According to an AHA press release, the award is given to those who most effectively educate elected officials on how major issues affect the hospital’s role in the community.
Sisk, who was selected for his efforts with Medicare reimbursement, said it is a privilege and honor to be recognized by the AHA.
“It remains imperative that hospital leaders across the country commit the necessary time to assist our elected leaders, both state and federal, to understand the impact of their decisions on healthcare,” Sisk said. “While our task in this regard seems enormous at times, it is vital to ensure our hospitals continue to be a source of compassion and healing for our respective communities.”
The AHA presented 52 people with award, which distinguishes hospital leaders with exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of a hospital’s mission.
“We depend upon strong local voices to help tell the story of hospitals as cornerstones of the communities they serve,” said AHA president Rich Umbdenstock. “This award is a small token of our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of these individuals to improving health care in America.”
Sisk serves on an AHA Reimbursement Work Group that is attempting to rectify the wage index used to calculate payment for the medical services of Medicare patients. Some hospitals do not receive full reimbursement, and Sisk said Alabama has the lowest rate of reimbursement in the country.
“The reasoning is that when wages are lower in a certain area, the cost of care isn’t as much, but that is not the case,” Sisk said.
The group recently traveled to Washington to discuss the issue with House and Senate representatives. Sisk said their plan is to form a coalition of senators and representatives from the 27 states that receive less than 100 percent of Medicare costs to push legislation that will bring them up to full reimbursement.
Seventeen hospitals in Alabama receive .7277 cents on every dollar for Medicare reimbursement. CVMC gets 74 cents only because it was reclassified as being in the Anniston area.
About 50 percent of CVMC patients are on Medicare, and about 40 percent of patients in the state. Sisk said the state hospitals hope to raise the index to at least .91 cents on the dollar, which would yield $102 million more for hospitals.
Sisk began his career in medical care in 1980 at Montclair Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham and joined CVMC in 2001. Sisk said he enjoys working with the dedicated staff at CVMC.
“It is a privilege to work with our fine Board of Directors, an excellent medical staff and a support team of more than 600 employees who help us deliver fantastic medical care,” Sisk said.
Contact Emily Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.