Published 4/12/2017 

ACA repeal stalls—what’s next? Hear from experts at the 2017 Leadership Development Conference

Much confusion has been sown in the last month by the GOP and the Trump administration as a result of their accelerated yet unsuccessful efforts to pass the American Health Care Act, the Republican Party’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. For some clarity, join your colleagues at the WSMA Leadership Development Conference in Chelan on May 19-20 as health care consultant and thought leader Dr. Kent Bottles explores the aftermath of the AHCA’s recent defeat and what it means for physician and hospital leaders.

Dr. Bottles, a lecturer at the Thomas Jefferson University School of Population Health and chief medical officer of PYA Analytics, will present “Repeal and Replace Fails: What’s Next for the ACA” on Saturday at the conference. An expert in health policy and payment reform, Dr. Bottles has more than 25 years of experience working in a number of physician executive roles. For a preview of the presentation at the conference, see his recent blog post, “What healthcare leaders can expect after AHCA’s demise.”

Dr. Bottles joins an outstanding group of presenters and presentations at WSMA’s premiere leadership event—see recent Membership Memo coverage of keynote presenter Dr. Jon Burroughs and our special production of Theater of War. The WSMA Leadership Development Conference is a great event for physicians of all types and all levels of leadership as well as groups and physician-administrator teams. Come to learn, network, relax and celebrate spring in Lake Chelan’s beautiful resort setting (and bring your family!).

Visit the WSMA website for conference agenda, registration information and area activities for your family to enjoy. Be sure to book your accommodations at Campbell’s Resort on Lake Chelan soon—a limited number of rooms at the WSMA discounted rate are available. Call the resort directly at 800.553.8225 to reserve your room. This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/12/2017 

In Olympia: Special session expected as regular legislative session nears end

With both chambers of the Legislature having released their respective budget proposals, state lawmakers are working to come to a final agreement for a 2017-19 biennium budget. The legislative session is scheduled to end on April 23, but with the two plans differing significantly in their approach to funding state operations, most Olympia-watchers are expecting one or more special sessions to follow.

The good news: The House and Senate budgets are similar in their support of many of WSMA’s fiscal priorities, including improving the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, continuing the state’s high-risk insurance pool, boosting investments in mental health services and strengthening several areas related to medical education, including residencies, student loan repayment and our state’s medical schools. The primary difference between the two proposals is on the revenue side of the equation, with House Democrats relying on a 20 percent business and occupation (B&O) tax surcharge among other provisions. The WSMA has testified against this tax increase, which would threaten the viability of physician-owned practices, and we will continue to oppose as budget negotiations continue. More details on these discussions can be found on WSMA’s Capitol Report blog.

Alongside the budget back-and-forth, the remaining days of regular session will be spent negotiating differences in legislation still under consideration. The deadline for bills to pass their opposite chamber is today (April 12). For a look at health care-related bills that were still alive prior to today’s deadline (and those that are considered dead), visit WSMA’s Capitol Report blog. Bookmark the blog for breaking news and information related to session as we approach its scheduled end and watch for an update on the final outcome of legislation in future WSMA communications.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/12/2017 

MQAC releases guidance on simultaneous surgeries

The Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission recently issued guidelines on simultaneous and overlapping elective surgical procedures. The guidance comes as the safety of the surgical practices has come under increased scrutiny in Washington state and nationally.

The guidelines, based on updated principles published in 2016 by the American College of Surgeons, specify key responsibilities of the primary attending surgeon when the surgeon is involved in more than one surgery at a time, focusing on patient safety and transparency. To read the guidelines in full, visit the Medical Commission’s Guidelines and Statements page or download directly. While the guidelines do not have the force of law, the Commission may consider them to represent the standard of care in Washington.

The WSMA strongly encourages physicians to follow the guidelines when scheduling simultaneous or overlapping surgical procedures. As leaders in the delivery of care, and as advocates and caretakers of the health of our patients and communities, physicians are under increasing pressure to balance safety and efficiency. Keeping informed of and upholding evolving practice standards remain a clinician’s best bulwark against this pressure, enabling the delivery of care patients truly can trust. For more information on the guidelines, contact Denny Maher at denny@wsma.org.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/12/2017 

WSMA joins the AMA and others urging CMS to reduce quality reporting burdens on physicians

The WSMA, the AMA, the Medical Group Management Association and more than 80 additional groups have issued a joint letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information urging a reduction in the administrative burden imposed on physicians by Medicare quality reporting programs. The signers requested a deferment from implementing 2015 edition certified electronic health record technology until such technology is widely available and no sooner than January 2019. This goal is consistent with the WSMA’s Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients initiative seeking to reduce administrative burden on physicians and practices.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/12/2017 

Engage with young WSMA physician leaders during our kick-off Virtual Mentoring Forum on May 10

Tune in from the comfort of your home or office on Wednesday evening, May 10, for the inaugural WSMA Virtual Mentoring Forum. The forum provides an opportunity for early career physicians and physicians-in-training from across the state to interact directly with WSMA’s young physician leaders. Early career physicians Claire Murphy, Matthew Grierson and Alex Hamling will be available to answer your questions and provide advice, guidance and information on a variety of topics. The free forum is open to all early career physicians (40 years old or younger or within the first decade of practice), residents, fellows and medical students.

