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Message from Mike
We have become accustomed to futurists observing dramatic changes in health care. Certainly, we matter — health care is now a $3.5 trillion part of the U.S. economy — but we’re not the only industry staring dramatic change in the face.

Consider transportation and energy. A gasoline engine has 20,000 parts, while an electric motor has 20. It takes about 10 minutes to replace an electric motor. If you were leading in the transportation or energy sector instead of health care, you might be anxious about the future of gas stations, dealerships and auto repair enterprises.

Indeed, many segments of the world economy are changing dramatically, but there will be winners — those leaders who anticipate the changes and prepare to serve a new set of needs in innovative, efficient ways.

Speaking of leaders, one of the benefits of working with the OHA Board of Trustees is that I get to develop wonderful relationships with people who are accomplished leaders. Unfortunately, we annually turn over a small set of board members who have served their term limits and will no longer be a formal member of our board.

This year, we say thank you and farewell to Ray Chorey, Mike Keating and Kevin Webb. Ray and Mike had distinguished careers in finance prior to joining OHA’s Board, and Kevin’s passion for patient safety and health care quality has given real energy to our work. All three of these leaders will be missed. I am grateful that our paths crossed, and I am confident I will maintain friendships with each of them for a long time.

We also welcome new board members to our group: Deb Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s Hospital, and Mark Clement, CEO of TriHealth. Mark has been on the boards of several other state hospital associations, so I am anxious to learn from him. And Deb’s former role as County Administrator of Montgomery County gives her a most unique perspective on all of the issues we discuss. Welcome, Mark and Deb!
Need to Know
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OHA Member Hospitals Receive $192 in Return for Every $1 of Dues Invested in 2018

Last week, we mailed the 2018 Membership Return on Investment report to all member hospitals’ top on-site administrators and to hospital system CEOs. The report recaps the impact of our 2018 advocacy, patient safety and quality, and economic sustainability achievements on behalf of members, along with a summary of the educational and credentialing sessions provided in 2018. Invoices for 2019 membership dues were included in the mailings to leaders of independent hospitals and to system CEOs.

For every $1 in OHA membership dues Ohio hospitals invested in 2018, members received $192 in return.

Click here to view the report.

Hospital-Related Bills Pass in Lame Duck Session

Two hospital-related bills passed the legislature this week and are headed to the governor’s desk for signature:
  • HB 7, tort reform, has been a prime focus of OHA and the Ohio State Medical Association. Among key provisions, the bill grants limited immunity to certain health care professionals and hospitals related to patients with mental health conditions; qualified immunity for providers during declared disasters; and encourages a broader conversation between patients and physicians when an unanticipated outcome occurs.
  • Sub. HB 286 creates the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Council, establishes the Palliative Care Consumer and Professional Information and Education Program and requires health care facilities to identify patients and residents who could benefit from palliative care.

We continue to monitor other bills of importance to hospitals as they make their way through the legislative process. The legislature is expected to return next week to continue the lame duck session. Any legislation not enacted by Dec. 31 must be re-introduced in 2019 to receive further consideration.

ODM Finalizes SFY 2019 UPL Payments

In collaboration with OHA, the Ohio Department of Medicaid has finalized the payment amounts, by hospital, for the SFY 2019 Upper Payment Limit program. Minor data corrections have been made to the preliminary calculations, and many hospitals will see slight changes in upcoming second, third and fourth quarter UPL distributions.

The timing of the upcoming payments is unchanged. Please review the final payment schedule and contact Ryan Biles with any questions.

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CMS Issues Additional FAQ on Inpatient Price Transparency Requirement

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Dec. 7 released answers to additional frequently asked questions on a fiscal year 2019 inpatient prospective payment system final rule provision requiring hospitals to publicly post their charges in a machine-readable format at least annually.

Among other topics, the new FAQ clarifies that the requirement applies to all hospitals, including inpatient rehabilitation facilities, inpatient psychiatric facilities and critical access hospitals; to drugs, biologicals and other items and services that are not reflected in the hospital's chargemaster; and to charges for each diagnosis-related group.

