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Below are news items on VHHA Services products and solutions. 


Staff Care Releases 2014 Survey Results of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends (2/28/14)

Each year, Staff Care, the nation’s leading provider of locum tenens staffing services and a VHHA Services’ preferred provider, conducts a survey examining the use of locum tenens physicians nationwide.

Staff Care’s 2014 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends tracks the number of hospitals that have used locum tenens physicians over the previous 12 months, why they have used them and what types of physicians are most in demand. The survey also looks at why these physicians choose to work temporary assignments.

Last year, Staff Care’s survey indicated that some 75 percent of hospitals and medical groups had used locum tenens physicians during calendar year 2012. By comparison, the 2014 survey shows that 90 percent of hospitals and medical groups used locum tenens physicians in calendar year 2013 to fill gaps created by turnover, maintain services while facilities seek permanent doctors and provide coverage for physicians on vacation or CME.

For a free copy of the 2014 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends, contact Josh Flener at joshua.flener@staffcare.com or (972) 505-7292. 


CNBC Features VHHA Services Endorsed Telemonitoring Partner (1/17/14)

On January 14, CNBCfeatured an article about VHHA Services’ preferred telemonitoring vendor, AFrame Digital, which is helping a Programof All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in Pennsylvania keep 40 seniors out of nursing homes, reducing SNF utilization by eight percentage points and saving thousands of dollars for the PACE provider. The Lutheran Senior Life Medical Director for the PACE program, George Brett, explains: "It keeps us true to our mission, which is to allow residents to 'age in place.'”

AFrame Digital, based in Reston, Virginia, is an award-winning, secure, FDA-cleared remote monitoring platform named last August by VHHA Services as an endorsed partner. In addition to nursing home diversion – an area of particular interest to VHHA members as Virginia’s dual eligibles demonstration gets underway – AFrame is being used by providers in in many states to address pressing challenges like readmissions, care transitions and real-time risk stratification of patients under capitated payment programs.

For more information on AFrame Digital, visit http://www.vhhaservices.com/itsolutions.html or http://aframedigital.com/. VHHA members interested in implementing telemonitoring in the coming year, contact Dave Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com.


VHHA Services Welcomes Axial Exchange (10/11/13)

VHHA Services is pleased to announce its endorsement of Axial Exchange as an industry leader in providing health care systems with a proven patient engagement strategy. As a mobile software-as-a-service solution provider, Axial Exchange helps hospitals lower readmissions, improve HCAHPS scores and meet the "patient electronic access" requirement of Stage 2 Meaningful Use.

Axial’s comprehensive patient engagement solution includes Mayo Clinic health content; software tools for tracking vitals, labs and symptoms; and integration with wearable devices such as “FitBit.” Health systems are able to measure the success of their engagement initiatives via a dashboard that displays how their patients are using the software. Axial also provides turn-key services for the roll-out and management of a patient engagement program.

For more information, contact Mark Ragusa at mragusa@axialexchange.com or (919) 413.5761.

AFrame Digital Selected as Preferred Patient Telemonitoring Solution (8/16/13)

VHHA Services is pleased to announce its selection of AFrame Digital, Inc., and its MobileCare Monitor as a preferred patient telemonitoring solution for supporting the safety, health and independence of seniors, patients managing chronic conditions and post-acute patients transitioning across care settings. 

MobileCare Monitor provides a real-time integrated view of patient biometrics, activity, safety and predictive analytics in an easy-to-use solution. The FDA-cleared platform is currently deployed in hospital, rehabilitation, LTC and home settings. It offers VHHA members a flexible, low-cost means to individualize support for patients across care settings, engage patients and their family members in the patient’s care and efficiently scale resources. The secure HIPAA-compliant platform is SaaS-based for flexible integration with EMR, nurse call and other legacy systems. Personalized health and wellness parameters are tracked and alerted in real time to mobile devices to promote timely interventions. Key application areas include readmission reduction, falls risk management programs, physical therapy, chronic disease management programs and community-based care management, including PACE and dual-eligible programs. 

Informational webinars and online demos are available exclusively for VHHA members beginning Tuesday, August 20, at 1 p.m. Register online at https://student.gototraining.com/rt/1031679809337318400


VHHA Services Announces Q3 Savings on Capital Assets (7/26/13)

Provista, VHHA’s endorsed secondary group purchasing organization (GPO), announces period 3 savings available to members on purchases of capital assets through its national group buy program. This program provides substantial cost savings and value-added benefits through volume negotiated pricing and discounts that are compared nationally against “best price paid” data available through MD Buyline.

