AHA RACTrac Coming Soon_

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					June 2008


Volume XXXXII, No. 6

AHA RACTrac Coming Soon!
Although the American Hospital Association (AHA) and SFHHA are urging CMS and Congress to make significant changes to the RAC program, both organizations are advising hospitals to prepare for RAC reviews now! Reviews will continue in Florida, a demonstration state, as early as this summer (see CMS’ RAC Web site at for a detailed rollout plan). Hospitals are preparing for RAC reviews by assembling an internal team to plan and implement process improvements to reduce RAC vulnerabilities. A selfaudit to identify risks is an important first step. An internal tracking system minimizes the financial risk, ensures responses to the RACs in a timely fashion, and helps monitor the status of claims under review. AHA has created RACTrac, a web-based survey that will ask hospitals to report on a quarterly basis on their RAC experience. A basic Excel template will be available at RACTrac to help track denials, claim by claim. This template, along with other tools, can be found on when it goes live this summer. Once a hospital starts using this template, it will be ready to provide data to AHA on a quarterly basis. All individual hospital data will remain confidential and only aggregate information will be shared when appropriate. Each organization’s participation in RACTrac also will provide AHA and SFHHA with the critical data needed to successfully advocate on the industry’s behalf. RACTrac will allow AHA to identify trends in reasons for denials across regions and at the national level. This information will then be used to educate the field, CMS and Congress on changes needed to the program. Stay tuned for more information about how to register at and download a claim-level template to get started.

C. Kennon Hetlage
Vice Chairman

Heather Rohan

Patricia Greenberg
Secretary Members at Large

Walt Mickens Ted Welding
Immediate Past Chairman

Aurelio Fernandez
General Counsel

Maria Currier

Linda S. Quick

2008 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Agustin Arellano Dian Backoff Bo Boulenger Gary Cantrell Davide Carbone Michelle Chulick Ira Coleman Ed Hannum Anthony Degina Robert Garner Val Jackson Steven Klein Manny Linares Barbara Simmons Suzette Wexner Doug Williams

Healthcare News People in the News About SFHHA Members Community Events Save the Date 2 3 3 5 5

Palm Beach County Plan to Address Shortage of ER Specialists Moves Forward
The shortage of ER specialists has been a major challenge in Palm Beach County hospitals, leading to delays in care and the transfer of patients to Broward or Miami-Dade County. One potential solution would be to establish “community on-call plans” in In Other News…. which several hospitals share ♦ As of July 1, Medicare beneficiaries will save on specialists. This arrangement has certain medical supplies. Medicare recipients will be receiving letters explaining the new system and which traditionally been prohibited by state suppliers won bids. The vast majority of existing laws that require hospitals providing suppliers did not win bids, raising concerns that the certain services to have specialists reduced number of suppliers will disrupt care for some on-call in the emergency room for beneficiaries. those particular services. Federal ♦ Medicare reform legislation was introduced in the antitrust concerns have also impeded Senate by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT). Among the implementation of such plans. changes included in the bill (S. 3101) are higher reimbursement rates for physicians for 2008-2009 The Center for Medicare and Medicaid instead of the scheduled pay cut, an extension of the Services recently released a proposal Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility grant program, and in support of countywide on-call changes to reimbursement policies for critical access hospitals for clinical lab services. systems, which would enable Palm ♦ The Commonwealth Fund released a new study Beach County to establish such a ranking Florida last in terms of access to healthcare for system. The Palm Beach County children. Florida also ranked poorly in terms of quality, HealthCare District is now working cost, and other assessments of children’s health care. with all of the county’s hospitals to The report can be found at: secure endorsement of the plan.

Legal Challenges to New State Initiatives
SFHHA and many of its members are working together to challenge the Guns at Work law and Amendment 7.

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The SFHHA Board has unanimously voted to support the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s effort challenging Florida’s “Guns at Work” law, scheduled to go into effect on July 1. Many facilities’ personnel policies, which forbid guns at work, will be in violation of the new law. Because hospitals are committed to ensuring a safe environment, a special assessment of $300 per SFHHA member has been authorized to help fund the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s ongoing effort to overturn this law. Another pressing issue is Amendment 7, which first passed in 2004. According to the law, peer review and quality assurance records are no longer confidential, and patients can be given access to providers’ records of any adverse events. SFHHA will be supporting a challenge of the constitutionality of the law. Specifically, we believe that Amendment 7 violates the supremacy clause, the due process clause, and the contract clause of the U.S. Constitution. Having a broad base of supporters and participants in the suit will strengthen the effort. If you are interested in pursuing these initiatives, please contact Linda Quick at 954.964.1660 or Page 2 of 5