Open Enrollment for Plans on the ACA Exchange Ends Saturday

Enrollment in Affordable Care Act exchange plans continues to lag nationwide as Saturday's open enrollment deadline nears.

OHA and the American Hospital Association have teamed up to promote signups through statewide radio releases.

About 3.2 million people enrolled in health insurance plans on the ACA exchange in the first five weeks of open enrollment - an 11 percent decline from the same period last year, during which 3.6 million people signed up. More than 89,000 Ohioans have enrolled from Nov. 1 to Dec. 8. This number represents people who have changed or signed up for new plans. It does not reflect people who are renewing their plans.

MedPAC Discusses Draft Payment Recommendations for 2020

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission last week discussed several draft recommendations for Congress, which the panel could vote on in January.

The proposals would:
  • Increase payment rates for hospital inpatient and outpatient services by 2.0 percent in 2020, with an additional 0.8 percent increase to be allotted via MedPAC's proposed hospital value incentive program
  • Provide no payment update for skilled nursing facilities in 2020
  • Reduce payment rates for inpatient rehabilitation facilities and home health agencies by 5 percent in 2020.

The commission, when it reconvenes in January, also could vote on recommendations to:
  • Eliminate "incident to" billing for advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants and require them to bill Medicare directly, and refine specialty designations for these advanced practice clinicians
  • Increase 2020 payment rates for physicians and other health professional services by the amount specified in current law
  • Eliminate the ambulatory surgical center conversion factor update for 2020
  • Require ASCs to report cost data.
Call for Nominations

Call for Nominations: 2019 Health Care Worker of the Year, Leadership Awards

The Ohio Hospital Association is accepting nominations for the 2019 Albert E. Dyckes Health Care Worker of the Year Award and Health Care Leadership Awards. Member hospitals and health systems are encouraged to nominate deserving individuals and organizations whose achievements have enhanced and brought honor to Ohio hospitals.
The Health Care Worker of the Year Award is presented annually to one Ohio hospital caregiver who personifies a leader, gives back to the community, reflects the mission and values of his or her organization and routinely goes beyond the call of duty.
Sixty-two nominees, including four finalists and 2018 Health Care Worker of the Year Joe Jeffries of Barnesville Hospital, were honored last year at the 2018 OHA Annual Meeting.

The OHA Health Care Leadership Awards recognize outstanding individuals or groups who have made a significant lifetime contribution to the health care field in Ohio and have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to hospitals and the community.
All Health Care Worker of the Year nominees and Health Care Leadership Award recipients will be celebrated at the OHA Recognition Dinner on June 4, 2019 during the OHA Annual Meeting.
The final deadline to submit nominations is Jan. 25, 2019. Visit for more information.

Happening at OHA

OHA Board Meeting – 8 a.m. Dec. 14 at OHA Offices

2018 Holiday Card
Engage OHA
Hospital Involvement
In alignment with our mission to collaborate for a healthy Ohio, OHA has a variety of projects, programs, initiatives and activities in which your hospital can participate.
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Submit Your PAC Contributions by Dec. 14

We are nearing the end of 2018 and the end of the Friends of Ohio Hospitals fundraising campaign. For those interested in contributing, you can use our secure site at, or mail a check to Friends of Ohio Hospitals, care of Kate Huffman, at 155 E. Broad St., Suite 301, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Please submit your contributions by Dec. 14.

As you know, Friends of Ohio Hospitals is the only political action committee that works on behalf of all hospitals in Ohio. It is an essential element in our united advocacy arsenal and its strength relies on leadership from you and your colleagues.