Look out for more information, including how to access the forum and submit questions, in future WSMA publications. For now, save the date and time: WSMA Virtual Mentoring Forum, Wednesday, May 10, 6:30–8 p.m.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/12/2017 

Still time to register for the 2017 MGMA Washington spring conference in Spokane

The Medical Group Management Association Washington/Oregon 2017 Annual Meeting takes place Sunday, April 30 through Tuesday, May 2 in Spokane. This year’s conference, “Healthcare Community Interconnected: Building Relationships to Grow and Thrive,” features a keynote address by nationally renowned speaker Seth Mattison. Mattison is an expert on workforce trends and organizational leadership, and he’ll be presenting on cultivating meaningful relationships in the digital age.

The meeting combines fun and food with a pre-conference golf scramble and culinary tasting events in addition to the educational portion of the meeting. Physicians and their practice teams are encouraged to attend. Register for this one-of-a-kind event online today.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/12/2017 

Send us your patient safety initiative to be considered for the 2017 William O. Robertson Award

The yearly William O. Robertson Patient Safety Award gives the WSMA a chance to recognize innovative patient safety initiatives in the ambulatory care setting. To have your patient safety initiative considered for the award, please submit information on your initiative online by Friday, June 30.

The WSMA established the award in honor of its past-president, the late William O. Robertson, MD, who was a champion for patient safety, risk management and quality improvement throughout his long and distinguished career. The award winner will be announced at the 2017 WSMA Annual Meeting, Oct. 14-15 in Seattle. If you have any questions, contact Jessica Martinson at jessica@wsma.org or 206.956.3628.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/13/2017 

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is April 29

In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration and local partners in all 50 states collected nearly 900,000 pounds of unwanted medicines as part of its annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, an initiative to keep leftover prescription medications out of the hands of children and others. According to the DEA, a majority of prescription drug abusers report that they get their drugs, including opioids, from friends or family, and unused pills sitting in medicine cabinets or on bedside tables pose safety risks for kids who may accidentally ingest them.

The national take-back day initiative aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, and also to educate the public on the potential for abuse and theft of medications left around the house. For this year’s event, collection sites across Washington will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29. To find a participating site near you, search by your ZIP code on the DEA website. Attached is a flyer for your use to promote the National DEA Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 29. Please feel free to modify this to meet your local needs. Find printable DEA-developed materials in English and Spanish here

Several counties in Washington, including in King, Pierce and Snohomish, have installed secure drop boxes for safely and anonymously disposing of unwanted prescription medication year round, and police stations, sheriff’s offices and some pharmacies accept medications, as well. The Washington Poison Center’s webpage takebackyourmeds.org hosts a directory of medication return locations throughout the state.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/12/2017 

Serve the profession of medicine in Washington state: Nominations for WSMA leadership due May 5

A demographically representative leadership is crucial to WSMA’s success as your premier statewide physician professional association. Serving as a WSMA officer, trustee or delegate provides physicians an opportunity to get involved and help ensure Washington continues to be the best place to practice medicine and receive care. The WSMA is now accepting nominations for officer, trustee, delegate/alternate delegate to the AMA and House of Delegates speaker and vice speaker for 2017-18. If you or someone you know is interested in serving, please read on for more information. Don’t delay; the deadline for nominations is Friday, May 5.

Information about the desired qualifications of nominees and a roster of current Board of Trustees members are below. A nomination form, conflict of interest disclosure statement and candidate information sheet along with a curriculum vitae must be submitted with all suggested nominations, including incumbents.

Please email completed forms to Shannon Bozarth at slb@wsma.org (or fax to 206.441.5863) no later than Friday, May 5. The WSMA nominating committee will meet in late May to prepare a slate of nominees for presentation to the House of Delegates at the WSMA Annual Meeting, Oct. 14-15, at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center. Additional nominations may be made from the floor of the House of Delegates. All nominees must submit a CV, conflict of interest disclosure statement and candidate information sheet to the WSMA in advance of the election.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/12/2017 

Help us help you! Take our MACRA readiness survey

The WSMA is assisting practices in the move to value-based care under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which begins this year. We need your input to determine how we can best support your needs going forward. Please invest just a few minutes and take our MACRA practice assessment survey. Findings from this brief 20-question survey will dramatically help us understanding the readiness of physicians and practices to actively participate in MACRA. For questions, contact Bob Perna at rjp@wsma.org.Thank you for your participation. For more information on MACRA, visit wsma.org/macra.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/12/2017 

HCA survey on the state’s Clinical Data Repository still open

The WSMA has reported that some practices participating in the Washington Link4Health Clinical Data Repository are being charged high one-time connection fees and increased monthly service charges by their EHR vendors. The Health Care Authority has launched a survey to gather more information on the issue, which the WSMA strongly encourages practices to complete. Then read on for more updates on the state’s implementation of the Clinical Data Repository.

