For information on this report, please E-mail Lori Henshey or call 304-353-9747.

 

March 1 , 2013   Volume 59 Number 1

 

Hospital Day at the Legislature 2013

Hospital Day at the Legislature

Hospital Day at the Legislature is less than two weeks away and final preparations are being made. The event will take place Wednesday, March 13. If you have not already done so, Team Leaders need to begin emailing their list of attendees to Tina Rymer

As a reminder, hospital groups need to be scheduling face-to-face appointments with legislators. Please remember that legislators are most likely to meet if it is at a constituent's request. If anyone is having difficulty scheduling an appointment, contact Tina Rymer at the Association for assistance. 

Spaces still remain for any member hospital who is interested in having an exhibit. The exhibits will be set-up in the Upper Rotunda outside of the Senate and House chambers where legislators are easily accessible. The exhibits are available on a first-come, first-served basis, as the Association has been allotted 30 tables. Exhibits and displays offering hospital information and health screenings are particularly popular with legislators as well as citizens visiting the Capitol. 

For more information on Hospital Day activities, please visit www.wvha.org or contact Tina Rymer. 

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From the Dome

Each week during the 2013 Regular Session, the WVHA will include a special section in the Friday Report entitled From the Dome. This communication will provide a wrap-up of legislative activity at the Capitol during the 60-day Regular Session, including significant floor and committee activity important to the hospital community. The communication also is one of the primary ways to be informed of any Call to Action on legislation being debated, complete with WVHA positions on the relevant bills being discussed. For more information, please contact Tony Gregory.

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State Journal Publication Now Available

 

WVHA is pleased to announce the release of a special hospital publication – Healthy Hospitals. Healthy Communities. A Better West Virginia – in partnership with the State Journal. We have arranged for this publication to be included in the March 8, 2013 edition of The State Journal – one week prior to Hospital Day at the Legislature on March 13, 2013.

The purpose of this publication is to focus on the good things hospitals do in the community in the wake of challenges such as below cost provider payments, healthcare workforce issues, and delivery system changes. Other areas of focus include: economic impact of hospitals; community benefits; wellness; and patient safety and quality, to name a few.

 

 

Past Issues

In This Issue...


  Hospital Day at the Legislature 2013
   
  From The Dome
   
  State Journal Publication Now Available
   
  Tobacco Free Day at the Capitol Great Success
   
  WVUH-East City Hospital Names Daisy Award Winner

  Senate Votes to Reject Proposals to Avoid Sequester
   
  Senate Passes Preparedness Bill
   
  Progress by Hospitals Cited at Hearing on Delivery System Reform
   
  Congress Urged to Reject Cuts That Would Hurt Patients' Access to Care
   
  House Panel Examines Medicare Benefit Design
   
  AHA Voices Support for IPAB Repeal Bill
   
  Groups Call for Health IT Steps to Reduce Disparities 

  Tennessee Voters Support Medicaid Expansion
   
  Proposed NV Law Would Let Hospitals Refuse to Hire Smokers

  National Healthcare Decisions Day
   
 

CAH Dates to Remember

While WVHA staff worked to organize and develop content, the publication would not be a success without WVHA Member and Associate member participation. Through content and advertising, WVHA was able to present a diversity of advocacy issues impacting the hospital field as well as represent a cross section of Members and Associate Members.

With the changing landscape of health care, presenting the hospital message to more than 10,000 West Virginia decision makers, businesses, government officials and community leaders, is more important than ever.

Thank you for your participation and for helping make this project a success!

To view a copy of the publication, please click on the publication photo above or visit the WVHA website at www.wvha.org For more information or for additional copies, please contact Tina Rymer.  

