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News from the Kentucky Hospital Association
By Ginger - Site Admin on Monday, September 29, 2014 11:07 AM

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 fall edition of the Kentucky Trustee is now available.

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 

By Ginger - Site Admin on Monday, September 29, 2014 10:27 AM

Reminder: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a rule finalizing October 1, 2015 as the new compliance date for health care providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses to transition to ICD-10, the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases. This deadline allows providers, insurance companies and others in the health care industry time to ramp up their operations to ensure their systems and business processes are ready to go on October 1, 2015.

The rule requires the use of ICD-10 beginning October 1, 2015. The rule will also require HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through September 30, 2015.

For resources on transitioning to ICD-10, visit the ICD-10 website.

By Ginger - Site Admin on Monday, September 29, 2014 9:58 AM
The stakes are increasing for hospitals under the growing Medicare quality reporting and incentive programs. Hospitals that only felt a “pinch” in payment cuts may now feel a true “bite.” This webinar series will take hospital leaders through the “nuts and bolts” of the federal incentive programs and provide guidance on understanding impact modeling reports distributed by KHA on each of the programs.

Information will also be provided on how to use performance knowledge and hospital resources to improve results in the CMS incentive programs. During the webinar, you will hear case studies from hospitals on initiatives and activities used to reverse poor performance trends.

Webinar 1: Value Based Purchasing: Understanding Your Performance and How the Program is Evolving - October 8 at 11:00 a.m. (ET)/10:00 (CT) Webinar 2: Hospital Readmission Penalty Program: Impact to Your Hospital and Avoiding Common Mistakes in Achieving Improvement - October 15 at 11:30 a.m. (ET)/10:30 (CT) Webinar...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 9:36 AM
KHA is hosting its Fall Series of Congressional meetings to provide members the opportunity to stay in contact with the Kentucky Congressional Delegation and discuss important legislative and regulatory issues currently before the U.S. Congress that are critical to Kentucky’s hospitals.  

The nation’s health care system in the midst of change with the Accountable Care Act (ACA).  Hospitals are working tirelessly to deliver quality care as they work to improve community health, patient quality and satisfaction, all while reducing costs. This meeting will provide members the opportunity to discuss issues and concerns with Congressman Ed Whitfield.

A meeting with First District Congressman Ed Whitfield is scheduled as follows: DATE: Wednesday, October 22

TIME: 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (CT) (Lunch will be provided)

PLACE: Loman Trover Conference Room, 8th Floor Baptist Health Medical Associates Building 200 Clinic Drive Madisonville

For your...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 9:08 AM
Don’t miss an opportunity to receive incentive payments for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. The last day to begin a 2014 reporting period for first-year Medicare eligible professionals (EPs) is October 3. Medicare EPs must attest to demonstrating meaningful use every year to receive an incentive and avoid a payment adjustment. A few key points for EPs who have not yet started participation in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program: Earning Incentives

October 3 is the last day to start the 90-day reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. If you start participation by October 3, you will have the opportunity to receive an incentive for 2014, and if you continue to achieve meaningful use, can earn incentive payments for 2015 and 2016 participation. If you wait and start participation in 2015, you will not be eligible to receive incentive payments, but can avoid payment adjustments. Avoiding Adjustments You will not avoid the payment adjustment in 2015,...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 8:34 AM
Health care providers can volunteer through October 3 to participate in an ICD-10 end-to-end testing opportunity with Medicare Administrative Contractors and the Common Electronic Data Interchange contractor, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Friday. About 850 volunteers representing a cross section of provider, claim and submitter types will be selected to participate in the testing, scheduled for January 26-30, 2015. Volunteer forms are available on the MAC websites, CMS said. The Department of Health and Human Services in July issued a final rule establishing October 1, 2015 as the date on which health care providers must begin including ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes on Medicare and other health care claims. AHA members can access an updated Executive Action Guide...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Monday, September 22, 2014 11:16 AM
On August 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice offering a settlement of hospital appeals of short stay denials. CMS’s intent in offering the settlement is to address the significant backlog of Medicare appeals at the administrative law judge (ALJ) level, which resulted in the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals suspending assignment of appeals to ALJs for at least two years.