Through September 30, 2013, VHHA members can achieve savings up to 71% on capital equipment and products in the following categories: anesthesia machines, C-Arms, centrifuges, chemistry/immunochemistry, coagulation, CT Scanners, CV Suites, digital radiography, hematology, infant care equipment, lasers, mammography, mini C-Arms, MRI and micro ID sensitivity, nuclear medicine, optical coherence tomography, OR lights and accessories,  OR tables, PET/CT, R/F equipment, ultrasound, urine microscopy analyzers, urology and ventilators.

For assistance obtaining pricing information, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com or (804) 965-1350.


CenTrak Location Technology Supports Advanced Health Care Applications (6/28/13)

VHHA Services, in partnership with SyCom Technologies, is pleased to offer CenTrak as a clinical-grade real-time locating system (RTLS) to help meet a variety of VHHA member needs, including asset management, patient and staff workflow, patient and staff safety, hand hygiene, temperature and humidity monitoring and nurse call integration.

As a market leader, CenTrak’s enterprise-wide platform uses “Second Generation Infrared” (Gen2IR™) technology to deliver this certainty-based location accuracy at the room-, bed-, bay- and even chair-level. CenTrak’s unique Virtual Wall™ was designed to segment open spaces, enabling automation of clinical workflow. The technology is wire-free, offers extreme battery life, leverages existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to simplify implementation and seamlessly integrates with over 100 legacy and RTLS-focused applications.

CenTrak’s Clinical-Grade Locating™ technology is deployed in hundreds of world-class health care facilities and was recently selected by the Department of Veterans Affairs to power RTLS applications at all of its 152 hospitals.

For more information, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com.


MedCPU Delivering Improved Patient Outcomes with Innovative Decision Support (6/21/13)

Virginia-based MedCPU, a VHHA Services endorsed partner, was recently nominated as a Virginia Healthcare Innovator in recognition of the company’s unique capabilities to improve patient safety, enhance clinical outcomes and drive meaningful use of electronic health records systems.

Having recently expanded its solution deployments, MedCPU is now the only company providing hospital-wide, real-time, clinical decision support that captures 100 percent of clinical documentation to minimize deviations from expected care. Expanding on its successful Stage 1 meaningful use solution, MedCPU is now implementing its Stage 2 product. MedCPU’s real-time decision support and unique ability to convert free-text notes into discreet data are critical for achieving meaningful use documentation and clinical quality measure requirements without impacting clinical workflow. This functionality is equally critical to improving patient outcomes with workflow-friendly clinical decision support.

Additionally, MedCPU is in the process of implementing its solutions for two Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation projects, one for ACO population health and the other for radiology clinical improvement. Applications for CMS’s second round of innovation grants are in process now, and MedCPU is seeking additional partner organizations interested in participating.

For more information, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com.  


Temporary Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners Fill Growing Role (5/3/13)

As staffing remains a top concern for hospitals and health systems, an emerging trend is the use of locum tenens that has now broadened to include both physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs).

Endorsed by VHHA Services as the nation’s leading locum tenens staffing company, Staff Care recently completed a white paper examining the growing role of PAs and NPs in a changing workforce, “Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants: A Growing Role in a Changing Workforce.” Such changes are being driven principally by the physician shortage with increasing demand for services under the health reform law. Other drivers include the temporary absence of clinicians due to vacations, training, illness or other reasons.

Cost is another driving factor as salaries for PAs and NPs are significantly lower than those of primary care physicians, and NPs and PAs can perform much of the same work. As health care delivery takes more of a team approach with multiple types of physicians involved in a patient’s care, NPs and PAs are playing a larger role as patient educators, thereby preventing complications.

For a copy of the white paper or more information, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com.


Windows 7/8 Upgrade and Migration Services Available (2/1/13)

Microsoft has set a deadline of April 2014 for mainstream support of the existing industry standard desktop operating system, Windows XP. For many health care organizations, preparation is currently underway to ensure a smooth and seamless migration to Windows 7 or Windows 8 for desktop and server computing solutions.

Application compatibility is a key concern of most IT executives in considering upgrading existing desktop environments. SyCom Technologies, a VHHA Services endorsed partner, offers VHHA members the right expertise to address critical operating functionality that includes:

  • Validating key applications and hardware for compatibility to make a health care organization function still work when underlying desktop operating systems are upgraded.

  • Assessing existing personal computing hardware platforms in place to determine if sufficient to support an upgrade to new desktop operating systems.

  • Developing and executing a migration plan that will result in minimal downtime while providing a supported, scalable and modern computing environment.