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Tobacco Free Day at the Capitol Great Success

The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free West Virginia held its annual Tobacco Free Day at the Capitol on Friday, February 22, 2013.  Close to 1,000 people participated in the day, bringing attention to the hazards associated with tobacco use and the many projects around the state working to help tobacco users quit and prevent young people from beginning.  RAZE crews (WV teens working to prevent their peers from beginning to use tobacco) held a press conference and conducted several activities as part of the day.  To view a slide show of the day go to http://www.tobacco-free-wv.com/blog/ and scroll down to “Scenes from Tobacco Free Day at the Capitol”  or to learn more about the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free WV, visit www.ctfwv.com.  For additional information about tobacco-related issues, contact Cinny Kittle

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WVUH-East City Hospital Names Daisy Award Winner

City Hospital’s Nurse Work Life Council named Kathy Hilber, a registered nurse in the surgical/recovery services department at City Hospital, as the recipient of the DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses for the fourth quarter 2012. The award was presented to Hilber during a recent ceremony at the hospital. She received a certificate along with a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa. 

The DAISY award was established nationally to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform everyday. Nurses at WVUH-East’s City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital are being honored throughout the year with the DAISY Award. The WVUH-East awards are being sponsored by the City Hospital Foundation and the Jefferson Health Care Foundation. 

 

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), an auto-immune disease.  The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. For more information, please contact Teresa McCabe.

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Senate Votes to Reject Proposals to Avoid Sequester

 The U.S. Senate today rejected both Democratic and Republican proposals to mitigate parts of the sequester scheduled to take effect tomorrow. Both proposals would have negated the sequester for the remainder of fiscal year 2013. The proposal by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), which failed 51-49 to gain sufficient support, would have split the cost 50/50 between new revenues and spending cuts, which would come from defense and agriculture programs and not impact Medicare and Medicaid funding. The alternate proposal by Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), which failed by a 38-62 vote, would have required the president to submit a "qualifying sequester replacement plan" by March 15 that would reduce FY 2013 budgetary resources by at least $85 billion and include no more than $42.6 billion in defense cuts. The remaining cuts could be taken from other discretionary and mandatory domestic spending, including Medicare and Medicaid, thereby potentially increasing providers’ vulnerability. The AHA opposes any proposal that would further cut Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for hospital care.

AHA News Now, February 28, 2013

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Senate Passes Preparedness Bill

The U.S. Senate last night approved by unanimous consent the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (H.R. 307), which next goes to the House for final passage. AHA-supported provisions in the bill would reauthorize the Hospital Preparedness Program, Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, Medical Reserve Corps and other critical preparedness activities through fiscal year 2018; clarify allowable activities for recipients of HPP funds; and permit national collaboration among HPP-funded entities.

AHA News Now, February 28, 2013

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Progress by Hospitals Cited at Hearing on Delivery System Reform

The hospital readmission rate declined in the final quarter of 2012, “an early sign” that healthcare payment and delivery reforms are having an impact, a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) official told the Senate Finance Committee today. “After fluctuating between 18.5 percent and 19.5 percent for the past five years, the 30-day all-cause readmission rate dropped to 17.8 percent,” CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator Jonathan Blum told senators at the hearing on delivery system reform. Though payment adjustments under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program took effect only recently, “hospitals have been preparing for this program for some time and results suggest it is already having a positive impact,” Blum said. Among other progress, Blum noted that 26 Hospital Engagement Networks are identifying ways to prevent hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions and sharing that information with other health care providers nationwide. AHA's Health Research & Educational Trust affiliate is a national partner in the initiative.

AHA News Now, February 28, 2013

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Congress Urged to Reject Cuts That Would Hurt Patients' Access to Care

With automatic spending reductions set to begin Friday, hospital leaders today convened on Capitol Hill to express concern about the looming Medicare cuts and urge their legislators to protect payments for hospital care. Participating in the AHA Advocacy Day in person and via webcast, hospital leaders were briefed on the latest developments related to the Budget Control Act sequester, which would cut Medicare payments by 2 percent across the board effective April 1, and other approaching fiscal deadlines. AHA has expressed concern about the sequesters impact on hospitals, as well as proposals that would delay or replace certain parts of the sequester or reduce the deficit by further reducing Medicare or Medicaid payments to providers. “We can’t take any more cuts to hospital payments,” AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock told participants. After the briefing, hospital leaders met with lawmakers and their staffs to urge support for alternatives that represent real solutions to the deficit, not cuts that could jeopardize access to patient care.

