In this issue:
AHA Task Force recommends wage index changes
The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Medicare Area Wage Index Task Force has completed a draft report with recommendations for changes to the Medicare area wage index (AWI) calculation. The AWI is used by CMS to adjust the standardized payment rate to account for geographic differences in pay-scales. The Task Force was convened with a charge to improve accuracy, fairness and effectiveness of the AWI. The Task Force, of which MHA President and CEO Lawrence Massa is a member, agreed to nine principles and made seven recommendations to modify the AWI. Click here for a summary of the recommendations.
AHA is in the process of sharing the results of the report through regional meetings, webinars and direct input from the hospital field. MHA sent an email to CFOs and reimbursement managers of affected Minnesota hospitals with information about the financial impact and how to access AHA feedback webinars. The next webinar will take place on Tuesday, June 18 at noon CT. Click here to register. The impact to Minnesota hospitals is mixed, and most of the larger urban hospitals would see decreases over a five year period. The AWI does not affect critical access hospitals.
After collecting the results from their input venues, the recommendations will be taken to the AHA’s Board of Directors for their direction regarding next steps. If the board approves the recommendations, they will be forwarded to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for consideration. For more information, contact Lawrence Massa, MHA president and CEO, 651-659-1433 or Joe Schindler, MHA vice president of finance, 651-659-1415.^top of page
Event focuses on providing service to veterans and their families
The Minnesota Area Health Education Center Network (AHEC) is hosting a program on Thursday, June 20 to provide training for civilian health care professionals to help them apply and enhance their current clinical skills to provide culturally appropriate treatment to veterans, service members and their families. “Serving those who serve” is designed for physicians, registered nurses, social workers and other health care professionals involved in the care of patients who have served in the military and their family members.
To register, click here. For more information, contact Betsy Huston, Northern Pines Mental Health Center, 218-839-9363. ^top of page
Board on Aging to hold training for First Contact program
The Minnesota Board on Aging (MBA) will hold a webinar training for metro area hospitals on Thursday, Aug. 22. The training will cover changes made this legislative session for discharge planning and preadmission screening for nursing homes. The changes, called First Contact, expand on the long-term care consultation legislation passed in 2012, which require discharge planners to refer high-risk seniors to the Senior LinkAge Line for long-term care options counseling. Beginning Oct. 1, 2013, all individuals discharged to a nursing home will be referred to the Senior LinkAge Line for preadmission screening.
MBA will hold additional trainings around the state; however the dates have yet to be determined. Please stay tuned for more information about these dates and about the Aug. 22 webinar.^top of page
Deadline for lodging for the Summer Trustee Conference approaching
Friday, June 21 is the cut-off date for room reservations at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center, the site of the Summer Trustee Conference, so make your reservations now. The conference runs from July 12-14. Click here for more information and registration forms.^top of page