July 8, 2011
Volume 55, Issue 26
WHA Urges Congressional Delegation to Oppose Medicare, Medicaid Cuts
On behalf of Wisconsin hospitals, WHA President Steve Brenton wrote Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation this week in strong opposition to proposals being discussed during federal deficit talks that would cut hospital payments for Medicare and Medicaid.
"Wisconsin hospitals are already facing reduced reimbursement levels in both Medicare and Medicaid," Brenton began. "Continuing to add further reductions onto these programs, as is being discussed during deficit negotiations, would put access to care in jeopardy for the elderly and the neediest in our state."
In the Medicare program, hospitals are estimated to lose $100 million in FY 2012 alone under the proposed Inpatient Prospective Payment System’s "coding offset," a flawed policy WHA and the American Hospital Association are actively working to push back.
Additionally, Wisconsin hospitals are estimated to lose $2.6 billion over the next 10 years due to implementation of the Affordable Care Act. And on the Medicaid side, Wisconsin’s recently enacted state budget includes nearly $500 million in Medicaid spending reductions.
While across-the-board, arbitrary cuts to Medicare and Medicaid are extremely troubling, one specific proposal WHA continues to be concerned by is an effort to reduce or eliminate a state’s ability to utilize provider taxes. Wisconsin’s successful hospital assessment has been the only way the state has been able to stabilize its Medicaid program and minimize the impact of the recession on hospitals and patients. Wisconsin is one of 47 states who have provider assessments.
"We are very concerned by proposals being discussed that reduce or eliminate a state’s ability to use provider assessments like in Wisconsin," said Brenton. "Curtailing this option will result in lower funding and even more pressure to cut Medicaid, jeopardizing services to the most needy and forcing hospitals to pass on hundreds of millions in unpaid Medicaid costs to employers and their employees."
Grassroots Push Continues
WHA continues to turn up the grassroots HEAT in opposition to Medicare and Medicaid cuts, including engaging HEAT advocates, who have already sent hundreds of emails to members of Congress, as well as scheduling face-to-face meetings with between members of Congress and hospital CEOs.
WHA will also launch a series of radio ads highlighting the potential for devastating cuts and how those would impact hospital care across Wisconsin.
"There is no doubt that Congress and the President need to get the country’s fiscal house in order or that doing so will require some tough decisions," said WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding. "But we need to educate the public that simply cutting hospital Medicare and Medicaid payments by billions of dollars will do nothing to reform these programs or address the issues that are driving their costs. Instead of embracing meaningful reforms, like we are trying to do with Medicaid here in Wisconsin, Congress and the President seem poised to take the easy route … further cut provider payments, call it ‘entitlement reform’ and continue shifting the actual costs onto everyone else through higher health insurance premiums."
For more information or if you need assistance in making sure your voice is heard on this important issue, please contact WHA’s Eric Borgerding or Jenny Boese at 608-274-1820.
Top of page
Wisconsin hospitals have been preparing for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). They have understood that health care cost increases are unsustainable, and that a change in the delivery system is needed.
The proposed regulations for the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) utilizing ACOs issued by CMS in the spring were a disappointment to many. Many felt the requirements for participation were onerous; the infrastructure and upfront costs, as well as ongoing operational costs, were very significant; and the financial return was at best uncertain and likely to be low. Moreover, given the continued predominance of fee-for-service payments, a fair question was whether participating providers would modify how they practice medicine to achieve the benefits of coordination.
With the challenges facing the health care industry—reductions in reimbursement, unsustainable cost trends, significant capital needs, new competition, and weakening demand—providers must prepare for new delivery models.
There are several alternatives available for innovative hospitals hoping to address these significant issues. Among them are:
In sum, innovative hospitals have opportunities to explore new delivery models. Those willing to test these or other models will be better prepared for the move to payment models that will make providers more accountable for delivering quality outcomes more efficiently.
Top of page
The Wisconsin hospitals state political action funds fundraising campaign has raised $105,794 to date from 173 individuals contributing an average $612. This puts the 2011 campaign at 42 percent of the goal.
Earlier this year, the Advocacy Committee decided to strive for a higher goal, as it has done in each of the last nine years, determining the 2011 goal should be to raise $250,000—more than $15,000 higher than the 2010 total raised. If the goal is reached, it will be the highest total ever raised.
