Archive for May, 2012

TLMI Leadership E-tip #1:
Olympic Coach Mentality

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Greetings Torch members! In the coming months, I will be sharing a variety of leadership and staff engagement ideas from my keynote, Lead in High Definition at the Annual Conference and the TLMI Institute. In this issue I’ll begin with one of my favorites, High Definition Leaders embrace the “Olympic Coach Mentality.”

Just like Olympic coaches, High Definition leaders believe it’s a privilege and honor to serve and lead their team and will do everything possible to help their “athlete” or team succeed. I’m sure you agree it doesn’t take special talent to simply perform tasks and complete reports. It does, however, take real skill and dedication to motivate, develop and raise team performance. Just like Olympic coaches committed to helping their athletes win the gold, here are six proven strategies you can use to lead in high definition.

1. Set clear goals and expectations for each team member.

2. Provide the training and skills they need to perform well.

3. Be sure to observe, provide coaching and offer specific feedback.

4. Offer words of praise, recognition and appreciation for any improvements, no matter how big or small.

5. Do not tolerate mediocrity or excuses – hold people accountable for results.

6. Know the dreams, goals and aspirations of each team member.

So now you have the secrets Olympic coaches use to create an exceptional team. By using the above six strategies, you will be equipped to lead in HD and create a team of High Definition People®. The good news is High Definition People® clearly see what they can do to positively impact the patient experience and raise your HCAHPS scores!

In fact, I’d like to recognize Linda Rasor and her great team at Castro Valley Health Care. In our recent leadership program the managers committed to using a more structured coaching process to engage and develop their team members.

TIP – Ask your staff to imagine they are an Olympic athlete and you have been retained as their coach to help them win a Gold medal. Then ask, “what do you expect me to do for you each week to help raise your performance?” Listen carefully to their answers as they will signal exactly what they need to be a top performer.

As a new corporate member, I’m here to serve you as a resource. Please let me know how I can help with any team building, leadership or staff programs. I’ll be in Texas soon!

“Outstanding job Barbara! You were by far the highest rated speaker in our staff development and leadership series. Your energizing and idea-packed session, ‘Engage Staff, Deliver Service, Dream Big’! was the perfect message to get everyone to take ownership and accept responsibility for patient satisfaction and their own work and life satisfaction. The comments on our staff evaluations were full of praise and superlatives!”
– Jeanne Wilson, Manager, Training and Development, Slidell Memorial Hospital

Barbara Sanfilippo
High Definition People®
Author of “Dream Big! What’s the Best that Can Happen?”

HHSC just released more important updates concerning the 1115 Transformation Waiver

Friday, May 18th, 2012

RHP Planning Summit:
To assist RHPs develop regional plans, HHSC is organizing a two-day RHP Planning Summit tentatively scheduled for June 28-29, 2012, in Austin, Texas. At the summit, HHSC will provide technical assistance to those RHP participants responsible for contributing to an RHP Plan—including representatives from public and private hospitals, providers, local government entities, and other stakeholders. Please note that due to limited space, in-person attendance will be capped at approximately 250 attendees. HHSC will broadcast the conference online so that individuals not able to attend in-person can watch presentations, hear discussions, and submit questions through an online chat function.

Summit Survey:
To maximize attendees’ time, HHSC developed a short survey asking for RHP participants’ preferences in the design and content of this two day summit. HHSC encourages all stakeholders engaged in RHP planning to participate in this survey as this feedback will help enhance the effectiveness of this summit. This survey only takes a few minutes to complete. HHSC will only accept survey responses submitted online and the survey submission period ends promptly at 5pm Central on Friday, May 25, 2012. Please note that once a response is submitted, it cannot be revoked. Should you experience any technical difficulties with this online survey, please contact Ashley Sellers at or by phone at 717-695-1185.

Program Funding and Mechanics (PFM) Protocol:
Earlier this week, HHSC released the attached draft PFM Protocol, the State’s working document for Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) requirements. The draft protocol is based on HHSC’s developing approach and is subject to change based on feedback from Texas stakeholders, HHSC leadership and CMS. CMS must approve the protocol before Texas regions can move forward with DSRIP projects. HHSC is seeking public feedback on the draft PFM Protocol by Thursday, May 31, 2012.

May 23 Webinar:
HHSC has scheduled a webinar for May 23, 2012, 3:00 pm to provide an overview of the draft Program Funding and Mechanics Protocol. To access the webinar: 1) Go to; 2) Click on Attend Meeting; 3) Enter Meeting Number: 805 606 709; and 4) Call the number that appears on screen. The participant call in number is: 1-866-861-7912

PFM Protocol Meetings:
HHSC will not have a June 7, 2012 hearing on the PFM Protocol as indicated earlier. Public comment on the draft protocol will only be accepted through the attached Feedback Form. If any additional updates on the protocol become available, HHSC will incorporate them into the June RHP Planning summit.

