Minnesota Hospital Association


March 28, 2016

MHA Newsline: March 28, 2016

In this issue 

Sanford Health activates healthy behaviors across the community

Presented by Sanford Health, fit (www.sanfordfit.org) is an effective and engaging system of resources developed to provide a community service that captivates children’s excitement, arms them with knowledge they need to make healthy choices, then activates them to make a habit of healthy choices.   

Prompted by the desire to activate healthy habits in children, fit offers a whole-child approach to health promotion that reaches not only the child, but also the parents and the network of caregivers that influence the child. fit goes beyond the traditional health topics of nutrition and exercise with an approach that includes: 

  • RECHARGE (sleep and rest) and MOOD (willingness to make healthy choices) 
  • FOOD (nutrition choices) and MOVE (physical activity) 

The program highlights having proper motivation and enough energy to be able to choose healthy foods and to be physically active. fit offers free resources, developed through partnerships with health and education professionals, to activate children’s healthy habits. More than 1,200 students and 800 caregivers have participated in these programs since 2013.   

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

Excellence in Mental Health Act moves forward

MHA’s top legislative priority, the Excellence in Mental Health Act (HF2609/SF2549) is making great progress this session. The bill has passed the House and Senate Health and Human Services policy committees and was heard and laid over for possible inclusion in the House HHS finance omnibus bill. The legislation has also been fully funded in the governor’s budget.   

The Excellence in Mental Health Act has received bipartisan support in each committee hearing and has met with no opposition. The strong support underscores the importance of this issue for all Minnesotans. The legislation will allow Minnesota to qualify for a federal initiative to expand access to mental health care and substance abuse treatment by investing in community-based care centers. Without approved funding this legislative session, Minnesota will be disqualified from the federal initiative.   

In other legislative news, the Senate Judiciary committee will hold a hearing on legislation to license genetic counselors SF37 (Wiklund – DFL – Bloomington). This committee and the House Health and Human Services Reform committee will also try to advance legislation to create a tiered registry of language interpreters SF 2177 (Wiklund – DFL – Bloomington) and HF2345 (Hamilton – GOP – Mountain Lake). The Senate Health and Human Services policy committee will hold a hearing this week on legislation to modernize the MN Health Records Act SF2897 (Wiklund – DFL – Bloomington).   

For a complete list of 2016 legislative bills MHA is tracking, visit the MHA Member Center. For assistance accessing the MHA Member Center, contact Ashley Beno, member services and communication specialist, 651-603-3545. return to top   

MHA joins roundtable discussion with Sen. Franken

Last week, MHA joined mental health and addiction treatment stakeholders in a mental health roundtable convened by U.S. Senator Al Franken. MHA member Hennepin County Medical Center hosted the event; Dr. Jon Pryor, chief executive officer; Megen Cullen, director, behavioral health; and Dr. Ed Colon, chief of psychiatry, participated in the roundtable discussion.   

Hospital comments focused on improving access to Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center and other state-operated facilities, the need for better funding of all mental health and addiction treatment services, treating mental health and addiction like chronic diseases, lifting the Institute for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion in order to cover residential treatment services in larger settings, and asking Medicaid to cover housing costs for patients in residential treatment and supportive housing.   

For more information, contact Jen McNertney, policy analyst, MHA, 651-659-1415. return to top   

MHA testifies at AMRTC hearing

The House Health and Human Services Finance Committee recently held a hearing to understand the urgent concerns the state faces with Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center (AMRTC). The committee heard presentations from the Department of Human Services, Association of Minnesota Counties, AFSME, which represents workers at AMRTC and the Minnesota Hospital Association. 

Representing MHA were: Dr. Peter Henry, Essentia Health; Dr. Peter Neifert, Essentia Health; Dr. Paul Goering, Allina Health; and Dr. Ian Health, Hennepin County Medical Center. MHA members presented the current challenges hospitals across the state have in providing appropriate treatment for the mental and behavioral health patients who present in emergency departments and inpatient psychiatric units.   

“My colleagues and I face challenges on a daily basis in connection with treating and finding appropriate placement for patients who present to us with acute mental and behavioral health issues,” said Dr. Henry, chief medical officer, Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Brainerd. Governor Dayton’s supplemental budget calls for additional funding at AMRTC. return to top   

Mental Health Day on the Hill legislative briefing relocated

The Minnesota Mental Health Legislative Network is sponsoring the 2016 Mental Health Day on the Hill on Thursday, March 31. A legislative briefing to be held from 10 a.m. to noon has been relocated to 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   

Web conference on preventing and recovering from ransomware to be held April 13

A web conference on ransomware, “Ransomware in Hospitals 2016: Understanding the Problem and Potential Solutions,” will be held Wednesday, April 13, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. To register for the conference, download the web conference brochure.   

What would you do if you suddenly found your patient records encrypted and not available for access? Ransomware is malicious software that can disable all your patient records in the blink of an eye. Hospitals around the country — both large and small — are experiencing the dilemma of ransomware invading computers and encrypting all files, leaving the hospital at a standstill. After files are encrypted in a ransomware attack, the attackers send a ransom note demanding payment in exchange for the code to unlock the files.   

Presenter Ron Galloway will provide a deep dive into recent occurrences of ransomware in health care, how best to prevent it and what to do if it happens to your facility. In preparation for the web conference, he offers five common-sense tips for preventing ransomware: 

  1. Be very careful if an email contains an *.rar attachment, especially if the word “Invoice” is in the subject line of the email.
  2. For now, be suspicious of all Word files attached to an email. In addition, never open an emailed Excel file with macros unless you are absolutely certain of the sender.
  3. If you realize you opened a malicious file, physically unplug your machine immediately to stop the spread of its ransomware. If you think you may have opened a bad attachment but nothing immediately happens to your computer, it is still best to shut your machine down and call your technical support staff. Some of the newest ransomware is designed to sit silent for a few days, so you may be able to successfully remove it if you get help immediately.
  4. Disable JavaScript in Adobe Reader and Acrobat. Click Edit > Preferences and uncheck “Enable Acrobat JavaScript.” You will get a warning every time you open a PDF with JavaScript, but the warning is preferable to being vulnerable to ransomware.
  5. Never plug in a flash drive of unknown origin. Hackers will leave infected USB flash drives in parking lots and company lunchrooms, counting on someone curious to plug it in and inadvertently introduce ransomware to the network. 

return to top   

Medicare Part A and Part B sessions to be held April 6 in Duluth

National Government Services (NGS), which administers the Medicare Part A and Part B contracts for Minnesota, will host Medicare Part A and Part B sessions on Wednesday, April 6, at the Holiday Inn Duluth, 200 W. 1st St., Duluth. 

Part A sessions will take place from 1-4 p.m., with registration beginning at 12:30 p.m. Presentations will include: 

  • Understanding the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) and Medically Unlikely Edits (MUEs) 
  • Do you understand the NCCI and MUEs and how to prevent denials due to incorrect coding? 

Part B sessions will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Presentations will include: 

  • The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Database (MPFSDB) 
  • Understanding the MPFSDB 

Each session offers three continuing education units (CEUS) and three Medicare University credits.   Learn more and register online. With questions, contact NGSreturn to top