Individual contributors are listed in The Valued Voice by name and affiliated organization on a regular basis. 2011 contributors to-date are listed below. Contributors are listed alphabetically by contribution category. The next publication of the contributor list will be in the July 22 edition of The Valued Voice. For more information, contact Jodi Bloch at 608-217-9508 or Jenny Boese at 608-274-1820.
Contributions ranging from $1 - 499
Alstad, Nancy Fort HealthCare
Ashenhurst, Karla Ministry Health Care
Ayers, Mandy Wisconsin Hospital Association
Bablitch, Steve Aurora Health Care
Bailet, Jeffrey Aurora Health Care
Banaszynski, Gregory Aurora Health Care
Beall, Linda Hudson Hospital
Bloom, Deborah Sacred Heart Hospital
Boudreau, Jenny Wisconsin Hospital Association
Braunschweig, Jennifer Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center
Brenny, Terrence Stoughton Hospital Association
Byrne, Frank St. Mary’s Hospital
Campbell-Kelz, Nancy Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Casey, Candy Columbia Center
Censky, Bill Holy Family Memorial, Inc.
Clapp, Nicole Grant Regional Health Center
Clark, Renee Fort HealthCare
Connor, Michael Aurora Health Care
Cooksey, Patricia Hudson Hospital
Dahl, James Fort HealthCare
Decker, Michael Divine Savior Healthcare
DeRosa, Jody St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital
Devermann, Robert Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh
Dolohanty, Naomi Aurora Health Care
Donlon, Marcia Holy Family Memorial, Inc.
Elliott, Roger St. Joseph’s Hospital
Evans, Kim Bellin Hospital
Facey, Alice St. Clare Hospital and Health Services
Fielding, Laura Holy Family Memorial, Inc.
From, Leland Beloit Health System
Fuchs, Tom St. Joseph’s Hospital
Furlong, Marian Hudson Hospital
Giedd, Janice St. Joseph’s Hospital
Govier, Mary Holy Family Memorial, Inc.
Grohskopf, Kevin St. Clare Hospital and Health Services
Groskreutz, Kevin St. Joseph’s Hospital
Halida, Cheryl St. Joseph’s Hospital
Hieb, Laura Bellin Hospital
Hockers, Sara Holy Family Memorial, Inc.
Hoege, Beverly Reedsburg Area Medical Center
Holub, Gregory Ministry Door County Medical Center
Jelle, Laura St. Clare Hospital and Health Services
Keene, Kaaron Memorial Health Center - An Aspirus Partner
Klay, Lois St. Joseph’s Hospital
Klein, Rick Aurora Health Care
Kuehni-Flanagan, Tracy St. Joseph’s Hospital
Laird, Michael Froedtert Health St. Joseph’s Hospital
Lange, George Westgate Medical Group, CSMCP
Margan, Rob Wisconsin Hospital Association
Maurer, Mary Holy Family Memorial, Inc.
McKevett, Timothy Beloit Health System
McNally, Maureen Froedtert Health
Meyer, Jeffrey Osceola Medical Center
Muellerleile, Steven Westfields Hospital
Mulder, Doris Beloit Health System
Niemer, Margaret Children’s Hospital and Health System
O’Keefe, James Mile Bluff Medical Center
Olson, Bonnie Sacred Heart Hospital
Ose, Peggy Riverview Hospital Association
Page, Alison Balwin Area Medical Center
Palecek, Steve St. Joseph’s Hospital
Penczykowski, James St. Mary’s Hospital
Peters, Kenneth Bellin Hospital
Petonic, Mary Frances Meriter Hospital
Potts, Dennis Aurora Health Care
Priest, Geoffrey Meriter Hospital
Proehl, Sheila Hudson Hospital
Radoszewski, Pat Children’s Hospital and Health System
Rambo, Kari Hudson Hospital
Reinke, Mary Aurora Health Care
Rickelman, Debbie WHA Information Center
Roller, Rachel Aurora Health Care
Samitt, Craig Dean Health System
Schaefer, Mark Froedtert Health
Scieszinski, Robert Ministry Door County Medical Center
Sheehan, Heather Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge
Stoffel, Julie St. Joseph’s Hospital
Sullivan, Gail St. Joseph’s Hospital
Tapper, Joy Milwaukee Health Care Partnership
Taylor, Steve Beloit Health System
Tews, Carol Memorial Medical Center - Neillsville
Van Meeteren, Bob Reedsburg Area Medical Center
VanDeVoort, John Sacred Heart Hospital
Walker, Troy St. Clare Hospital and Health Services
Worrick, Gerald Ministry Door County Medical Center
Yaron, Rachel Ministry St. Clare’s Hospital
Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge
Contributions ranging from $500 - 999
Anderson, Sandy St. Clare Hospital and Health Services
Bukowski, Cathy Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital
Canter, Richard Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Carlson, Dan Bay Area Medical Center
Clough, Sheila Ministry Health Care’s Howard Young Medical Center
Court, Kelly Wisconsin Hospital Association
Deich, Faye Sacred Heart Hospital
Dietsche, James Bellin Hospital
Eckels, Timothy Hospital Sisters Health System
Frank, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association
Garcia, Dawn St. Joseph’s Hospital
Grundstrom, David Flambeau Hospital
Guirl, Nadine ProHealth Care
Heifetz, Michael SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Huettl, Patricia Holy Family Memorial, Inc.
