As one component of WSNA’s ongoing efforts to address our #1 priority of safe staffing, we have been actively engaged with the Health Care Authority (HCA) to create a link between nurse staffing, quality care and improved patient outcomes.
WSNA is pleased to announce that the Health Care Authority, through its State Innovation Plan, has broadened their “Starter Set” of Performance Measures to now include three Nursing Sensitive Measures in their Medicaid Quality Incentive program. Achievement of measure benchmark goals is tied to the incentive payments to hospitals through the safety net assessment program. By creating a financial incentive to provide quality care through safe staffing conditions, a new and essential link has been created in maintaining hospital accountability and competitiveness.
Beginning July 2016 through December 2016, non-critical access hospitals will be required to collect and submit to the HCA threshold data on the following quality nursing sensitive performance measures:
In addition, the HCA will also require hospitals to answer the following questions related to nurse staffing committees:
Benchmarks will be established by HCA, and hospitals will earn points based on their performance on the three nursing sensitive quality measures. In addition, hospitals can earn bonus points on the three nurse staffing committee questions. As a result of points earned, hospitals can then “earn back” 1% of the hospital safety net assessment withheld and designated for this program.
As more details come forward about this program and implementation gets underway, look for updates on the WSNA website. We will be rolling out a series of education workshops throughout the state this fall and winter to empower our nurses to effectively engage in their nurse staffing committees and strengthen our voice for safe staffing.