WHA Board Meeting Focuses on Present and Future

Strategic plan development, upcoming biennial budget, workforce development, health care technology among topics

October 16, 2018

WHA Makes Significant Progress On 2018 Initiatives
WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding noted staff has been working diligently to achieve 2018 goals, including market stability, proactive state and federal advocacy efforts, the health care workforce, better reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare, and assisting members as they work to increase health care value.

Looking ahead to 2019, Borgerding also noted that input from the Board of Director’s annual retreat will serve as the foundation of WHA’s next strategic plan, which will keep WHA nimble, relevant, effective, and improve its already strong value proposition with members.   

“As reaffirmed at the annual retreat, WHA will ‘stay in its lane’ to remain effective and relevant on behalf of Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems,” said Borgerding.  “We have a laser focus on key legislative issues and opportunities that will impact the health industry now and in the future, including the implication of new technology and other disruptors on our state’s health care market.”

New WHA Brand
WHA’s new brand rollout, “perfectly portrays who WHA is today and will continue to be. We advocate, advance and lead,” said Borgerding.  “The WHA website has changed dramatically to make information more readily available, and the newsletter has been revamped so busy health care leaders can find the content that is of greatest interest to them.”

PAC/Conduit: WHA has the strongest PAC and conduit in the state, and 2018 is shaping up to be another record year, Borgerding reported.  WHA is very close to hitting its ambitious 2018 fundraising and disbursement goals, and Borgerding predicted another record for both. See more on page 2.

WHA Staff News: Borgerding announced Mark Kaufman, MD will join the WHA team on November 1 as WHA’s new Chief Medical Officer.  He will succeed Chuck Shabino, MD, WHA’s first and only CMO serving since 2006.  Shabino will retire at the end of 2018.  

“Dr. Shabino has been instrumental in growing and expanding WHA’s engagement with physicians and physician leaders, and he has made an indelible mark on Wisconsin’s health care,” Borgerding said. “Dr. Kaufman’s extensive experience and notable achievements in the clinical and administrative elements of health systems, health plans and physician group practices are a perfect match for WHA.” 

WHA Budget: Immediately following the President’s Report, WHA Chief Operating Officer Brian Potter presented the WHA 2019 budget, which the Board approved as submitted.

Dan Meyer Named 2019 WHA Board Chair-Elect
At-large Board Directors elected 

Daniel Meyer has been selected WHA Board Chair-Elect for 2019. Meyer is President of Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed acute care tertiary hospital in Green Bay.  He has been on the WHA Board since 2014, currently serves on the WHA Nominating and Awards Committee, and is the WHA Packerland Region President. Meyer has also served on the WHA Council on Public Policy.  

Meyer joined Aurora in 2005 as President of Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center, and was promoted to President of Aurora BayCare Medical Center in 2007. Prior to joining Aurora, he served as Vice President of Operations for 15 years at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, North Carolina. Meyer was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa, and currently resides in Green Bay.

Damond Boatwright will chair the WHA Board in 2019.  Boatwright is Regional President of Operations at SSM Health - Wisconsin, and has been a Board member since 2015.  He serves on the WHA Board Subcommittee on Health Care Reform, WHA Budget Committee, and the Wisconsin Hospitals Issue Advocacy Council (WHIAC).

Prior to joining SSM, Boatwright was President/CEO of Overland Park Regional Medical Center and Lee’s Summit Medical Center. A 350-bed acute-care hospital and one of the busiest in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area, Boatwright helped shape patient-centered care delivery from October 2011 to February 2014. He started his health care career with the Medical University of South Carolina in 1995 and has served in various capacities, including Associate Administrator I/II and Chief Operating Officer in several hospitals throughout the southeast.

Election of At-Large Directors 
The following individuals were elected as At-large Directors. They will serve three-year terms beginning January 1, 2019.

  • Jeff Bahr, MD, Chief Aurora Medical Officer and President, Aurora Health Care Medical Group 
  • Paula Hafeman, Division Chief Nursing Executive of HSHS Eastern WI Division 
  • Monica Hilt, President of Ascension NE WI - St. Elizabeth Campus 
  • Alan Kaplan, MD, CEO of UW Health
  • Charisse Oland, President/CEO of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
  • Dennis Potts, Executive VP, Operations of Advocate Aurora Health Care
  • Peggy Troy, President/CEO of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
New Directors
  • Daniel DeGroot, President/CEO of Stoughton Hospital Association
  • Steve Kulick, MD, Chief Experience Officer of Marshfield Clinic Health System

Board Approves Bylaws Amendment to Extend Terms of Outgoing Board Officers
The Board approved an amendment to the WHA bylaws that will ensure the Board, members and staff continue to benefit from the valuable leadership and experience of long-serving Board members, while preserving Board member opportunities for new voices.