To those of you who have already contributed: Thank you! Your support is essential to strengthening our collective voice. 
OPSI Award

Submit Nominations for 2019 Patient Safety Award by Dec. 31

The Ohio Patient Safety Institute invites hospitals, health systems, physicians, long term care, outpatient facilities and home health care to submit a nomination for the annual Dr. Frank Dono Best Practice Award by Dec. 31. The award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has designed and implemented the most innovative, evidence-based patient safety practice in Ohio. Click here for access to the application.

Award submissions must include a project summary, description of the performance improvement process, an explanation of the data analytics used (measurable goals, use of benchmarks, etc.), verifiable results and sustainability, and a report of the lessons learned.

All submissions will become the property of the Ohio Patient Safety Institute and may be used in OPSI's Learning Library activities to share best practices.

An awards committee will review all applications to select the finalists and ultimate recipient which will be announced in March. The award will be presented at the OHA Annual Meeting in June.

If you have questions about submitting an award, please contact Rosalie Weakland at or 614-221-7614.


OHA to Launch Opioid Best Practices Webinar Series in January

The OHA Opioid Response Initiative, Opioid Data Collaborative and the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network are collaborating to present hospitals in the new year a webinar series related to opioids and the opioid epidemic. The series promises to bring you and your teams a wide spectrum of topics that are meaningful and actionable in your daily work. 

The first webinar is set for noon on Jan. 22 and will focus on starting an opioid stewardship program in your hospital.

Click here to register.
Quick Links

OHA Vice President Appointed to the Sepsis Alliance Advisory Board

OHA Vice President of Quality Programs Jim Guliano, MSN, RN-BC, FACHE, was announced as the newest advisory board member for the Sepsis Alliance on Dec. 3. The national organization raises awareness about sepsis among the public and health care professionals.

At OHA, Jim directs the development and implementation of patient safety and clinical quality programs in collaboration with Ohio hospitals and other health care organizations. He also leads a team of quality professionals with clinical backgrounds to evaluate successful hospital patient safety and clinical quality practices, coordinate quality programs across Ohio and facilitate implementation of best practices. One of those programs, is OHA’s Statewide Sepsis Initiative, which has recruited more than 100 hospitals to participate in efforts aimed at reducing statewide sepsis mortality and has saved an estimated 2,661 lives since the program launched in late 2015.

Amazon Debuts New Medical Data, Records Service

Amazon has introduced a new cloud-based software service that reportedly will sift through patient medical records in seconds searching for actionable intelligence to provide hospitals and physicians with clinical decision support and coding while reducing costs.

Amazon Comprehend Medical can identify health information such as medical conditions and medications and determines their relationship to each other (for example, medication dosage and strength). The software can be accessed through a simple application program interface with no machine-learning expertise required.

The product is intended to help health care providers, insurers, researchers and clinical trial investigators as well as health care IT, biotech and pharmaceutical companies to improve clinical decision support, streamline revenue cycle and clinical trials management, and better address data privacy and protected health information, or PHI, requirements.
Legislative Tracker

For a full list of state and federal bills OHA is monitoring, bookmark this page.
Quick Links
As a busy hospital executive, we realize you may not have time to read every email that lands in your inbox. To that end, we have added these quick links to help you view the latest editions of all OHA newsletters:
Advocacy Adviser — Dec. 3  |  Dec. 10

Advocacy Adviser is published by OHA's Advocacy team and previews key upcoming legislative issues and recaps activity on issues of importance to OHA members.

By the Numbers November edition
By the Numbers is published monthly by the Health Economics and Policy team and covers developments in hospital finance, including updates about Medicare and Medicaid payment systems.

Chief Medical Report September edition
Chief Medical Report is a quarterly update for physician leaders at member hospitals about OHA initiatives, developments from OHA’s Physician Leadership Council and the latest regulatory and legislative changes affecting physicians and hospitals.
HIINformation November edition
HIINformation is published monthly for hospitals participating in the Hospital Improvement and Innovation Network.
Ohio Hospital Newswire Nov. 30  |  Dec. 7
Ohio Hospital Newswire is a digest of hospital and health care news happening across the state.