Governor Ned Lamont Signs Hospital Agreement

On Monday, January 13, Governor Ned Lamont held a bill signing ceremony at Griffin Hospital to commemorate the enactment of the agreement between the state and hospitals negotiated with the Administration, the Attorney General, and Connecticut hospitals. 

The settlement agreement results in a withdrawal of all pending legal claims that hospitals filed against the state challenging the hospital tax, as well as the rate appeals brought by hospitals challenging Medicaid payments.  

The General Assembly approved legislation enacting the agreement in a Special Session on Wednesday, December 18, 2019.  The terms and provisions of the settlement will be reviewed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and, once approved, will be brought before the state judicial branch for acceptance.  It is expected that CMS approval and judicial review will be complete in the coming months.

“You weren’t treated like partners for a long time in this state.  And it was really time to reset that relationship,” Governor Lamont said in his remarks at the signing.  “I’ve tried to do that with the business community, I’ve tried to do that in the Capitol, and I knew we had to do it with the hospitals.”

“This is the beginning of a new era of cooperation and collaboration between Connecticut’s hospitals and State government.  Our industry is facing the biggest transformation in a generation, and because of the remaining burden of the provider tax, the industry doesn’t have the resources it needs to shift its focus from primarily taking care of sick people to trying to keep entire populations healthy,” said Patrick Charmel, President and Chief Executive Officer at Griffin Hospital. 

“Governor Lamont appreciated that the provider tax was putting Connecticut hospitals at risk,” Mr. Charmel added, who is also a member of the CHA Board of Trustees.  “He recognized that the dispute between the hospital industry and the state needed to be resolved in a way that benefits the state and the interests of hospitals.  I look forward to this new cooperative relationship because working together we can improve healthcare delivery in ways that distinguish the state of Connecticut and improve the health of its citizens.”

“This is a win for everyone in Connecticut, but most importantly for our patients and our communities,” said Jennifer Jackson, CEO, CHA.

CHA Board member Marna Borgstrom, Chief Executive Officer, Yale New Haven Health, also attended the event.  Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw, Department of Social Services Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford, MD, MPH, Bob Clarke, General Counsel-Office of the Governor, Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven), House Minority Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby), Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown), Senator George Logan (R-Ansonia), Nicole Klarides-Ditria (R-Seymour), and Representative Kara Rochelle (D-Ansonia), were also in attendance.


Paul Kidwell Joins CHA as Senior Vice President, Policy

The Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) welcomes Paul Kidwell as Senior Vice President, Policy.  In this new role, he will lead and coordinate policy positions that advance CHA’s vision and strategic commitments and address the transformative changes under way in healthcare.

“Paul’s extensive experience in policy and legislation, as well as time spent on Capitol Hill, will strengthen CHA’s leadership in shaping the future of healthcare in Connecticut,” said Jennifer Jackson, CEO, CHA.  “We are fortunate to have Paul join us and are pleased to welcome him to our leadership team.”

Most recently, Mr. Kidwell was the Vice President of Policy at the Federation of American Hospitals in Washington, DC, where he served as the primary liaison to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) as well as the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC).  He supported policy and legislative initiatives on Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, prescription drugs, and managed care.

He previously served as Director of the Low Income Program Analysis Group in the Office of Legislation at CMS, where he was the primary liaison to Congress for the Medicaid and CHIP programs.  Mr. Kidwell’s experience in policy and legislation on Capitol Hill spans nearly a decade; during that time, he served as Legislative Director to then Congressman (now Senator) Chris Murphy (D-CT) and worked as a legislative assistant for Representatives Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA). 

Mr. Kidwell holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Two Special Elections Held

On Tuesday, January 14, voters in the 48th and 132nd House Districts went to the polls to vote in Special Elections for two seats in the Connecticut House of Representatives - one due to a resignation and one due to the unexpected passing of a representative.

In the 48th District race, Brian Smith (D-Colchester) beat Mark DeCaprio (R-Lebanon) by a more than two-to-one tally in unofficial results.  Rep.-Elect Smith is a retired marketing manager for a law firm and a former selectman and former member of the Colchester Board of Finance.

The seat was vacated on November 20, 2019, when then-Representative Linda Orange (D-Colchester) passed away after a short illness.  The 48th House District includes portions of Colchester, Lebanon, Mansfield, and Windham. 

In the 132nd House District, Republican Brian Farnen beat Democrat Jennifer Leeper by an unofficial vote of 2,460 to 2,378.  Rep.-elect Farnen is a Representative Town Meeting member in Fairfield and is General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer at the Connecticut Green Bank.  The 132nd House District includes a portion of Fairfield.  The 132nd House seat was vacated by former State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-Fairfield), who resigned after winning a race for First Selectman in Fairfield.

Results are considered unofficial until certified by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, at which time the newly elected Representatives will be sworn into office.

A final Special Election will be held on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, to fill the vacancy created when former State Rep. Fred Camillio (R-Greenwich) resigned after being elected as Greenwich’s First Selectman.

Currently, the Democrats hold a 91-59 majority in the House.


