August 5, 2016
Volume 60, Issue 31

WHA Board Planning Session Helps Set WHA Course for the Future
WHA MACRA Webinar Focuses on Implementation of MIPS
WI Hospitals State PAC & Conduit Tops $190,000
Managing Risk in Telemedicine Platforms Focus of WHA Member Forum Webinar
Legislative Study Committee on Rural Broadband Holds First Meeting
Public Service Commission Releases Survey on Broadband Service
Governor Appoints Seemeyer to Lead Department of Health Services
Still Time to Register for Annual Hospital Foundation Leaders Workshop, Aug. 16
WHIO Names Richardson CEO
Help WHA Tell Your Story in the 2016 Community Impact Report



WHA Board Planning Session Helps Set WHA Course for the Future
Sustaining member value is a high WHA priority as health care evolves 

Wisconsin hospitals and health systems are among the very best in the country at delivering high-quality care and setting a new standard of clinical excellence. WHA’s goal is to reflect that same level of excellence in the advocacy, education and analytic services they provide to their members. 

The WHA Board participated in a planning session in Madison July 28-29, facilitated by Larry Walker, president of the well-respected consulting firm Walker and Company. WHA 2016 Chair-elect Cathy Jacobson, president/CEO, Froedtert Health, chaired the Planning Session.

WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding told Board members that past planning sessions have “shaped, evolved and defined WHA’s value equation.”

Borgerding said WHA strives to be:

Advocacy is the number one expectation of WHA from its members, and WHA delivers. Larry Walker noted that WHA has very high member satisfaction scores. “I have never seen Board evaluation surveys with so many responses at the high end,” he said. 

Walker said WHA’s greatest strength is how it leverages its influence with the State Legislature and agencies. WHA’s greatest challenge may well be in the area of communications with members as organizational structures change with mergers, affiliations and partnerships. 

“The way we communicate with our members now may not be evolving fast enough to keep pace with the changing nature of our industry,” Borgerding said. “We can’t have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to communications. We want our leaders to know the true value of their membership, but we recognize there are many others on the executive team and throughout the organization who will benefit if they are familiar WHA.” 

Another area of opportunity for WHA is in converting data into analytical tools that will help inform decision making in Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems, or as one participant termed it, “taking data analytics to the next level.”

WHA has a full plate, but Borgerding believes if the staff and Board focus on value, just as WHA members do, the Association will continue to meet and surpass member expectations.

“Our goal as an Association is to stay relevant to our members as change envelops our industry,” Borgerding said. “Our number one goal is to create and sustain member value.” 

The output from the Board Planning Session will inform the process that staff will use to create new services, products and resources that will help WHA members enhance the value of health care in Wisconsin and drive quality improvement. Look for more information related to the Board planning session in upcoming issues of the Valued Voice.

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WHA MACRA Webinar Focuses on Implementation of MIPS


Registration is open for the WHA Member Forum webinar: “MACRA – Implementation of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS),” scheduled August 25. This webinar will provide an overview of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) that is proposed in the new Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which is scheduled to affect provider reimbursement beginning in 2019. Hospital quality managers, CFOs and CMOs are encouraged to participate.

Brian Vamstad, federal government relations consultant, Gundersen Health System, and WHA Chief Quality Officer Kelly Court will co-present the one-hour complimentary webinar. The session will include overviews of MACRA and MIPS; identify the providers to which MIPS applies; and discuss the MIPS measure categories, including quality, resource use, advancing care information and clinical quality improvement activities.

Register today at: https://events.signup4.net/16MACRA-MIPS0801. This complimentary webinar is open to all WHA hospital and corporate members, but pre-registration is required. An audio recording of the webinar will be available after the event, but you must pre-register to receive the recording. Content questions can be directed to Kelly Court at kcourt@wha.org. Registration questions can be directed to Kayla Chatterton at kchatterton@wha.org

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WI Hospitals State PAC & Conduit Tops $190,000
Individual WHA staff contributions at $35,000 in 2016

To date, the 2016 Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit campaign topped $191,000 from 225 contributors, including almost 40 new contributors and many returning contributors! The 2016 campaign is at 64 percent of its aggressive $300,000 goal for this year. Roughly half of the individuals on WHA’s 40 member staff have made a contribution and will have contributed over $35,000 this year. 

In this pivotal election year, remember that elections matter and participation is important. Individuals working in hospitals and clinics large and small across the state have raised almost $200,000, but everyone’s participation will be needed to reach the $300,000 goal. This goal is a part of WHA’s integrated approach to advocacy, which includes directly lobbying elected officials, engaging hospital constituents with those elected officials (through WHA programs like HEAT and Advocacy Day) and by enabling individuals to support candidates through contributions to the Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC and Conduit. 

