Thursday, April 17, 2014

 

In This Issue:

 

Healthcare IT Visionary Speaks at CHA

 

R. Christopher Hartley Recognized as Grassroots Champion

 

Connecticut Hospitals Support Transparency Measures Proposed by the Connecticut Attorney General

 

Hospital Tax Declared Unconstitutional for a Second Time

 

AHA and Hospitals Challenge Two-Midnight Rule in Federal Court

 

National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16

 

Education Updates

 

 

Healthcare IT Visionary Speaks at CHA

 

On April 11, CHA welcomed Carlos Dominguez, Senior Vice President at Cisco, and the Cisco Northeast Healthcare team to CHA’s Cisco Healthcare IT Conference.  The conference highlighted the powerful and wide-ranging impact technology will have on the future of healthcare.

 

Mr. Dominguez is an acknowledged technology evangelist.  He challenged and enlightened the audience with a presentation about exponential technologies – describing how technology is advancing at an exponential rate.  To remain relevant, he says that organizations need to become more nimble and adapt to change.  He said healthcare is not alone in experiencing dramatic technology improvements – it is happening across all industries.

 

Mr. Dominguez was joined by Edward Kim, Collaboration Systems Engineer, Cisco, and Todd Wilson, Collaboration Architect, Cisco.  These healthcare technology experts provided interactive presentations on Cisco’s Telehealth/Telepresence technologies.

 

This event was well-received by attendees from hospitals across the state, who remained long after the program ended to network at a reception.  Read Mr. Dominguez’s blog by clicking here.

 

 

R. Christopher Hartley Recognized as Grassroots Champion

 

The American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award will be given to R. Christopher Hartley, Senior Vice President of Planning, Business Development and Government Relations, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, at a special breakfast of Grassroots Champions at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.  As a 2014 Grassroots Champion, Mr. Hartley will be recognized for his exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community support for issues of importance to hospitals and healthcare.

 

“Chris Hartley is a vocal advocate for hospitals and patients,” said CHA President and CEO Jennifer Jackson.  “Our advocacy is about improving care for the people of Connecticut and sustaining strong, vibrant hospitals for generations to come – Mr. Hartley drives these points home whenever he talks to legislators.  Moreover, he doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations; rather, he approaches them with transparency, synthesizes complex issues for legislators, and provides valuable clarity.  We are extremely pleased that he is this year’s Grassroots Champion.”

 

The award, given annually to one person in each state, was created to recognize hospital leaders who effectively educate elected officials about how major issues affect hospitals' roles in the community, who have expanded the base of community support for hospitals, and who have been tireless advocates for hospitals and patients.

 

In addition to serving as Senior Vice President of Planning and Government Relations, Mr. Hartley is Staff Liaison for the Saint Francis Care, Inc. Board of Directors’ Public Policy Advisory Committee.  He is also a member of the Johnson Memorial Medical Center Board of Directors.  Mr. Hartley is a member of the American Hospital Association’s Society of Hospital Planning and Marketing.  He received a Master’s Degree in Geography from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from the University of South Alabama.  He and his wife, Eunice, live in South Windsor, Connecticut.  They have three sons and four grandchildren.

 

 

Connecticut Hospitals Support Transparency Measures Proposed by the Connecticut Attorney General

 

Last fall, Attorney General George Jepsen brought to light a concern that patients seeking care at physician offices that are part of a hospital might not know they are being treated at a hospital, that they would receive two bills for that care, and that the cost for the care would be higher because the hospital facility fee now covers a portion of the hospital’s ongoing operating expenses. 

 

Since that time, CHA has been working with the Attorney General’s office and hospital representatives to develop solutions that would be helpful to patients.  On April 16, the Attorney General released a report concerning hospital physician practice acquisitions and hospital-based facility fees, in which he recommends the passage of HB 5337, An Act Concerning Fees Charged for Services Provided at Hospital-based Facilities.  CHA supports the passage of HB 5337, which would require hospitals to provide patients with written notice regarding fees charged for services provided at hospital-based outpatient facilities.
 

Connecticut hospitals support efforts to make pricing more transparent and meaningful for consumers, and agree that when seeking a physician, patients should not be surprised to learn after the fact that they are being treated at a hospital, or that they will receive two bills and the facility fee covers a portion of the hospital’s ongoing operating expense. 

