July 18, 2014
Volume 57, Issue 29

New Undergraduate Award Honors Wisconsin Health Care Leader

Health care is one of the fastest growing sectors and among the largest employers in the United States. With that growth comes complexity and a need for talented leadership to shape policy. A unique collaboration among hospitals, individual donors and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will help recognize the health policy leaders of tomorrow.

A new award in honor of Stephen Brenton (BA’76, Political Science), the outgoing president of the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), will support UW-Madison Political Science majors in the College of Letters & Science interested in health policy. Hospitals across the state joined Brenton’s friends and colleagues to celebrate his distinguished career by establishing an endowment that will cover in-state tuition for a UW-Madison student each year.

The Stephen F. Brenton Health Policy Scholar Award will be given to bright UW-Madison undergraduates who are Wisconsin residents, pursuing a degree in political science and who have a demonstrated interest in health policy. The first award will be distributed in spring 2015.

The award was revealed to Brenton at a special event in Green Bay July 16.

"Steve has spent his entire career--the majority of it right here in Wisconsin--advocating for sound public policy that is the foundation of our high-quality, high-value health care delivery system," said WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding. "He has been a leader and mentor to many in the health care field.  Fittingly, this scholarship recognizes Steve’s many contributions to health care while helping to develop the leaders of tomorrow."

The scholarship will help ensure future Badgers have access to a world-class education at UW-Madison that prepares them for successful careers and lives.

"The Department of Political Science is extremely grateful to WHA and all of the generous contributors who have made this award possible," says David Canon, professor and chair of the department of political science. "The Brenton Award will support a deserving Wisconsin undergraduate political science student, and this generosity will help train the next generation of health policy leaders in Wisconsin and beyond."

Brenton spent much of his career in health policy having most recently served as WHA President and CEO since January 2002. His skill in state and federal government relations helped shape the health care landscape in Wisconsin and the nation – he is regarded as a talented strategist adept at bringing together stakeholders to address public policy challenges.

"Wisconsin’s health care sector has terrific assets in place, but it faces daunting future challenges," according to WHA President Steve Brenton. "I’m gratified by this opportunity that will support future health care policy advocates who will engage in essential, and hopefully collaborative, problem solving."

Brenton holds board positions in several health care-related organizations, and has also served on the UW-Madison Political Science Department Board of Visitors and currently serves as treasurer of the Wisconsin Historical Foundation. He will step down from his position at WHA at the end of 2014, and transition to a new role as senior policy advisor.

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WHA Sponsors "Call 4 Hope" Poster Campaign
Posters encourage people to call 911 in overdose emergency

The Wisconsin Hospital Association has partnered with United We C.A.N. (Change Addiction Now) and Rise Together – Fox Valley Recovery Community to produce campaign posters that encourage individuals to call 911 for help when they believe someone is suffering from a drug-related overdose. 2014 Act 194 was signed into law this past session, which provides indemnity from criminal prosecution for use or possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia if the individual calls for emergency help for someone that they believe is suffering from an overdose or other adverse reaction from a controlled substance.

WHA’s sponsorship has allowed the organization to print 10,000 posters to be distributed across Wisconsin. United We C.A.N. estimates that they will have 500 people in the state distributing these posters.

Wisconsin State Director of United We C.A.N. Lori Cross Schotten said that the posters "will be in gas stations, grocery stores, post offices, treatment programs, etc. We even have a pizza place in Appleton that has agreed to include the posters with their pizzas." Cross Schotten went on to say that "we know these flyers will help save lives and are extremely grateful to the Wisconsin Hospital Association for making it possible."

Act 194 was part of a legislative package called the HOPE Agenda, led by Assembly Representative John Nygren (R – Marinette), which received broad bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature. The legislative package was designed to address Wisconsin’s current heroin crisis.

If a hospital is interested in receiving a copy of the poster, contact Lori Cross Schotten at lorics@changeaddictionnow.org. The poster can also be printed from this link: http://www.wha.org/pdf/Call4Hope3.pdf

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Submit Nominations Now for WHA Distinguished Service, Trustee Awards

The 2014 WHA Nominating, Awards and Bylaws Committee is now accepting nominations for WHA’s annual Distinguished Service Award and Trustee Award. These important awards recognize those who display leadership, dedication and professionalism to their community or the Association.