Johnson, Patricia Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge
Kerwin, George Bellin Hospital
Lewis, Gordon Burnett Medical Center
Mantei, Mary Jo Bay Area Medical Center
Mohorek, Ronald Ministry Health Care
Nelson, James Fort HealthCare
Nelson, Nanine ProHealth Care
Oberholtzer, Curt Bay Area Medical Center
Russell, John Columbus Community Hospital
Schafer, Michael Spooner Health System
Selberg, Heidi HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Shabino, Charles Wisconsin Hospital Association
Swanson, Kerry St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital
VanCourt, Bernie Bay Area Medical Center
Westrick, Paul Columbia St. Mary’s, Inc. - Milwaukee
Zenk, Ann Ministry
Sacred Heart Saint Mary’s
Contributions ranging from $1,000 - 1,499
Alig, Joanne Wisconsin Hospital Association
Boese, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association
Brenton, Mary E.
Britton, Gregory Beloit Health System
Duncan, Robert Children’s Hospital and Health System
Francis, Jeff Ministry Health Care
Hahn, Brad Aurora Health Care
Harding, Edward Bay Area Medical Center
Hilt, Monica Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital
Kerschner, Joseph Children’s Hospital and Health System
Kosanovich, John UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center
Loftus, Philip Aurora Health Care
Martin, Jeff Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital
Mettner, Michelle Children’s Hospital and Health System
Mohorek, Ronald Ministry Health Care
Morgan, Dwight Aurora Health Care
Normington, Jeremy Moundview Memorial Hospital and Clinics
Potter, Brian Wisconsin Hospital Association
Robertstad, John ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial
Sexton, William Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital
Stanford, Matthew Wisconsin Hospital Association
Troy, Peggy Children’s Hospital and Health System
Wallace, Michael Fort HealthCare
Lakeview Medical Center
Contributions ranging from $1,500 - 1,999
Bloch, Jodi Wisconsin Hospital Association
Coffman, Joan St. Joseph’s Hospital
Eichman, Cynthia Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital
Grasmick, Mary Kay Wisconsin Hospital Association
Herzog, Mark Holy Family Memorial, Inc.
Kammer, Peter Essie Consulting Group
O’Brien, Mary Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center
Olson, Edward ProHealth Care
Turkal, Nick Aurora Health Care
Warmuth, Judith Wisconsin Hospital Association
Contributions ranging from $2,000 - 2,499
Fish, David Hospital Sisters Health System
Kachelski, Joe Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network
Leitch, Laura Wisconsin Hospital Association
Levin, Jeremy Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Merline, Paul Wisconsin Hospital Association
Neufelder, Daniel Affinity Health System
Pandl, Therese HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Contributions ranging from $2,500 - 2,999
Borgerding, Eric Wisconsin Hospital Association
Ministry Health Care
Contributions ranging from $3,000 - 3,999
Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Contributions ranging from $4,000 - 4,999
Contributions $5,000 +
Tyre, Scott Capitol Navigators, Inc
Brenton, Stephen Wisconsin Hospital Association
Top of page
In January, Governor Scott Walker created the Commission on Waste, Fraud and Abuse to recommend efficiencies in government programs and reducing waste, fraud and abuse. The Commission released its interim report this week, identifying possible savings of $177 million from operational changes intended to eliminate improper payments made to recipients of public assistance programs, including the Medicaid, Child Care, W-2 and FoodShare programs.