SyCom professionals maintain industry certifications and have years of experience in planning and execution of these types of solutions. For more information, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com


Security Penetration Testing for HIPAA & HITECH Compliance Available (1/25/13)

SyCom Technologies, endorsed by VHHA Services, is an expert provider of IT infrastructure solutions and market leader in “penetration testing,” necessary to help address the multi-faceted security requirements and complex regulations under the HIPAA and HITECH Acts.

Penetration testing is a controlled attack on your organization to expose and document areas that will require remediation. It documents misconfigurations, exploits vulnerabilities and looks at your specific business processes vulnerable to attacks or data breeches.

Sensitive patient data managed by evolving health care IT systems pose security challenges. SyCom’s penetration testing combines internal, external, wireless, web application and physical and social engineering options for a customized, value-based security engagement.

There are several reasons to conduct penetration testing, including: compliance/law; testing changes in infrastructure; feasibility of a particular attack vector; assessing magnitude of potential and operational impacts of successful attacks; and providing metrics/evidence to support increased investments in security.

SyCom security analysts have the highest industry certifications and experience including SANS Cyber Guardian and SANS GSE. For more information, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com.


MedCPU Unlocks Value in EMR Investments (1/11/13)

Created by physicians with over 17 years’ experience in introducing clinical decision support technologies into the high acuity clinical settings, MedCPU, a VHHA Services partner, is helping caregivers improve outcomes by capturing the complete clinical picture of every patient encounter.

Working in conjunction with health care providers’ electronic medical record (EMR) systems, MedCPU captures the often missing unstructured data including the physician’s free-form (narrative text and dictation) and combines this with structured data to provide the most complete clinical picture. MedCPU then analyzes the combined data and compares the information in real time against evidence-based best practice protocols and guidelines. A status indicator button floats on top of the existing user interface, immediately alerting clinicians on any deviations from clinical guidelines and compliance standards. This eliminates the need for searching through drop down menus or required data entry fields. As a result, the care alerts are more timely, accurate and actionable.

The MedCPU enterprise platform works with virtually all EMR systems with many applications, including decision support for clinical guidelines, Meaningful Use and care pathways.

For more information, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com.  


Truven Health Analytics Offers Insights to Trends Shaping Healthcare (12/7/12)

Pressures resulting from unsustainable health care costs, adapting to new payment structures and widespread, unexplained variations in care are all forcing change. Providers are implementing electronic medical records; research in comparative effectiveness is increasing; a need for outcomes improvement is increasing interest in clinical decision support; and benchmark efforts in performance excellence, health care spending efficiencies and bending the cost curve are demonstrating results.

The new Truven Health Analytics paper, “Beyond the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Enduring Trends in Healthcare,” details the following five key trends that will ultimately shape the U.S. health care system:

  • Building collaborative relationships

  • Striving for excellence

  • Paying with integrity and on merit

  • Promoting transparency and accountability

  • Improving health and wealth and understanding the link between them

For a copy of the publication and more information, contact Jamey Motter at Jamey.motter@truvenhealth.com or (919) 787-7160.


VHHA Services Welcomes Monument Consulting (11/30/12)

VHHA Services is pleased to announce its endorsement of Monument Consulting as an industry leader in technology staffing and support for VHHA members. As an IT-focused managed service provider, Monument Consulting helps hospitals gain control of their IT consulting labor workforce.

Working with over 200 hospitals across 37 states, Monument serves as the enterprise administrator for clients’ IT contractor and consulting workforce. Facilitating both an HR and procurement function for health systems, Monument serves as an intermediary between hospital/health system managers and staffing suppliers. Its goal is to drive savings while increasing the quality of the candidate -base through a compliant process. Monument’s solutions leverage a vendor management system to provide detailed reporting for better real-time analysis of this significant labor expense category.

Monument’s customized programs have created preferred supplier rates that have driven significant savings – at no added cost. Monument’s relationships and vendor scorecard give hospitals better access to more niche HIT talent and ensure that all hiring decisions are performance based. VHHA Services is happy to endorse this new vendor.

For more information, contact David Jenkins, VHHA Services, at (804) 965-1350 or djenkins@vhha.com


NAVEOS Offers Proactive Management of Federal DSH/340B Reimbursement (9/28)

Endorsed by VHHA Services, DSH Mgmt Solutions announced its new company name, NAVEOS, in June 2012. The decision to update the name is a reflection of its evolution into a health care data analytics company over the past decade.

As one of the industry leaders in full-cycle management of the Federal Disproportionate Share (“DSH”) revenue stream, NAVEOS has successfully developed and applied advanced data collection and proprietary analytics to maximize health care provider reimbursement.