You may know someone in your region, in your hospital or on your Board of Directors who deserves such an honor. You now have an opportunity to nominate them for one of these annual awards:

Administrators, trustees, senior managers, nurse leaders, volunteers and others are encouraged to review the criteria for the awards and consider nominating someone to receive one of these honors. Information on the awards on the WHA website at www.wha.org/award-program-information.aspx.

The Nominating Committee also makes recommendations on new WHA Board Members. WHA members interested in being considered for an at-large WHA Board seat or the chair-elect position should contact either WHA President Steve Brenton at sbrenton@wha.org or WHA Nominating Committee Chair Dan Neufelder at daniel.neufelder@ministryhealth.org.

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Register Now for WHA’s Reproduction Health Law Manual Webinar

WHA will continue its months-long complimentary webinar series on July 24 from 12-1:30 p.m. with a presentation of the WHA Reproduction Manual. This webinar will address the legal issues related to reproduction, including contraception, the human papillomavirus vaccine, sterilization and surrogacy.

WHA members are encouraged to register for this webinar as well as any or all of the other webinars in the series. To register or for more information about each of the remaining webinars, go to http://events.SignUp4.net/HealthLawManual. Attorneys in attendance may earn CLE credit.

This webinar will be presented by Kerry Moskol and Jennifer Hennessy of the law firm of Quarles & Brady.

The Health Law Manuals are available for WHA members to view and download at www.wha.org/healthLawManual.aspx. WHA members who would like access to the manuals should contact webmaster@wha.org to request a username and password.

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Guest Column
Report: Over 90% of New Physician Jobs Feature Employment by Hospitals or Other Facilities

Less than 10% feature private practice settings

By Kurt Mosley

Over 90 percent of new physician job openings feature employment by hospitals, medical groups, community health centers or other health care facilities. That is one of the key findings from Merritt Hawkins’ 2014 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives, a report Merritt Hawkins has produced annually for the last 21 years examining national trends in physician recruiting and compensation.

The 2014 report tracks the 3,158 physician and advanced practitioner recruiting assignments Merritt Hawkins conducted from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. Of these assignments, the great majority (over 90 percent) featured practices in which newly-recruited physicians will be employed, either by hospitals, medical groups, community health centers, academic medical centers or other facilities. Less than 10 percent of the recruiting assignments featured independent practice settings, such as partnerships, concierge practices or solo practice settings, down from over 45 percent in 2004.

The report strongly suggests that the employed model is almost the only choice for physicians seeking practice opportunities today. However, in our experience, employment is also the first choice for most physicians today. Very few are seeking small, independent practices.

Both the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and market forces are driving the trend toward larger entities such as integrated hospital systems and consolidated medical groups, which typically employ physicians. Other proliferating sites of service, such as urgent care centers, retail clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) also typically employ doctors.

Physicians themselves are seeking employed settings to mitigate financial risks and to avoid the increasingly complex and regulated environment typical of private practice. One exception is concierge practice, the only private practice option that appears to be growing in popularity. Merritt Hawkins conducted 32 searches for concierge settings last year, up from only ten such searches two years ago.

The report further indicates that for the eighth year in a row, Merritt Hawkins conducted more search assignments for family physicians than for any other type of doctor. Physicians specializing in general internal medicine were second on the list, also for the eighth consecutive year. Family physicians and other primary care doctors are in increased demand due in part to their expanded role as care coordinators in team-based delivery models such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and medical homes.

Advanced practitioners such as physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) also are in growing demand, the report indicates. The number of search assignments Merritt Hawkins conducted for PAs and NPs increased by 320 percent over the last three years.

Value-Based Incentives

The new report suggests that the use of value-based physician incentives stalled in the last year. In 2013, 39 percent of Merritt Hawkins’ search assignments offering a production bonus featured at least one value-based metric such as high patient satisfaction scores or low hospital readmission rates. In 2014, that number dropped to 24 percent, indicating that employers are still struggling to create physician compensation formulas that incorporate both volume and value based metrics, or are hesitating to do so until the terms of such formulas become clearer.

I would be happy to provide Wisconsin Hospital Association members with a copy of Merritt Hawkins’ 2014 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives. Call me at 469-524-1446 or email kurt.mosley@amnhealthcare.com.

Kurt Mosley is vice president of strategic alliances for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare, the largest health care staffing organization in the United States.

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2015 Chargemaster Updates Focus of November 14 WHA Seminar

Get ready to prepare your hospital’s chargemaster for 2015 at WHA’s one-day seminar "Preparing the Chargemaster for 2015," scheduled November 14 in Wisconsin Dells.