 

In January, the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Hospital Association unanimously adopted a recommendation that all Connecticut hospitals provide patients with information about facility fees in advance of their treatment.  Specifically, CHA recommended that all Connecticut hospitals adopt changes to improve pricing transparency.  At every off-campus hospital-based provider location, CHA has recommended that Connecticut hospitals provide written notice informing patients that they are receiving care at an outpatient department of the hospital, how many bills they are likely to receive, and an estimate of the typical charges.  Read the Policy on Facility Fees and Physician Services by clicking here.

 

 

Hospital Tax Declared Unconstitutional for a Second Time

 

On April 11, a New Hampshire Superior Court judge ruled that the state’s hospital tax, known as the Medicaid Enhancement Tax, is unconstitutional.  The state had been reimbursing hospitals' tax money, but the reimbursements ended in 2011.  Judge Philip Mangones ruled that once the state stopped reimbursing hospitals, the tax became unconstitutional because it violated the equal protection clause in the state and federal constitutions by treating hospitals differently from other providers that perform many of the same services.  This is the second time the New Hampshire hospital tax was ruled unconstitutional; in February a judge found the tax unconstitutional as it related to outpatient services.

 

In response, the New Hampshire Hospital Association told reporters that the ruling points to a need for hospitals to work with legislators to ensure a vibrant, sustainable Medicaid program for patients and their caregivers.

 

Meanwhile, CHA continues to press for a phase-out of the tax on hospital patients.  The tax has outlived its use, isn’t being implemented as originally passed, and means providing care with even fewer resources, affecting access and services for all patients.

 

 

AHA and Hospitals Challenge Two-Midnight Rule in Federal Court

 

On April 14, The American Hospital Association, along with hospital associations in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and a number of individual hospitals, filed two lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) challenging the “two-midnight” rule for inpatient admissions that imposes regulatory burdens that could compromise care for seniors.  

 

The lawsuits contend that several provisions included in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final inpatient prospective payment rule for 2014 burden hospitals with unlawful arbitrary standards and documentation requirements and deprive hospitals of proper Medicare reimbursement for caring for patients. 

 

“The two-midnight rule undermines medical judgment and disregards the level of care needed to safely treat patients,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA.  “Hospitals stand by a physician’s decision on what care is appropriate for each patient.  The two-midnight rule is misguided and we feel confident the court will agree.”

 

The lawsuits also contend that the 0.2 percent payment cut in Medicare to offset alleged higher costs because of the rule is arbitrary and should be revoked.

 

CHA opposes the two-midnight policy.  In January, CMS extended the partial enforcement delay of its two-midnight policy for inpatient admission and medical review criteria for six months. 

 

 

National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16

 

National Healthcare Decisions Day was April 16.  This day was created in 2008 to educate people across the country about the importance of planning healthcare decisions in advance, ensure that people have the opportunity to legally document their decisions, and encourage healthcare providers to honor those wishes.

 

Nine Connecticut hospitals participated in National Healthcare Decisions Day, offering education and resources to the public.  They include Bridgeport Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Griffin Hospital, Hartford Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, MidState Medical Center, St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center, and Stamford Hospital.

 

Click here for more information about National Healthcare Decisions Day. 
Click here for healthcare planning information.

 

 

Education Updates

 

Transitioning From Staff to Management: What’s Next?
Monday, April 28, 2014
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

 

Whether recently assigned to the role of manager or a seasoned veteran, it is essential to continually step back to assess your knowledge of management practice and how well your critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making, and communication skills are keeping pace with the rapidly changing and challenging healthcare environment.

 

For those of you who attended the first program in our leadership development series—“Staff to Management: Starting the Transition” in September or March, and all managers who want to improve their skills and learn practical techniques for leading change initiatives, building team cohesiveness, coaching employees for better performance, and using time management strategies, this practical and interactive session will help you manage both the people and business components of your job more effectively.

 

Continuing education credits will be awarded.  See the brochure for details.

 

View Brochure | Event Registration

 

Conflict Management: Engaging the Difficult Employee
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

 

It is clear to almost everyone that conflict is inevitable in life—in our personal lives as well as in the workplace.  Different personalities, different work styles, cultural/ethnic norms, and differences in generational mix, all lead to an endless possibility of conflict surfacing at work.

 

What is not so clear, is the role conflict plays in the process of change and effective team problem solving—both major factors in improving organization performance.  How can we recognize and manage the sources and trigger points of conflict?  When is conflict healthy—what makes it destructive?  How can we reduce or defuse unnecessary conflict?  What are the various styles of dealing with conflict, and the risks and benefits of each approach?

