each session within the series has been approved for 1.5 HR general recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

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Hot Topics in Hospital Engineering Focus of WHA Webinar Series

Beginning in January 2015, WHA is offering a series of 12 webinars focused on the latest technical topics related to hospital engineering. The operational cost of a health care facility is related to its environment and equipment, which are the responsibility of plant engineering personnel, facility management, clinical engineering, telecommunications and safety management. This series has been developed in collaboration with the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE), and will provide technical education to hospital engineering staff, as well as promote the profession of the health care engineer and advance the development of health care engineering.

Health care facility managers, plant engineers, operations directors, clinical engineering staff, telecommunications staff, safety managers, health care administrators, nurse leaders and facility planners should plan to participate. Attendees are encouraged to participate in this webinar series as a team, to gather and learn together through one, low-cost registration.

For a complete list of the 12 sessions, their descriptions and learning objectives, and online registration, visit Registration options exist for individual sessions or a discounted fee for the series of 12 webinars.

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