Each hospital should evaluate carefully the terms of the offer and the hospital’s own situation in making a decision about whether to pursue the settlement offer. To assist with this analysis, the AHA commissioned a national accounting firm to develop the attached tool to help hospitals compare the settlement they might expect to receive under CMS’s offer with what they might recover if they choose to continue the appeals process for claims eligible for the settlement. The tool includes an overview and instructions pertaining to the checklist....
By Ginger - Site Admin on Monday, September 22, 2014 9:32 AM
The 2015 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly is scheduled to begin on January 6, 2015 and will last 30 legislative days.

As usual, during an odd-numbered year, in which sessions are half as long as in even-numbered years, the session will have two parts. The first four days of the session – January 6 to January 9 – will focus on organizational work, such as electing legislative leaders, adopting rules of procedure and organizing committees. The introduction and consideration of legislation can also begin during this time.

The second part of the session begins on February 3, 2015 with final adjournment scheduled for March 24, 2015.

Legislators will not meet in session on February 16, 2015 in observance of Presidents’ Day.

The veto recess – the period of time when lawmakers commonly return to their home districts while the governor considers possible vetoes – begins on March 10, 2015. Lawmakers will return to the Capitol on March 23 and 24, 2015 for the final two days of the session.

By Ginger - Site Admin on Thursday, September 18, 2014 9:45 AM
Please share with your hospital public relations and marketing professionals that their allied society, the Kentucky Society for Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing (KSHPRM), will meet on Thursday, November 13 from 9:00 a.m. (ET) to 3:00 p.m. (ET) in the Kentucky Room of the Keeneland Race Track in Lexington.

Presenters include Springboard Brand & Creative Strategy, Shotgun Concepts and many more.  Plus, there will be the the Thoroughbred Award Presentation during lunch.  The cost to attend is $65 for KSHPRM members and $85 for non-members (includes membership fee).

Click here for a copy of the KSHPRM Fall Conference save-the-date post card.  To register, please complete the attached registration form...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Thursday, September 18, 2014 9:10 AM
Immediate action is required for groups with 10 or more eligible professionals (EPs) who would like to register as a physician quality reporting system (PQRS) Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) in order to avoid the automatic calendar year (CY) 2016 Value-Based Payment Modifier downward payment adjustment. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) describes the steps that physician provider groups may need to take before 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on September 30 to avoid negative payment adjustments from Medicare in 2016.  

Failing to take action could result in a negative payment adjustment of as much as -4 percent on allowed Medicare charges. 

Please contact the atom Alliance representative for Kentucky if you have any questions. 

Kentucky Margie Banse atom Alliance is a multi-state alliance for powerful change composed of three nonprofit, healthcare quality...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 3:25 PM
The Kentucky Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (KY HFMA) is committed to providing timely, high quality education to the providers serving their region.  They are excited to tell you about one of their upcoming education events occurring at the University of Louisville Shelby Campus on Friday, September 26.  Dr. Michael Nowicki is returning to present two four-hour sessions, titled “ACA – is it working?” and “Reimbursement in Today’s Environment.”  Dr. Nowicki has presented to KY HFMA several times in recent years and is one of their highest rated speakers.  

Limited seating is available.  Please contact Don Frank via e-mail at or at 859-578-6858 with any questions and to register.

Click here for a copy of the program.

By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 2:16 PM

The Kentucky Hospital Association hosted a meeting on September 16 with James R. Comer, the Kentucky commissioner of agriculture, at the KHA headquarters.  Comer, a native of Tompkinsville, is a supporter of small, rural hospitals and was interested in learning from the hospital administrators present, how hospitals and administration can work more closely to improve the health status of the citizens of Kentucky.