 

Sarah Campbell Arnett, MA, NCC, BC-DMT, one of CHA’s most highly rated leadership development speakers, will present this full-day, interactive program, based on best practices in leadership theory.  Ms. Arnett will present communication methods and tools for navigating the challenging maze of different personalities and communication styles to better manage conflict.

 

Continuing education credits will be awarded.  See the brochure for details.

 

View Brochure | Event Registration

 

2014 Corporate Compliance Conference
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
 

Connecticut healthcare professionals, like their colleagues nationwide are being asked to expand their knowledge and skills to respond to unprecedented challenges triggered by healthcare reform—including the ever-changing regulatory compliance landscape.

 

Please join us for CHA’s annual Corporate Compliance Conference, which will address several critical topics including the CMS 2-midnight presumption, documentation issues, and revenue cycle strategies.  Additionally, there will be presentations covering physician-owned distributorships, the focus on transparency of industry physician financial relationships or the CMS Physician Payment Sunshine Act, and compliance strategies for both provider and patient health information exchange (HIE) portals.  In addition to compliance, legal, and risk professionals, we also invite physicians, HIM, and other healthcare professionals to join us for a comprehensive conference.

 

Continuing education credits will be awarded.  See the brochure for details.

 

View Brochure | Event Registration

 

Reducing Surgical Site Infections
Thursday, May 1, 2014
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

 

CHA will host our partners from Johns Hopkins and several Connecticut best-practice hospitals as part of our ongoing successful effort to reduce surgical site infections.  We have seen a steep decrease in our infection rates, but the rest of the country is outpacing us.  Attend this session to learn what other things we can do to ensure lower infection rates in our surgical patients.  This session is for all hospitals that do surgery; it is not limited to SUSP (surgical unit safety protocol) hospitals.

 

Please Note: This is a federally funded session; therefore we are required to charge you for any meals that we provide to you on this day.  We will bill the hospital.

 

Event Registration

 

HPI Level 3: Train-the-Trainer Session
Friday, May 2, 2014
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 

This train-the-trainer session is designed for hospital trainers to learn how to teach the staff safety behaviors and error prevention tools.

 

Event Registration

 

Venous Thromboembolic Disease Prevention
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
 

CHA will host a session on venous thromboembolic disease (VTE). We are hosting Dr. Ian Jenkins from University of California at San Diego, a nationally recognized speaker on VTE prevention.  He will give us practical tips for implementing a VTE prevention and reduction plan.  We will also hear from several of our Connecticut hospitals that are having success in VTE prevention and reduction.

 

Please Note: This is a federally funded session; therefore we are required to charge you for any meals that we provide to you on this day.  We will bill the hospital.

 

Event Registration

 

HRO Level 3: Medical Staff Training
Thursday, May 15, 2014
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

 

On Thursday, May 15, 2014 we will host a discussion about the role of medical staff in High Reliability Organizations from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  This discussion will be held during the Physician Executive Committee meeting, and we will discuss training, credentialing, and the role of training in the medical schools.  In addition, we will kick off a discussion of the expansion of training to ambulatory centers and hospital aligned office-based practices.  Breakfast will be included.

 

Event Registration

 

Caring for Adult Behavioral Health Patients in the ED
Thursday, May 22, 2014
9:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

 

CHA is pleased to have Patricia Rehmer, Commissioner, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), join us as keynote speaker for the upcoming Caring for Adult Behavioral Health Patients in the ED conference.  This issue-based, multidisciplinary education forum is designed for member sharing of best practices, policies, and innovative approaches to meeting this challenge.  Commissioner Rehmer will discuss the treatment of individuals with behavioral health disorders while in the ED and issues many CT hospitals face caring for this patient population.  Commissioner Rehmer will also discuss interventions currently being implemented, resources available within the DMHAS system and how to access them, bed capacity and challenges that both DMHAS and hospitals are experiencing, and provide information about the Recovery Model and planning for the next steps in this model.

 

Following the Commissioner’s address, panelists from Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, Hartford Hospital, Middlesex Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Waterbury Hospital, and Yale-New Haven Hospital will present strategies they are using and new models of engaging with this patient population to improve outcomes.

 

Because this issue impacts on several clinical and support groups in the hospital, we encourage interdisciplinary teams to attend the forum.

 

View Brochure | Event Registration

 

 

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