May 10, 2013
Volume 57, Issue 19


Jandre Legislation Passes Assembly with Strong Bipartisan Vote
"This bill will strengthen the bond between doctors and their patients"

With a strong bipartisan vote, the Assembly approved Assembly Bill 139, the legislation addressing the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Jandre decision, in the first week of its spring floor period. The Jandre decision created an unclear standard for physicians to meet when obtaining patients’ informed consent prior to providing treatment. AB-139 addresses that by establishing the reasonable physician standard for physicians when providing patients with information about the risks and benefits of reasonable alternate treatment.

After the vote, WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding said, "This bill will strengthen the bond between doctors and their patients, minimize the practice of defensive medicine, and allow Wisconsin hospitals and health systems to continue providing high-quality, outcome-focused care." Borgerding continued, "We want to thank Representative Jim Ott (R-Mequon) for authoring this crucial legislation and the 64 other members of the Assembly who stood for high-quality health care in Wisconsin."

On the Assembly floor, Ott talked about the necessity of this legislation. "The purpose of this bill is to give guidance to the medical community," he said.

"I think this bill is needed," commented Ott. "[providers] have said the courts have given us so much uncertainty that we don’t know what to do."

The bill passed with a vote of 65-31. Hospital and health system leaders from across the state discussed the Jandre legislation with their Assembly representatives almost three weeks ago as part of WHA’s Advocacy Day. To see how those individual Assembly members voted on the Jandre bill, go to: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/related/votes/assembly/av0076.

The bill now heads to the Wisconsin State Senate.

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Wisconsin Hospitals’ Infection Rates Far Lower than National Levels

The Wisconsin Division of Public Health’s annual Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Prevention Program report shows Wisconsin hospitals have dramatically reduced some of the most serious infections to levels that are far lower than the national standard. View the report at: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/P0/P00340.pdf.

“During 2012, Wisconsin hospitals prevented 135 of the most serious health care-associated infections,” according to Gwen Borlaug, CIC, MPH, coordinator for the HAI Prevention Program at the Wisconsin Division of Public Health. “That’s great news for Wisconsin health care consumers and very gratifying and encouraging for everyone involved in this important health care quality improvement effort.” 

The occurrence of central line-associated infections (CLABSI) in Wisconsin hospitals was 56 percent lower than the national level and 21 percent lower than it was in 2011. The CLABSIs occurrence in neo-natal intensive care units was 36 percent lower than the national level and 10 percent lower than it was in 2011.

The catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rate was 13 percent lower than the national level and 17 percent lower than it was the previous year.

One of the most dangerous infections, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), decreased 16 percent in hospitals from 2011 to 2012.

"Wisconsin hospitals are absolutely committed to delivering the highest quality, safest care possible and to driving infection rates even lower," said Kelly Court, chief quality officer for the Wisconsin Hospital Association. "This report is evidence that the commitment and efforts are making a difference."

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Register Today for the Wisconsin Rural Health Conference, June 26-28

Make plans to join your colleagues at the Kalahari Resort Wisconsin Dells for the 2013 Wisconsin Rural Health Conference, June 26-28.

This year’s conference will include outstanding keynote sessions by Todd Linden, Quint Studer and the ever-popular state of Wisconsin health care session presented by Tim Size of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative and WHA President Steve Brenton. In addition, a variety of timely topics will be addressed and case studies examined in nearly a dozen different breakout sessions. Topics include addressing the delivery of behavioral health care in rural settings, creating/expanding a medical residency program, the useing of patient navigators in an inpatient setting, the impact of ICD-10 on finances and quality metrics and Meaningful Use.

The annual Wisconsin Rural Health Conference is a great way for hospital executives, leadership staff and trustees to examine the issues that impact small and rural hospitals, while networking and collaborating with colleagues and each other. Register by June 14, and make your hotel reservations as soon as possible but before the deadline of June 5.

An agenda and online registration are available at http://events.SignUp4.com/13Rural.

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MTM Inc. will Replace LogistiCare August 1

The Department of Health Services (DHS) announced May 8 that they have entered into a contract with a new non-emergency medical transportation manager for Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus members—Medical Transportation Management, Inc. (MTM, Inc.).

As of August 1, 2013, MTM Inc. will replace DHS’s current transportation manager, LogistiCare, LLC. Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus members who are eligible to get non-emergency medical transportation through LogistiCare will be eligible to get rides through MTM, Inc. beginning August 1. LogistiCare will continue to coordinate transportation for eligible Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus members through July 31, 2013.

DHS also announced that it will be sending a new Provider Update in early summer that will provide an overview of MTM, Inc. and non-emergency medical transportation processes and procedures. MTM will also be providing outreach to health care providers in the coming weeks.

DHS’s press release can be found at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/News/PressReleases/2013/050813.htm.

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WHA Introduces New "Members Only" Portal on WHA.org

As a service to our members, WHA creates and distributes a number of hospital-specific custom reports and data analyses to our members that are now sent directly from WHA staff through our email system. While this distribution system is secure, it is cumbersome to administer, and it does not allow other employees to easily access all the reports in a convenient location at a later date.

Starting now, all the facility-specific custom quality and finance reports created by WHA will be available in the new "members only" section of WHA’s website, wha.org. We believe that this new portal will become a valuable WHA member benefit because it provides a convenient way for members to access facility-specific information, reports and analyses prepared by WHA staff. Note that the WHA Information Center will continue to distribute reports and data sets from their secure portal.