All three of these elements – lobbying, grassroots, PAC/Conduit – together constitute WHA’s integrated approach to advocacy and are why we continue to be successful. Ultimately, better candidates lead to better legislators who craft better laws. What were some examples of past positive public policy successes of WHA’s integrated advocacy approach? 

Help continue Wisconsin’s health care success story by making your contribution today. The next contributor list will run in the August 19 edition of the Valued Voice newsletter. Make sure your name is on the list. Contribute online at www.whconduit.com or by contacting Jenny Boese at 608-268-1816 or jboese@wha.org or Nora Statsick at 608-239-4535 or nstatsick@wha.org

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Managing Risk in Telemedicine Platforms Focus of WHA Member Forum Webinar

Telemedicine is a broadly defined and quickly growing health care delivery model, but can be confusingly regulated. This technology-dependent platform poses unique risk management issues including quality of care, privacy and security, False Claims Act, and provider credentialing and privileging issues. 

As part of the monthly WHA legal and regulatory webinar series, the session “Managing Risk in Telemedicine Platforms,” will be offered August 31. Registration is now open at https://events.SignUp4.net/16LegalSeries.

This August 31 presentation will identify the primary risk management issues and provide guidance for establishment of best practice policies for this delivery model. The session will be presented by Guy DuBois of Axley Law Firm, a WHA Corporate Member.

There is no fee for this webinar, which is part of WHA’s series on legal and regulatory hot topics, but pre-registration is required. The series is intended for WHA Hospital and Corporate Members as a member benefit, and will include a range of topics, each presented by a representative of a WHA Corporate Member law firm. For registration questions, contact Kayla Chatterton at kchatterton@wha.org or 608-274-1820.

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Legislative Study Committee on Rural Broadband Holds First Meeting
WHA to present at September 7 meeting on broadband and rural telemedicine opportunities


The Legislative Study Committee on Rural Broadband held its first meeting August 3 at the state Capitol in Madison. The first meeting focused on background information on existing state and federal broadband expansion programs and broadband mapping efforts, the state’s ongoing broadband strategy and operations of the Wisconsin Universal Service Fund. Representatives from the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association and Wisconsin Cable Communications Association also testified regarding the economics and various business models for providing broadband services. 

Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), chair of the Study Committee, said that while members of the study committee were chosen based on their participation in and familiarity with the state’s broadband grant program, the conversation and direction of the study committee could focus beyond an examination of the state’s existing broadband grant program. 

“The goals of the study committee are very fluid,” said Sen. Marklein. “I have no preconceived policies for the study committee.”

The importance of broadband to improve health care outcomes was identified multiple times during the course of the meeting. 

Rep. Beth Meyers (D-Bayfield) said that it is “very important” to consider how broadband can impact access to health care in rural communities. She noted that accessible broadband can enable individuals to receive health care services at home and at less cost than in a facility.

Senator Marklein agreed with the importance of further examining the impact of broadband infrastructure on health care in Wisconsin. As part of the September 7 meeting of the Study Committee, WHA has been invited to give a presentation to the Study Committee on the health care related broadband impacts and needs in rural communities, which will include a discussion of broadband infrastructure needs to leverage rural access to health care through emerging telemedicine services.

In addition to health care, the role of broadband in economic development was discussed and what taxpayer returns on investment are possible for government-subsidized expansion of Wisconsin’s broadband infrastructure. 

The next study committee meeting is scheduled September 7, and a subsequent meeting is scheduled October 5.

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Public Service Commission Releases Survey on Broadband Service
Hospitals and outlying clinics are encouraged to participate


The Wisconsin State Broadband Office of the Public Service Commission (PSC) has released a survey for residential and business users of broadband services. The PSC intends to use the survey results to “help state planners and policymakers better understand the need for improved internet access in our state.” Because the survey will help identify gaps in adequate broadband services, hospitals and health systems should consider completing a survey not just for their main campus, but also for their outlying clinics that may face additional broadband challenges.

To complete the short 11 question survey, go to https://www.research.net/r/WI_PSC_business_broadband_survey. If you have any questions, contact Steven Rush, WHA VP workforce and clinical practice at srush@wha.org or 608-274-1820.


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Governor Appoints Seemeyer to Lead Department of Health Services

Gov. Scott Walker has appointed Linda Seemeyer to lead the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) as its next secretary following the passing of Secretary Kitty Rhoades.