The report highlights that relaxed enrollment standards and limited program integrity efforts over the past several years have led to individuals receiving benefits for which they may not have been eligible and other improper recipient payments. Specific to Medicaid, the report noted that no quality assurance activities were conducted related to the enrollment of childless adults in Medicaid and FoodShare from 2008 until December of 2010. Moreover, the report finds inconsistencies in the application of policies among workers, and a lack of coordination between programs. The report suggests that the enrollment process be redesigned and streamlined to enforce eligibility standards up front, rather than "chasing down" potentially ineligible individuals after they have been enrolled in these programs.
"In the past few years, the Medicaid program has increasingly focused program integrity efforts on providers and provider payments," said Eric Borgerding, WHA executive vice president. "Medicaid now pays Wisconsin hospitals less than 10 percent of their actual charges for outpatient procedures—that’s hardly an incentive for fraud and abuse. We believe this report should be used to focus efficiency and savings efforts on ensuring appropriate enrollment standards. This will help make sure that Medicaid remains a true safety net for our most vulnerable citizens who have no other options."
The recommendations contained in the Commission’s report are aligned with recent recommendations from the WHA Medicaid Reengineering Group, chaired by Nick Desien. Among several topics, the Group discussed possible changes in eligibility and enrollment that could help the state streamline the program and find savings in light of the Medicaid budget deficit. The Group specifically considered program integrity issues, such as additional verification of the information used in determining a person’s eligibility. The group also recommended streamlining and consolidating processes so that rules and policies are implemented consistently.
The Governor’s Commission reviewed other state government issues as well, including use of overtime, use of state staff versus contracted staff for specific functions, and shared services. The Commission recommends use of Lean strategies throughout state government. Future topics for the Commission include state procurement, oversight of information technology projects, and local grants. The Commission’s final report is due by January 1, 2012.
The Commission’s entire report can be found at:http://walker.wi.gov/docview.asp?docid=21877&locid=177
Guest Column: The Peak is Never Passed
By Eric Borgerding, WHA Executive Vice President
As Steve noted in his column last week, the first six months of 2011 have been busy and productive for WHA. Looking back (briefly), patient safety legislation that took three tries and six years to enact (The Quality Improvement Act) and the first hospital base Medicaid payment increase in well over a decade are surely the highlights within a bucket of accomplishments coming out of the 2011-12 legislative session thus far.
The Legislature is adjourned until September, a "summer recess" of sorts. But those who work the legislative process professionally, particularly association lobbyists, know there really is no such thing as down time in Madison, and laurels are short lived. Yes, it’s been a good session so far, but easing into neutral has never been a strand in WHA’s DNA. So, here are just a few of the matters currently defining WHA’s post-state budget agenda:
WHA is positioned to be one of those key stakeholders, as evidenced by the just-completed work of our member-driven Medicaid Reengineering Group (MRG). After six meetings spanning April through June and dozens of hours of staff work, next week we will finalize and deliver to the Department of Health Services the work product—a report containing 47 specific recommendations on how (and how not) to reform Medicaid. While the final report culminates the MRG’s massive effort, it really is just the beginning—our seat (we hope) at the table of a Medicaid reform effort that will play out at both the state and federal level for the next 24 months.
This is a very serious threat that WHA and our members are mobilizing to address on all fronts, pulling out every grassroots tool at our disposal to make our voice heard and concerns understood by our Congressional delegation (see related article above for more information about this effort).
Wasn’t health care supposed to become less complex? This week alone WHA submitted comments relating to a proposed rule mandating hospitals administer flu vaccinations on demand to any and all who walk through our doors (or risk losing Medicare certification), and another rule defining state methods for ensuring access (via provider payment policies) to covered Medicaid services.
