Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association Launches New Hospital Price Transparency Tool

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) launched an online tool to direct consumers to price transparency documents, including estimates and services pricing for hospitals across Virginia.

VHHA President and CEO Sean Connaughton said in a press release, “This new online tool continues a long tradition of Virginia hospitals promoting transparency about health care prices, the COVID-19 pandemic, inpatient behavioral health admissions, health care quality in hospitals, and so much more. With the support of our member hospitals and health systems, we are pleased to present this information to the public.”

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Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association Launches Dashboard Showing Psychiatric Admissions

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association has launched a new dashboard showing inpatient psychiatric admissions at both state-run and private hospitals in Virginia.

“As we work to strengthen and enhance the behavioral health care system, while also confronting workforce shortages and strong demand for psychiatric treatment services being experienced by public and private Virginia hospitals, having verified and reliable data is critical to the process of evaluating potential policy solutions and next steps,” VHHA CEO Sean Connaughton said in a press release.

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Virginia Scores Second, North Carolina First in Spring 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Rating

Virginia’s hospital network is second in the nation for safety, according to Leapfrog’s Spring 2022 ranking — down one place since Fall 2021. North Carolina moved up from second in the Fall 2021 ranking.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association noted that Virginia is still improving, with 59.2 percent of the Commonwealth’s hospitals receiving an “A” grade in the latest ranking after 56.2 percent received the grade in the fall.

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Virginia Ranks in Top Tier in New Report on Public Health Emergency Preparedness

The 2022 report from Trust for America’s Health placed Virginia in the top of three tiers for state readiness to respond to health emergencies, along with Maryland, 15 other states, and Washington, D.C. That’s the third time in a row for Virginia to hit the top ranking.

“This ongoing and repeated validation of Virginia’s public health emergency preparedness is a testament to the hard work of the thousands of employees of the Virginia Department of Health who day in and day out are focused on protecting the health and promoting the well-being of Virginians,” Acting State Health Commissioner Colin M. Greene, MD, MPH said in a joint press release from the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. “Our ongoing attention to preparedness means that when we are faced with situations such as this pandemic or severe weather events or calculated attacks, we have systems, guidance, relationships and community partnerships in place to launch a comprehensive response.”

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Healthgrades Ranks 12 Virginia Hospitals Among Top Five Percent in the U.S.

Twelve Virginia hospitals have been named to Healthgrades’ list of the top 250 hospitals in the U.S., a ranking based on patient outcomes. Henrico Doctors’ Hospital and several of its campuses and Sentara Princess Anne Hospital made it onto Healthgrades’ top 100 list. No Virginia hospitals made it onto the top 50 list.

“Now more than ever, patients are learning the importance of taking control of their health and using resources like Healthgrades to find the perfect hospital and caregiver match,” Healthgrades Chief Medical Officer and Head of Data Science Brad Bowman, M.D., said in a HCA Health Systems press release.

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Youngkin Urges Virginians to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19, Prioritize Tests for Students, Essential Workers, and Vulnerable Individuals

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced a COVID action plan aimed at expanding healthcare facilities’ ability to respond to COVID-19 and coping with test shortages. The plan also includes COVID-19 vaccine outreach. Youngkin announced the plan during a stop in Roanoke.

“As your governor, I will not mandate the vaccine,” Youngkin said according to The Roanoke Times. “But as your neighbor and as your friend, I am strongly encouraging you to please get it.”

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Virginia Ranks First in U.S. in Fall 2021 Hospital Safety Rating

Virginia ranked number one among states for hospital safety in a fall measure of patient safety that examines both hospital process and structure and patient outcomes.

“Virginia is blessed to have a vast network of hospitals to care for people in their hour of need. While these hospitals are each unique in their own way, they share a strong commitment to ensuring all patients receive safe, effective, high-quality care,” Carilion Clinic Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Arner said in a Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) press release. Arner is Chair of the VHHA Board of Directors.

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Virginia Ranks Among Top States Most Prepared for Public Health Emergencies

Doctor with arms folded, holding stethescope

Virginia’s preparedness for public health emergencies ranks it among the top four in the U.S., according to the 2021 National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI). The index looks at data from 64 sources across the public and private health sectors, creating an overview of health protections in place in each state; the national preparedness level is 6.8, but Virginia scored 7.4 out of ten.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a real-world stress test of the readiness of Virginia governmental, health care delivery, and emergency management systems to respond to a major public health threat. Throughout this time, Virginia’s hospitals, public health and emergency management agencies, and other public and private sector stakeholders have effectively navigated this unprecedented crisis while facing many pandemic-related challenges,” states a Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VVHHA) press release.

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Virginia Law Enforcement, Mental Health Advocates Call for American Recovery Plan Act Funding, Legislative Solutions to Mental Health Capacity Crisis

Five of Virginia’s eight state-run mental health hospitals remain closed to civil temporary detention order (TDO) admissions due to dangerously low staffing levels. That’s increasing pressure on other pieces of Virginia’s mental health care system. On Tuesday, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) led a press conference where speakers called for the General Assembly to use American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds and long-term budget increases to help address the crisis.

“The mental health system in Virginia is clearly broken. We’ve seen the slow degradation of available resources in the state over time, and what we have also seen is the need for mental health resources has continued to grow,” VACP President Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said.

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Virginia Closes Admissions at Five State Mental Health Hospitals

Allison Land

Five of Virginia’s eight state-owned adult mental health hospitals will be closed to new admissions temporarily, due to staff shortages. On Friday, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Commissioner Allison Land sent a letter announcing the shortages, citing 1,547 direct patient support staff vacancies out of about 5,500 state staff, with 108 resignations occurring in the past two weeks. Contract staff are also leaving, due to “unrelenting stress, required overtime,” and a “dangerous environment.”

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