According to “Statewide Vacancies and Job Growth Expectations in Nursing-Intensive Healthcare Settings” by the Florida Center for Nursing, the shortage of nurses in Florida is expected to increase in 2008. In 2007, the workforce increased by 6,000 RNs, while the number of LPNS decreased. There were over 10,000 vacancies for RNs in 2007. The report is available at:

Herbert and Madeline Hillsberg donated their Boehm Bird Collection to the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital to create an “Aviary in Porcelain” for residents and visitors. The Hillsbergs are actively involved in the Home”s Founders, Notables and Men’s Club family. The aviary of granite and class can be viewed at the Sam and Isabel May Visitors Center. Jose Szapocznik was named chairman of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The National Association of Cancer Centers Development Officers appointed Marilyn Stern Emas chairwoman. Ms. Emas is also executive director of development at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Congratulations to Doug Bartel of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida who is a finalist in the South Florida Business Journal’s 2008 Up & Comers Award. Winners will be announced on June 26. The DCMA inducted its 2008-2009 Executive Committee. Members include Bernd Wollschlaeger, MD (President), Frank Maderal, MD (President-Elect), Enrique Hanabergh, MD (Vice-President), Aurelio Mitjans, MD (Secretary), Beny Rub, MD (Treasurer), and Nelson Adams, MD (Immediate Past President). Paula Thaqi, MD, MPH, was appointed Director of the Broward County Health Department. For the past seven years, Dr. Thaqi has been Director of the Highlands County Health Department. Florida Medical Center has named Dr. Joel Frankel as its chief of staff. Dr. Frankel is also chairman of Florida Institute of Health, a group practice in South Florida, and previously was the vice chief of staff and director of FMC’s Cardio Pulmonary Department. Dianne Aleman has been named CEO of Northwest Medical Center, an HCA hospital in Margate.

People in the News

About SFHHA Members
Baptist Health South Florida was recognized by the National Business Group on Health for its commitment to promoting a healthy workplace. Wellness Advantage, Baptist Health’s employee wellness center, received the group’s highest Platinum award, which is only given to 12 companies in the United States. As part of the wellness programs, employees can visit five hospital-based clinics to receive free treatment for minor illnesses and injuries.

Modern Healthcare recently published its list of the top vendors of acute-care EMR systems. Eclipsys Corp., based in Boca Raton, was included on the list with 132 total installations at acutecare hospitals from May 2007-May 2008.
The South Florida Business Journal recognized the top private companies, ranked by 2007 gross revenue. Arellano Construction Co. and Moss & Associates, LLC were included on this year’s list. FIU has received its largest donation ever from Benjamin Leon Jr. of Leon Medical Centers. The $10 million gift will establish the Benjamin Leon Jr.: Family Center for Geriatric Research and Education and the Leon Medical Centers Eminent Scholars Chair in Geriatrics at the new FIU College of Medicine. This past month, the 99th and 100th babies were saved by the “Safe Haven for Newborns” law. The “Safe Haven for Newborns” program saves the child’s life, but also saves the parents from criminal prosecution and fulfills the needs of a family waiting to adopt. Services are also available to help the mothers of these babies. Information about the Safe Haven program can be found at

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The emergency nurses and support staff at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital were honored by ADVANCE as the best nursing team of 2008! The facility includes a 24-bed pediatric ED and level I pediatric trauma center. Staff members have taken the initiative to increase their training and educate others to improve the health and well-being in the community. Entries were judged by nurses from outside Florida. To honor the team at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hosptial, ADVANCE provided an engraved plaque and personalized certificate for each nurse. ADVANCE for Nurses also honored Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Medical ICU as the best in improvement initiatives. Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) was designated as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program. In addition, the June 9 issue of U.S. News & World Report highlights “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.” MCH was the only children’s hospital in Florida to be listed in multiple subspecialty categories. Its heart and heart surgery program was ranked 13th in the United States, neonatology ranked 17th, and neurology and neurosurgery 22nd. In other news, MCH and its satellite campuses became tobacco-free sites as of June 1. Tenet Healthcare Corporation is deploying NCR Online Bill Pay to allow patients to check the status of their accounts and pay their hospital bills online. Patients enroll from the hospital website, and can manage their payments and payment plans through the new system. Collier County EMS/Fire Rescue and the Collier County Sheriff’s office have added an automated external defibrillators (AEDs) location mapping system for 911 dispatchers to help victims of sudden cardiac arrest. In times of emergency, 911 dispatchers and others on the scene do not know whether publicly available AEDs are nearby. With the new system, callers can be told where an AED is located and use it to help save a life. Those with AEDs can register them at for free. The new system, AED Link, is provided by Atrus. According to the Florida Hospital Association, the Agency for Health Care Administration's (AHCA’s) FloridaHealthFinder Web site will be updated next week with data through June 30, 2007, for inpatient volumes, average charges, and length of stay for about 80 different procedures and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's mortality, complication, and infection indications. New to this update will be readmission rates for certain conditions on the Web site using 3M's potentially preventable readmission methodology. Consumers will be able to look up readmission rates by hospital for 52 different conditions.