The release earlier this year of the 2006-2010 SSI ratios confirms the anecdotal evidence that the SSI ratio values show a systemic and material decline. Although significant retrospective and concurrent remedies are available, NAVEOS has developed a solution for the more compelling challenge/opportunity, which is the management of this metric moving forward.

NAVEOS recently deployed its SSI Ratio Management product line (SSIRM™) with predictive modeling features, giving hospitals the first ever capability to proactively manage this key population. NAVEOS expertise will provide long-term value by allowing clients to prospectively manage the SSI ratio, a critical component of the Federal DSH/340B calculation.

For more information, contact Charlene Mathis, NAVEOS, at Charlene.Mathis@NAVEOSdata.com or (571) 455-5335.


Merritt Hawkins Releases 2012 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives (7/20)

For the last 19 years, Merritt Hawkins’ annual Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives has become a standard benchmark that hospitals, medical groups and many other organizations use to determine which recruiting incentives are customary and competitive in today’s physician market.

The recent release of the new survey shows that 63 percent of Merritt Hawkins’ recent search assignments featured hospital employment of the physician, up from 56 percent last year and 11 percent in 2004. Should this trend continue, over 75 percent of newly hired physicians will be hospital employees within two years.

The survey also suggests that in addition to practicing in different settings, physicians are being compensated differently. In the 2010/11 survey, fewer than seven percent of physicians were offered bonuses based on the quality of care they provided. In the 2011/12 survey, that number had risen to 35 percent, underscoring a rapid shift away from rewarding physicians for the volume of services they provide and toward rewarding them for the value of services they provide.

For complete survey results, contact Jennifer Ellis at (770) 481-1176.


New Workforce Management Resource Available (7/6/12)

VHHA Services is pleased to announce ShiftWizard as a new partner offering VHHA members a full electronic staff scheduling suite as well as real-time productivity management.

Through an interface to your organization's ADT solution, ShiftWizard’s Census Based Staffing Module automatically calculates staffing levels, using each department’s ADT status, while forecasting the variances in staffing levels at pre-determined times throughout the day.

With the addition of TRUE™ (True Resource Utilization Equation), ShiftWizard can offer document driven acuity, utilizing a proprietary algorithm based on data collected in real time from any of your standards-based (HL7, CCD, CCR) legacy systems resulting in a “True Acuity.”

Key benefits to hospitals:

  • Live interfaces to time and attendance applications, such as Kronos and API

  • Extremely intuitive – 100 percent clinical adoption rate

  • Real time productivity: HPPD/CPPD approaching OT/Census variance scheduling

  • Robust communication center – e-mail/text and VM capabilities

  • License/certification tracking with 30-, 60- or 90-day trigger events

  • Incident/disaster management and communication

  • Centralized open shift (needs list) management

ShiftWizard is offered as a Software as a Service model and is available for free clinical evaluation. For more information, contact Jason Malin at jason@shiftwizard.com or (919) 609-0134. 


SyCom Chosen as VHHA Technology Integration Service Provider (5/25/12)

VHHA Services is pleased to announce SyCom Technologies as its exclusively endorsed technology infrastructure solutions provider for VHHA members.

Headquartered in Richmond, SyCom has over 15 years experience and a proven track record of providing innovative technology services and solutions to Virginia-based organizations of all sizes and industries.

With a focus on health care organizations, SyCom has the ability to transform health care through the deployment of technology resources necessary to enhance patient care quality. The partnership will allow VHHA members to optimize efficiencies and reduce costs by addressing growing IT requirements around network integration and virtualization, nurse call communications, PACS infrastructure, enhanced information security, reduced data delivery complexity and telemedicine.

SyCom sells, installs and supports the latest technology from Cisco, Microsoft, EMC, HP, Citrix and VMWare and was recently recognized as Microsoft’s Cloud Partner of the Year and Cisco Systems’ Gold Customer Satisfaction award winner.

For more information on SyCom, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com or (804) 965-1350.


New Merritt Hawkins Survey Shows Residents Have “Buyer’s Remorse” (4/6/12)

Merritt Hawkins recently released a survey examining the career plans and practice preferences of medical residents in their final year of training. The survey indicates that while residents are being inundated with recruiting solicitations, many are having second thoughts about their choice of a career. Close to one third of residents surveyed indicated they would choose a field other than medicine if they had their training to do over. A copy of the 2011 Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents is available to all VHHA members. The survey may prove useful if your facility is targeting medical residents for recruitment.