CHA Hosts HIPAA Privacy, Security & Breach Rules: Keeping Current to Remain Compliant

On Thursday, January 9, CHA held an educational program: HIPAA Privacy, Security & Breach Rules: Keeping Current to Remain Compliant, led by attorney Jennifer Cox of Cox & Osowiecki.

In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) led to the creation of a privacy rule that established national standards for the protection of certain protected health information (PHI), and a security rule that established a national set of standards for protecting certain PHI that is held or transferred in electronic form.

The Act was last updated in 2013, and additional updates are anticipated this year.

HIPAA is not just a medical records issue, it creates civil rights, Ms. Cox stated in her presentation to the more than 40 attendees, which included representation from hospital risk management and compliance, information technology, and legal counsel.

In her discussion, Ms. Cox covered the major privacy and security components of HIPAA, and offered best practices for compliance.

The program, co-sponsored with the Connecticut Association for Healthcare Executives, also reviewed guidance and HIPAA enforcement penalties from the Office for Civil Rights.


CHA to Hold Annual Joint Commission Standards and National Patient Safety Goals Update

CHA’s annual The Joint Commission Standards and National Patient Safety Goals Update will be held on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. Event Registration

The full-day program will feature national safety expert Diana Scott, Senior Director of Accreditation at Vizient, who will outline The Joint Commission’s (TJC's) new standards and national patient safety goals for 2020, and challenges from 2019 with strategies for compliance.  Ms. Scott will also review CMS focus areas, as well as best practices for a successful survey.

CHA is also pleased to have Lisa DiBlasi Moorehead, The Joint Commission’s Associate Nurse Executive, who will provide an overview of the changes implemented by TJC.  

Attendees will also receive information on compliance data and on challenging accreditation standards in Connecticut hospitals.


Education Updates

Lean Principles: Process Flow and Value Stream Mapping in Healthcare
Monday, February 3, 2020
Monday, February 10, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
View Brochure | Event Registration

As the demands of health reform drive change in all areas of healthcare delivery, hospital leaders are focused on transforming their organizations through strategies that simultaneously increase revenue and sharply reduce costs.  Lean principles offer leaders a management system and methodology that improves team engagement, eliminates road blocks, and allows hospitals to improve the quality of care for patients by reducing errors and waste streams, including wait times.  It is a systematic approach to reducing costs and risks, while simultaneously setting the stage for growth and expansion. 

Please note: this is a two-session program; participants should attend both sessions.  

HRO Fair and Just Accountability
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Event Registration

CHA’s HRO Fair and Just Accountability program, geared toward Human Resources executives and others who manage people, will train staff to review performance from a standardized perspective when there is an adverse event – to focus on the behavior rather than the outcome.  

This program is only open to CHA HRO members.

HRO Apparent Cause Analysis
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Event Registration

HRO Apparent Cause Analysis will focus on how to conduct an Apparent Cause Analysis (ACA).  ACA methodology is used to evaluate and better understand the causes of precursor events at the microsystem level.  Analyzing events using this tool will help direct the front-line leader to the appropriate improvement activities.  After attending this program, participants can serve as a local expert and provide coaching on ACAs to others in their setting. 

This program is only open to CHA HRO members.

HRO Leadership Method Training
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
 Event Registration

Leadership Method Training is for organizations that are new to high reliability or for new management employees in organizations that are already on the high reliability journey.  Both hospital and ambulatory organization leadership practices will be addressed.  The leadership session is designed to teach hospital or ambulatory leaders the concepts of high reliability science and behaviors.  The sessions are structured for leaders at the manager level and above. 

This program is only open to CHA HRO members.

HRO Rounding to Influence
Thursday, February 6, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Event Registration

Rounding to Influence teaches leaders how to coach, mentor, and sustain high reliability habits and practices by interacting with front-line staff and medical staff on the unit.

This program is only open to CHA HRO members.

HRO Safety Coach Training
Thursday, February 6, 2020
1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Event Registration

Safety Coaches are peer mentors who are trained to recognize and acknowledge good high reliability behavior and to remind people about opportunities to improve behavior that does not stay true to high reliability concepts. 

This program is only open to CHA HRO members.

Peer Supporter Refresher Training
Monday, February 24, 2020
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Event Registration

Peer Supporter Refresher Training is for staff who have attended a Peer Supporter Training course at CHA or for those currently serving as a Peer Supporter in their organization.

Peer Supporter Training
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Event Registration

Gerald Lewis, PhD, will provide training for peer supporters and those who will train peer supporters in their organizations.  Dr. Lewis has worked with national and international government agencies, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, and private businesses on a wide range of work, behavioral health, and organizational issues.  His focus is facilitating organizational recovery and resiliency with the emphasis on “people-recovery.”

MACRMI Simulation Training
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Event Registration

The Massachusetts Alliance for Communication and Resolution following Medical Injury (MACRMI) will conduct simulation training for disclosure and apology as part of CHA’s Communication and Resolution Program Collaborative. 

The program is being presented as part of the Partnership for Patients HIIN educational series.