Forum News & Updates

In this issue:

Register for our complimentary program on the governance of physician organizations

The transformation of health care toward more integrated and accountable delivery systems has brought physicians and hospitals together as collaborators in ever increasing numbers. With this shift has come a need to rethink and engage physician leaders in new roles, including governance.

To understand how the governance of physician-led organizations is different, and similar, to that of health care systems, the AHA’s Center for Healthcare Governance and Physician Leadership Forum, with generous support from Hospira, Inc., undertook a study to examine governance structures and functions in a diverse set of physician organizations.

Join your physician and hospital executive colleagues on Saturday, July 25 from 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco for this half-day complimentary program, in conjunction with the Health Forum/AHA Leadership Summit, to hear the highlights of the study, including case study presentations from three leading-edge physician organizations. Attendance is limited to ensure opportunity for dialogue.

To learn more or register for this complimentary program, click here.

Improving the health of the community

The Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement has released a series of resources to help health care leaders, clinicians and staff better manage patients outside their hospital walls. Called “Going Beyond Clinical Walls,” the series, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, includes three white papers. The first is an introductory paper exploring the benefits of community partnerships. The second discusses the importance of sharing data across organizations, while the last paper focuses on organizations that have already developed successful partnerships with their communities and the keys to their success.

Earlier this year, the American Hospital Association released ” Leadership Toolkit for Redefining the H: Engaging Trustees and Communities,” which explores what it means to be a hospital in a rapidly transforming health care environment. The report provides insights on how organizations can better partner with their communities to improve the health of the community through increased access to primary care, appropriate admissions and reduced inappropriate readmissions, and to make measurable gains in improving outcomes of care and reducing harm.

The importance of teaching hospitals in training future physicians

A new American Hospital Association TrendWatch report explores the important role teaching hospitals play in training the physicians of the future. Teaching hospitals serve as centers for training future health care professionals, while also supporting an environment in which biomedical and clinical research can flourish, offering specialized services and providing patient care, often in the most disadvantaged communities. Training new physicians, a time-intensive process that can take up to 14 years, is an essential part of the mission of teaching hospitals, the report says.

Reducing burnout among clinicians

A recent article from H&HN Daily discusses the importance of preventing burnout among physicians and nurses. The article cites a 2015 Medscape Physician Lifestyle Report that found 46 percent of physician respondents said they had feelings of burnout, an almost 7 percent increase from 2013. This is causing more physicians and nurses to leave health care, the author says. Burnout can be stopped, the author says, and some forward-thinking organizations are doing just that. For example, leaders at San Mateo Medical Center have implemented a leadership system that supports daily check-ins with staff to ensure that their needs are met and their voices are heard. At Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, leaders have extended rapid response teams to provide emotional support for employees and physicians during times of high stress. The author says it’s also important for organizations to have an effective combination of technologies and processes in order to reduce frustration and fatigue so clinicians can focus on delivering care.

Tool provides targeted solutions to improve safety and quality

A new online tool is helping organizations combat some of the most persistent health care quality and safety problems. Developed by the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, the Targeted Solutions Tool Â® (TST Â®) helps organizations measure their performance, identify barriers and access solutions to address these barriers. It also provides tips and guidance for sustaining a comprehensive improvement process. At present, the TST Â® has information on improving hand hygiene compliance, reducing the risk of wrong site surgery and improving hand-off communications. Future information will include solutions for surgical site infections, heart failure hospitalizations and C.diff infections.

HHS names nine regional Ebola treatment centers

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently selected nine health departments and partner hospitals to serve as regional treatment centers for patients with Ebola or other highly infectious diseases. Each center will receive approximately $3.25 million during the five-year project period. The funds, part of the emergency allocation Congress made last year, will come from the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Hospital Preparedness Program. For a full list of awardees, see the HHS press release.

Reminder: PQRS group practice deadline is approaching

Physician groups wishing to participate in the 2015 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) must register by June 30. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will transition PQRS to its Enterprise Identity Management System on July 13, and strongly encourages groups intending to use the GPRO for PQRS reporting to register by June 26 to ensure a smooth transition. Satisfactorily reporting via PQRS GPRO is one way for groups of two or more eligible professionals (EPs) to avoid automatic payment reductions of 2 percent for PQRS and 4 percent for the Value-Based Payment Modifier under the physician fee schedule. Group practices that meet PQRS reporting requirements also qualify for incentive payments under the value modifier. Group practices that choose not to register for the GPRO must ensure that at least half of their EPs meet PQRS reporting requirements for individual EPs to avoid the 2017 payment reductions and qualify for incentives.

Next PLF webinar will explore the SGR fix and implications for physician payment

The passage of a permanent repeal of the deeply flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula fixes the most critical physician payment problem and includes policy changes that move to a value-based payment system that rewards quality and the ability to accept alternative payment models such as bundled payments and accountable care organizations. But understanding the implications of these payment changes and how to prepare is essential.

Please join the AHA’s Physician Leadership Forum on Wednesday, July 1 beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET for a webinar to review the policy changes and hear how one organization is preparing for alternative payment models and value-based payment. In this 90-minute webinar, Akin Demehin and Melissa Jackson, senior associate directors, AHA Policy, will provide an overview of the policy changes and measures that will make up the new payment system. Dr. Bryan Gamble, president and CEO, Florida Hospital Medical Group, will share the work they’ve done to prepare their medical group to manage the clinical and financial risk in alternative payment models.

To register, click here.

Center for Healthcare Governance fall symposium, Sept. 20-22 in Chicago

The Center for Healthcare Governance presents its fall Symposium on leading and governing health care organizations, September 20-22, 2015 at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, Chicago, ILRegister now to take advantage of early bird tuition rates. This deal ends July 10.

In this timely program, trustees and executive leadership will gain insights into the trends that are transforming the delivery system and learn strategies and tools for navigating an increasingly complex environment. In plenary sessions, industry experts will offer analyses of the issues framing the health care environment—from the strategic questions central to transformation of the delivery system to one focused on value, to the efforts of leaders to engage with health care consumers, as well as emerging imperatives for payment system reform and clinical integration.

To register, click here.

To view the agenda, click here.

To download the brochure, click here.

ABMS/AAMC call for MOC activities

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in partnership with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is developing the ABMS MOC Directory powered by MedEdPORTAL (ABMS MOC Directory), an online repository of competency-based MOC activities.

Phase One of this partnership is the ABMS/AAMC Call for MOC Activities. All members of the continuing professional development and continuing medical education communities are invited to submit relevant educational activities for review and inclusion in the ABMS MOC Directory by July 31, 2015. This is an opportunity for all stakeholders to engage in the development of Lifelong Learning and Self–Assessment (Part II) and Improvement in Medical Practice (Part IV) activities designed to improve the quality of patient care.

To submit an activity for review and inclusion in the ABMS MOC Directory, fill out the Common MOC Activity Submission Form at