April 6, 2018

Volume 62-Issue 14

WHA Physician Leaders Council Guides MD “Top-of-License” Agenda

WHA’s Physician Leaders Council provided input to help guide the achievement of two elements of WHA’s 2018 goals focusing on integrated physicians and clinics at its April 3 meeting. The Council discussed emerging needs and challenges facing physician leaders as well as reducing regulatory burden impacting physician and professional practice.

At a prior meeting, WHA Physician Leaders Council Chair and Chief Medical Officer for ProHealth Care, Steve Kulick, MD, helped coin WHA’s physician regulatory burden agenda as a physician “top-of-license” agenda.

“While enabling ‘top-of-license practice’ has traditionally been a concept we talk about for advanced practice clinicians, it is as important if not more important that we ensure physicians are able to practice at their ‘top-of-license,’” said Kulick.

Members of the Council provided several insights into the impacts, opportunities and challenges of advancing an agenda to address physician regulatory burden, including:

  • “It is important to work to hold government accountable for the implementation costs to organizations and physicians when government imposes new requirements on the delivery of health care.”
  • “Regulatory burden translates into an electronic health record (EHR) burden for physicians. We need to address the two to four additional hours of EHR burden on physicians each day.”
  • “There is interest in removing burden caused by regulations requiring physician action when the action could be performed by a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or other professional, but we need to be aware and overcome the fact that some physicians will still want to create barriers for advanced practice clinicians.”
  • “We need to continue to increase focus on emerging needs in clinic and ambulatory settings.”

Advocacy update

The meeting concluded with a review of WHA’s recent and ongoing advocacy impacting physicians.

Leading the discussion was WHA’s courtroom advocacy with the Wisconsin Supreme Court on the importance of Wisconsin’s medical liability non-economic damage cap to maintaining a physician workforce supply that can meet the health care needs of communities throughout Wisconsin. Oral arguments with the Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of the $750,000 non-economic damage cap will be held April 19.

Staff also discussed activity on a number of WHA advocacy priorities, including enactment of new mental health emergency detention reforms and newly announced grants to support graduate medical education.

The next meeting of the WHA Physician Leaders Council is June 12.

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American Hospital Association Annual Meeting May 6-9 in Washington, D.C.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Meeting will be held May 6-9 in Washington, D.C. The AHA Annual meeting provides programming and networking opportunities and an opportunity for WHA members to have their voices heard on Capitol Hill. In addition, WHA hosts several Wisconsin events during this time. WHA events include a luncheon issues briefing, a members-only dinner, and WHA-scheduled Hill visits with Wisconsin’s members of Congress.

Every year Wisconsin hospital leaders provide essential insight to their members of Congress during their meetings on Capitol Hill. WHA briefs attendees on issues and facilitates all Hill meetings on your behalf. This is a great opportunity for you to share your personal stories about how your hospital fits into the bigger picture of important federal health care policies. The best way for our Congressional leaders to understand how their votes impact health care delivery at home is to hear directly from you.

If you plan to be in Washington for the AHA Annual Meeting, contact Jon Hoelter, WHA director of federal and state relations, at jhoelter@wha.org or 608-268-1819 for details about WHA’s events. For more details or to register for the AHA Annual meeting, visit their website at www.aha.org/education-events/annual-aha-membership-meeting.

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Registration Open for WHA Advanced Practice Clinician Conference – Sept 13

Understanding and growing your APC workforce

On September 13, WHA will bring together those interested in examining the challenges and opportunities for integrated care delivery associated with the use of advanced practice clinicians (APCs) for a one-day conference. The program will provide a comprehensive review of key regulations and payment policies, education and training, scope of practice, and onboarding and retention trends.

“WHA Advanced Practice Clinician Conference: A Comprehensive Look at APC Practice Challenges and Opportunities for Integrated Care Delivery in Wisconsin” is scheduled September 13 at Glacier Canyon Lodge at The Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Additional information and online registration are now available at www.cvent.com/d/hgq74q.

This one-day conference is designed for hospital and clinic leaders, clinicians in leadership and practice roles, human resources and recruiting specialists and all others who need to understand and navigate nuances, limitations and opportunities to support and maximize the integration of APCs within their organizations.

Register today. Content questions can be directed to Ann Zenk at azenk@wha.org or Matthew Stanford at mstanford@wha.org. Registration questions can be directed to Kayla Chatterton at kchatterton@wha.org or call 608-274-1820.

