Minnesota Hospital Association


May 27, 2013

MHA Newsline

In this issue:

Legislative session adjourns with several “wins” for hospitals

The 2013 legislative session concluded May 20 having posed several policy challenges, including a proposal to establish mandated nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, to hospitals. The state also faced an initial $1 billion shortfall and a proposed $150 million cut to the Health and Human Services budget. Thanks to the unified voice of the hospital community and hospital leaders’ one-on-one advocacy with their legislators, there was a successful outcome on many of our priority issues.

MHA will prepare its 2013 Legislative Report in the coming weeks, but below are a few quick highlights:

  • Stopped mandated nurse staffing ratios
  • Restored Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) funding to pre-2011 funding cut levels
  • No increase in the hospital surcharge
  • Secured Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA) funding
  • Secured various Medical Assistance rate increases
  • Funding for the State Health Improvement Program (SHIP)
  • Medicaid expanded to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Implementation of a Minnesota-based Health Insurance Exchange, MNsure

Watch for the in-depth Legislative Report in June. If you have any questions about the 2013 legislative session, contact Mary Krinkie, MHA vice president of government relations, 651-659-1465 or Kristin Loncorich, MHA director of government relations, 651-603-3526. ^top of page

Hospitals making progress on Partnership for Patients goals

More than 100 hospitals across Minnesota are participating in the Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network focused on improving 10 hospital acquired conditions. The goals of the campaign are to:
  • Decrease preventable hospital acquired conditions by 40 percent
  • Decrease hospital readmissions by 20 percent

Ninety-three hospitals have reached the goal on at least one hospital acquired condition. Of those, 30 have demonstrated high performance on three or more hospital acquired conditions. Those hospitals will receive a certificate of excellence. Hospitals that reach benchmark on six or more hospital acquired conditions will receive a Partnership for Patients Excellence banner to display in their hospital. Kudos to the hospitals for helping to move the needle on patient safety in Minnesota and for contributing to the state’s high quality health care. Visit our website to review the list of hospitals being recognized. ^top of page

RARE Campaign prevents 4,570 avoidable readmissions

Hospitals and community partners participating in the Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively (RARE) Campaign have prevented 4,570 readmissions between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2012 - exceeding the goal of 4,000 prevented readmissions. As a result of the Campaign’s efforts, patients and their families spent 18,280 more nights of sleep in their own beds instead of the hospital and more than $40 million was saved in inpatient costs. The campaign has been extended through 2013 with a focus on further engaging community partners beyond the hospital walls, such as long-term care facilities, home care organizations and primary care clinics. Learn more about the RARE Campaign at www.rarereadmissions.org. ^top of page

Rep. Paulsen introduces legislation to enhance HSA/FSA benefits

Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen (R) introduced legislation that would enhance the benefits to residents who use health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs). The Family and Retirement Health Investment Act would remove some restrictions to pre-tax HSA and FSA dollars, thereby increasing the incentives for Americans to save money for qualified health expenses.

MHA commended Rep. Paulsen for his efforts to make these health care savings vehicles more attractive and useful because we expect more and more Minnesotans will have high deductible plans in the future. It is important to ensure that the nation’s laws provide incentive and opportunity for people to use their health care savings for the out-of-pocket expenses they incur. ^top of page

MHA seeking mentor hospitals in four focus areas

MHA has the opportunity to participate in a new program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics (LEAPT) and is seeking mentor hospitals that have achieved successful outcomes in the following areas:
  • Sepsis
  • Clostridium Difficile (c-diff)
  • Iatrogenic Delirium
  • Improved Employee Safety

If your hospital has demonstrated success and is interested in acting as a mentor hospital for others across the state, please contact Karen Olson, 651-603-3521 by Friday, May 31. Funding will be available to support mentor hospitals. ^top of page