The partnership between WorkForce One and SFHHA has always been entirely for the purpose of bringing opportunities and advantages to our membership. From WorkForce One: Our mission is to meet the needs of employers and job seekers. WorkForce One continues to post your open positions on their Employ Florida website and hold Job Fairs to help you find applicants, offer grant funding for training and conduct Rapid Response programs if downsizing becomes necessary. We are pleased to announce that SFHHA and WorkForce One will partner in another annual contract effective July 1, 2008, assuring you of continuing information regarding all available sources of funding and opportunities. SFHHA is dedicated to our membership and will continue working to help you fulfill your goals.

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Community Events
The Florida Health Care Coalition is hosting its third annual South Florida conference Empowering Healthcare: A Look at Key Components on August 13 at the Signature Grand. Health care leaders will discuss integrating behavioral health, pay for performance, and other important topics. Special guest Melanie Bloom will discuss deep-vein thrombosis awareness. Register online at The Sixth International Hyperbaric Oxygenation Symposium is scheduled for July 24-26 in Torrance, CA. The event will feature the world’s foremost experts in the field and the first Richard Neubauer Institute Awards ceremony. Nominations can be made at Registration information is available from Cheryl O’Neil at 949.215.0955 or The Health Policy Orientation, which offers participants an understanding of the Washington health policy environment and stakeholder perspectives on important issues, will be held in Washington, DC on October 20-23. Registration will begin on July 1. Information can be found at or by calling 202.292.6700. The program is supported by Academy Health and the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2008 semester of Florida International University’s Master in Health Services program, which has educated South Florida’s healthcare leaders since 1972. The program is designed to meet the needs of working healthcare professionals and features convenient classes on weekends. Contact Dr. Nancy Borkowski for more information at or 305.348.0434. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has established the New Careers in Nursing scholarship program to for schools of nursing. Information can be found at: 01.

The Healthcare Financial Management Association Third Thursday Webinar is scheduled for June 19th from 3-4 pm. The webinar will focus on Consumer Driven Charge Masters. Participants can register at gcode=0837FL3.

On July 21-23, the University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami Area Geriatric Education Center, and the Miami VA Medical Center’s Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center will host the 2008 Intensive Geriatric Training at the Miami VA’s Medical Center 2nd Floor Auditorium. Continuing education credits are available. For information, call 305.355.9123 or go to The Puerto Rican Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Broward County, the PR Fiestas Patronales & Business Expo, and Salud Al Dia magazine have joined efforts to sponsor a new web page Salud, Al Dia (Health, Up to Date) to offer members greater access to products and information on the latest health issues. The new website can be accessed from or The initiative will be launched at an event on August 6 at the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Hotel & Spa. For information, call 954.559.5355 or email Entries are invited for the Building Better Healthcare Awards, which will be held November 13 in London. The entry deadline is June 30. Visit or email

South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum is hosting a mixer/networking event at Shula’s Steak 2 in Miami Lakes on June 19 from 6 pm-8 pm. The cost is $15 for members and students, $20 for friends of the forum, and $25 for guests (includes one free drink and hors d’oeuvres). Please RSVP to Dana at 954.894.9405 or

SFHHA, HRET, and the Florida/Caribbean AIDS Education and Training Center are sponsoring a complimentary workshop called, “Getting to Zero: How Hospitals can Use Rapid Tests to Virtually Eliminate Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission.” The event, featuring presentations from CDC officials, HRET and AETC staff, and local perinatal HIV and infectious disease specialists, will be held at the University of Miami Mailman Center Auditorium on September 8 from 8 am-4:30 pm. The program is open to hospital staff from labor and delivery, nursery, emergency, laboratory, infectious disease, and pharmacy. Register by August 22 by contacting Jennifer Reiter at or 312.422.2637.

Save the Date
SFHHA Healthcare Finance & Management Committee SFHHA 16th Annual Golf Tournament SFHHA Annual Meeting June 26 Oct. 20 Dec 11

SFHHA is pleased to announce that AHA Executive Vice President and Chief Lobbyist, Rick Pollack, will be the speaker at this year’s Annual Dinner. Page 5 of 5