For updated materials and to sign up for email alerts, please refer to the waiver website. Should you have any questions, please email waiver staff.


Senators Schumer and Grassley Introduce MDH and LVH Legislation

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

On Monday, Senators Charles Schumer and Chuck Grassley introduced a bill that would extend the Medicare Dependent Hospital (MDH) and Low-Volume Hospital (LVH) programs. Senate Bill 2620 would help avoid the pending expiration of both programs. Important new data indicates that the Federal investment in rural health has significant benefits both for the rural patient and the tax payer. In fact, small rural hospitals nationally have equal or better quality outcomes, and cost 3.7 percent less per Medicare beneficiary than their urban counterparts. These vital rural hospital programs are examples of the benefits of targeted, effective government action but will expire on October 1 if action is not taken. Their continuation is critical both to providers and the patients they serve. TORCH is requesting its members to call on their legislators in both chambers of Congress to act to protect rural hospitals.

Congress established the Medicare-dependent hospital (MDH) program in 1987. There are approximately 200 MDHs in the United States. These hospitals are paid by Medicare with a special rate to address the fact that most of their patients are Medicare patients. These payments allow MDHs greater financial stability and leave them better able to serve their communities. A hospital qualifies for the MDH program if it is located in a rural area, has no more than 100 beds, is not classified as a Sole Community Hospital, and has at least 60 percent of inpatient days or discharges covered by Medicare. This program expires September 30, 2012. Schumer’s bill will extend the program for one year.

Low volume hospitals are those that are critical to the community but may not serve a high volume of patients. Since 1988, the Medicare program has recognized that these hospitals need additional support so that they can continue to provide high quality care to rural communities. A low-volume hospital is defined as one that is more than 15 road miles from another comparable hospital and has less than 1,600 Medicare discharges are year. Medicare seeks to pay efficient providers their costs of furnishing services. However, certain factors beyond providers’ control can affect the costs of furnishing services. Patient volume is one such factor and is particularly relevant in small and isolated communities where providers frequently cannot achieve the economies of scale possible for their larger counterparts. The bill would extend the additional payments for low volume hospitals for one year. Download the bill here.

New TORCH Foundation Report & TLMI Special Publication Now Available

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

We are very pleased to present the new TORCH Foundation Report and the TORCH Leadership & Management Institute (TLMI) Special Publication. Here’s a copy for you and we hope that you will share with your staff. In these publications you will find highlights of our recent accomplishments, current programs and services, as well as a preview of exciting activities in store for the near future. We have much to be proud of and celebrate. As we build upon our success, we recognize the important opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Our members are our first priority and we are committed to delivering quality programs and services to meet your needs.

HHSC to Hold Public Hearing on RHP Map on May 17

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

The notice and agenda for the May 17, 2012 RHP public hearing will be published in the May 11, 2012 Texas Register. Based on stakeholder feedback, HHSC will soon issue a revised map to be dated May 11, 2012. The public hearing is being held to discuss the May 11, 2012 map, not the one dated March 30, 2012. The public hearing will start promptly at 1:30 p.m. HHSC will hear public testimony until each person who wishes to speak has an opportunity to present. Depending on the amount of public comment during the hearing, the 3-minute presentation rule may be invoked. If testimony ends before 4:30 p.m., the hearing will end early. Those interested in speaking at the public hearing should plan to arrive by 1:30. A conference call line is available for out-of-town stakeholders interested in listening to the hearing. Please note that any stakeholder wishing to testify, needs to attend the hearing in person. Testimony will not be allowed over the conference call line, but to listen in please dial 1-877-226-9790 and use access code 8317345.

The purpose of this hearing is for Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs to hear from entities in RHPs that are still in contention. If there are still counties disagreeing with their RHP placement on the May 11, 2012 map or the RHP anchor is still in question, HHSC wants public input in order to finalize the RHP region development. HHSC requests those counties and anchors in question to please attend the public hearing to voice concerns to the Executive Commissioner. The Executive Commissioner will take these public hearing comments into consideration when developing the final RHP geography and anchors. HHSC will issue the final RHP map shortly following the public hearing based on the Executive Commissioner’s final recommendations and submit to CMS for federal approval. HHSC encourages RHP participants to work together prior to the public hearing to determine RHP geography and anchors. Should participants have questions on RHP development, please contact HHSC.

RHP Hearing Notice [182KB PDF]
RHP Public Hearing_Agenda_5_17_12 [55KB PDF]