VLOG: December headlines worth reading


This month, in addition to health topics across Wisconsin, we introduce you to the fantastic quality team at the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA). They explain their roles as well as some of the new, very major initiatives to help Wisconsin hospitals reach better quality scores and adopt best practices (VIDEO BELOW).

In partnership with the WHA, this blog features headlines and hot button issues concerning Wisconsin hospitals, clinics and organizations. Here, you’ll read and watch videos about new legislation, hospital measurement and performance initiatives and the tools and resources you need to understand and manage today’s current, complex and controversial health care issues.

If you have other news, resources or links to share, please comment below or email Trish Skram, blogger and research content specialist for WHPRMS, at trishskram@gmail.com.

VIDEO: Meet the WHA quality reporting and performance improvement team

Finally, insurers report applications are picking up

Wisconsin insurers are starting to see an increase in applications submitted through the state’s federally facilitated health insurance exchange. According to Wisconsin Health News, WPS subsidiary Arise Health Plan said 64 people signed up in one day earlier this month, its largest one-day gain so far. That increased its total to 500 members. Security Health Plan says that more 1,300 members have enrolled in its products offered on the exchange, including a 17 percent jump. And Common Ground Health Care Cooperative CEO Bob Devita says they’re up to 1,257 members, 80 percent of which came through the exchange. Physicians Plus has received five applications; three paper and two via the exchange, said spokesman Scott Shoemaker. He said the electronic submissions have been enrolled, but the paper applications are still in the process. Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin has seen steady interest and enrollment this week, but is not disclosing enrollment numbers. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield spokesman Scott Larrivee said he’s unable to provide a number. “It’s too soon to offer a point of view on reports of improved accuracy or numbers we’re receiving,” he said. To read more, visit WisconsinHealthNews.com.

Increase in tobacco sales to minors prompts call for action

Health advocacy groups are calling for legislative changes to close tobacco tax loopholes and increase tobacco prevention program funding after a report released Monday showed an increase in the number of retailers that sell tobacco to children. The report, issued by the Department of Health Services, showed a 35 percent increase from 2009 to 2012 of retailers selling tobacco products to minors. In a joint statement, the American Heart Association, Health First Wisconsin, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the American Lung Association called for legislative action. Among their requests were adequate funding for the state’s tobacco prevention program and the passage of a bill authored by Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, which would close tobacco tax loopholes and ensure all products are taxed at the level of cigarettes. To read more, click here.

New study: Providing quality care really drives doctor satisfaction

Physician satisfaction depends largely on how easily they can provide high quality health care without having to overcome stress-inducing obstacles to care, according to an October study by Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research group. Many doctors reported that dealing with electronic health records, despite their advantages, can be a key factor leading to their dissatisfaction due to frustration dealing with the at times burdensome and costly technology. The technology impedes in-person discussions between doctors and patients, the study finds. The American Medical Association funded the study of 30 physician practices in six states, including Wisconsin. Its objective is to discover the best payment and delivery models to result in quality health outcomes for patients and greater physician satisfaction. To read more, click here.

This post was written and compiled by Trish Skram, blogger and research content specialist for WHPRMS. Trish also manages Mercy Health System’s public relations and social media efforts. To read more about Trish, CLICK HERE.

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