The Many Ways Hospital Associations Provide Value

The Many Ways Hospital Associations Provide Value

Tips for Supporting and Encouraging Providers and Members

By Megan Reeves

Hospitals are looking to their state associations for help now possibly more than ever. They need reassurance as they navigate uncertainty about the future and the impact of COVID-19. They’re anxious to respond to changing legislation. They’re concerned with whether or not they’re equipped to sustain their current staff and grow in the future.

In this post, we’re highlighting the many ways we’ve seen hospital associations step up and support their hospitals in meaningful ways. We wanted to shed light on the work being done and offer inspiration to associations looking for fresh ways to provide value.

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Translating the Legislative Shifts

As we’ve stated in a previous post, federal and state lobbying is one of the top reasons hospitals find value in their association memberships. State hospitals associations work to advance health policies important to their states, and through their lobbying efforts, they ensure lawmakers understand how the decisions they make have a direct impact on the healthcare within their state. 

Beyond their lobbying efforts, hospital associations also have a profound opportunity to inform and educate their hospitals on legislative policy changes. Hospitals often need guidance on how to update their administrative processes, adapt to new codes, and meet new legislative requirements. Hospital associations are perfectly positioned to keep their hospitals up-to-date on the latest policy changes and provide best practices for how to implement the new requirements. See below for a few examples.

  • Like many hospital associations, the Texas Hospital Association has an active public policy arm. They actively monitor state and federal issues impacting Texas hospitals and every fall they invite member hospitals to participate in regional town hall meetings. During these meetings, attendees can learn more about policy priorities and anticipated political changes.
  • The Michigan Health & Hospital Association has a wealth of information available on its “Issues & Advocacy” page. Anyone interested has ready access to the work they’re doing to address federal issues, track legislation, and promote and protect access to quality healthcare in their state.

Championing Causes

Hospital associations have a prime opportunity to spread awareness for important movements and provide resources to support key issues. Many associations have dedicated sections of their websites to COVID-19 task forces, the census, and election resources. They champion advocacy groups and keep healthcare awareness calendars promoting cancer research, heart health, and other notable, annual observances. See below for a couple of great examples.  

  • The Kentucky Hospital Association heavily supports and advocates for substance abuse awareness. They have gone so far as to launch the Kentucky Statewide Opioid Stewardship in partnership with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and as part of the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE). This initiative focuses on reducing opioid overprescribing, improving safe opioid use, and provides a mechanism for hospitals to demonstrate their actions and commitments to their patients and communities to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.  
  • The New Mexico Hospital Association is aware of the importance of preserving access to rural care in their state and they’ve created a task force dedicated to this cause. This task force addresses the challenges specific to their rural providers and examines ways in which these hospitals can help ensure access to health care services in vulnerable communities.

Providing Resources

Special interest councils, fellowship programs, and job development opportunities are all key ways that hospital associations can support their members. While most networking opportunities are now happening virtually, they are still vital chances for providers to connect and build community with one another. Additionally, raising awareness about job opportunities in the health community is as timely as ever, as some hospitals are struggling to stay afloat and others are overwhelmed and need additional staff right away. See below for some examples of how associations are helping in this area.

  • Many associations, including the Mississippi Hospital Association, work with Hospital Careers to connect job seekers to the best opportunities, as soon as they're available.   
  • The North Carolina Healthcare Association has dedicated the top of their website to their COVID Resources. Their site shares an in-depth list of resources including a Partner Testing Toolkit, numerous webinars and instructional videos, and key contact information.

Supplying Praise and Encouragement

Hospital associations often collect examples of hospitals doing good work and highlight those actions publicly. With that in mind, hospitals, make sure your association knows the good things you’re doing. Let them be your megaphone! See below for a few examples of how associations are effectively promoting their hospitals. 

  • The Montana Hospital Association has been a true champion for the healthcare professionals in their state, spotlighting healthcare heroes on Instagram, and promoting positive stories. Their COVID-19 tracker, which regularly posts confirmed cases and active hospitalizations, is well done and very informative. 
  • To cheer on the work of their providers, the Rhode Island Hospital Association created an infographic to showcase how the hospitals in their state were making a positive economic impact. This visual calls out how many jobs have been created by Rhode Island’s hospitals, how many billions they have contributed to the local economy, and how much they’ve spent on local goods and services.

The Takeaway

Hospitals associations provide a variety of much-needed support to their hospitals. The opportunities may seem endless, and at times, overwhelming to associations. If you’re an association facing more than you can handle, connect with the Stratasan team to learn how we can help manage one of your key responsibilities—data submission—so you can spend more time lobbying for, educating, and building up your member hospitals.

Stratasan’s Star Platform is a web-based offering designed for hospital associations that collects claims data from member hospitals, returns data quality for validation, and allows for corrected data submissions—ultimately allowing state hospital associations the ability to more efficiently aggregate member hospital data. Star users then have access to trustworthy data, delivered faster and in a more complete and accurate format, that can be reliably used to make sound market decisions. This data can then be input into one of Stratasan’s tools—our Analytics Platform or Launch Pathway—where data can be analyzed, visualized, and converted into valuable intelligence usable for developing informed strategic growth plans. 

If your hospital association needs a trustworthy data aggregation partner who can handle the details of data submission and let you focus on more important things, then schedule a discovery call with one of our experts today.

Post by Megan Reeves, VP, Association Partnerships at Stratasan

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