CHA and Hospitals Testify in Opposition to State Budget

On Friday, March 15, hospitals, health systems, and hospital advocates provided unified opposition to Governor Ned Lamont’s budget proposal during a Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee public hearing on SB 877, An Act Concerning Revenue Items To Implement The Governor's Budget.  

SB 877 proposes to abandon the agreement between hospitals and the state during its third and final year and, if enacted into law, hospitals would experience a $516 million increase in the hospital tax, with a corresponding reduction in supplemental payments amounting to $43 million – to $453 million. 

Carl Schiessl, CHA’s Senior Director, Regulatory Advocacy, implored Committee members to honor the 2017 deal agreed to by hospitals, the Administration, and the General Assembly, noting that the agreement is codified in state statute, and the best course of action is to reject the Governor’s proposed FY 2020-21 budget.

“I am here to deliver a message of hope.  But hospitals need your help,” Mr. Schiessl stated.  “We have an opportunity for hospitals and the legislature to continue to stand together.  To stay true to the terms we agreed to in 2017.  To say ‘no’ to this part of the Governor’s proposed budget.  We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and stand with us.”

Hospitals and health systems providing testimony included: Bristol Hospital, Eastern Connecticut Health Network, Hartford HealthCare, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Trinity Health Of New England, Western Connecticut Health Network, and Yale New Haven Health.


CHA to Host 17th Annual Patient Safety Summit

As part of its ongoing efforts to advance patient safety and awareness, CHA will hold its 17th Annual Patient Safety Summit: Leading Safety into the Next Decade on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

The program, which is co-sponsored with Qualidigm, will include multiple presentations on human factors and a panel discussion on simulation. 

The morning program will include a keynote presentation from Jeff Thompson, MD, former CEO of Gundersen Healthcare, on values-based leadership.  His experience in leadership is far-reaching, having led diverse teams, projects, and divisions, before holding multiple senior executive roles.  Dr. Thompson’s extensive experience as an intensive care pediatrician and senior executive has taught him that leading from one’s values has the power to cause long-term meaningful change.

In addition to Dr. Thompson, Calie Santana, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, WESTMED Practice Partners, will discuss the importance of building quality leaders.  Vicki Lewis, PhD, Principal Consultant at Healthcare Safety, will discuss human factors engineering, and Joseph Keebler, PhD, Associate Professor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, will discuss human factors in healthcare.

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Influenza Has Peaked But Remains Widespread

Connecticut is among 46 states reporting widespread flu activity as the flu season enters its 12th week.  Although the state Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported decreases in flu activity in recent weeks, flu activity remains elevated.

The CDC’s Epidemic Prediction Initiative indicates a 90 percent chance that the flu season peaked nationally in mid-to-late February, though there may be some variation in the timing of influenza in different parts of the country.  The forecast also noted that flu activity is expected to remain elevated through the end of March.

In Connecticut, Emergency Department visits attributed to the “fever/flu syndrome” are at 7.9 percent statewide, which is above the level of 5 percent that is generally considered the minimum threshold when there are elevated influenza-associated ED visits.  Statewide, there have been 55 flu-associated deaths.  Nationwide, 35,000 deaths related to the flu have been reported.

Vaccination is a best practice for patient and healthcare worker safety.  In 2011, the CHA Board adopted a statewide policy endorsing mandatory influenza vaccination for hospital personnel as part of CHA hospitals’ commitment to patient safety.  The vast majority of acute care CHA member hospitals in Connecticut have implemented a mandatory participation or mandatory vaccination program.

CHA is participating in the fifth-annual United Against the Flu campaign, which uses social media outreach to bring national attention to the need for flu vaccinations.  The American Hospital Association is partnering with national healthcare, patient advocacy, and other like-minded organizations for a four-month campaign encouraging the public to get an influenza vaccination.


CHA Annual Meeting Awards – Deadline Extended

The deadline for nominations for CHA’s Annual Meeting awards has been extended to Wednesday, March 27, 2019.  The awards are an important part of the CHA Annual Meeting and a valuable opportunity to showcase Connecticut hospital and staff achievements.

The 2019 John D. Thompson Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Healthcare Through the Use of Data recognizes outstanding achievement in patient care quality initiatives.  It is sponsored by CHA’s education and research affiliate, the Connecticut Healthcare Research and Education Foundation (CHREF).  All CHA members are encouraged to apply.  Click here for an application.

The 2019 Connecticut's Hospital Community Service Award is an excellent opportunity for recognition of outstanding achievements in community service.  The award is sponsored jointly by CHA and the Connecticut Department of Public Health.  Click here for an application.

CHA’s Healthcare Heroes Awards celebrate the invaluable contributions of healthcare workers, both to their field and to the community at large.  CHA is seeking nominations from both direct patient care and non-clinical areas of CHA member facilities.  Ten healthcare heroes, selected by a panel of judges, will be awarded a $100 cash prize.  Click here for an application.

CHA will hold its 101st Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 20, 2019.


Education Updates

Staff to Management: Starting the Transition
Monday, March 25, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
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This program will provide guidance for staff transitioning to supervisor/manager.  This significant step requires the ability to use diplomacy, negotiation, persuasion, and alliance-building skills.  Managing the demands of an organization for high productivity and quality, combined with financial prudence and regulatory compliance, are only part of the equation.  Participants will discover that those tasks must be balanced with an excellent grasp of human relations skills in working closely and collaboratively with others and managing change.

Conflict Management: Engaging the Difficult Employee
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
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This full-day, interactive program, based on best practices in leadership theory, will provide communication methods and tools for navigating the challenging maze of different personalities and communication styles to better manage conflict.  Different personalities, different work styles, cultural/ethnic norms, and differences in generational mix lead to the possibility of conflict surfacing at work.  The program will explore the role conflict plays in the process of change and effective team problem solving — both major factors in improving organizational performance.

The Basics of Budgeting
Thursday, April 4, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
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Basics of Budgeting is a member-requested management development program, part one of a two-part series, to provide managers with an introduction to budgeting concepts, including calculating the volume budget and a revenue budget, tools to develop staffing plans and salary and supply budgets, as well as information on how best to handle capital and equipment requests.  Bill Ward, a popular and dynamic lecturer on financial management in healthcare, will present the program.  

Healthcare Financial Management—an Overview
Friday, April 5, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
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Because healthcare delivery methods and payment systems are changing rapidly, carefully managing the financial health of the organization is more important than ever.  Resources are scarce and stretched to the breaking point.  Doing more with less is routine.  The need for sound business and financial management tools is paramount for all managers.  These include planning and budgeting, financial analysis, and maximizing resources, all of which are essential if managers are to achieve the institution’s mission and financial results.  Bill Ward will present the program.  

HIPAA Rules of the Road: Public Relations, Communications, and the Media
Monday, April 8, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
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This program will cover HIPAA requirements and restrictions that apply to use of, or sharing (and/or exposing) patient identifiers and patient information: through filming and photography; with media-related entities; in connection with social media platforms; with law enforcement; or in the context of advertising or public relations outreach.  The program will review guidance, as well as HIPAA enforcement penalties, from the Office for Civil Rights.

De-escalation Training
Thursday, April 11, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
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CHA is approved by CPI to provide an abridged version of its Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® foundation course using a blend of online and classroom learning to its members.  This program will provide attendees with CPI’s Blue Card™ confirmation.  Included in this program is approximately two hours of online pre-work and a pre-test.  Please note: the pre-work and pre-test must be completed prior to attending the classroom portion of the program at CHA.