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North Carolina Hospital Association

Serving North Carolina Hospitals & Health Systems



Keeping Members Informed

NCHA keeps members informed of current healthcare issues through weekly newsletters, daily e-mail news links, and specialized publications.

Communicating Members’ Message 

News media representatives who have questions about NCHA news releases or who need additional information about healthcare issues may contact Julie Henry in the Public Relations Department at 919/677-4243.

Recent NCHA News

NCHA Advocacy Day Draws Hundreds of Hospitals Leaders to Raleigh
North Carolina hospital leaders expressed their concerns at the NC General Assembly this week on proposed state legislation that would layer on top of massive cuts in federal Medicare reimbursements. More than 200 hospital leaders attended the NCHA Advocacy Day event in Raleigh on Tuesday, May 7. NCHA Board Chair Laura Easton led a press conference to highlight hospitals' concerns about a proposal to alter payments under a supplemental Medicaid program which provides about one-quarter of the funding hospitals receive for serving Medicaid patients. She also spoke against a proposal to impose HMOs in the Medicaid program and against deregulation of single-specialty operating rooms. For more on the event, see the attached press release.

North Carolina Virginia Hospital Engagement Network 2012 Annual Report

The North Carolina Virginia Hospital Engagement Network is celebrating its one-year anniversary. One year ago, on Dec. 9, 2012, NCHA signed a contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services establishing NoCVA as one of 26 Hospital Engagement Networks with the Partnership for Patients national effort to reduce patient harm occurring in hospitals. Since then, NoCVA has hosted over 100 different educational and training activities, including in-person learning sessions, webinars, and teleconferences. While this amount of work is significant, it is the decrease in harm occurring in NC and VA hospitals that is the real story. Read about the progress achieved by NoCVA hospitals in the attached press release.


Pully Receives NC Public Health’s Highest Honor
NCHA President Bill Pully recently was honored with the 2012 Ronald Levine Legacy Award for his contributions to public health in North Carolina. The award was presented at the annual 2012 State Health Director’s Conference Jan. 27. In presenting the award, outgoing State Health Director Dr. Jeffrey Engel acknowledged Pully’s leadership in the development of the NC Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT), a statewide syndromic surveillance system that gathers data from hospital emergency departments and other providers to monitor a variety public health issues in a secure and timely fashion, and the NC Health Information Exchange, a public/private collaboration to provide a secure, sustainable technology infrastructure that supports the real time exchange of health information. Dr. Engel also highlighted Pully’s involvement in the Public Health and Hospital Collaborative, a public-private partnership between the Division of Public Health, NCHA, the NC Institute for Public Health and the NC Center for Public Health Quality that has developed standards for community health assessments as required for nonprofit hospitals by the Affordable Care Act and the Public Health Exchange. Named for former State Health Director Dr. Ron Levine, this annual award honors individuals whose work and commitment on behalf of the public’s health has resulted in significant, sustainable and positive improvements to health and quality of life in North Carolina. See the award announcement online at http://publichealth.nc.gov/shd/rlaward.htm.

National Priorities Partnership Releases Case Study On NC Quality Center

The NC Quality Center was among five case studies released this week by the National Priorities Partnership, a multi-stakeholder group of health care leaders convened by the National Quality Forum to explore "on-the-ground" application and alignment with national priorities for improving health care. The case studies are part of an independent evaluation of the NPP's impact building consensus and catalyzing action around national priorities and goals in health care. The group provides guidance to government and the private sector on quality and performance improvement. The NC Quality Center case study focuses on the Center's adoption of national priorities to serve as a framework and to galvanize improvements in patient safety at hospitals state-wide. Featured in the case study is the Center's work with decreasing central line-associated bloodstream infections. One of the key findings in the case study was that the NPP framework provided "a blue print" for transformational organization change within the NC Hospital Association. The NPP framework was adopted into the strategic plans of both the NCHA and NCQC to bring a more shared, directed, and nationally aligned focus to their work. Quality is being measured on whether NCQC is meeting its objectives within activities and on the effectiveness of the NPP priorities-based strategic approaches now being taken. The full case studies are now available online at http://www.qualityforum.org/Setting_Priorities/Evaluation_of_the_National_Priorities_Partnership.aspx.