Back by popular demand, presenter Glenda Schuler will lead attendees in an overview of all 2015 reporting requirement updates and CPT and HCPCS coding revisions. Schuler will not only focus on updating the chargemaster but also on strategies for department staff education.

Chargemaster/APC coordinators, chief financial officers, controllers, decision support managers, office managers, compliance auditors, coding staff, pharmacy directors, material managers/purchasing directors, and other directors and managers responsible for the charge generation process are encouraged to attend this event.

Again, this seminar will be held at Glacier Canyon Lodge in the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells November 14. A brochure with registration form is included in this week’s packet, and online registration is available at http://events.signup4.net/14Chargemaster1114. For registration questions, contact Jenna Hanson at 608-274-1820 or email jenna.hanson@wha.org.

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Hospital Foundation Workshop Focuses on Engaging Key Allies

On August 7, WHA, the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health (WORH) and the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) are teaming up to offer a no-cost, one-day workshop exclusively for hospital foundation staff and boards. "Prescription for Success: A Workshop for Hospital Foundations" will take place at the Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Rothschild.

Betsy Chapin Taylor, award-winning author, speaker and consultant on health care philanthropy with more than 15 years of experience as chief development officer and foundation president in various health care organizations, will lead the workshop. She will facilitate interactive sessions that will assist hospital foundation staff to identify and engage key allies as well as assist staff and board members in conveying the human impact of their foundation’s work with powerful and emotional mission storytelling.

Again, due to the partnership and support of the WHA, WORH and RWHC, this workshop is available at no cost to hospital and hospital foundation staff; however, pre-registration is required. The day’s agenda and online registration are available at http://events.SignUp4.net/Foundation14.

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High Value Health Care—Wisconsin’s Competitive Advantage

High quality, high value health care is a hallmark in Wisconsin. Hospital systems are improving quality, increasing efficiency and delivering value to employers and residents in their communities. Hospitals have been working with WHA in a focused initiative to improve quality.

Wisconsin Hospitals Share 90-Day Successes in SSI Prevention

Wisconsin hospitals know that collaboration can speed improvement, and they are never hesitant to share best practices. In April, more than 90 staff from Wisconsin hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers gathered to discuss how to best reduce surgical site infections (SSI) at a statewide Hospital Acquired Infection Prevention Summit. Attendees learned about the latest evidence on SSI prevention and had the opportunity to network. Before leaving the event, each individual was tasked with creating a 90-day action plan for reducing surgical site infections at their facility, with the expectation that the summit attendees would help hold one another accountable.

Participants who created a 90-day plan were invited to share their progress during a conference call held recently by WHA, MetaStar and the Department of Public Health. The call was led by three hospitals that were eager to share their results. Memorial Medical Center in Ashland led off by sharing their strategies for measuring SSI prevention techniques, spreading what they had learned across units and engaging surgeons in their work. During the call, Tami Thimm, RN, of Memorial Medical Center in Ashland had the following comment on surgeon engagement: "Our surgeons have been very enthusiastic about this work from the start. We did, however, ‘prime the pump’ a bit by having several one-on-one conversations around the current literature before we asked them to begin piloting new processes."

Bellin Hospital of Green Bay described what an aggressive and enthusiastic approach can lead a facility to accomplish in a three-month period. Led by their Infection Preventionist Carol Bess, their team was able to work with committees to improve written instructions for patients on pre-surgery bathing, change policies on antibiotic use during surgeries and update their education for patients having elective surgeries. Bess said this was possible by aligning results with public reporting, using evidence-based practices and by engaging various committees.

Meriter UnityPoint Health was also successful in aggressively working to implement practices associated with blood-sugar monitoring, antibiotic dosing and reducing traffic in the operating room.

"We started by surveying our staff with two simple questions about their ideas on reducing SSI. With that information, we were able to respond to their concerns and create a shared goal," said Infection Preventionist Diane Dohm, who is leading Meriter UnityPoint Health’s SSI efforts. To continue to expand upon their early successes, Dohm plans to continue to engage more providers and use elements of TeamSTEPPS to improve operating room safety.

After hearing about the in-depth progress of the three keynote hospitals, dozens of the 52 other facilities on the conference call chimed in with questions and comments about how they are working hard to reduce infections in their settings. Charles Edmiston, PhD, of the Wisconsin Medical College, facilitated part of the discussion and provided feedback on future action for hospitals. WHA, MetaStar, and the Department of Public Health will look to continue to support this exceptional work with another opportunity to share this fall.

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