To register, go to http://members.wha.org. Your request will be processed by WHA staff and you will receive a confirmation email that your request has been approved. If you are with a health system and you need access to reports from several hospitals, register on the site for one of the hospitals you need and then contact Tammy Hribar, thribar@wha.org and let her know what other hospitals you need added.

The WHA members only section can be accessed at anytime by clicking on the Data navigation tab at WHA.org, then click the "members only" icon.

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Grassroots Spotlight: Rep. Ron Kind Visits Moundview Memorial (Friendship)

Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI 3rd Cong. District) visited Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics in Friendship recently. During his time at the facility, Kind was able to talk with hospital leadership, including CEO Jeremy Normington, and staff about the following issues: health care program reimbursement, graduate medical education, health insurance exchanges and electronic health records.

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Partners for Patients Wave 2 Enrollment Shows Commitment to Quality, Safety

WHA member hospitals are constantly driven to achieve better results for their patients and improve health care value in Wisconsin. The latest example of this is demonstrated through the newest enrollment in the second wave of improvement work that is being coordinated by WHA quality staff through the "Partners for Patients," a national initiative supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The ambitious goals of the Partners for Patients initiative are to reduce inpatient health care associated complications by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent over a three-year period in 10 key areas. Over 100 hospitals have voluntarily enrolled in the new project with WHA (overall, 99 percent of Wisconsin hospitals are participating in the initiative). Through this initiative, hospitals are collaboratively developing best practices that will improve the safety of health care and make care less costly. Improving the culture of safety in Wisconsin hospitals leads to higher quality health care, the best possible results and improved health care value for patients and those who pay for their care.

"Since our Mid-Point Event in March, our hospitals have responded to our request that they further engage their staff by enrolling in additional WHA-sponsored learning opportunities," said WHA Chief Quality Officer Kelly Court. "We are pleased and proud of the impressive response that we have received to our Partners for Patient initiatives."

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Wisconsin Hospitals Community Benefits – Adequate and Appropriate Nutrition

Nutrition counseling is an important aspect of the service that hospitals provide within their communities. Whether it is offering classes that focus on weight loss or promoting better health, or nutrition education for people who are diabetic, Wisconsin hospitals offer hundreds of free classes that stress the importance of a nutritional, well-balanced diet on overall health. Hospital employees also help deliver Meals on Wheels and they organize and participate in food drives to benefit local food pantries.


Tomah Memorial Hospital offers children healthy nutrition game

Tomah area children are having fun as they learn about nutrition and correct food portion sizes thanks to an educational and interactive game crafted by the Nutrition Services Department at Tomah Memorial Hospital (TMH).

"We came up with the ‘Choose My Plate" activity to promote good nutrition for kids of all ages," Donna Shuck, hospital nutrition services said of the educational bean bag toss game.

Participants toss food-shaped bean bags onto a large bed sheet painted with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s "Choose My Plate" nutrition diagram. The circular plate-like drawing features individual colored sections, representing daily recommended portions of certain food groups, including protein, whole grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy.

"Originally we started out where we had the kids come up and they were the chicken, fish and vegetables, fruits and milk, and they took a place on the plate. Now we have bean bags−made by one of our (hospital) lab techs−and the kids have a great time."

Shuck and hospital Registered Dietitian Joan Kortbein presented the game at this summer’s National Night Out event and will take it into Tomah area schools this fall. "It’s been a great hit," Kortbein added.

The U.S.D.A. originally created the dinner plate model replacing the Food Guide Pyramid which had been used for decades.

Tomah Memorial Hospital, Tomah


Wheaton Franciscan Family Care Center cooking classes promote healthy eating

Good nutrition is one of the hallmarks of a healthy lifestyle, and the Wheaton Franciscan Family Care Center offers cooking classes that address nutrition and healthy eating. Its Fitness and Nutrition (FAN) Club program is a popular venue for getting across the message that it’s healthy to be active and eat right.

Classes incorporate a variety of skills, such as grocery shopping, reading food labels, and reworking recipes with healthier ingredients, and teach the importance of all the food groups in a healthy diet. The importance of walking and other exercise is also emphasized.

St. Joseph Family Medicine residents attend the classes as part of their residency instruction, and the classes are supported by grants. Medical residents refer Family Care Center patients to the cooking classes, but the sessions are also open to members of the community who wish to attend.

One important component of the FAN program is the Family Dinners, held for a whole family at a time. The family is referred by the Family Medicine residents, and the point of the dinner is to provide instruction about healthy diets and nutrition within the context of the family meal. The resident and the selected family meet with registered nurse Jenny Ovide to plan, prepare and eat a meal together.

Hands-on instruction in choosing healthy dinner options, preparing favorite recipes using appropriate, healthier substitutions for some ingredients, and label reading are just some of the concepts covered while the group works together to make dinner. Family members set the table, and dinner conversation continues about healthy options and how the family can work together to make conscious decisions about healthy diets. The meal is a relaxing, no-pressure educational opportunity that helps families see how they can work together to improve their diet and nutrition.

Jenny Ovide, the registered nurse who runs the FAN classes, is thrilled to see the impact of these grant-funded opportunities. "It’s a win-win," she enthused. "Our St. Joseph Family Medicine residents get nutrition education not covered in medical school curriculum, our families see how they can improve their health with better choices and understanding options, and everyone benefits from consumers who are making an effort to eat better for their health and wellness."

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Milwaukee


Submit community benefit stories to Mary Kay Grasmick, editor, at mgrasmick@wha.org.

Read more about hospitals connecting with their communities at www.WiServePoint.org.

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