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Save-The-Date: June 5 - Statewide Post-Acute Care Conference, Appleton

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), in collaboration with LeadingAge Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Association for Home Health Care (WiAHC), is planning a statewide conference intended to bring together partners in the continuum of care to share best practices for transitions of patients to post-acute care settings.

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, June 5, 2018, and plan to attend “Post-Acute Care: Working Together Across the Care Continuum for Positive Patient Outcomes.” Nationally known transitions-of-care expert Eric Coleman, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and head of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research at the University of Colorado, will provide the opening keynote presentation.

In addition, this important, one-day conference will include representatives from throughout the continuum of care—hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health care providers—as presenters on the day’s agenda, sharing their innovative strategies for overcoming obstacles that can impede successful care transitions and result in positive outcomes for discharged patients.

This conference is a direct result of the efforts of the WHA Post-Acute Care Work Group, convened in 2017 and tasked with identifying policies that may improve the ability of hospitals and health systems to provide or locate post-acute care for their patients. One specific issue examined was how hospitals and health systems work with post-acute providers to improve outcomes for discharged patients, and was the inspiration for the framework of this conference.

Again, mark your calendar for June 5 and plan to join us in Appleton for a day of valuable information sharing among providers across the continuum of care. Full conference information and online registration will be available in mid-April. Content questions can be directed to Laura Rose at lrose@wha.org or call 608-274-1820.

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WHA Quality Forum Sessions Focus on Survey Readiness and Engaging Physicians for Quality Improvement

The WHA Quality Forum, a series of day-long education events addressing high-priority topics for hospital quality leaders, continues with two sessions in May 2018.

On May 17, WHA is offering a one-day session focused on state and federal hospital survey readiness, including discussion of the survey process, how to draft a plan of correction, practical strategies for managing survey activities, and ways to formulate a plan for continuous regulatory and/or accreditation readiness. This session will be presented by Robert Wilcox, FACHE, manager, accreditation and regulatory resources, quality management services for Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.

The session “Medical Staff Quality” will be offered May 18 and focus 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.

Online registration and information for both of these WHA Quality Forum sessions can be found at www.cvent.com/d/f5qhb9. Registration for 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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Member News: Little Named New Regional COO of SSM Health Wisconsin

Steve LittleSteve Little has accepted the newly created position of regional chief operating officer (COO) for SSM Health in Wisconsin. He will report to Damond Boatwright, president of operations, SSM Health in Wisconsin and work closely with Chris Sprowl, MD, regional clinical officer and president of SSM Health Dean Medical Group. Little begins May 1.

In his new role, Little will provide focus to SSM hospitals, work on region-wide integration efforts as well as oversee affiliate partnerships. His current role as president/CEO of Agnesian HealthCare will be eliminated. An announcement about hospital administration in the Fond du Lac, Ripon and Waupun locations will be made later this month.

Little brings more than 25 years of experience in health care management and leadership to SSM Health. He joined Agnesian HealthCare as senior vice president and chief financial officer in 2003, became the organization’s executive vice president in 2010 and has served as Agnesian’s president and CEO since 2012. Prior to joining Agnesian HealthCare, Little was chief financial officer for St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Before transitioning into the health care sector, Steve worked in the banking and public accounting industries.

Steve is a Certified Public Accountant, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. He serves on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), Integrated Health Network of Wisconsin, National Exchange Bank and Trust, and the Blue Line Family Ice Center. Little also serves on WHA’s Audit and Investment Committee and Council on Finance. He is the secretary/treasurer of Integrated Health Network of Wisconsin and the Blue Line Family Ice Center in Fond du Lac and the past chairperson of the board of directors for the Fond du Lac Association of Commerce and the Fond du Lac Area YMCA.

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Fast Facts from the WHA Information Center:
April is Sports Eye Injury Awareness Month

WHA Information Center logo

Each year, an estimated 100,000 people are hurt by sports-related eye injuries. About 13,500 of these injuries result in permanent vision loss. In support of Sports Eye Safety Month this April, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) reminds athletes everywhere that the great majority of sports-related eye injuries can be avoided by simply wearing the proper protection.

Wisconsin emergency rooms treated more than 18,500 eye-related injuries (all causes) from October 2016 to September 2017. Many of these injuries could have been avoided by wearing proper protection. Wear eye goggles, safety glasses or protective shields when you are doing any work or activity with power tools or chemicals.

Data provided by the WHA Information Center (WHAIC). WHAIC is dedicated to collecting, analyzing and disseminating complete, accurate and timely data and reports about charges, utilization, quality and efficiency provided by Wisconsin hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and other health care providers.

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