Minnesota Hospital Association


February 11, 2013

MHA Newsline

In this issue:

Hospitals contributed $3.6 billion to benefit their communities in 2011

MHA last week released the 2012 Community Benefit Report, which showed that Minnesota hospitals and health systems contributed $3.6 billion to their communities in 2011, a nearly 7 percent increase from 2010. Minnesota hospitals have a tradition of partnering with their communities to help meet the specific need of their communities. In addition to caring for patients within the walls of the hospital, we know that health often happens outside the doctor’s office. The report shares some examples of how our hospitals and their employees are helping to provide access to care and improve the health of the people in their communities, such as the “Taking Root” garden program at Meeker Memorial Hospital in Litchfield that’s helping patients and staff eat better.

Highlights of this year’s report include:

  • Uncompensated care — $509.5 million
  • Services responding to specific community needs — $354.8 million
  • Education and workforce development — $397 million
  • Research — $515.5 million
  • Government underfunding — $1.5 billion

Read the 2012 Community Benefit Report.^top of page

Study finds patients who take part in managing their care incur lower costs

A study conducted at Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis and funded by the Commonwealth Fund finds that getting patients involved and engaged in their care is crucial to maximizing outcomes and reducing costs. The study, published in the February issue of Health Affairs, found that patients who are the most “activated” ― that is, participated in treatment decisions and took part in managing their own care ― had significantly lower costs than those who were the least activated. Patient activation data were derived from a measure that asks patients to agree or disagree with such statements as, "I am confident that I can tell a doctor my concerns, even when he or she does not ask."

Researchers controlled for variables such as demographics and acuity of the patient and concluded that, “even sicker patients can make a difference in their costs of care through their own actions and choices.” They also concluded that having information on patient engagement levels could help health care providers identify those patients who might need more support and outreach to manage their condition.

Learn more here. ^top of page

Federal Poverty Guidelines updated for 2013

Each year the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services updates the poverty guidelines for family income used by many agencies for means-testing. Most hospitals use the annual guidelines in evaluating patients for charity care assistance needs. The state of Minnesota uses the guidelines for its health insurance offerings such as MinnesotaCare and Medicaid as a means-testing benchmark. The updated guidelines can be found here. ^top of page

U.S. Senate resolution recognizes essential role of rural hospitals

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced a resolution calling access to rural hospitals and other health care providers “essential to the survival and success of communities.” The resolution states that more than 60 million individuals in rural communities rely on rural hospitals to provide access to care and that they are a critical piece of rural economies. In addition, the resolution states that preserving access to rural health care makes Medicare more cost-effective and improves outcomes for patients.

MHA thanks Sen. Klobuchar for her continued support of Minnesota hospitals. ^top of page

Don’t miss MHA Advocacy Day at the Capitol on Feb. 20

MHA will host its second Advocacy Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Advocacy Day is the perfect opportunity to talk face-to-face with your legislator(s) about hospital priorities, including Medicaid expansion, MERC funding, a Minnesota-based health insurance exchange, and developing payment models that pay for value over volume. It will coincide with the Minnesota Organization of Nurse Leaders’ day on the hill so we suggest you bring nurse leaders, staff nurses and others to help tell the hospital story. For questions about MHA’s Advocacy Day, contact Carol Eshelman, 651-603-3539. ^top of page

Educational video helps your communities understand the ER

To provide information about the appropriate use of the emergency room versus primary care, ECHO (Emergency, Community, Health, and Outreach) has collaborated with St. Cloud Hospital, CentraCare Health Foundation and Medica Foundation to create a short video, “Understanding the Emergency Room,” available in Basic English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali.

“This video is a wonderful educational tool for the communities we serve,” said Rosemond Owens, cultural competency specialist for CentraCare Health System. “The video provides an easy way for us to reach a broad audience from a variety of cultures.”

