H&H Briefs

Health care magazine ranks SWMC tower

Modern Healthcare magazine included Southwest Washington Medical Center’s Firstenburg Patient Tower among the top winners of its 22nd annual design awards.

Southwest was one of four Award of Excellence winners out of 181 entries. The winners are profiled in the Sept. 24 issue of the magazine.

Entries were evaluated on design excellence, functional utility, flexibility of design and response to family and patients.

The Firstenburg Tower also was featured on the front cover of the 2007 Architectural Showcase publication of Healthcare Design Magazine. Southwest is one of nine citation of merit winners recognized by a 14-person panel of health care architects.

Study: State Medicaid reimbursement falls short   

According to an independent national study on the nation’s nursing home Medicaid payment system, Washington is ninth in the top 10 list of states with significant disparity between the cost of care and reimbursement rates.

Washington’s payment rate currently falls short of the actual cost of care by more than $20 per resident day, according to the study by the accounting firms BDO Seidman/Eljay LLC.

Another recent study, by the Washington Department of Social and Health Services through the Brown University Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, recommends simplifying the reimbursement system by combining cost centers.

The study was requested by the state legislature to review the current Medicaid payment methodology for nursing facilities.

It also recommends adjusting how capital costs are reimbursed, implementing a new performance-based system rewarding performance for specific quality measures, improving the collection and accuracy of resident need data and re-evaluate the rates at least once every three years.

The Washington Health Care Assoc. has concerns about a number of the suggestions.