Health care is not becoming less complex, and here’s a peek at the rules and regulations that are on tap, and on which WHA will be chiming in:
There is a plateful of issues to be dealt with here, many of which emanate from increasingly obsolete, disconnected-from-reality statutes (specifically Ch. 51) that place Wisconsin hospitals in conflicting, or ambiguous at best, situations. It is a complex and daunting problem wrapped up in the tangle of state and county finances. Solutions will not be wholesale and will necessarily involve multiple levels of stakeholders, but that process of constructing those solutions must begin very soon during this legislative session.
There are literally more than a dozen other issues not covered here, both inside and outside Madison and the State Capitol, in which WHA is playing an active, if not lead, role. The Valued Voice remains WHA’s primary communication vehicle, but always feel free to contact one of the WHA staff for more of the latest developments.
Health care issues and advocacy are not cyclical. They are constant, in a state of motion that is here to stay. As noted above, while we are pleased with our progress so far, there are MASSIVE challenges ahead, and now is certainly not the time to pause, rewind or replay… nor, with the continuing help and support of our members, do we intend to.
From first to last,
The peak is never passed ...
One moment’s high and glory rolls on by,
Like a streak of lightning
That flashes and fades in the summer sky
- Neil Peart, Marathon
Top of page
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the calendar year (CY) 2012 proposed payment rule for the Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). The proposed rule updates outpatient payment rates and policies and implements provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010.
In addition to updating outpatient payments for CY 2012, the rule includes new policy proposals related to the second-year implementation of the ACA’s Medicare inpatient value-based purchasing (VBP) program. Complete program polices for the first program year (federal fiscal year (FFY) 2013), and several program policies for the second program year (FFY 2014) have already been adopted by CMS.
CMS’ proposed rate updates, along with adjustments for budget neutrality, result in an outpatient conversion factor of $69.420 for CY 2012 compared to $68.876 for CY 2011, a 0.8 percent increase.
The proposed CY 2012 conversion factor would be updated as follows:
Plus 2.8 percent: CMS is proposing to update the conversion factor by a market basket of 2.8 percent.
Minus 1.2 percentage points: Offsetting the market basket is an ACA-mandated productivity reduction of 1.2 percentage points.
Minus 0.1 percentage points: Offsetting the market basket is an ACA-mandated pre-determined reduction of 0.1 percentage points.
Minus 0.73 percent: CMS is proposing to reduce the outpatient conversion factor by 0.73 percent to ensure the budget neutrality of the payment system based on the proposed implementation of a payment adjustment that would increase outpatient payments to cancer hospitals.
CMS is also using the OPPS proposed rule to propose changes to the quality reporting requirements of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and implemented by CMS last year.
A CMS Fact Sheet on the proposals is available on the CMS Web site at: www.cms.hhs.gov/apps/media/fact_sheets.asp. The CMS display copy of the proposed rule can be found on the CMS Web site at: www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2011-16949_PI.pdf.
Comments on the all aspects of the proposed rule, including the VBP and EHR program proposals, are due to CMS by Wednesday, August 31.
WHA is working on a comprehensive summary and analysis of the proposal that will be available later this month.
Top of page
On July 1, first-term Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Ashland) took time from his busy in-district schedule to meet with some of his local Aspirus hospital leaders, including WHA Board member and Aspirus President & CEO Duane Erwin and WHA Public Policy Council Chair and Wausau Hospital President & COO Diane Postler-Slattery.
At a lunch meeting and hospital tour, Duffy heard directly from Aspirus leaders about how they are pursuing innovative ways to reduce costs, including new approaches to post-hospital care which are delivering quantifiable savings. Aspirus and WHA staff also discussed the cuts to hospital Medicare and Medicaid payments Congress is now considering as part of the deficit reduction/debt ceiling negotiations taking place back in Washington.
Duffy was mindful of the impact cuts to provider payments will have on access to quality care, and is concerned about the massive Medicare cuts already enacted as a part of PPACA. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Shortly after his visit to Aspirus, Congressman Duffy agreed to sign on to a bipartisan letter to CMS being circulated in Congress objecting to elements of the latest round of hospital Medicare cuts, including the so-called "coding offset" included in the pending Inpatient Prospective Payment System Rule. If this coding offset goes through, Aspirus is estimated to lose $1.3 million (see June 10 issue of The Valued Voice).
