In this issue:
Nurse staffing reporting and study legislation passes House
House File 588, authored by Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights), passed
the House of Representatives last week without amendment. H.F. 588 requires
hospitals to develop a core staffing plan and to report that plan to MHA by Jan. 1,
2014 for posting on the Minnesota Hospital Quality Report website by April 1, 2014.
Hospitals would also be required to submit the actual direct patient care hours per
patient and per unit. MHA was successful in eliminating the “per shift” requirement.
The legislation also says, “The Department of Health shall convene a work group
to study the correlation between nurse staffing levels and patient outcomes.”
The bill’s companion, S.F. 471, has been referred to the Senate Finance
Committee, where it has not yet been scheduled for a hearing. MHA has
encouraged the bill’s author, Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis), to adopt the
language from the House version so it does not have to go to conference
committee where it could be amended, threatening the agreement reached with
the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA).
MHA has concerns with the fiscal notes prepared by the Minnesota Department of
Health (MDH) for these bills and the assumptions made by MDH for data beyond
what hospitals already report in order to study the correlation between staffing and
patient outcomes. Depending on the outcome of the legislation, MDH will either
convene a workgroup (as required by H.F. 588) or will consult with MHA, MNA and
other stakeholders as they prepare to do the study.
Neither HF 488 nor SF 471 contain the nurse-to-patient ratios sought by the MNA.
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MHA opposes House hospital surcharge proposal
As we reported last week, the House Health and Human Services (HHS) omnibus
bill (H.F. 1233) includes an increase to the hospital Medicaid surcharge from 1.56
percent to 2.68 percent. In an email to HHS Finance Chair Tom Huntley (DFL–
Duluth), MHA expressed the following concerns with the House’s proposed
- The size of the surcharge increase is too large, and the
corresponding “payback” will likely result in upper payment limit
challenges for hospitals to receive the necessary Medical Assistance
rate increases to offset the surcharge amount collected. This problem
is further exacerbated with Medicare cuts, both scheduled and
- The surcharge has a disparate impact on Minnesota hospitals. MHA
estimates that under the House surcharge proposal there would be
18 hospitals that would have a net benefit and 92 hospitals that would
have a negative impact, some quite significant.
- MHA believes that surcharge mechanisms are not good public policy
and inevitably the amount that is collected by the state continues to
grow, while rate increases never keep pace.
The Senate introduced its Health and Human Service omnibus bill last week, S.F.
1034, and it does not include the hospital surcharge. MHA will continue to
encourage legislators to consider alternatives to the surcharge increase.
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MHA Board meets with Gov. Dayton, Commissioners Ehlinger and Jesson
Gov. Mark Dayton, Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson
and Department of Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger attended the MHA Board
meeting on Friday, April 19. The governor gave brief remarks and then took
questions and comments from board members for 45 minutes. Discussion
included the surcharge, nurse staffing legislation, workers compensation and the
Blue Cross Blue Shield payment methodology changes that could negatively
impact patients’ access to care.
MHA President Lorry Massa and the Board thanked Gov. Dayton for putting his
commitment to expanding health coverage as a priority for his administration from
day one by signing the order to expand Medicaid early for those up to 75 percent
of the federal poverty level (FPL) and then pushing for the legislation necessary to
expand all the way to 138 percent FPL in 2014.
Finally, Commissioners Jesson and Ehlinger stayed for additional questions and
that was a great opportunity for Minnesota hospital leaders to deliver our
messages and priorities directly to the state’s leaders.
MHA Board Chair Ben Koppelman, St. Joseph’s Area Health Services (left), listens as
Gov. Dayton talks with the MHA Board. Gov. Dayton was joined by Commissioners
Jesson and Ehlinger.
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Partnership for Patients outcome data needed
We know that Minnesota hospitals are leaders in patient safety; however,
Minnesota is below the national average for data submission in the Partnership for
MHA will submit a crucial report to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(CMS) on May 9, which will include Q1-2013 outcome measures. CMS will
evaluate our progress as a Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) based on the
percentage of MHA HEN hospitals submitting outcome data. If we do not meet
CMS thresholds for outcome data submission, we will not secure funding for the
third year of Partnership for Patients work.
Thank you to those hospitals that have already entered your Q1-2013 outcome
data. Please work with your patient safety team to ensure your hospital’s data has
been submitted to MHA. We appreciate your support by ensuring your outcome
data is up to date for this quarter.
If you have questions, contact Karen Olson, MHA patient safety/quality coordinator,
651-603-3521. ^top of page
Minnesota reporting procedures related to infants born without signs of life
MHA reminds members that Minnesota hospitals are required by Minnesota law to
ensure proper handling of the remains of infants born without signs of life. The law
requires that the remains are either cremated or buried. Minnesota law also
requires hospitals to adopt a policy governing the handling of fetal remains and
defining a process for communicating to families options related to disposition of
Minnesota law also requires hospitals to file a report with the Minnesota
Department of Health (MDH) whenever a baby with more than 20 weeks of
gestation is delivered in the facility without signs of life. MDH has prepared a form
that hospitals may use for the purpose of filing the report, available here.