NCHA Selected To Be Hospital Engagement Network

NCHA was selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to be one of 26 Hospital Engagement Networks nationwide. This two-three year $7.2 million project (with an optional third year at $3.6 million) is a joint effort between NCHA and the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association. The Hospital Engagement Network Program is part of the $1 billion Partnership for Patients initiative launched by CMS in 2011. The goal of the Partnership is to see lower costs and improvements in healthcare quality and population health. The Partnership aims to see a 40 percent reduction in preventable hospital acquired infections and a 20 percent reduction in avoidable readmissions by the end of 2013. The joint project will be called the North Carolina/Virginia Regional HEC or NoCVA. It will be administered by the NC Center for Hospital Quality and Patient Safety, which will be responsible for providing technical assistance to NC and VA hospitals in 10 quality improvement focus areas. Other active partners in the program include the NC Center for Rural Health Innovation and Performance, The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence, VA Quality Healthcare Center, Healthcare Team Training, Medical Society of VA, and VA Nurses Association. For more details, contact Nanci Kingsbury at 919/677-4111 or at nkingsbury@ncha.org.


2011 Harris Award Presented to Dr. Carol Koeble

Carol Koeble, MD, executive director for the North Carolina Center for Hospital Quality and Patient Safety, received the distinguished T. Reginald Harris Memorial Award in conjunction with the North Carolina Medical Society’s annual meeting on Oct. 22. This year marks the 13th anniversary that the award, a plaque, and a monetary prize of $2,500, has been given by The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence in honor of the life and memory of T. Reginald Harris, MD, one of its founding members and Past President of the NCMS. During the event, Dr. Koeble donated the monetary prize to the North Carolina Hospital Foundation. Dr. Harris’ career was devoted to quality patient care. Dr. Koeble was recognized for her leadership in transforming health care delivery in North Carolina hospitals into a culture of quality and safety. For more details on the award, go online at www.thecarolinascenter.org/default.aspx?pageid=43&item=348


Rurals Prove Size Is No Barrier to Reaping Lean Rewards

Admit it. When you think about who's pioneering groundbreaking business techniques, rural hospitals don't come to mind first. But that's happening in western North Carolina, where five rural hospitals got together in 2008 to figure out how to do what they do better, from both a quality and a fiscal perspective. Like many business executives today, these hospital leaders suspected that Lean methodology could help them step up their games. But because their operations are small, with tight margins and limited staffs, investing money and time on Lean training was something none could easily afford alone. So, in 2008, they formed the North Carolina Rural Hospital Lean Culture Transformation Collaborative. Read more online at http://www.hhnmag.com/hhnmag/HHNDaily/HHNDailyDisplay.dhtml?id=4610003670.


NC Rural Hospitals Lean Together to Zap Waste

When Lenoir, North Carolina-based Caldwell Memorial Hospital first signed on to be a part of the Western North Carolina Rural Hospital Lean Collaborative,president and CEO Laura Easton didn't think they'd find much to trim. "None of us want to believe we have waste. I didn't believe we had waste," Easton said in an interview with HealthLeaders Media. "I thought we were so lean and mean there was no way we were going to find anything." But find waste she did. "I found out, in our process, that we had a guy who worked full time as a lint remover. He just used a lint brush and [removed lint from towels] for the operating room," she remembers. "Or that we had six people who just scan things all day long, just scan papers. You just find things and you had no idea. You're not even that big; you thought you knew it all." With the help of the North Carolina Hospital Association, a consulting firm, and a grant from the Duke Endowment, Caldwell Memorial Hospital teamed with four other hospitals to learn how to apply lean management principles. The hospitals shared ideas and resources, including funding and consulting services, and attended each other's learning events. For more, read the article online at http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/page-1/COM-270391/NC-Rural-Hospitals-Lean-Together-to-Zap-Waste.

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