Given the rural nature of his district, Duffy has a strong interest in improving access to care, including ensuring there are enough physicians to meet demand and that the technological infrastructure, including fiber optic broadband, is in place to support telemedicine applications.
WHA is working with members across the state to quickly host in-district meetings with their members of Congress to discuss the impact of a potential new round of massive cuts to Medicare and now Medicaid (see related article at www.wha.org/pubArchive/valued_voice/vv6-24-11.htm#7).
Aspirus’ visit with Rep. Duffy is yet another example of hospitals making sure their voices are heard by members of Congress on these and other important issues. If your hospital has hosted a legislator recently or would like to do so, please contact WHA’s Jenny Boese at 608-268-1816 email@example.com.
WHA Education: Upcoming Webinars Focus on Hot Topics for Quality & Risk Management
Over the next several weeks, WHA is offering a variety of webinars focused on reducing readmissions, accommodating religious/cultural diversity, risk management and health literacy. This is a great opportunity to educate your whole team for one low cost and without the need to travel. Upcoming webinars include:
Reducing Readmissions and Improving Transitions
July 12, 2011, 9:00–10:30 am
This webinar focuses on the Care Transitions Intervention™, developed by Dr. Eric Coleman. Dr. Coleman is also co-author of the seminal article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, "Re-hospitalization among patients in the Medicare fee-for-service program." During this session, Dr. Coleman will discuss the impetus for health care leaders to implement the Care Transitions Intervention™, including health policy, clinical and business drivers. In addition, Christina Pavetto Bond of Crouse Hospital, an independent community teaching hospital and one of the first to implement the Care Transitions Intervention™, will share their real world experience in enabling patient self-management through the Care Transitions intervention. Its success in reducing readmissions and emergency room visits for patients enrolled in this intervention will also be discussed. Online registration is available at:
Accommodating Religious and Cultural Diversity
July 13, 2011, 10:00–11:30 am
This webinar will help hospitals understand the types of religious issues that may appear in the workplace, the responsibilities of supervisors to respond to complaints of religious discrimination and requests for accommodations, and "best practices" for religious accommodation policies and procedures. Online registration is available at:
Hot Topics in Risk Management
August 4, 2011, 12:00–1:30 pm
This fast-paced webinar will focus on the hot topics in risk management that impact patient safety today. Some of the discussion items will include 10 things to know about The Joint Commission (TJC) 2011 patient-centered communication standard; fatigue and patient safety issues, CMS and TJC requirements for verbal orders; 20 tips to ensure CMS restraint and seclusion compliance; top five hot TJC compliance standards; and more. Additional information and online registration is available at:
The Value of a Comprehensive Patient Education Program
August 18, 2011, 10:00–11:30 am
This webinar will focus on health literacy, strategies for overcoming the challenges that low health literacy presents, tips for developing health literate patient education materials, best practices for integrating patient education into the workflow, and real-life examples and case studies of how a comprehensive patient education program can have a positive impact on things like readmission reduction and patient satisfaction. Online registration is available at: http://events.SignUp4.com/August11
For registration questions on any of the WHA webinars, contact Lisa Littel at firstname.lastname@example.org or at608-274-1820.
Mercy Hospital Demonstrates Early Success on TCAB Site Visit
WHA’s Judy Warmuth, vice president, workforce, has been conducting site visits at the 18 medical-surgical nursing units participating in the Transforming Care at the Bedside project (TCAB). The major purpose of a site visit is to ensure that each team has successfully launched TCAB on their unit. Warmuth reports this week on her visit to Mercy Hospital in Janesville.
The TCAB Team at Mercy Hospital in Janesville had many projects to report on during their site visit. Rather than report out themselves on all activities, the team asked staff from the dietary, housekeeping and central supply departments to provide a summary on collaborative patient care improvement projects.
According to Mike Sheehy, director, food and nutrition services, "I was impressed when I was invited to come to the unit to discuss an issue with the TCAB team. Talking face-to-face about something that could improve care for our patients resulted in a great conversation and a new way to help visitors and family members. Each department changed their process and everyone gained."
On June 30th, the team held a kickoff event, which allowed all Mercy employees to learn about the TCAB project and the many initiatives already undertaken by the team.
