Minnesota Hospital Association


March 07, 2016

MHA Newsline: March 7, 2016

In this issue

CentraCare Health's BLEND walk-a-thons promote healthy eating and physical activity

BLEND (Better Living: Exercise and Nutrition Daily) is a central Minnesota collaborative made up of businesses, schools, health care organizations and families working to reverse childhood obesity. Funded by the CentraCare Health Foundation, this initiative focuses on promoting healthy eating and physical activity through improvements in policies, systems and environments.

As part of its sustainability focus, BLEND works with area schools to implement healthy fundraisers and has created the BLEND walk-a-thon as a healthy, active fundraising alternative. Rather than selling candy or cookies, students collect donations for their school and then participate in a day of celebration and physical activity.

BLEND walk-a-thons have proven to be wildly successful. In fact, since BLEND walk-a-thons were started in 2011:

  • 22 schools have participated.
  • These schools raised $800,910 ($534,094 at St. Cloud area schools).
  • The program impacted 12,686 students and touched the lives of 32,710 people.

“Our walk-a-thons program has been a great way for BLEND and childhood health to get into schools. It’s a wonderful fundraising program and the schools retain 100 percent of the profits,” said John Inkster, BLEND coordinator for CentraCare Health. “When schools experience a successful walk-a-thon fundraiser, it helps open doors to the wellness committees for schools or school districts. This is where we can really impact change.”

Visit the MHA website to learn more and read the full 2015 Community Benefit Report. return to top

Conference brings stakeholders together to examine Minnesota’s mental health system

Recognizing the important roles stakeholders across the care continuum play in building a better mental health system, a coalition of Minnesota partners convened a mental health conference on March 2. The event was supported by the Association of Minnesota Counties, Mental Health Minnesota, Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs, Minnesota Association of County Social Services Administrators, Minnesota Department of Human Services, MHA and NAMI Minnesota.

After a keynote opening from Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Johnson Piper, four panel discussions were held throughout the day on the topics of the systemwide context of mental health in Minnesota, building and supporting a robust mental health crisis system, helping people access the right services at the right time and building and supporting community-based services.

MHA member hospitals and health systems were represented on the panels by Paul Goering, M.D., vice president, Allina Health Mental Health and Addiction Services; David Hartford, care center director, CentraCare Health; Megen Cullen, senior director, Psychiatry Department, Hennepin County Medical Center; and Jan Carr, director, Behavioral Health Services, LifeCare Medical Center. MHA policy analyst Jen McNertney served on the conference planning team.

The convening partner organizations plan to offer future opportunities for continued engagement on the topic of mental health in Minnesota. To learn more, contact Jen McNertney, 651-659-1405. return to top

Employer applications being accepted for the Summer Health Care Internship Program

Deadline to apply is Friday, April 15

Employer applications are being accepted for the 2016 Summer Health Care Internship Program (SHCIP). Hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities and home care providers are encouraged to participate on behalf of qualified students in their community.

The internship program benefits students by allowing them to explore health care careers and gain experience in a health care setting. The initiative is also a great opportunity for health care employers to become more involved in their communities.

Up to half of an intern’s wages are reimbursed through a grant from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. The grant is administered by MHA. The employer application form is available on the MHA website. The application deadline is Friday, April 15 at 5 p.m.

For more information on the Summer Health Care Internship Program, visit the MHA website or contact Sarah Bohnet, Summer Health Care Internship Program coordinator, 651-603-3494. return to top

Hospital participation in MHA’s HEN, data-sharing registry meets ACA patient safety standards

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Feb. 29 published its final rule regarding Affordable Care Act (ACA) benefit and payment parameters for 2017. Included in the rule are new flexibilities for how hospitals with more than 50 beds improve quality and patient safety through data collection, management and analysis of patient safety events, for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2017.

Previous versions of the rule required hospitals to partner with a patient safety organization (PSO) to collect safety data. The final rule, however, allows hospitals that are engaging in evidence-based patient safety programs – including national, state, public and private programs – to meet ACA patient safety standards through their existing processes for the collection, management and analysis of patient safety events. Participation in MHA’s Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) or data-sharing patient safety registry meets these standards.

MHA provided comments to CMS strongly supporting the proposal that hospitals could meet ACA patient safety standards through participation in HENs and other patient safety programs. For many years, MHA members have reported patient safety data to MHA with state peer review protections for the purpose of sharing information, root cause analyses, learnings and system improvements, with the goal of improving patient care across the state. Minnesota has a longstanding, collaborative, dynamic process of both collecting hospital data and disseminating patient safety and clinical care best practices.

The successful quality and patient safety work of Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems has been recognized with local and national awards, including the American Hospital Association’s 2015 Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award and the National Quality Forum’s John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards in both 2006 for Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS) and 2013 for Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively (RARE). MHA also successfully won the HEN contract from CMS in 2011 and was one of only 17 national organizations to receive HEN 2.0 funding in 2015 to continue this nation-leading work in quality and patient safety.

With questions or to learn more about participating in data-sharing, contact Tania Daniels, vice president of quality and patient safety, MHA, 651-603-3517. return to top

Honoring Choices to offer advance care planning in partnership with hospitals

According to the National Institute on Aging, “more than one out of four older Americans face questions about the end of life but are not capable of making those decisions.” Advance care planning takes place when an individual develops plans for potential future health care treatment that align with his or her preferences and communicates those plans to others so they may be accessed if the individual is unable to speak for himself or herself.

In 2015, the Minnesota Legislature made a one-time appropriation of funds to Honoring Choices Minnesota, a not-for-profit public health initiative of the Twin Cities Medical Society, to identify and collaborate with health care sites and communities in greater Minnesota in developing robust advance care planning programs. For the past eight years, Honoring Choices has worked collaboratively with health systems around the state to both build health-based advance care planning programs and spread community awareness through public outreach.

Honoring Choices is charged with working with a minimum of two sites outside of the Twin Cities metro area for 2016. The organization is identifying pilot sites and developing new tools and guidelines. MHA plans to partner with Honoring Choices to support the development of advance care planning programs to serve communities across Minnesota.

“As a geriatrician who has worked in both rural and urban settings in Minnesota, I have seen firsthand that advance care planning models where we explore choices and honor them in real ways for every member of the community are absolutely needed,” said Dr. Rahul Koranne, chief medical officer, MHA. “We look forward to working with Honoring Choices to support the spread of advance care planning in service of communities across our state.” return to top

MDH accepting proposals for hospital safety net grants

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, is soliciting grant proposals from hospitals that serve Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA) enrollees. Up to $1,340,000 may be available for the period of June 1, 2016 – May 31, 2017.

Eligible applicants are licensed hospitals that provided care to EMA enrollees resulting in individual claims in excess of $50,000 between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016.  Funding will be distributed based on the dollar amount of EMA claims in excess of $50,000 in relation to the total dollar amount of all applicant claims in excess of $50,000.

Applications are due by 3 p.m. on Friday, April 8. A copy of the full Request for Proposal is available on the MDH website. For more information contact Lina Jau at lina.jau@state.mn.us or 651-201-3809. return to top