The WSMA and WSHA continue discussions with HCA and OneHealthPort on issues relating to the data repository. In a new development, OneHealthPort is now offering a one-time discount on the health information exchange (HIE) subscription fee, available to providers who meet specific criteria.

Providers who are required to participate in the first stage of the Clinical Data Repository rollout and who meet the following criteria will receive a one-time discount of $600 off of their annual HIE subscription. A total of $150,000 in incentive dollars is available. The incentive will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis to providers up to the $150,000 limit. The incentive criteria are as follows:

  • Send C-CDAs to the data repository for all Medicaid encounters using the production system by June 1, 2017.
  • Send C-CDAs to the data repository with the following components able to parse: Problems, Procedures, Medications, Allergies, Labs, Vital Signs and Immunizations.
  • Providers must continue to submit C-CDAs for all Medicaid encounters. For purposes of paying the incentive, OneHealthPort will consider the criteria satisfied after 30 days of ongoing submissions.
  • Until Oct. 1, 2017, the provider is not obligated to correct and resubmit patient records that fail due to matching errors.

To get started with the Clinical Data Repository, visit the OneHealthPort website. The Health Care Authority maintains a HealthIT webpage where you can subscribe to its free monthly Link4Health newsletters. For questions, contact Bob Perna (rjp@wsma.org).

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/12/2017 

Upcoming CPIN webinars: Choosing Wisely® and opioid prescribing variations

Physicians and practice staff should note two upcoming lunchtime webinars, both free of charge: Choosing Wisely: Statewide Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiatives, Wednesday, April 26; and Translating Data to Action: Variation in Opioid Prescribing Wednesday, May 24. The webinars are offered through the Clinical Performance Improvement Network, an educational program sponsored by the WSMA Foundation for Health Care Improvement, the Washington Health Alliance and the Washington Academy of Family Physicians and designed to assist physician practices in focusing their efforts on quality improvement.

These upcoming programs offer opportunities for medical practices to collaborate with one another, sharing best practices, proven innovations, and resources to stimulate accelerated and efficient implementation of quality improvements into practice settings. Register for these free events today:

Choosing Wisely: Statewide Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiatives
Wednesday, April 26, Noon - 1 p.m. PT. This session will:

  • Outline two current initiatives regarding outpatient antimicrobial stewardship in Washington state.
  • Review the state-endorsed clinical practice guidelines for five antimicrobial stewardship-related infectious syndromes in the outpatient setting.
  • Describe how Choosing Wisely and antimicrobial stewardship priorities align and identify strategies to leverage the multiple efforts to improve your practice.

Translating Data to Action: Variation in Opioid Prescribing
Wednesday, May 24, Noon - 1 p.m. PT. This session will:

  • Explain the various ways in which users can view data on the new Community Checkup website.
  • Identify variation in opioid prescribing across Washington state.
  • Describe opportunities for health systems to engage in action.

Also, be sure to take a moment and review past sessions, available online at no charge.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus
Published 4/12/2017 

Register for the Northwest Patient Safety Conference, May 11 in Seattle

The Washington Patient Safety Coalition’s 15th Annual Northwest Patient Safety Conference will be held on May 11 at the Seattle Airport Marriott. The full-day event features interactive activities and sessions related to this year’s theme, “The Heart and Science of Patient Safety.”

Vitally important patient safety topics will be explored at the event, with a focus on how they uniquely affect and can be addressed in the northwest’s “WWAMI” (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) region, for which the conference is the only event of its kind. Speakers include:

  • Keynote Speaker Dr. David Classen, CMIO Pascal Metrics, will focus on increased use of Health IT and exciting uses of predictive information to prevent safety problems before they occur.
  • Plenary Speaker Dorothy Teeter, director of the Washington State Health Care Authority, will focus on moving forward on health care transformation and the roadmap to value-based purchasing in Washington.
  • Dr. Tom Gallagher, a national expert in communication resolution, will focus on implementing communication and resolution programs following adverse events.

Registration is open to the public, with rate specials offered to patients and families, patient advocates, students, speakers, poster presenters and sponsors. Those on staff at one of the coalition’s 40 member organizations qualify for a member discount. Find more information and registration link at the Washington Patient Safety Coalition website.

Back to Membership Memo

Published 4/12/2017

comments powered by Disqus