“Linda’s experience in health and human services at the county level, along with her career in management, makes her the right fit for this job,” Governor Walker said. “I thank Linda for her willingness to once again serve the people of Wisconsin.”

Seemeyer comes to DHS from the Walworth County Department of Health & Human Services where she served as its director from 2007 to 2015. Seemeyer’s prior experience includes serving as the director of the Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services, and deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration under Governor Tommy Thompson.

“I thank Governor Walker for placing his trust in me to lead DHS,” Seemeyer said. “I look forward to working with Department staff, legislators, and stakeholders to promote the health and safety of Wisconsin’s citizens.”

The Wisconsin Hospital Association welcomed Seemeyer to her new role.

“WHA has a long history of working closely with DHS, its leaders and staff,” Borgerding said. “We look forward to continuing that partnership with Secretary Seemeyer and working together to improve the health of Wisconsin citizens and maintaining access to one of the best health care systems in the nation.”

Seemeyer will begin on August 22, 2016. Interim Secretary Tom Engels will resume his duties as deputy secretary. 

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Still Time to Register for Annual Hospital Foundation Leaders Workshop, Aug. 16

Hospital foundation directors, board members and hospital executives are encouraged to attend the popular, annual “Prescription for Success: A Workshop for Hospital Foundations” on August 16 in Wisconsin Dells. Lori L. Jacobwith, nationally-known communication and fundraising strategist, will lead two interactive sessions, sharing tools and techniques to deepen donor engagement and increase support from Foundation Board members. 

With the partnership and support of the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health (WORH), the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) and the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC), this annual workshop is available at a minimal cost to hospital and hospital foundation staff. This year’s workshop is also approved for 5.0 continuing education credits by CFRE International.

The Hospital Foundation Workshop will be held Tuesday, August 16, at Glacier Canyon Lodge at The Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Online registration is now available at http://events.SignUp4.net/Foundation16
 

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WHIO Names Richardson CEO

The Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO) has named Dana Richardson its new CEO. Richardson succeeds Josephine Musser who is retiring.

Richardson has been serving since April as acting executive director of the non-profit PCPI® Foundation in Chicago. Previously, she served six years at the American Medical Association (AMA) as director of operations and strategic initiatives for the PCPI. From 2002-2010, Richardson was vice president for quality initiatives at WHA.

“We are happy to welcome Dana back to Wisconsin to take the reins of WHIO, and we look forward to working with her,” said WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “We also recognize the great work of Jo Musser, whose leadership and vision have made WHIO a tremendous tool for measuring and improving health care quality and efficiency in Wisconsin.”

Richardson has deep ties to Wisconsin’s health care system, with prior experience at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison and the Dean Health System.

“Dana Richardson is a proven leader who thinks strategically and acts decisively, setting goals, solving problems and seeing tangible results,” said WHIO Board Chair Linda Syth. “Her background in quality and efficiency at the local and state level in Wisconsin, along with her work at the national level with physician societies and performance measurement, make her uniquely qualified to engage caregivers where their heart is – great patient care. We’re delighted to welcome Dana to WHIO.”

WHIO provides health care information to consumers, clinicians, providers, employers and payers to support decision-making. 

“I am excited to be joining an organization focused on the quality, safety and affordability of health care. Knowing that Wisconsin is a high-value state for health care services, my goal is to further leverage the WHIO information to set a higher bar,” said Richardson. 

Richardson will assume her new post August 30.

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Help WHA Tell Your Story in the 2016 Community Impact Report

WHA is in the planning stages for its 2016 Community Impact Report. The report will feature stories submitted by members that illustrate the commitment our members have to improve the health of the people who live and work in their communities. Here is a link to the last report: http://www.wha.org/pubarchive/special_reports/2015cbReport.pdf

The report is divided into three categories:

  1. Hospital-supported initiatives that address an area identified as a need by your community health needs assessment. Identify the priority and explain how the hospital or health system led an effort to address it. If you engaged community partners, call that out in the story, too. 
  2. Charity care stories. This is free care for those who cannot afford it. 
  3. Free clinic stories. The hospital or health system can either run or contribute resources to a free clinic. 

The contributions that hospitals and health systems make to the communities overall health status are often overlooked. At WHA, we believe there is power in numbers. That is why we broadened our request for stories into a new area to include activities related to the implementation of the community health needs assessment. 

The deadline for submitting articles is October 1, 2016. Send them to Mary Kay Grasmick, mgrasmick@wha.org, or call 608-274-1820 for more information on this project.

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