The 6- 8-minute video educates viewers on: when and how to use the emergency room, the cost of using the emergency room, how doctors must respect a patient’s privacy and where to go when medical problems are not life-threatening. The video also touches on the issues of insurance and culture, and how they factor into an emergency room visit.

Copies of the videos are available for live streaming on ECHO’s website. To view the English video click here, the Spanish video click here, the Somali video click here, and Hmong video click here. To request a DVD copy which includes all four languages or the English Language Learning curriculum that goes along with this program, please email [email protected]. ECHO has a limited supply left of these educational resources so order soon if you would like a DVD copy. ^top of page

Panelists at Healthcare Executives’ Institute to discuss ACOs and community benefit reporting

The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Minnesota Health Care Group Chapter is sponsoring two panel discussions at MHA’s Healthcare Executives’ Institute in March.

The first panel discussion, “Accountability for the Care We Provide,” takes a look at pioneer accountable care organization (ACO) projects in Minnesota. Panelists include:

  • Brian Rice, vice president network/ACO integration, Allina Health, Minneapolis;
  • Paula H. Phillippe, chief human resources officer, Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis;
  • Babette Apland, senior vice president, health care management and provider relations, HealthPartners, Inc., Bloomington; and
  • Robert E. Nesse, M.D., chief executive officer, Mayo Clinic Health System, Rochester.

During the second panel discussion, “Community Benefits Reporting,” panelists will discuss ways to successfully work with state and federal requirements and define strategies for working with local public health. Panelists are:

  • Sally T. Buck, M.S., associate director, National Rural Health Resource Center, Duluth;
  • Kathy Johnson, administrator, Johnson Memorial Health Services, Dawson; and
  • Joan Pennington, system director of community outreach, HealthEast Care System, Saint Paul.

Both of the sessions have been approved by ACHE for 1.5 ACHE Face-to-Face credits.

The conference will also feature sessions on health care reform, workforce issues, physician integration and other topics. The March 6-8 program will take place at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth.

For information on institute programs and sessions, download the brochure here. ^top of page

Grant opportunity to improve exchange of health information

The 2012 Minnesota e-Health Connectivity Grant Program for Health Information Exchange (HIE) is accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis to:

  • assist health and health care providers meet requirements for federal incentives for meaningful use of an electronic health record; and/or
  • expand health information exchange capability among health care providers and other trading partners to support care and/or public health; and/or
  • increase the number of Minnesota pharmacies capable of accepting electronic prescriptions. Eligible applicants include community HIE Partners (two or more health organizations collaborating to implement HIE for meaningful use transactions) or pharmacies not able to accept electronic prescriptions. Visit the Minnesota e- Health Connectivity Grant for Health Information Exchange page for more information on this new funding opportunity. Contact Anne Schloegel at 651-201-3850 with questions.
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Survey looks at hospital workforce needs

Each hospital asked to complete survey by Feb. 15

MHA is asking hospitals to complete a survey of workforce needs to help improve alignment between employer workforce needs and higher education. The survey is part of the Itasca Workforce Alignment Team’s efforts to design a workforce planning system that will enable employers to communicate anticipated workforce skills needs and provide information to our state’s educational system regarding the skills needed to meet workforce needs of employers.

The compiled results will help the Itasca Workforce Alignment Team better understand how to determine employers’ needs for a workforce planning system prototype designed by late spring. Later this summer the Workforce Alignment Team plans to communicate how employers can support and access the system as part of your workforce planning efforts.

Please complete the survey, or have your organization’s human resources representative do so, by Feb. 15. If there are questions regarding the survey please contact Sam Reid. ^top of page

Minnesota’s medication safety road map gaining national traction

In a weekly email from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to all 26 hospital engagement networks (HEN), the work of the MHA HEN around adverse drug events and medication safety was highlighted as a best practice. The other HENS were encouraged to “find a way to make maximal use of this work.” Another example of Minnesota being a leader in patient safety and quality!

Find the road map on our website. ^top of page