Top of page
Alcohol and substance abuse has a devastating toll on individuals, families, and society. Armed with expertise and determination, Wisconsin hospitals are fighting the war on drugs and alcohol in their communities with counseling and services aimed at prevention and treatment.
Making a difference
Written by Rick Peterson, C.A.R.E. Director, Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital, Prairie du Chien
Established in 1989, the Crawford Abuse Resistance Effort (C.A.R.E.) of Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital collaborates with the community to provide primary substance abuse prevention and youth development programs within Crawford County, Wisconsin. C.A.R.E.’s mission is to reduce and/or prevent the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs among Crawford County youth and adults using comprehensive prevention and health promotion strategies.
One of C.A.R.E.’s most recent successes was joining forces with the Prairie du Chien Police Department and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department to prevent adult-hosted drinking parties in Crawford County using the "Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking" campaign. Prior to this campaign, C.A.R.E. collaborated with the Prairie du Chien police chief and city administrator to pass Social Host and K2/Spice Synthetic Marijuana Ordinances for the City of Prairie du Chien. C.A.R.E. also works closely with law enforcement to conduct alcohol and tobacco compliance checks and party/saturation patrols to keep alcohol, tobacco and other drugs out of the hands of minors.
C.A.R.E. staff is instrumental in the operation of a county-wide PALS (People Actively Linked with Students) Mentor Program matching high school youth with at-risk elementary students during the school year. A week-long PALS 4 Good summer camp targets at-risk students in second through fifth grade as an extension of the mentor program.
Our annual Youth Leadership Training Conference has provided training on decision-making, healthy risks and communication skills to over 2,000 high school youth since 1989. Currently, over 70 Crawford County youth are actively involved in youth leadership committees in their respective schools. Many of these students have spoken to state legislators and representatives on the benefits of raising the state alcohol excise tax while others are involved in the FACT (Fighting Against Corporate Tobacco) movement and were actively engaged in changing state laws pertaining to tobacco tax and smoke free air by speaking to state legislators and other key stakeholders.
Additionally, we are instrumental in the planning and development of a Crawford County Teen Court program which will begin this fall. For more information on C.A.R.E. and their programs, call 608-357-2083.
Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital, Prairie du Chien
Acute, Chronic and Communicable Disease Prevention and Control
It was a natural fit for Aurora Parish Nurses to team up with the Kenosha County Aging & Disability Resource Center to co-sponsor and present a six-week self-management program called "Living Well With Chronic Conditions," launched April 21 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kenosha.
In their health ministry nursing practices, Aurora parish nurses witness the daily struggles of those living with chronic conditions. They see how it impacts one’s physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being. They’ve seen how conditions such as arthritis, heart problems, asthma, stroke, pain, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and emphysema can cause the loss of physical conditioning over the course of years.
The self-management program was designed to help individuals suffering the debilitating effects of their conditions by teaching them new strategies to build confidence, motivation and skills needed to manage their health more effectively, as well as the challenges they face.
Under the direction of health professionals, participants in the Living Well with Chronic Conditions workshop learned skills to improve their quality of life, such as:
• Developing a suitable exercise program
• Symptom management
• Nutrition management
• Breathing exercises and stress management
• Medication management
• Communicating with family, friends and health care professionals
• Dealing with emotions such as anger and depression
• Problem solving and goal setting
Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee
Hand washing lessons
Proper hand washing can be an easy way to help people avoid getting themselves or others sick. Yet, some people don’t take the time to wash their hands the right way or don’t know how.
To help spread the word about how to not spread infection and disease, Memorial Health Center staff shared the how-tos of hand washing with more than 400 children and adults at the annual Taylor County Fair. For many, participation in the interactive hand washing activity came with a shock – the things they thought they were doing right weren’t quite correct or needed improvement.
Prostate cancer education for men
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in American men. To give men an opportunity to learn more about this disease, Memorial Health Center on-staff urologist Dr. Roy Brandell held a free roundtable presentation and discussion. During this event, men learned the facts about prostate cancer, the risks and benefits of screening for it, and the latest treatment options for the disease that affects more than 186,000 men each year. Those attending also had an opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences.
Memorial Health Center – An Aspirus Partner, Medford
Submit community benefit stories to Mary Kay Grasmick, editor, at email@example.com.
Read more about hospitals connecting with their communities at www.WiServePoint.org.
Top of page