Specifically, under the Board’s amendment, the outgoing Past Chair of the WHA Board will automatically serve an additional two-year term as a newly created Board member category of Past Officer, thereby allowing some of the Board’s most experienced members to continue their service.  The total number of seats will also expand by two, thus ensuring regular opportunities for new voices and perspectives to participate on the WHA Board of Directors.

WHA Medicaid Policy Work Group Finalizes 2019-21 Biennial Budget Recommendations
Lisa Ellinger, WHA Vice President of Public Policy, provided an overview of recommendations from the WHA Medicaid Policy Work Group, which was comprised of a representative group of WHA membership.  The Work Group has provided valuable and informative feedback during the past several budget cycles, and they met over the course of several months to guide the development of the WHA 2021-23 biennial budget strategy pertaining to Medicaid policy.  

The Work Group aimed to develop a budget package that was targeted, impactful, achievable, and addressed the greatest needs across WHA membership. Their recommendations include:  

  • Protect current programs, including the critical access hospital program
  • Increase outpatient services reimbursement
  • Support safety net hospitals
  • Increase behavioral health services reimbursement
  • Support telemedicine modernization
  • Improve the state’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) program

Two Changes to CheckPoint Reporting Measures
The WHA Board approved two changes to CheckPoint, WHA’s website for publicly reported patient quality and safety data. 

In response to the opioid crisis in the United States, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has removed the question about pain control from its Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers (HCAHPS) inpatient surveys. Since the results of that question’s response is part of CheckPoint’s patient satisfaction cadre of measures, the measure will be removed from the website.  WHA will consider adding a replacement measure to CheckPoint after CMS has made a final ruling later this year. 
The Board also approved replacing the current “Infant Complications” measure with The Joint Commission’s “Unexpected Complications in Term Newborns” measure.  Hospitals that have 300 or more births annually and are accredited by The Joint Commission will be required to report this new measure. 

“CheckPoint continues to be a reliable and relevant source for health care decisions and quality improvement activities,” said Beth Dibbert, WHA’s Chief Quality Officer.  “The WHA Board continues its commitment to data transparency, and its overwhelming support of CheckPoint is an example for many other states.” 

Foxconn Rethinking How Health Care Services are Offered and Delivered
The WHA Board welcomed special guest Charlie Alvarez, Foxconn’s Vice President of North America.  Alvarez discussed key reasons why Foxconn located in Wisconsin, and how it will develop and connect new health care technologies to Wisconsin health systems.  

Alvarez said the company had looked at six different states as it launches Foxconn’s entry into the U.S. health care market.  They are excited to bring their technology to Wisconsin for a variety of reasons, including:

  • The top-notch health care system
  • Manufacturing and research and development talent pool
  • The UW System and other higher education institutions
  • Strong work ethic and trusted relationships
“We are rethinking the entire way health care services are offered and delivered.  It’s more than just cutting costs—health care is evolving,” said Alvarez. “Health care delivery is moving to the home, and the next revolution is AI [artificial intelligence].  Non-traditional players are trying to get into the game, but we want to be part of the conversation by developing relationships with Wisconsin’s health care providers.”

Alvarez discussed how Foxconn is rethinking how to integrate innovative technology into health care.  Health care consumer expectations are changing, and the industry has to evolve by improving the utility of information and expanding the places and ways health care is accessed and delivered.

“The user experience is key to behavior change,” said Alvarez. “We need to keep it simple, like Apple does with its iPhone.”

Foxconn offers a variety of self-service concierge experiences, including H2U, which is the health care app that creates customized recommendations for the patient. They also have tools such as Sotera Wireless that offers early detection of sepsis or internal bleeding automatically, while allowing the patient to sleep, critical to recovery.

Alvarez said Foxconn will work with Wisconsin health systems of all sizes to both test and seek their ideas for new technologies.  Foxconn intends to provide high-quality access to data, support the end-user experience, and improve patient interaction with health care providers and services, as well as help health systems utilize advanced algorithms to predict future health care outcomes.  

Alvarez described the workforce Foxconn is now recruiting in Wisconsin, including the diverse types of skills that will be needed for the breadth of its Wisconsin operations. “A big part will be in manufacturing, but we also need more high-tech specialties for these health care products,” Alvarez said. “For example, we’re working on wireless patient monitoring.  We need software engineers, hardware engineers, project managers, field data scientists, clinical implementation, AI skills, and those with more of an R&D focus.”

Alvarez said Foxconn will bring new technology when hospitals and health systems expand, such as adding a new floor, and will help Wisconsin hospitals implement new technology that will integrate with their existing systems.

This story originally appeared in the October 16, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter