Minnesota Hospital Association


April 22, 2013

MHA Newsline

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. ^top of page

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 surcharge proposal:

  1. 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 proposed.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. ^top of page

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.

photo of Gov. Dayton, MHA Board
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. ^top of page

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 Patients campaign.

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 the remains.

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. ^top of page

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.

photo of Bryan LydickLydick’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 physician/clinic concerns.

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