Minnesota Hospital Association


April 11, 2016

MHA Newsline: April 11, 2016

In this issue 

MHA legislative update

Testimony on the governor’s supplemental budget recommendations
The Senate Health and Human Services Budget Division took public testimony on April 5 on Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed supplemental health and human services budget, which has now been put into SF3332, authored by Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL – Kerrick).   

Mary Krinkie, MHA’s vice president of government relations, testified on behalf of MHA. Krinkie noted three provisions of the bill that help address some of the mental health challenges facing Minnesota: 

  • The Excellence in Mental Health Act, MHA’s top legislative priority. 
  • Additional funding to fully staff Minnesota’s seven Community Behavioral Health Hospitals. 
  • Additional funding to create a stand-alone competency restoration services facility, which would free up beds at the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center (AMRTC), as well as additional funding for staffing at AMRTC. 

Unfortunately, these new expenditures are proposed to be paid for in part by moving some projected expenses out of the general fund and into the Health Care Access Fund (HCAF). Krinkie also raised concerns about the proposal to shift expenses from the general fund to the HCAF for a portion of the Medical Assistance program’s cost for the coverage of adults without children. In the next biennium, this totals about $239 million.   

View Krinkie’s complete testimony on the MHA Member Center.   

Budget targets update
Last week, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives released its proposed supplemental spending budget targets. The House Republicans suggest no new spending for health and human services for the rest of the biennium. The House is proposing to repurpose some existing federal grants to other health and human services priority spending areas.   

House Republicans propose additional funding of $35 million dollars for broadband in rural Minnesota. This would bring total broadband funding to $45.5 million passed this biennium.    

The Senate is expected to release its proposed budget targets later this week. The House and Senate will pass separate supplemental budget bills and then agree on a final spending bill in conference committee.   

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

Plan to meet with legislators during Passover recess and National Hospital Week

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 Passover holiday, April 22, and during National Hospital Week, May 8-14.   

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. For additional support, contact Mary Krinkie, vice president of government relations, or Kristin Loncorich, director of state government relations.   

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   

National Hospital Week is May 8-14

National Hospital Week, May 8-14, celebrates hospitals and the staff who support the health and well-being of their communities.   

MHA is helping to coordinate efforts to result in statewide recognition. During National Hospital Week, hospitals can host an event for staff and legislators, as well as join the statewide social media campaign showcasing how hospitals serve their patients and communities.   

The Strengthening Healthy Communities campaign social media account will promote National Hospital Week stories about the remarkable impact hospitals have on their patients and communities. Hospital communicators can submit stories and photos to MHA or tag the Strengthening Healthy Communities campaign in Facebook posts.   

To help create a unified statewide storyline, please consider using the hashtag #thanksMNhospitals in your communications.   

To submit stories and photos or for additional support, contact Emily Lowther, communications manager, 651-603-3495. return to top   

Resources available to help hospitals combat ransomware and cyber threats

Hospitals and health systems remain targets of cyber criminals attempting to gain access to personal information for financial gain and cause as much disruption as possible  

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is working with federal partners including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to share resources for protecting critical infrastructure from cyberattacks. AHA members also have access to secure alerts from the FBI via the AHA member portal.   

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

Here are five 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. 

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DHS issues child/adolescent extended stay psychiatric bed RFP

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for hospitals to provide extended stay inpatient psychiatric treatment to children and adolescents.   

DHS proposes to contract with hospitals to provide psychiatric inpatient hospital level of care to children and adolescents who have a documented medical necessity for psychiatric inpatient hospital level of care. The contract will allow for a per diem payment beyond the initial acute care inpatient hospitalization payment for eligible individuals under Medical Assistance. The contracts apply to both fee-for-service and PMAP Medical Assistance. Work is proposed to start no later than Oct. 1, 2016.  

The RFP is available online. Letters of intent are required and are due April 25. Proposals are due May 9. For more information, contact Bill Wyss, Children’s Mental Health Division, DHS.   

In addition to the RFP, the governor’s budget includes $3 million for FY2018-19 in grants to fund these contracts. return to top