February 24, 2017
Volume 61, Issue 8

Governor’s Opioid Task Force Bills Introduced
DHS announces application for $15 million to fight opioid abuse

On February 17, several bills were introduced as part of the special session of the state Legislature called by Gov. Scott Walker to address opioid abuse. Executive Order #230 establishing the special session to pass various policy proposals recommended in the co-chairs’ report of the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse was signed by the Governor at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls in January.

Eleven bills were introduced, including the following proposals: The bills will now head to committee for hearings in the coming weeks.

Also on February 17, the Department of Health Services (DHS) announced they had applied for over 
$15 million in federal funds available in the 21st Century Cures Act to combat opioid abuse. In its application, DHS states it will use the funds to support recommendations made by the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse. DHS said this effort will include: The Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse will meet again March 24. 

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Hundreds Already Registered for WHA Advocacy Day 2017, April 19 
Register by March 17 to be entered into the early bird drawing

The Wisconsin Hospital Association’s Advocacy Day event has grown to over 1,100 individuals over the past decade—close to a 150 percent increase in attendance. WHA knows the success of this powerhouse event is rooted in our hospital and health system leadership, employees, trustees and volunteers commitment to this day. Thank you. Make sure you’re making plans now to attend WHA Advocacy Day 2017 April 19. If you register by March 17, you will be entered into our free drawing where five lucky individuals will win a prize. Make sure you register before March 17 to be entered into the drawing. Register today at: http://www.cvent.com/d/svqylc

This year’s event will be in Madison at the Monona Terrace April 19. The morning keynote is Amy Walter, who is known as one of the best political journalists covering Washington, D.C. She is national editor of the Cook Political Report and the former political director of ABC News. Over the past 14 years, Walter has built a reputation as an accurate, objective and insightful political analyst. She is a regular panelist on NBC’s Meet The Press, PBS’ Washington Week and Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Bair. She also provides political analysis every Monday evening for the PBS NewsHour. The day’s luncheon keynote will be Gov. Scott Walker (invited), and a legislator panel discussion will round out the morning sessions. 

WHA strongly believes the afternoon’s legislative meetings are the most important part of the day and encourages attendees to register for Advocacy Day with a legislative visit. To prepare attendees for their meetings, WHA schedules all meetings and provides an issues briefing at Advocacy Day. Additionally, WHA will host an optional pre-event webinar on these legislative visits April 11 at 9:00 a.m. 

Assemble your hospital contingent for WHA Advocacy Day 2017 on April 19. Register at: www.cvent.com/d/svqylc. For Advocacy Day questions, contact Jenny Boese at 608-268-1816 or jboese@wha.org. For registration questions, contact Kayla Chatterton at kchatterton@wha.org or 608-274-1820. 

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WHA Hosts Webinar on New CMS Regulations on Emergency Preparedness

On Wednesday, March 15 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm, WHA will host a Member Forum webinar discussing the regulations finalized in September 2016 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that establish emergency preparedness requirements for hospitals, long-term care (LTC) facilities and other health care providers. 

The rule, which must be implemented by November 15, 2017, adds regulations to existing Conditions of Participation that these health care organizations must meet in order to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Specifically, the rule requires hospitals, critical access hospitals (CAHs), and LTC facilities to develop an emergency preparedness plan, communications plan, policies and procedures, and training and testing program and to implement emergency and standby power systems.

The webinar will cover these new standards for hospitals, CAHs and LTC facilities. It is intended for emergency preparedness directors at WHA member organizations.

The webinar is complimentary, but pre-registration is required. To register for the webinar, visit: www.cvent.com/d/p5qnl1.

For registration questions, contact Kayla Chatterton at kchatterton@wha.org or call 608-274-1820.

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Final Chance to Register for WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference

Time is running out to get your new physician leaders registered for the WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference, scheduled March 10-11 at The American Club in Kohler. This annual event focuses on important and practical leadership skills that help new physician leaders move beyond their clinical training and take a new approach to managerial decision making and problem solving.

Each year, nationally-recognized faculty from the American Association for Physician Leadership lead the conference, and continuing medical education credits are available for physicians in attendance.