Hospitals may also file a form with MDH to request a Certificate of Birth providing
a name for the infant, if the family requests it. The Certificate of Birth form provides
the health care facility with the opportunity to provide demographic information that
may be used by MDH for research and data collection purposes.
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Minnesota hospitals ‘March for Babies’ to help premature infants
Hospitals across Minnesota, including a team from MHA, are participating in the
March of Dimes’ March for Babies to raise money for research to help premature
babies and to help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. Throughout the
spring, teams in 16 communities are raising money and taking part in a 2-mile
walk. MHA would like to recognize some of the great hospital teams taking part in
this year’s March for Babies, some of which are among the top fundraising teams
in the state. Combined, the following hospitals and health systems have raised
more than $60,000:
- Allina Health, Minneapolis
- Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center, Marshall
- CentraCare Health System, St. Cloud
- Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Minneapolis
- District One Hospital, Faribault
- Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth
- Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis
- Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital, Grand Rapids
- Hendricks Community Hospital Association
- Lakewood Health System, Staples
- Mayo Health System, Rochester
- Olmsted Medical Center, Rochester
- St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth
The MHA staff has set a goal to raise $10,000. If you would like to donate to the
MHA team, you can do so at http://marchforbabies.org/s_team_page.asp?seid=1958148. Your support is
appreciated. Our team will walk on Sunday, April 28 at 11 a.m. at Como Park in St.
Paul. ^top of page
MHA seeks patient safety/quality data coordinator
MHA is seeking a part time patient safety/quality data coordinator to work on the
Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network contract. The patient
safety/quality data coordinator provides data coordination, management and
analysis to assist in the submission of various deliverables to the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The position will also be responsible for
assisting in the compilation of data for projects to demonstrate improvement and
reduction in patient harm, as required under the federal contract.
For questions about the position, contact Tania Daniels, MHA vice president for
patient safety, 651-603-3517. ^top of page
Redwood Area Hospital names new CEO
The Redwood Falls City Council has appointed Bryan Lydick as chief executive
officer of Redwood Area Hospital. Lydick has spent the past 13 years with Mercy
Hospital Cadillac and Mercy Hospital Grayling in northern Michigan, most recently
serving as Chief Business Development Officer.
Lydick’s professional accomplishments include leading a $3 million capital
campaign to renovate Mercy Hospital Cadillac’s emergency room and obstetrics
department, creating the Mercy Hospital Cadillac Foundation with over $10 million
in assets, and implementing a customer service program and customer-focused
culture at Mercy Hospital Cadillac. ^top of page
Nominations sought for 2013 Rural Health Hero and Rural Health Team Award
The Minnesota Department of Health Office of Rural Health and Primary Care is
seeking nominations for the 2013 Rural Health Hero and Rural Health Team
Award. The awards are given as part of the Minnesota Rural Health Conference. This is a great opportunity to honor an individual or team who have gone above
and beyond for health care in rural Minnesota.
Nominees may have contributed to rural health care in any capacity: through a
volunteer or paid position, as a health care provider or non-provider, in policy or
through practice. Areas of impact could include but are not limited to: health care
and health programs, rural health policy, legislation, the advancement of the field,
improved patterns of health care delivery, cooperative efforts to avoid duplication
of services and achieve common goals, education, and the lasting impact of a
program on populations and areas served.
Nominations are due by May 10. Click here for more information and a nomination
form.^top of page
Upcoming education sessions designed specifically for critical access hospitals
Program will introduce NGS, Minnesota’s new Medicare Parts A and B contractor
MHA will hold its annual “Health Care Delivery Strategies for Critical Access
Hospitals,” sessions throughout the state April 30 – May 2.
Topics include state/federal reimbursement, cost report issues, billing/payment
updates, recovery audit contractor strategies, reporting requirements, and
Following each daily general session, separate breakout sessions will be provided
for both billing and finance issues. A representative from Noridian Administrative
Services will provide updates on billing and the new fiscal intermediary, National
Government Service (NGS), will be on hand to introduce participants to the new
Parts A and B Medicare contractor.
The programs are co-sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Healthcare
Financial Management Association. The locations are as follows:
- Tuesday, April 30, Timberlake Lodge, Grand Rapids
- Wednesday, May 1, Le St-Germain Suite Hotel, St. Cloud
- Thursday, May 2, Jackpot Junction, Morton
More information and registration materials are available on the MHA website or
click here for the full brochure. Contact Christy Brager, MHA education specialist,
651-659-1412 with questions.^top of page
Save the date: Summer Trustee Conference scheduled for July 12-14
Mark your calendars for the MHA Summer Trustee Conference, which will be held
July 12-14 at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria. One
highlight will be a keynote presentation from national health care leader John
Combes. Combes is president and chief operating officer of the Center for
Healthcare Governance and senior vice president of the American Hospital
Association. The complete schedule and brochure will be available on the MHA website
the first week of May.^top of page