This new survey is one of several informational resources Merritt Hawkins has developed this year. Others which may prove useful to your facility include:

  • Merritt Hawkins 2011 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives

  • White Paper: Trends in Incentive-Based Physician Compensation

  • White Paper: Ten Keys to Physician Retention

  • White Paper: RVU-Based Physician Compensation

For more information, contact Jennifer Ellis, Merritt Hawkins representative for Virginia, at jennifer.ellis@merritthawkins.com or (800) 306-1330. 


Reduce Costs and Increase Retention of New Hires with HealthcareSource (3/16/12)

With over 1,700 health care facilities as clients, HealthcareSource is the leading provider of talent management software in healthcare. Through its cloud-based solutions, HealthcareSource helps healthcare organizations source, hire, assess, develop and retain the best workforce possible in order to reduce costs and to improve patient satisfaction and safety.

The following HealthcareSource solutions are available to VHHA members at a discount price:

  • Position Manager®– Applicant tracking and onboarding
  • Sourcing ManagerSM– Job distribution and sourcing ROI metrics
  • Performance Manager®– Online appraisals, goals, competencies, training, skills and certification
  • Staff AssessmentSM– Pre-employment behavioral assessments and structured interview guides
  • Leadership AssessmentSM– Behavioral leadership assessments and development plans
  • Reference AssessmentSM– Automated reference checking with behavioral science
  • Physician Recruitment Manager®– Candidate tracking and onboarding for the unique challenges of recruiting and retaining practitioner talent

For more information on HealthcareSource, visit their website at www.healthcaresource.com, or contact Robert Martens at robert.martens@healthcaresource.com  or (440) 773-5038.   


Get Help With Federal DSH Under Healthcare Reform and the SSI% Ratio (2/17/12)

The latest update from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the SSI ratio release indicates we can expect to see 2007 and 2008 numbers in early to mid-April and possibly revised 2006 and 2009 values as well.

Headquartered in Virginia and endorsed by VHHA Services, DSH Management Solutions (DMS) is an industry leader in full-cycle management of federal disproportionate share/340b, providing proprietary technology and infrastructure to pro-actively manage all components of these critical revenue streams.

DMS’ expertise includes:

  • Full-cycle traditional federal DSH revenue management

  • 340b pharmaceutical program eligibility

  • Title XIX supplemental revenue

  • SSI/Medicaid membership management (SSIMM/TXIX-MM)

  • Uncompensated care reporting (Worksheet S-10)

  • Web-enabled software for lease or subscription services

DMS data mining technology allows for virtual real-time population management of governmental eligibility for Medicare/Medicaid/S-CHIP/General Assistance groups to ensure eligibility maintenance and program monitoring. SSIMM provides the tools to enable hospitals to gain control over this key metric.

VHHA will host a Webinar in the coming months, “DSH Under Healthcare Reform,” presented by Robert Gricius, CEO of DSH Mgmt Solutions. More information will be available shortly.

For more information on DMS, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com or (804) 965-1350.


VHHA Services Helping to Improve Efficiencies in the Home Care Market (1/20/12)

VHHA Services is pleased to announce a collaborative program between Medline Industries and Provista, VHHA’s secondary GPO program, to help home care and hospice agencies cope with the ongoing cuts in reimbursement.

The program incorporates Medline's products and services combined with Provista's comprehensive portfolio of contracts for supplies, services and capital equipment to create unparalleled value.

Built around a formulary of products and services leveraging over $40 billion in purchasing power through Novation, Provista’s contract management company, home health and hospice agencies can now access lower pricing for medical supplies, office supplies, document and practice management supplies and services, telecommunications, facilities management, furniture and information technology. These products are augmented by Medline's ordering platform, analytics, clinical support and distribution capabilities.

This collaboration will make it easier for home health and hospice providers to achieve significant savings associated with supply chain expense.

Participation in the program requires that an agency join Provista and utilize Medline distribution. Membership is at no cost. For enrollment assistance, contact Chris Davis at cdavis@vhha.com or (804) 965-1280.   


Use Population Health Messaging to Engage Patients (12/23/11)

Leading hospital marketing teams are starting to play a central role in their organizations’ population health management strategies and execution. For many hospital marketers, this means incorporating an effective communications program into their marketing mix that engages patients and promotes preventive care.

