By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 8:37 AM
Nearly 8 million hospital patients in 2013 were discharged for postacute care in another setting such as a skilled nursing facility or home-based care, according to newly released data from AHRQ. Those patients represented 22 percent of all hospital discharges that year. AHRQ’s analysis of such care is the first based on a nationally representative all-payer dataset, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project 2013 National Inpatient Sample. According to the analysis, Statistical Brief #205: An All-Payer View of Hospital Discharge to Postacute Care, 2013,...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 8:58 AM
The Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2017 hardship exception instructions and ...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Thursday, June 23, 2016 9:29 AM
Have you used Lean to improve processes in your hospital? Whether you have used internal resources or a consulting group, it can be easy to get started and hard to sustain. What are some of the things that are part of an effective Lean improvement initiative?

You have developed a formal linkage between your strategic goals and your improvement program. Your executive team receives periodic reports from your Lean leader(s) about activities and accomplishments. You have an effective “pipeline” set up for improvement project requests. You have incorporated improvement goals into your leaders’ performance evaluation criteria. You have a plan in place for continuing to develop process improvement capability within your current leadership team. If you do not have these basic elements in place, it can be difficult to maintain momentum for your process improvement initiative.

Take a closer look at a couple of the most important items:

...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 3:21 PM

The Kentucky Trustee is a quarterly newsletter that KHA produces for the benefit of hospital boards. The goal is to provide your trustees with information they need to lead your hospital forward in today’s rapidly changing environment. The spring edition of the Kentucky Trustee is available at http://www.kyha.com/docs/Publications/Trustee/KTSpring2016.pdf.

KHA mails the Kentucky Trustee newsletter to all trustees for which the Association has contact information. This is a good time to ensure KHA has your current board members’ addresses.

If you have suggestions for future issues of the Kentucky Trustee, please contact Pam Kirchem at KHA (502-426-6220 or 800-945-4542 or via e-mail at pkirchem@kyha.com).

By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 3:13 PM
Governor Matt Bevin held a news conference Wednesday morning to announce his plan to replace Kentucky's expanded Medicaid program.

Bevin would like to launch a program called “Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health” (HEALTH). It would be a waiver application process for people wanting Medicaid coverage. This plan is a 1115 waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for a demonstration project designed to "provide dignity to individuals as they move towards self-reliability, accountability and ultimately independence from public assistance." It is only for the Medicaid expansion population — those between 100-138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FP)L. Governor Bevin stressed that this program is for able-bodied participants, and not the frail or elderly.

“This proposal is modeled after the very same health plan offered to Kentucky state employees including incentives to promote healthy lifestyles. This plan offers common sense strategies to help our citizens...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Monday, June 20, 2016 8:07 AM
Representatives from all Kentucky hospitals are invited to attend a Town Hall meeting on Hepatitis C, infectious disease and substance abuse.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health and Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) are hosting national, state and local experts in Hazard on Thursday, July 28 – World Hepatitis Day. The Event will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (ET) at Hazard Community and Technical College. Details and registration information are available at http://www.soar-ky.org/townhall.

The goals of the Town Hall Meeting are to increase community awareness; provide best practice recommendations on the prevention, detection and treatment of Hepatitis C and HIV and substance abuse; and engage multi-sector community, state and national stakeholders to organize resources and enhance engagement. The event’s featured Speaker will be Dr. John Ward, CDC Director of the Division of Viral Hepatitis.

...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Thursday, June 16, 2016 1:44 PM
An emergency amendment to a regulation to make Zika Virus Disease reportable in Kentucky has been signed by Governor Matt Bevin. The approved emergency amendment to the Reportable Disease Surveillance regulation (902 KAR 2:020) was then filed on June 15 with the Legislative Research Commission. The emergency amendment was effective as of the date filed with the LRC.

Thus, Zika Virus Disease is now reportable in Kentucky. Notification shall be considered priority and shall be made within one (1) business day.

For Priority Reporting, a report made within one (1) business day shall be:

 Submitted electronically, by fax, or by telephone to the local health department serving the county in which the patient resides; and If submitted by telephone, followed up by electronic or fax submission of a report to the local health department serving the county in which the patient resides within one (1) business day. A report submitted by fax shall be made with...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 7:39 AM
A report yesterday from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy underscores the dangers of fentanyl, an extremely potent opioid that is leading to more overdose deaths, often because dealers mix it with heroin and sell the lethal blend to unwitting addicts.

Fentanyl-related deaths have been on the rise across the country over the past year, and experts say many addicts are not aware they are consuming the drug. It is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin and can prove deadly at very low levels, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

In Kentucky, fentanyl was a factor in 420 fatal overdoses in 2015, up from 121 in the previous year. The drug contributed to 34 percent of all overdose deaths in the state, frequently in combination with heroin or other drugs.

Overall, fatal overdoses totaled 1,248 last year, compared to 1,071 in 2014. Heroin was detected in 28 percent of cases, consistent with the previous year. However, as a total, heroin-related deaths...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 7:35 AM
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday awarded $32 million in grants to find and enroll eligible children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. The University of Kentucky Research Foundation is one of 38 recipients that include states, school districts and community organizations in 27 states who will target eligible populations that are less likely to be enrolled.

University of Kentucky Research Foundation, a first-time participant in the Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Program, will focus on enrolling uninsured children and parents from 40 counties in the rural mountainous Appalachian region of the state. The strategies include using an existing network of Community Health Workers to work with local community-based partners providing application and renewal assistance to enroll and retain eligible uninsured children and parents in Medicaid and CHIP. The targeted outreach approaches for these hard-to-reach individuals will be to go where they “work,...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 7:27 AM

Kim Dees will be leaving the KHA staff at the end of June upon mutual agreement with KHA President Mike Rust. Dees has served for nine years as KHA’s Vice President for Health Professions. The loss of anticipated grant funding from an American Apprenticeship Initiative earlier in the year and dissolution of the Workforce Consortium last year eliminated funding support for the position. At the same time, Dees was investigating other opportunities she hopes to pursue that may continue to offer her the opportunity to interact with KHA members and nursing leadership, both in hospitals and universities.

Various responsibilities previously undertaken by Dees will be assigned to other staff.

By Ginger - Site Admin on Friday, June 10, 2016 7:39 AM
All Providers Must Take Action by July 1, 2016 to Avoid Payment Adjustments

Hardship exception applications are due by July 1 for eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs).

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program 2017 hardship exception instructions and ...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Monday, June 06, 2016 8:10 AM

The 2016 KHA Small Rural and Critical Access Hospital Conference is Wednesday, June 8. The conference is designed to help small rural hospital leaders understand changes to the health care delivery system and think strategically about how to best position their hospital for top performance.

View the brochure for more details, and register online in the Events section of www.kyha.com.

If you have questions, contact Elizabeth Cobb at KHA (ecobb@kyha.com).

By Ginger - Site Admin on Friday, June 03, 2016 9:54 AM
The U.S. Department of Labor has issued its long-awaited Final Rule to the White Collar Overtime Exemptions. Amongst other changes, the Final Rule increases the minimum salary level to qualify for exemption status to $47,476 per year for most occupations. For hospitals, this will mean that many of their employees will no longer be exempt from the overtime requirements. On June 7, KHREF will host a webinar to walk health care employers through the Final Rule, and provide insight on the short-term and long-term effects of the new provisions. Through scenarios and other practical illustrations, this session will also explore the options available to employers to lawfully reduce their overtime compensation exposure.

For more information, view the program's brochure. Online registration is available at www.kyha.com...
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