Minnesota Hospital Association


May 13, 2013

MHA Newsline

In this issue:

Celebrate National Hospital Week this week

It’s National Hospital Week, the largest national celebration of health care and a time to recognize the hard working professionals in our hospitals who dedicate themselves to providing exceptional patient care in our communities. National Hospital Week has served as a celebration of the important work of hospitals since 1921. Each week Minnesota hospitals:

  • care for 10,924 people admitted to hospitals;
  • deliver 1,273 babies;
  • provide care for 33,615 emergency room visits;
  • perform 7,979 same-day surgeries; and
  • ensure access by serving 6,741 charity care patient contacts.

The Minnesota Hospital Association salutes our member hospitals and health systems for your continued commitment to improving the delivery of health care. ^top of page

MHA, BCBS agree communication, collaboration will be key moving forward

MHA President and CEO Lawrence Massa and members of the senior leadership team met last week with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (BCBS) CEO Michael Guyette and his top leadership to discuss BCBS’ new payment methodology. As we reported last week, BCBS has delayed implementation of the new model until Jan. 1, 2014.

Leaders of the two organizations talked about the need to take a more collaborative approach and ensure open communication regarding payment rates and implementation details. MHA has proposed forming a “CEO Council” comprised of MHA members and representatives from BCBS of Minnesota to share ideas for achieving the triple aim; discuss challenges and opportunities in implementing payment reform and the Affordable Care Act and to enhance overall communication between hospitals and BCBS. MHA is working with BCBS to outline the details of this proposal and will provide more information to members as it’s available. ^top of page

Staffing legislation signed by Gov. Dayton

On May 6, the nurse staffing bill, H.F. 588, received final approval in the Legislature passing the Minnesota House on a 76-56 vote with three Republicans joining Democrats in voting for the bill. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Dayton on Thursday, May 9 as Chapter 51.

MHA, led by Mark Sonneborn, vice president of information services, is working on the process to collect staffing reports from our members as well as how those will be posted online. In addition, he will be coordinating the data provided to the Department of Health for its study of the correlation between patient outcomes and staffing. MHA will be actively involved in the study process and will work to minimize the data collection burden for hospitals.

Thank you for all of your efforts on this issue over the past year. In a tough political climate, MHA members were united, effective and successful at preventing a government-mandated ratio. Furthermore, several of the Minnesota Nurses Association’s staunchest defenders are now on record saying while they support this legislation they would not support staffing ratios. ^top of page

CMS confirms that Medicare Advantage contracts determine sequestration impact for providers

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued official guidance confirming that contract terms between providers and Medicare Advantage plans govern how sequestration might affect payments to participating providers. As you’ll recall, Medicare Advantage payments are subject to a 2 percent sequestration reduction. As a result, some health plans have issued letters and updates to hospitals attempting to reduce reimbursement rates to reflect the 2 percent reduction. CMS confirmed that this pass-along of federal sequestration cuts may not be appropriate in all instances.

Hospitals are encouraged to review current Medicare Advantage contracts as well as the official guidance from CMS to determine the specific circumstances under which a health plan has the ability to reduce payment rates.

For questions, contact Joe Schindler, MHA vice president of finance, 651-659-1422.^top of page

CMS and EMTALA interpretive guidelines covered at upcoming MHA programs

Sue Dill Calloway, one of MHA’s most popular speakers, will discuss new interpretive guidelines to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Conditions of Participation and the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) at two upcoming programs.

On Wednesday, June 26 “CMS Hospital Conditions of Participation” will cover recent changes to the interpretive guidelines on privacy and confidentiality, rehab, outpatient orders and patient safety reporting. The program will also discuss a number of changes proposed in February of 2013. View the brochure.

On Thursday, June 27 “EMTALA Update 2013” will focus on increased activity in the area of EMTALA. Failure to comply and follow the federal EMTALA by all hospitals, including critical access hospitals, could result in loss of Medicare and Medicaid payments and/or fines. View the brochure.

Speaker Sue Dill Calloway is a Columbus, Ohio-based nurse attorney and health care consultant.

The programs will be held at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth. For more information, visit MHA’s website, click on "Register" and log-in to register.^top of page

Seven MHA member hospitals recognized for excellence in patient safety

MHA has awarded seven Minnesota hospitals the Patient Safety Excellence Award for their exceptional work to enhance patient safety and quality of care.

The Patient Safety Excellence Awards program recognizes hospitals’ efforts to prevent pressure ulcers or bedsores; falls; wrong-site surgical or other invasive procedures; and foreign objects unintentionally left behind during labor and delivery. Awards are bestowed quarterly and hospitals must re-qualify each round. Awardees must implement at least 90 percent of each safety campaign — SAFE SKIN, SAFE from FALLS, SAFE SITE, SAFE COUNT and SAFE ACCOUNT — required measures. Following are the awardees from 4th quarter 2012:

  • Chippewa County-Montevideo Hospital, SAFE SITE and SAFE ACCOUNT
  • Essentia Health-Ada, SAFE SITE
  • Maple Grove Hospital, SAFE SKIN
  • Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing, SAFE SKIN
  • Owatonna Hospital, Safe ACCOUNT
  • Rainy Lake Medical Center, International Falls, SAFE SKIN
  • Swift County-Benson Hospital, SAFE SKIN

Congratulations to all the winners! ^top of page