By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 9:27 AM
On September 16, Senate Finance Committee (SFC) officials urged Congress to extend the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) before funding expires in September 2015, leaving millions of children without coverage, and families of those who manage to find coverage elsewhere, faced with higher out-of-pocket costs.

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who chaired a Finance Committee hearing on the topic, said CHIP has cut the uninsured rate for children in half and allowing funding to lapse would be "a step backwards."  CHIP covers about 8 million children. Rockefeller, one of the architects of the CHIP program, is retiring at the end of this Congress. CHIP should be celebrated for its "essential role" in getting kids covered, Rockefeller told his colleagues, adding "CHIP has been a game changer."

Cathy Caldwell, who runs Alabama's CHIP program, said expiration of funding would be a "nightmare" for states because, while funding ends in 2015, the program is authorized through 2019 with a related maintenance...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 8:40 AM

Open Enrollment is the time when people can apply for a 2015 Marketplace plan, keep their current plan, or pick a new one.

Below are the key dates for the next Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Period in Kentucky:

  • November 15, 2014. Open Enrollment begins. Apply for, keep, or change coverage.
  • December 15, 2014. Enroll by December 15 for new coverage that begins on January 1, 2015. If a patient’s plan is changing or if they want to change plans, they must enroll by December 15 to avoid a lapse in coverage.
  • December 31, 2014. Coverage ends for 2014 plans. Coverage for 2015 plans can start as soon as January 1, 2015.
  • February 15, 2015. The last day people can apply for 2015 coverage before the end of Open Enrollment.

For more information, please visit

By Ginger - Site Admin on Monday, September 15, 2014 10:47 AM

The Department of Medicaid has confirmed that the ten percent holdback of the November 2013 Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments were mailed September 22.

The final share factor used to distribute the balance of DSH funds for the November 2013 distribution is the same share factor that will be used by Medicaid when making the DSH payments for November 2014 and November 2015. Since the Federal funding has not changed for the next two years, and the share factor is constant, the Medicaid DSH payments for the next two years should be essentially the same as the payment for November 2013.

If you have any questions, please contact Steve Miller at KHA (502-426-6220 or 800-945-4542 or via email at

By Ginger - Site Admin on Monday, September 15, 2014 9:09 AM
KHA congratulates Kentucky Hospital Engagement Network (K-HEN) Education/Data Manager Dolores Hagan, RN, BSN, who earned her Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) certification.

The certification will assist Hagan as she continues to provide patient safety and quality expertise to the hospitals in Kentucky through the K-HEN quality collaborative. The CPHQ is the only certification for health care quality professionals and is fully accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. In 2013, there were only 8,163 CPHQs in the United States.
By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 3:00 PM
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is aiming to improve the salience and usability of comparative quality information for consumers by incorporating a Star Rating system in its Compare websites. Currently, Nursing Home Compare features an overall star rating for each facility and star ratings for other important categories of health care quality. Earlier this year, CMS introduced star ratings to Physician Compare, which uses them to rate a limited number of measures for group practices. In April 2015, CMS plans to introduce star ratings on Hospital Compare for the HCAHPS measures.

There will be a "dry run" of Star Ratings for HCAHPS measures in preparation for the April 2015 public reporting beginning on September 15, 2014 and ending on October 14, 2014. The dry run corresponds with the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program preview period for the December 2014 public reporting of HCAHPS measures.

CMS is using the IQR preview period as an opportunity to dry run star ratings for HCAHPS measures (HCAHPS Star Ratings). Therefore, your preview report will include the standard data you receive for HCAHPS measures and will also include star ratings data for HCAHPS measures. Please note that the HCAHPS Star Ratings included in your preview report will not be publicly reported in December 2014. All other data besides the HCAHPS Star Ratings in your preview report will be publicly reported on Hospital Compare in December.