Take your current customer relationship management (CRM) strategies to the next level and prepare to meet the new demands of healthcare marketing with a population health messaging strategy. Thomson Reuters can help you develop a program using familiar marketing strategies and tactics to engage your patients in taking an active role in their health and wellness. Elements of our approach include:

 

  • Using advanced segmentation to identify and target the right individuals

  • Personalizing messages to maximize engagement and loyalty and reduce readmissions

  • Engaging patients through multiple distribution channels

  • Using reporting and analytics to demonstrate ROI

Learn more about the Population Health Messaging solution from Thomson Reuters, or contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com or (804) 965-1350. 


VHHA Welcomes New Staff (9/16/11)

Chris Davis has joined VHHA as vice president of member services for VHHA Services, the shared services arm of VHHA. In this role, he will be responsible for marketing and supporting key VHHA Services programs with members, affiliates and other health care providers. Chris has 18 years of health care experience in health care group purchasing and serves on the Board of the Virginia Association for Healthcare Resources and Materials Management.

Previously he worked for Precision Dynamics Corporation where he was responsible for implementing cost reduction and patient safety programs for hospitals and health systems throughout Virginia. While at PDC, Chris assisted with implementation of Virginia’s color-coded wristband standardization initiative.

Chris has a degree in Marketing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Chris.


Achieve Process Improvement in Emergency Departments (9/9/11)

Endorsed by VHHA Services, RYERSON has helped over 500 hospitals transform their emergency departments to have NO-wait emergency rooms, higher patient satisfaction scores and improved bottom lines

Recently, VHHA Services conducted a study to determine specific results achieved of RYERSON’s hospital ED projects.  The study concluded that every hospital reviewed exceeded RYERSON’s net revenue improvement projections while improving patient satisfaction scores. Additional project outcomes included:

  • $3.6 Million average annual net revenue increase.

  • Implementation of national best practice benchmarks that drive stronger outcomes for clinical practice, patient satisfaction and customer loyalty.

  • Over 50% reduction in ED patient throughput time.

  • Increased ED visits through a more efficient ED admissions process.

  • Correct patient billing that supports increased revenue for facility and professional services.

  • Strong documentation in compliance with payer and regulatory guidelines.

  • Improved recovery audit preparedness resulting from correct ED documentation and coding.

  • Dramatic reduction in “left without being seen” patients.

  • Process design that anticipates “bottlenecks” before ED diversion or closure.

  • Strong and accurate charge capture.

  • Custom-designed daily dashboard for rapid response to metrics and data enabling real-time monitoring of ED performance.

  • Improved staff and physician morale resulting from improved flow, communication, accountability, and follow-through. 


Reduce Your Prescription Drug Spend By Up To 20% (8/5/11)

As a result of a rigorous competitive bid process, VHHA members have access to a leveraged pharmacy benefit management (PBM) agreement through VHHA’s GPO Provista and Medco. (In July 2011, Medco and Express Scripts Pharmacy Benefit Managers entered into a merger agreement. The combined companies expect to generate greater savings for plan sponsors while closing gaps in care to improve adherence through combined clinical and behavioral approaches.)

The program offers pricing based on more than 60,000 employers, allowing individual employers to receive aggressive pharmacy discounts based on over 120,000 member lives. The program provides best-in-class contract terms, including performance guarantees, 100 percent ofmanufacturer rebates, claims auditing and independent oversight by pharmacy benefit experts     (ARMSRx)    . For groups without a current Medco Contract, the program includes an implementation credit to offset any transition costs.  In addition, the program is designed to accommodate use of in-house hospital pharmacies and does not require any changes in benefit plans (i.e., youcan carve out pharmacy benefits only).  For more information, contact Wende Ward at wende@armsrx.com or (513) 347-3890.


Two New Studies Explore Evolving Trends in Physician Compensation (7/1/11)

Physician compensation is becoming a significant strategic issue of a rapidly changing health care environment. Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search and consulting firm, tracks these trends, noting in particular how they affect the recruitment and retention of physicians.

Merritt Hawkins recently completed a new white paper, RVU Based Physician Compensation and Productivity: Ten Recommendations for Determining Physician Compensation/Productivity Through Relative Value Units (RVU).The white paper explains why this form of compensation is gaining in popularity and offers suggestions on how to structure RVU-based physician compensation formulas.

Additionally, Merritt Hawkins has just released its 18th annual Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives, whichhas become an industry benchmark. Hospitals, medical groups and other organizations nationwide reference the Review to craft competitive physician incentive packages and to track physician recruiting trends. Several key trends noted in this report include the growth of hospital employment of physicians, the continued demand for primary care physicians, the evolution of incentive-based compensation and the increase in demand for psychiatrists.