AHA News Now, February 26, 2013

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House Panel Examines Medicare Benefit Design

The House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, Tuesday held a hearing on proposals to update and improve the Medicare fee-for-service benefit structure. Glen Hackbarth, chairman of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, testified on MedPAC’s June recommendation that Congress replace the current benefit design with one that includes an out-of-pocket maximum; deductibles for Part A and B services; copayments that may vary by type of service and provider; secretarial authority to alter or eliminate cost sharing based on the value of services; no change in beneficiaries’ aggregate cost-sharing liability; and an additional charge on supplemental insurance. Witness Mark Fendrick, M.D., director of the University of Michigan Center for Value-Based Insurance Design, told the committee that benefit design should incorporate “clinical nuance,” and Tricia Neuman, director of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Program on Medicare Policy, testified on the implications of possible changes for beneficiaries.

AHA News Now, February 26, 2013

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AHA Voices Support for IPAB Repeal Bill 

The AHA Monday expressed support for S. 351, legislation to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. “America’s hospitals support the repeal of IPAB because its existence permanently removes Congress from the process of making decisions regarding Medicare payment, and threatens the important dialogue between hospitals and their elected officials about how hospitals can continue to provide the highest quality care to their patients and communities,” AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack said in a letter of support to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). “Furthermore, any savings achieved through IPAB would come directly from providers, as IPAB is precluded from recommending structural changes to the Medicare program. This shortsighted approach ensures deeper cuts to Medicare provider payments, which already fall short of covering the cost of care….Although hospitals will not be subject to IPAB decisions until 2020, we are deeply concerned that removing elected officials from the decision-making process could result in even deeper cuts to the Medicare program in the future.”

AHA News Now, February 25, 2013

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Groups Call for Health IT Steps to Reduce Disparities 

Consumer and minority health groups last week issued recommendations to maximize the potential of health information technology to reduce health disparities. The report calls for expanding access to health IT and mobile technologies in communities of color; minimizing barriers to online eligibility and enrollment for health insurance; supporting the collection and reporting of patient demographic data; and including privacy and security protections to prevent misuse of health data for other purposes. The report was released by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Consumers Union, and National Council of La Raza at a White House Summit on Achieving eHealth Equity.

AHA News Now, February 25, 2013

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Tennessee Voters Support Medicaid Expansion

 Most Tennessee voters want the state to expand its Medicaid program to reduce the number of uninsured residents, according to a survey released yesterday by the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA). Funded by the AHA and conducted by Alexandria, VA-based Public Opinion Strategies, the THA poll found that 59 percent of insured voters believe the state should accept the federal dollars to expand Medicaid coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Just 35 percent said the state should not expand the program. “The mandate is clear and decisive,” THA President Craig Becker said. “Tennesseans believe accepting the funds and expanding the Medicaid population in the state would mean critical resources for our rural hospitals that are financially struggling and will be crippled by the cuts that already are law.”

AHA News Now, February 28, 2013

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Proposed NV Law Would Let Hospitals Refuse to Hire Smokers

A smoking habit could cost you a job opportunity at a hospital or other medical facility under legislation proposed by Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City. It's currently illegal for an employer to discriminate against employees who use a product—such as tobacco—outside of work that does not affect job performance or the safety of other employees. Hardy's measure, Senate Bill 87, would repeal that law.

Las Vegas Sun, February 25, 2013

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National Healthcare Decisions Day

April 16, 2013

For more information, please click National Healthcare Decisions Day or West Virginia Center for End-of-Life Care.

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CAH Dates to Remember

For important Critical Access Hospitals events, click here.

For more information, please contact Dianna Iobst.

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