By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 10:34 AM
On September 9, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) held a National Provider Call to discuss its recent offer to settle outstanding Medicare hospital claims that were denied because of patient status issues. Slides for the call are available at The slides also include links to documents and instructions that will be needed by eligible hospitals, predominately Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Critical Access Hospital (CAH) providers, that decide to pursue the claims settlement. Settlement requests are due to CMS by...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 2:37 PM
The Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are now focusing on some specific standards that continue to be problematic. These standards make it necessary and timely to present a program on the essentials of Joint Commission readiness. This two-day program, offered by the Kentucky Hospital Research and Education Foundation (KHREF) on November 13-14, will provide a comprehensive review of the accreditation manual for hospitals focusing on such specific problematic topics as National Patient Safety Goals, infection control and leadership/human resources. Attendees will gain a better understanding of how The Joint Commission and CMS are interrelated; where the problematic areas are; and how to have a flawless survey through proper front-end preparation.

For a complete overview of the conference, and to learn how to register, please see the brochure.

By Ginger - Site Admin on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 8:32 AM
The thoughts and prayers of the associates at the Kentucky Hospital Association are with Wade Mountz and his family as his wife Betty passed away on September 5. Betty is remembered for her infectious smile and for always accompanying Wade to hospital functions.  She will be deeply missed.
By Ginger - Site Admin on Monday, September 08, 2014 8:54 AM
Below are several important pieces of information regarding AHA's data collection of hospitals’ experience with Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs).

Standalone RAC administrative burden survey Hospital chief executive officers have been sent a link to an AHA survey that attempts to gain greater insight into the resources – both financial and staff time – that hospitals are utilizing to comply with RAC audits. These hidden expenses, beyond the value of recoupments, are important to measure in order to illustrate the total cost of RAC audits to hospitals. This survey is separate from the RACTrac survey. The deadline for the survey to be completed is September 19.  

RACTrac update to be launched in October reporting period AHA has undertaken a substantial revision of the RACTrac survey in order to gain important information on key advocacy areas, including rebilling and appeals. In support of this effort, the AHA’s claim level tracking tool has been updated for hospitals to...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Friday, September 05, 2014 9:48 AM

The Kentucky Hospital Research and Education Foundation (KHREF) is hosting a workshop on October 21 to focus on the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) two-midnight rule. While full implementation of this new rule has been delayed by Congress, some form of this rule will be implemented. The main objective of this new rule is to address the challenge of proper inpatient admissions versus placing the patient into outpatient observation.

The target audience for the webinar includes chief executive officers, chief financial officers, chief operating officers, chief medical officers, chief nursing officers, Chargemaster coordinators, coding staff, billing and claims personnel.

For a complete overview of the workshop and a registration form, please view the brochure.


By Ginger - Site Admin on Friday, September 05, 2014 8:41 AM
The KHA Legislative Committee met on September 4 at KHA Headquarters in Louisville. The Committee is chaired by Joe Koch, chief executive officer of Bourbon Community Hospital, and assists in developing state and federal legislative priorities. The Committee then recommends those positions to the membership and the KHA Board of Trustees.

The KHA membership will be asked to approve the 2015 Legislative Priorities at the KHA Health Care Leadership Conference on Friday, November 14 at the Louisville Marriott East.  The Platform will then be presented to the KHA Board of Trustees for approval.

The 2015 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly will convene on January 6.  The Session, which will last 30 legislative days, is scheduled to end March 24.

The KHA Legislative Committee will host the Hospital Day at the Legislature in Frankfort on February 26.

For more information, contact Sarah Nicholson at KHA (502-426-6220 or 800-945-4542 or via email at

By Ginger - Site Admin on Thursday, September 04, 2014 9:13 AM
On August 21, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued an Opinion and Order on the case of Phillip Tibbs, MD, et al. v. Hon. Kimberly N. Bunnell.