For a copy of either study, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com or (804) 965-1350. — David Jenkins 


Nominate a Physician for the 2011 Country Doctor of the Year Award (6/17/11)

Nominations are being sought for the 2011 Country Doctor of the Year Award, sponsored by Staff Care, a VHHA Services preferred provider. Nominations will be accepted for physicians who practice in communities of 20,000 or less and who are engaged in primary care areas such as general practice, family practice, internal medicine and pediatrics.

The Country Doctor of the Year Award honors the spirit, skill and dedication of America’s rural medical practitioners. As part of the award, Staff Care will provide at no charge to the 2011 Country Doctor of the Year a temporary physician for two weeks so the award recipient can take time away from his practice – a service valued at $10,000. According to Staff Care’s Kurt Mosley, rural doctors often cannot find physicians to cover their practices and so have difficulty taking vacations.

Anyone can nominate a physician, including friends, patients, co-workers or family members, and all stories or anecdotes about the physician’s practice are welcomed. Nomination forms can be downloaded from the Country Doctor of the Year Award web site at www.countrydoctoraward.com, or you may call Staff Care for a nomination form at (800) 685-2272. Completed nominations must be received no later than October 15.


Technology Staffing Survey Response Requested (5/27/11)

As detailed in the May 6, 2010, edition of FYI Weekly, VHHA Services, in partnership with the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA), requests assistance with a Health Information Technology Survey to determine if and to what extent providing health information technology (HIT) workforce staffing services will assist our members in achieving meaningful use, qualifying for the available financial incentives and developing future technology projects. Participation in the survey will ensure VHHA members have the required expertise to meet current and future demand.

The survey is seeking information on:

  • Current IT staffing approaches

  • Core system vendors

  • Major IT system implementations over the next 18 -24 months

  • Current and projected IT staffing needs by area

  • General issues and challenges you are currently facing in attaining meaningful use

The survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MNHRVWQ. Thank you in advance for your participation. For more information, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com or (804) 965-1350.


VHHA Services Announces Provista Group Buys (5/27/11)

Provista, VHHA’s endorsed secondary group purchasing organization (GPO), announces newly available significant cost savings to members on purchases of capital assets through its national group buy program. This program provides substantial cost savings and value-added benefits through volume negotiated pricing and discounts that are compared against “best price paid” data available through MD Buyline.

Effective May 1 through September 30, VHHA members can achieve up to 48 percent savings on capital equipment through group buys toward the purchase of any of the equipment listed below.

Category

Supplier

Centrifuges

Cardinal Health

CT Equipment

Siemens

Toshiba

CV Equipment

Siemens

Toshiba

Digital Radiography

Carestream Health
GE Healthcare

Mini C-Arms

OrthoScan

MR Equipment

Siemens

PET/Nuclear Medicine Equipment

Siemens

Reusable Hand Held Surgical Instruments

CareFusion

Radiology/Fluoroscopy Systems

Siemens

Stretchers (runs 5/1/11-6/30/11)

Stryker

In addition, NOVAPLUS, Provista’s private label brand of pharmacy, and medical-surgical product portfolio haveexpanded to over 1,000 items saving 17 percent on average compared to brand-name equivalents. The 2011 NOVAPLUS product portfolio includes anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, medical, orthopedic, pharmaceutical, respiratory and surgical products.

For more information, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com or (804) 965-1350.


Technology Staffing for Achieving Meaningful Use Incentives (5/6/11)

According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, (ONCHIT) in order for the majority of hospitals to attain meaningful use of electronic health records as required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, organizations will require 50,000 more trained health care workers than can currently be produced.

In response, VHHA Services, in partnership with the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA), is exploring if and to what extent providing HIT Workforce Staffing Services will assist our member hospitals in achieving meaningful use and qualifying for the available financial incentives.

The VHHA Staffing – SCHA partnership has offered a supplemental staffing program for RNs and allied health staff for seven years. Supported by many VHHA members, the program works as a liaison between health care facilities and prescreened staffing firms to improve the quality and consistency of temporary staff when needed while reducing the administrative challenges. The first step in this process is to conduct a survey that will be made available in the coming weeks. Thank you in advance for your consideration and participation in the survey.


Members Benefit from AP Solutions Offering (4/1/11)

In 2010, VHHA Services partnered with Commerce Bank to promote its Automated Accounts Payable (AP) Solution, a program designed to generate revenue to VHHA members simply by processing their vendor invoices through the Visa Network.

Under this program, organizations receive a monthly revenue share based on their spend volume. As an added benefit to VHHA members, Commerce Bank is aggregating the spend volume of all participating members, which provides a greater return over similar AP programs available in the marketplace.

