Post-Acute Care Workgroup Recommendations Focus on Avoidable Hospital Days

January 29, 2019

WHA’s Post-Acute Care Workgroup reconvened last week, and WHA’s Vice President of Policy Development Laura Rose presented the progress to date on the Workgroup’s 2018 recommendations. This includes:

  • Contributing to proposals to expand telemedicine availability in post-acute settings, which WHA’s Telemedicine Workgroup adopted;
  • Supporting efforts to increase reimbursement rates for private duty nurses who provide home health care to patients discharged from hospitals, which have been adopted; and, 
  • Working with WHA members to evaluate the effectiveness of the CNA Caregiver Careers Program and recommending improvements to the program. 

Avoidable Days. Rose also shared the results of a WHA hospital survey conducted in November 2018 on “avoidable days,” defined as “a hospital day that is incurred due to a barrier that prolongs a patient stay when a patient is medically ready for discharge.”  WHA sent the survey to 150 WHA members and received 65 responses. Thirty (30) respondents reported tracking more than 42,000 avoidable days for calendar year 2017. This demonstrates the Workgroup has targeted a topic of high importance to hospitals, and these results will inform WHA’s advocacy efforts this year to help alleviate problems resulting from avoidable days. 

In addition to the 2018 recommendations and survey results, the Post-Acute Care Workgroup welcomed several new members: 

  • Chair:  Maria Brenny-Fitzpatrick, DNP, Director, Transitional Care and Post-Acute Services – UW Health, Madison
  • Diane Ehn, MS, Enterprise VP of Post-Acute Care – Froedtert Health, Milwaukee
  • Cassie Stremer, Team Leader, Post-Acute Care –Bellin Health, Green Bay
  • Sheila Thiel, MD, Medical Director – Wisconsin Post-Acute Network, Advocate Aurora Health
  • Tricia Thumann, RN, MSN, MHA, Director of Care Continuum – Aspirus At Home, Wausau

Returning members include:

  • Jennifer Bieno, NHA, Vice President of Aging Services – Divine Savior Healthcare, Portage
  • Deb Head, Rehabilitation Program Manager – Gundersen Health System, La Crosse
  • Doreen Kluth, RN, BSN, MS, Executive Director, Care Continuum – HSHS Eastern Division, Green Bay
  • Ron Schaetzl, MHA, VP of Operations and Nursing Home Administrator – SSM Health St. Clare Hospital, Baraboo  
  • Ryan Shear, VP of Senior Services – Reedsburg Medical Center, Reedsburg
  • Robyn Woolever, BSN, RN-BC, Manager, Hospital Case Management – Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 
  • Thomas Zoch, MD, Vice President of Care Management-Clinical – Ascension Wisconsin 
The Workgroup expects to meet quarterly in 2019. For more information, contact Laura Rose at 608-274-1820. 

This story originally appeared in the January 29, 2019 edition of WHA Newsletter