The underlying action was a medical negligence and wrongful death action involving a 64-year-old female, Luvetta Goff, who underwent elective spinal surgery at University of Kentucky Hospital on January 26, 2011. She died at the end of the procedure due to an unspecified bleeding complication and her Estate brought an action against three surgeons, Drs. Phillip Tibbs, Joel Norman and Barrett Brown. During discovery, Plaintiff sought to obtain a copy of a post-incident report that was entered into a Patient Safety Net System, a real time web-based event reporting system. The reporting system was set up as part of UK HealthCare’s Patient Safety System and the event report was provided to the patient safety organization (PSO) to which  UK HealthCare belonged, University Health System Consortium.

A Motion for a Protective Order filed by the University based on the...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Thursday, September 04, 2014 8:42 AM

KHA is conducting a survey to determine the size and scope of cardiac telemetry monitoring in Kentucky hospitals in an effort to determine ongoing needs. The survey was requested by a Kentucky hospital system. KHA will summarize the results and no hospital-specific data will be shared. Individual hospital responses are confidential. The summary results will be made available for all hospitals to review through the KHA website.

The survey is available at Please submit one response per hospital by September 17. Questions about the survey may be directed to Elizabeth Cobb at (502-426-6220 or 800-945-4542 or via email at

By Ginger - Site Admin on Wednesday, September 03, 2014 8:34 AM
Image Trend Screen Shots(From Jim House, KDPH Preparedness Branch) - On August 27, the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services (KBEMS) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) conducted an introductory training on the Patient Tracking Module of Resource Bridge, a web-based system from ImageTrend, Inc. Key personnel from the Kentucky Hospital Association, the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, the Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness, the University of Louisville and Shelby County EMS participated in this training and provided valuable feedback to assist in the continued implementation of the system. Resource Bridge Patient Tracking is a database-driven web application for tracking patients...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Tuesday, September 02, 2014 11:41 AM
On Friday, August 29, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule that would provide physicians, hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) more flexibility in implementing certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) in 2014 to meet the meaningful use standards of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs. The final rule, jointly issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), will allow providers to use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for the reporting period in 2014 for the Incentive Programs. Beginning in 2015, all eligible physicians and hospitals would be required to attest using the 2014 Edition CEHRT. In addition, the rule finalizes a provision that would formalize CMS’ and the ONC’s previously stated intention to extend Stage 2 of the program one additional year through 2016, and to begin Stage 3 in 2017. The rule is available...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Tuesday, September 02, 2014 11:30 AM
According to a bulletin released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on August 29, to more quickly reduce the volume of patient status claim denials pending in the appeals process, CMS is offering an administrative agreement to any acute care hospital or critical access hospital (CAH) willing to resolve their pending appeals (or waive their right to request an appeal) in exchange for timely partial payment (68 percent of the net payable amount). CMS encourages hospitals with patient status claim denials currently in the appeals process to make use of this administrative agreement to alleviate the burden of current appeals on both the hospital and Medicare system.

More details about the providers and claims eligible for an administrative agreement, as well as the documents needed to request such an agreement, can be found on the CMS Inpatient Hospital Reviews web page.

By Ginger - Site Admin on Thursday, August 28, 2014 9:23 AM
On August 27, AHA submitted the comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its proposed rule for the calendar year (CY) 2015 outpatient and ambulatory surgery center (ASC) prospective payment systems (PPS). The letter urges the agency to carefully reconsider its proposed methodology of creating a Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System modifier to track services furnished in off-campus, provider-based hospital outpatient departments. It also recommends changes to the implementation of its new set of claims-level comprehensive ambulatory payment classifications to ensure that it does not negatively and disproportionately impact certain types of hospitals that have specialized case mixes. In addition, AHA opposes CMS’ proposal to require a physician order for all inpatient admissions as a condition of payment under the agency’s general...
By Ginger - Site Admin on Thursday, August 28, 2014 9:12 AM

In regards to acknowledgement testing with providers, Change Request (CR) 8858 instructs Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to promote three specific acknowledgement testing weeks with providers, and provide data and statistics to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to demonstrate readiness for the International Classification for Disease 10th Edition Clinical Modification (ICD-10) transition.

For additional information, visit

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