Online registration is available at www.wha.org or directly at www.cvent.com/d/nvq2w6. For questions about the annual Physician Leadership Development Conference, contact Jennifer Frank at jfrank@wha.org or 608-274-1820.

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Grassroots Spotlight: Sen. Testin Visits Tomah Memorial Hospital

Saying high quality and accessible health care are important for rural residents, Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) met with Tomah Memorial Hospital board members and hospital leaders February 20. It was Testin’s first visit to Tomah Memorial since elected to represent the 24th Senate District.

Following a tour of the hospital, Testin and hospital representatives discussed a number of issues, including the ramifications of possible changes to the federal insurance exchange, Medicaid reimbursement and a number of items including health care workforce training as part of the Rural Wisconsin Initiative. 

Testin admitted there has not been much public discussion on health care issues during recently held listening sessions throughout his district. 

“So far there has not been a lot of talk because even on the state side, we are in a holding pattern waiting to see what’s coming down from the federal government,” said Testin. He said most residents are concerned about fixing roads and redistricting legislative boundaries. 

“Anytime that we can make health care more affordable and deliver better care, I think that’s a win,” said Testin, who is actively backing the Rural Wisconsin Initiative aimed at building the future of rural Wisconsin. He said it is a “high priority” to get legislation passed as part of the initiative. He also stressed the need to look at preventive measures as a way to address health issues before they become major problems. 

Testin said he is looking forward to working with WHA along with hospital administrators across the state to enhance hospital and provider reimbursement through the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program. He said it is important to consider the needs of hospital leaders to “make sure those funds are allocated to where they need to be.”

He also stressed the need for enhancing broadband connectivity throughout the state including rural areas like Monroe and Jackson counties. 

Testin said he is eager to weigh in and work with the Joint Finance Committee to make changes and adjustments to the state budget. “Hopefully we will be able to hash out some of those issues over the next couple of months.” 

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Register Now for the 2017 WHA Physician Quality Academy

May 10 and July 21, 2017 
Glacier Canyon Lodge at The Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells

** OR **

September 29 and November 3, 2017
Glacier Canyon Lodge at The Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells

For more information and to register, visit: www.cvent.com/d/wvq5nm

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In Memoriam: Ray Marmorstone

Ray G. Marmorstone, former administrator and chief executive officer for Upland Hills Health, Dodgeville, passed away February 14.

Marmorstone began his career in health care administration in 1970 by working for the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire. He was assistant administrator at Sacred Heart for 14 years and then moved to Litchfield, IL in 1984 where he was administrator and executive vice president for St. Francis Hospital for ten years. After 24 years working for the Hospital Sisters of St Francis, Ray’s love for Wisconsin brought him to Dodgeville, where he was administrator and chief executive officer for Upland Hills Health until 2004. One of Ray’s proudest accomplishments in his health care career was the planning and completion of the Upland Hills Nursing and Rehab Center in 2002. 

Ray was active in numerous community and service organizations in all three communities in which he lived. While in Dodgeville he was an active member of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative for many years, serving as president some of those years.

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WCMEW Seeks Program Analyst 

The Wisconsin Council on Medical Education and Workforce (WCMEW) is seeking applications for a new staff position of program analyst. It will be a non-employed contracted position, reporting to the executive director. 

The program analyst will participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of health care workforce initiatives. The program analyst will work directly with health care workforce stakeholders on the initiatives. The individual in this position will provide regular updates to the executive director on the status of each initiative. 

A job description is available at www.wcmew.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/programAnalystJobDescription.pdf. Candidates are encouraged to submit a cover letter outlining relevant skills, together with a resume, to George Quinn, WCMEW executive director, at gquinn@wcmew.org.

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25th Annual $2,500 UW Rural Health Prize - June 1 Deadline

The Hermes Monato, Jr. Prize of $2,500 is awarded annually for the best rural health paper. It is open to all students of the University of Wisconsin (any campus) as well as those who have graduated since last June 1.

Students are encouraged to write on a rural health topic for a regular class and then submit a copy to the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative as an entry by June 1.

Previous award winners as well as judging criteria and submission information are available at www.rwhc.com/Awards/AnnualMonatoEssay.aspx.

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