In this issue:
Hospitals challenge themselves to serve as a model of health in their communities
According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, a stable and high-quality health care workforce has
been shown to be essential to efficient and effective health care
delivery. Minnesota hospitals that have implemented wellness
programs have seen many positive benefits, including a boost in
productivity, increased team morale and engagement, decreased
sick time and lower employee turnover. While hospitals
acknowledge there is a long way to go to get all employees
engaged in living a healthier lifestyle, they’ve challenged
themselves to serve as models of healthy living and fitness for
their communities. Read more about Minnesota hospitals’ efforts. ^top of page
MHA asks members of Congress to co-sponsor the Medicare Audit Improvement Act
The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) has asked Minnesota
members of Congress to co-sponsor the Medicare Audit
Improvement Act of 2012, H.R. 6575. Hospital leaders are
encouraged to also urge your representatives to sign on as a co-
sponsor. The legislation was introduced last week by Rep. Sam
Graves (R-MO) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and would make
needed improvements to the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC)
program, and other Medicare audit programs.
The legislation is intended to ensure that programs to identify
waste, fraud and abuse are accurately and appropriately targeted.
The bill includes measures to:
- establish a consolidated limit for medical record
- improve auditor performance by implementing
financial penalties and by requiring medical necessity
audits to focus on widespread payment errors;
- improve recovery auditor transparency;
- allow denied inpatient claims to be billed as outpatient
claims when appropriate; and
- require physician review for Medicare denials.
MHA believes these changes to the RAC program would promote
the best/most efficient use of federal government and hospital
resources. The American Hospital Association also supports H.R.
6575. ^top of page
Minnesota EHR Incentive Program launches
As of Thursday, Oct. 18 the Minnesota Medicaid Electronic Health
Record (EHR) Incentive program (MEIP) is online and accepting
enrollments. Providers may now apply for federal fiscal year 2012
payments assuming they meet the meaningful use
requirements. Funds could be paid to providers that qualify as
early as November. The application deadline for these funds was
extended through January 2013 due to the late implementation of
this program. MEIP provides incentive payments to certain health
care professionals and hospitals that meet specific eligibility
requirements when they adopt, implement, upgrade and
meaningfully use certified EHR technology.
MHA is hosting two webinars featuring the Department of Human
Services and its vendor, CGI, to provide specifics on application
for the Medicaid meaningful use incentive funds.
- Thursday, Nov. 1 at 1:30 p.m., targeted for eligible
- Thursday, Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m., targeted for eligible
Please contact Carol Eshelman, MHA program coordinator, 651-
603-3539 to register for one or both of these webinars. Learn more about MEIP here. ^top of page
Minnesota hospitals among top critical access hospitals
The National Rural Health Association named the top 20 critical
access hospitals in each of three areas of performance: financial
stability, patient perspective and quality. The following Minnesota
hospitals were among those recognized at the National Rural
Health Association’s Critical Access Hospital Conference:
- Bigfork Valley Hospital — Patient perspective
- Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield — Financial
- Mayo Clinic Health System in Waseca — Financial
- Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Wabasha — Patient
- Sanford Westbrook Medical Center — Patient
The three performance indicators are:
- Quality — A rating of hospital performance based on the
percentile rank across the five categories of Hospital
Compare process of care measures.
- Patient perspective — A rating of hospital performance
based on the percentile rank on two Hospital Compare
Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare
Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) measures.
- Financial stability — A rating of hospital performance
based on the percentile rank on a set of balance sheet
and income statement financial ratios.
The hospitals selected scored best among more than 1,300
critical access hospitals on iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital
Strength Index. Congratulations to all of the hospitals on their
strong performance. For the complete list, click here.
^top of page
Protect against the flu: Participate in FluSafe
Health care workers play an important role in protecting patients
from influenza. Unvaccinated health care workers can pass highly
contagious influenza to their patients, many of whom are at high
risk for complications of influenza. The Minnesota Department of
Health’s FluSafe program publicly recognizes hospitals and
nursing homes for employee vaccination rates above 70, 80 and
90 percent. It is a great way to reassure your patients and their
families that you are actively fighting influenza infection.
As of Oct. 11, 64 hospitals have registered to participate in
FluSafe. MHA has a goal of 100 percent participation by our
members. During the 2011-12 influenza season 80 percent of
hospitals participated—let’s improve upon that this flu season!
Learn more about FluSafe on our website and check the list of
participating hospitals. ^top of page