Minnesota Hospital Association


December 04, 2012

MHA Newsline

In this issue:

Governor's Health Care Reform Task Force releases draft report

The Health Care Reform Task Force, appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton, released its draft report, Roadmap to a Healthier Minnesota, and met last week to review the draft and make revisions.

While the road map includes many important recommendations that will benefit Minnesotans’ health, such as expanding the eligibility for Medicaid to 133 percent of the poverty limit and integrating mental and behavioral health with primary care, some recommendations remain problematic for hospitals and providers.

One particularly problematic recommendation targets health care cost containment by calling on “a public-private process to set performance targets, including goals for health care cost containment, health care quality, patient experience and population health.” If targets are not able to be set by this process, the Department of Health will recommend the Legislature consider growth targets tied to inflation.

MHA has consistently opposed government-mandated growth targets. MHA staff will continue to monitor and comment on these recommendations as work on the draft road map proceeds. Read previous comment letters here.

The road map is a compilation of work from four work groups that met over the past year: Access (focused on affordable health care); Care Integration and Payment Reform (cost controls and care integration); Prevention and Public Health; and Workforce. More information on these groups and the Health Care Reform Task Force can be found here.

For questions, contact Matt Anderson, MHA vice president of regulatory and strategic affairs, 651-659-1241. ^top of page

New River Medical Center to affiliate with CentraCare Health System

New River Medical Center (NRMC) in Monticello has selected CentraCare Health System as their affiliation partner following an extensive analysis of local health systems and the benefits an affiliation would bring to New River Medical Center, its patients and the community.

According to NRMC officials, affiliation with a large health system will benefit patients by improving access to physicians, enhancing availability of local specialty services and promoting coordination of care for patients.

If CentraCare Health System’s Board of Directors approves the affiliation partnership, documentation regarding the process and partnership will be drafted and signed, and the process of due diligence will begin. Depending on the timing and structure of the process, an interim management agreement may be discussed. ^top of page

Promote hand washing awareness in your hospital

Dec. 2-8 is National Handwashing Awareness Week

It is National Handwashing Awareness Week, a time to promote consistent hand washing technique and practice in your hospital. Proper hand washing is key to preventing hospital-acquired infections. The Collaborative Healthcare Associated Infection Network (CHAIN), of which MHA is a partner, has developed a Road Map to a Comprehensive Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) Prevention Program. The road map, which includes a hand hygiene section, will help guide organizations in developing the infrastructure necessary to support and sustain infection prevention best practices.

The CHAIN website also has a variety of resources and tools to help hospitals improve consistent hand washing in their facilities. ^top of page

Opportunity to participate in Stratis Health's Special Innovation Project

Join Dec. 5 webinar on health information technology for post acute care Stratis Health is hosting an informational webinar to learn more about its Special Innovation Project: Health Information Technology for Post-Acute Care Providers (HITPAC). The project will assist post acute care (PAC) providers, hospitals (acute care settings), physicians, community organizations, and other stakeholders in the community to identify best practices and solve barriers to adoption of health information technology (HIT) so they can better support health information exchange at times of transitions in care and shared care. The goal of getting health information to the right person at the right time to receive the right care is the ultimate goal of a true health information exchange.

Stratis is in the process of recruiting one hospital and at least five referring nursing homes in 2-3 communities across the state. An informational webinar will take place Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. To register, click here. ^top of page

CMS eases supervision for 22 outpatient therapeutic services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final decision reducing the supervision level for 22 outpatient services from direct to general supervision effective Jan. 1, 2013. This is an increase from the 15 services included in the agency’s preliminary decision in September but fewer than the 28 recommended by the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment (HOP). The seven additional services include wound care and bladder irrigation services, as well as certain flu and other drug or therapeutic injections.

In October, MHA submitted comments to CMS urging them to adopt the HOP panel’s recommendations due to the challenges it will create for rural communities, the cost of complying with the regulation and the conflict between the direct supervision policy and long-standing conditions of participation for critical access hospitals. Read the comment letter here. ^top of page