Endorsed by 24 state hospital associations, Commerce Bank’s AP Solution is utilized by over 400 hospitals and has been recognized as the leading health care AP solution of its kind nationwide. The web-based application requires no financial investment and no software to operate.

With over 18,000 health care vendors already participating in the program, Commerce Bank has a dedicated vendor enrollment team that manages the entire process. Last year alone, Commerce Bank processed $3.5 billion in health care AP payments.

For a vendor match list, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com or (804) 965-1350.


HealthcareSource Announces New Workforce Solutions (3/11/11)

HealthcareSource helps hospitals acquire, develop and retain the best workforce possible throught its software-as-a-service solutions. Used at over 1,500 health care facilities and well-known for its Position Manager® applicant tracking system, HealthcareSource has several new products now available to VHHA members at a discounted price:

  • Performance Manager® simplifies the health care performance management process by automating the workflow and content for performance appraisals, competencies, training and performance reporting. With Performance Manager, administrative processes are simplified and compliance with HR policies and The Joint Commission standards is easier.

  • Physician Recruitment ManagerSM is an intuitive, web-based, affordable physician applicant tracking system that allows you to hire superior physician talent and achieve greater overall efficiency. It automates candidate screening, pre-credentialing and referencing and produces recruitment reports that measure and optimize workflow.

  • TestSource® behavioral assessments improve new-hire retention by making good hiring decisions more predictive. By integrating validated health care behavioral competencies into your selection process, TestSource can help you increase new-hire retention, identify service-oriented applicants and provide interviewers with a structured, behavioral-based interview process.

For more information, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com or (804) 965-1350.


Survey: Use of Locum Tenens Physicians Rising (2/18/11)

The use of locum tenens is rising, underlining the ongoing shortage of doctors nationwide, a new survey indicates. Conducted by Staff Care, a national temporary physician staffing firm and a VHHA Services preferred vendor, the survey polled hospital and medical group managersabout their use of temporary physicians, also known as locum tenens. The majority of those surveyed (85 percent) said their facilities had used temporary physicians sometime in the last 12 months, up from 72 percent the previous year. The primary reason hospitals and medical groups use temporary doctors, cited by 63 percent of those surveyed, is to fill in until a permanent doctor can be found.

The survey also suggests which types of physicians are in the most demand as temporary practitioners. Number one on the list are psychiatrists and other behavioral health specialists, followed by primary care physicians.

For a copy of Staff Care’s 2011 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends, contact Kurt Mosley at kurt.mosley@amnhealthcare.com or (469) 524-1446.


VHHA Members Benefit from Innovative and Cost Effective Approach to Reducing HAIs (1/28/11)

As previously cited by the CDC Guidelines for Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings, the need for research of persistent hand and surface sanitizers has led to the successful development of a Persistent Action Plan (PAP) by Germ Pro Products, Inc.

Four member hospitals completed trials of the PAP to determine if the addition of a hand sanitizing lotion and surface disinfectant, both with persistent sanitizers, helped prevent HAIs.

Participating hospitals reported an average 41.5 percent HAI reduction per 1,000 patient days. Compared to baseline, 59 fewer infections were reported during the trial period, saving over $1.2 million. (D. Scott II, CDC, “The Direct Medical Costs of HAI in US Hospitals” 2009.)

Developed to complement existing hand hygiene and environmental cleaning practices, Germ Pro helps reduce HAIs by adding:

  • A hand lotion, with a four-hour broad spectrum kill that helps hands heal from the harsh effects of alcohol and repeated hand washings; and

  • A surface disinfectant that kills pathogens for 28 days when applied to touch points after routine cleaning.

For more information, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com or (804) 965-1350.


Health Reform’s Impact on Physician Practices and the Physician/Hospital Relationship (1/14/11)

Merritt Hawkins, VHHA’s preferred partner for physician recruitment and consulting, recently completed a 110-page report entitled Health Reform and the Decline of Physician Practice on behalf of The Physicians Foundation, a non-profit grant making organization composed of over 20 state medical societies.

The report, which includes a new survey of some 2,400 physicians, offers valuable insight into how health reform will transform physician practices and the physician/hospital relationship. It features highly instructive case studies of practice models likely to proliferate in the post-reform era, such as the medical home, accountable care organizations, concierge practices and community health centers. It also includes a detailed examination of how health reform will affect the supply of physicians and ways in which hospitals and health systems can extend the physician workforce.

This topic is one that both hospital leaders and physicians nationwide are examining closely. For a copy of the report, contact David Jenkins at djenkins@vhha.com or (804) 965-1350.