From the Offices of Elliot Joseph and Jeffry Nestler, MD
August 8, 2010 Edition

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"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams

Hospital of Central Connecticut / Hartford Hospital Affiliation Update

Hartford Hospital and The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) continue to cooperate in our mutual vision to transform healthcare delivery for our state and region. We believe our coming together will provide more comprehensive and better coordinated patient care and give HOCC patients easier access to the complex care Hartford Hospital offers. We continue to work closely with the Federal Trade Commission, which has requested additional data on our proposed affiliation. We will keep you posted on our progress.

Balanced Scorecard Focus

In 2009, Hartford Hospital established our first Balanced Scorecard, an annual document that sets goals and direction for the entire hospital. The scorecard is a master blueprint that helps us focus on specific objectives for the year, identifies the steps we need to take and identifies the individual responsible for accomplishing each objective. Throughout the year, we keep track of our progress. To view our initiatives and progress for FY 2010 and to view our FY 2011 Balanced Scorecard, please click here. Our FY 2009 scorecard also is available at that link.

Financial Update

Hartford Hospital’s year-to-date financial results as of the end of June were generally positive with revenues above budget by $6.7 million. Although revenues are above budget, our cost structure –- which is $13 million over budget -- is unsustainable. Year-to-date, our gain from operations is $4.6 million versus a budget of $8.9 million. Although we will make our budgeted gain for the year due to one-time revenue items, we must reduce expenses. Supply cost-management is one of our main initiatives for 2011.

Supply Cost-Management Initiative

We have set a goal of reducing supply costs by $4 million for Fiscal Year 2011. Vice President of Support Services Bimal Patel will lead the effort as the executive sponsor of this balanced scorecard initiative, which will focus on reducing costs through standardization in supply selection to realize better economies of scale and standardization in supply utilization to realize greater efficiencies. The hospital will benchmark best practices in supply usage and provide best-practices scenarios for departments throughout the hospital. Our H3W initiative will be used to engage all employees in monitoring and reducing expenses.

Anthem Blue Cross of Connecticut Contract

A possibility exists of a change in Hartford Hospital’s relationship with Anthem Blue Cross of Connecticut. On Oct. 31, 2010, our current arrangement with Anthem will expire and we will be out of network with Anthem unless a new agreement is in place by Nov. 1. We have sent a letter about the situation to our medical staff. To read the letter, please click here.

Stroke Center Recognized for Quality Care

Hartford Hospital has received the highest honor from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines – Stroke (GWTG–Stroke) Program. The hospital has been named the Gold Plus Achievement Award honoree, which recognizes high-quality patient care. To receive this award, the hospital had to achieve 85 percent or better on performance measures and at least 75 percent on quality measures.

New Inpatient Liver Service at Hartford Hospital

With the arrival of Dr. Colin Swales, our new hepatologist, the GI division will be providing an inpatient liver disease service to provide focused care for patients with significant liver disease and for pre- and post-liver transplant patients. This service also will include acceptance of transfers of liver-disease patients from other hospitals in the region. To consult this service, please either page the GI consult pager or contact Dr. Swales directly.

Hartford Hospitalists Seek to Improve Partnership with Primary Care Providers

Earlier this year, Hartford Hospital’s hospitalists and the Department of Medicine sent a letter and survey to all local primary care providers (PCPs), asking for contact information and consultant preferences. A data base has been created from this information and will be available on every hospitalist's iPhone. Only 34 PCPs have submitted information. To provide better partnership in patient care, the Hospitalist Division would like the data base to include information for all PCPs who admit patients to Hartford Hospital. If you have not already completed and sent in the survey, please click here to fill it out and then please fax or mail it to the Physician Liaison Office.

HH2020: Building Our Future

HH2020 continues to make great progress in enhancing the appearance and utility of our facilities. Emergency Department (ED) capacity has increased by 10 percent with five new front-provider rooms, four new triage desks and a new discharge area. We also have added four ICU rooms on Bliss 11 and four new cardiac surgical ICU rooms on Bliss 9. Construction will be completed on half of the Main Lobby this month, and work will begin on the other half shortly. The Streetscape Café has closed to make way for Au Bon Pain, which, like Streetscape, will help raise money for the Hartford Hospital Auxiliary. Please note that the hospital’s Main Lobby will be closed beginning at 5 p.m. Aug. 14 and will reopen at noon Aug. 15. Please use the Admitting Entrance during this time. In addition, the Cardiac Rehab Gym has been relocated to MOB 307 until early November. HH2020 is part of our vision to be a leader and innovator not only in patient care but also in providing a pleasant environment that makes optimal use of our clinical space.

Life Star e-LINES Newsletter Now Online

Life Star’s e-LINES newsletter is now online as a blog at Anyone interested can subscribe to the blog and receive notification of new posts.

Medicare Inpatient Final Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the Medicare Inpatient Final Rule for FY 2011. The inflationary increase was set at 2.6 percent; however, the healthcare reform law will require a reduction of that increase by 0.25 percent, and CMS will require a 2.9 percent reduction. The 2.9 percent reduction is due to what CMS considers to be overpayments made to hospitals in FY 2008 and FY 2009 because of changes in hospital coding practices that don’t reflect increase in patients’ severity of illnesses. This means a total reduction in payments of .55 percent.

Most Hospitals Finish 2009 in the Black but Future Looks Bleak

The CtMirror – 8/3/2010
More than three-quarters of Connecticut hospitals posted a positive total margin during the 2009 fiscal year, a reversal from the previous year, when fewer than half did, according to a report released by the state Office of Health Care Access. But those figures might not indicate a smooth future for Connecticut hospitals. While most hospitals were in the black in fiscal year 2009, less than a third of the state's 30 acute care hospitals achieved margins considered adequate by industry standards.

Welcome New Physicians!

The Seymour Street Journal (SSJ) has been developed to communicate key messages pertinent to our hospital’s physicians. It will keep you informed and up-to-date on hospital, network, and health care news in a concise, convenient format. The SSJ will be sent to your preferred e-mail address every other Sunday. Back issues can be viewed here. For any questions or suggestions, please contact Dr. Jeffry Nestler, Medical Staff President, at (860) 836-7313.