December 28, 2017

Volume 61-Issue 52

President's Message: WHA 2017 Report Illustrates WHA’s Impact and Relevance

This week our senior executives received a hard copy of WHA’s 2017 Results publication, which documents not only another year of impressive results, but as importantly, the growing breadth of WHA’s agenda.  As our members know, we measure success not only by the slate of accomplishments, but also the tangible impact of delivering our agenda.  In other words, the relevance of WHA’s work - delivering on our ambitious agenda within a constantly changing and dynamic health care environment - is what defines our value proposition.  Looking back on 2017, I believe the value of WHA to our members is stronger than ever.  

While many of the initiatives in 2017 aligned closely with executing our ambitious annual goals, we also responded quickly to the shifting environment at both the state and federal level.  Despite the best laid plans, over the course of a year unanticipated issues (both challenges and opportunities) arise that must be addressed.  WHA responded to each of these as they arose, both at the state and federal level to ensure our members’ voices were heard in Washington and Madison.

2017 was also a banner year for our members and their sustained pursuit of some of the best quality care in the country.  Wisconsin was recognized by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which placed Wisconsin first in the nation based on the quality of our health care. Wisconsin’s critical access hospitals were recognized as the best in their peer group, while our state was dubbed the best place for physicians and nurses to practice. All these accolades were well deserved in a state that consistently raises the bar on clinical excellence.  Our advocacy, our agenda, is focused on creating  and achieving sound public policy that enables our members to continue delivering superior care.

The “Results” speak for themselves, but they simply would not be possible without the tremendous engagement by and support from our members – truly our best partner and our most valuable asset.  We are also anxious to expand our partnerships with elected officials and the many other health care stakeholders dedicated to ensuring our citizens continue to have access to the highest quality care in the  nation. We look forward to working with you all in 2018!

WHA is proud to represent Wisconsin health care, proud to be the voice of the nation’s leading hospitals and health systems.  The WHA team wishes you all a happy and safe New Year.

Eric Borgerding, President/CEO

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New WHA Legislative and Regulation Summaries on WHA Member Portal

WHA is adding new summaries of WHA priority bills that were recently enacted into law as well as a new regulatory update to the Act Summary section of the WHA Member’s Only portal. The new summaries include:

  • 2017 Act 135 – Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact 
  • 2017 Act 119 – Clarification to Wisconsin health care providers that DHS’s Medicaid program covers services prescribed or ordered by physicians and non-physicians alike when the order is made within the provider’s scope of practice
  • Regulatory Update – Status of Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) reporting under EHR Meaningful Use and MACRA/MIPS

The new regulatory update regarding CPOE is a result of discussions at the WHA Physician Leaders Council regarding physician time spent utilizing CPOE technology and confusion regarding regulatory requirements of CPOE usage under the meaningful use program. In short, the summary reviews the current treatment of CPOE under the meaningful use and MACRA/MIPS programs and explains that hospitals and physicians are no longer required to report CPOE in order to avoid Medicare penalties.

The summaries are for WHA members only and will not be generally available on the WHA website. The summaries are posted in the member’s portal, which is accessible by clicking the “WHA Member’s Only” icon located on the home page at www.wha.org. Once in the WHA member portal, the summaries can be found in the dropdown menu under the “Legal Resources” tab. This section of WHA.org is a secure location and requires a first-time user to obtain a username and password. If you do not have a member account, go to members.wha.org and click on “Register” to create an account. If you have questions about how to register, contact Tammy Hribar at thribar@wha.org or 608-274-1820.

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WHA will feature Annual Impact Report Stories in Social Media
Stories illustrate how WI hospitals, health systems support community health

Over the next several weeks, WHA will share stories that illustrate our members’ commitment to creating healthier communities. The stories that will be featured on WHA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are from the WHA 2017 Annual Community Impact Report (Report). WHA received more than 100 submissions for the report in 2017.

For more than a decade, WHA has published an annual report that highlights the critical role that hospitals and health systems have in ensuring that people living in the communities they serve have access to the care they need, when they need it.

Wisconsin hospitals use their resources to support a broad range of services that include providing financial assistance, funding free clinics, sponsoring health education opportunities, partnering with local employers to increase access to care, and working with other community organizations on complex socioeconomic issues.

“Wisconsin hospitals commit financial and human resources to improve the overall health status of the citizens of our state by providing essential services in their communities,” according to WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “If they were not doing this, many of these services simply would not exist or would place a much greater burden on our state and local governments. Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems provide the health care ‘safety net’ across the state, ensuring our most vulnerable populations receive the care they need.”

WHA will notify the hospital or health system PR team when their stories are shared. If you have questions, contact Mary Kay Grasmick, WHA vice president, communications, mgrasmick@wha.org.

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WHA Quality Forum: Medical Staff Quality, March 6

On March 6, WHA is offering a one-day session focused on key strategies for identifying, engaging and retaining physician champions for clinical quality improvement and performance management. Faculty includes Beth Dibbert, WHA chief quality officer, Bobby Redwood MD, WHA physician improvement advisor, and Shelly Egstad, director of quality, risk and compliance for Tomah Memorial Hospital.

“Medical Staff Quality” is the second session in WHA’s Quality Forum, a series of day-long education events that address high-priority topics for hospital quality leaders and others involved in quality improvement in Wisconsin hospitals and health systems. In 2018, the series will include topics such as survey readiness, meeting external reporting requirements and more; and presenters for each will share topic expertise and best practice applications.

Online registration and information on all of the WHA Quality Forum sessions can be found at
www.cvent.com/d/f5qhb9. Registration at each session will be limited, so those interested should register as soon as possible.

For registration questions, contact Kayla Chatterton at kchatterton@wha.org. Contact Beth Dibbert at bdibbert@wha.org, for questions about the content of these sessions.

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