Minnesota Hospital Association


March 21, 2016

MHA Newsline: March 21, 2016

In this issue 

Regions Hospital makes serving veterans a priority

Minnesota’s veteran population numbers nearly 370,000. Almost three-quarters of those veterans were active during wartime and, as a result of recent foreign conflicts, many men and women return home struggling with mental health issues. Regions Hospital in Saint Paul has made it a priority to both serve veterans and meet the demand for treating mental illnesses in the community.   

In June 2014, Regions Hospital launched the Lee and Penny Anderson HeroCare program. A HeroCare advocate was hired to meet with each veteran who was brought to their mental health facility. Partnering with the Veterans Administration and the U.S. military, the advocate works with veterans experiencing mental illnesses, substance abuse, homelessness and other issues.   

“The rules have changed over the years,” said HeroCare advocate Christine Dawson. “Many veterans don’t realize there are benefits that they have earned, that they are entitled to.”   

Within a few months of launch, the demand was much larger than expected. HeroCare was prepared to assist 60 veterans in its first year, but final numbers were nearly triple the estimate. Dawson also found that the need expanded beyond just mental health.   

“In 2015, we are on pace to help 135 veterans experiencing mental illnesses and an additional 285 veterans across the hospital,” Dawson said. “Knowing that our team is making a difference for those who have served their country is an honor and a privilege.”   

Visit the MHA website to learn more and read the full 2015 Community Benefit Reportreturn to top   

March 31 is Mental Health Day on the Hill

Now is the time to voice your support for strengthening Minnesota’s mental health system. The Minnesota Mental Health Legislative Network is sponsoring the 2016 Mental Health Day on the Hill on Thursday, March 31.   

A legislative briefing will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Cedar Street Armory, 600 Cedar Street, Saint Paul. Visits to legislators will follow.   

More information is available at Mental Health Day on the Hill and on the NAMI Minnesota website.   

MHA’s top legislative priorities focus on mental health. The Excellence in Mental Health Act will improve the way Minnesotans access mental health and addiction treatment by creating a “one-stop-shop” model of certified community clinics that will provide comprehensive, coordinated and integrated care to children and adults with complex mental and chemical health conditions. MHA also supports creating new stand-alone and community-based competency restoration programs as well as fully funding state hospitals so they are able to admit and appropriately treat more patients.   

MHA is partnering with the Mental Health Legislative Network in supporting mental health legislation. Our efforts last year netted a historic investment of $51 million in our state’s mental health system. This year we are working to achieve another significant result.   

The Mental Health Legislative Network has a number of legislative items in addition to MHA’s priorities. Read more in this publicationreturn to top   

Upcoming education sessions designed specifically for rural hospitals

MHA will hold its annual “Health Care Delivery Strategies for Rural Hospitals” sessions throughout the state April 26-27. Rural critical access hospitals (CAH) and prospective payment system (PPS) hospitals are invited to attend.   

Topics to be covered include state/federal reimbursement, cost report issues, Medicare and Medicaid billing updates, care and billing for victims of sexual assault, Electronic Health Record reporting strategies and physician/clinic billing.   

Following each daily general session, separate breakout sessions will be provided for both billing and finance issues. MHA Vice President of Finance Joe Schindler and RSM US LLP Director Sue Ankeny will present the finance breakout sessions and National Government Services provider outreach and education staff Kim Thomas will speak at the billing breakout sessions.    

The programs are co-sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. The locations are: 

  • Tuesday, April 26: Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, Baxter 
  • Wednesday, April 27: Jackpot Junction, Morton 

Register on the MHA website or click here for the full brochure. With questions, contact Christy Hammer, MHA education specialist, 651-659-1412. return to top   

Plan to meet with legislators during Easter recess

Legislators appreciate hearing from constituents with personal expertise about health care issues and issues affecting their community’s hospital. MHA members are encouraged to invite local legislators to hospitals in their home districts for meetings during the legislative recess for the Easter holiday, March 25-29. Please use the grassroots matching list found on our Member Center to contact your legislators’ offices to issue the invitation. For resources to support you as you plan a legislative visit, visit the MHA Member Center. Our session priorities handout can provide a discussion guide.  

The Member Center is username and password protected. For login information, contact Ashley Beno, member services and communications specialist, 651-603-3545. return to top   

Last chance to enroll in Minnesota Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

Program year 2016 is the final year in which eligible professionals and eligible hospitals can begin to participate in the Minnesota Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program (MEIP). Providers that are eligible to participate can receive up to $63,750 for full participation in the program. This includes a payment in the first participation year of $21,250 to adopt, implement or upgrade to a Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) system.   

The use of a CEHRT system can help achieve measurable improvements in patient health care delivery and performance to promote better patient outcomes. Improvements include: 

  • Diagnostic and patient safety 
  • Care coordination, including electronic exchange of clinical information with other designated providers 
  • Patient participation and self-management 
  • Practice efficiencies and cost savings, including documentation and coding 

To participate in the EHR incentive program, an eligible professional must be one of the following six types of Medicaid providers: physician; dentist; certified nurse-midwife; nurse practitioner; optometrist; or physician assistant practicing in a federally qualified health center, a rural health center or a tribal or urban facility led by a physician assistant. Other criteria must be met, including Medicaid Patient Volume thresholds. To see if you are eligible, check the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) eligibility widget and then contact the MEIP help desk staff at 855-676-0366 or dhs.ehr.incentives@state.mn.us if you have any further questions regarding program eligibility.   

To register and get started with your 2016 program year attestation, visit the CMS registration and attestation system page. Once you have registered with CMS, visit the Minnesota EHR Incentive Program page for information on how to register and attest through Minnesota’s online portal.   

Additional resources are available on the CMS EHR Incentive Program websitereturn to top