In this issue
Thief River Falls into a supportive community for mental health
As mental and behavioral health therapists at Sanford Health in
Thief River Falls, Minnesota, Dr. Trent Barstad and Chief Operating Officer Rob
Lovejoy understand the mental health challenges facing rural communities.
Because of location restrictions, economic and social disparities, and a shortage of mental health professionals in rural areas, accessing the necessary treatment
is often challenging.
In fact, according to the Star Tribune, a
statewide shortage of community health options, such as psychiatric beds, can
cause months-long wait times for those seeking mental health treatment.
Sanford Health and
the Thief River Falls community are beginning to fill gaps in rural mental
health care by creating a continuum of care. From inpatient
clinical services to community-based assistance programs, they’re building on
strong partnerships to ensure patients receive the right care at each step in
the treatment process.
In late 2015, Sanford Health opened a new behavioral health center in Thief
River Falls, including six new beds in the behavioral health unit and
outpatient mental health services. While adding new beds was crucial, it’s how
Sanford Health is putting them to use that’s really made a difference. The unit
allows staff to differentiate between “high acuity” patients and those
presenting milder symptoms to provide them with appropriate treatment in
separate spaces. Now, specific beds are dedicated to patients experiencing
severe mental health issues, allowing staff to accept more patients while
continuing to provide high-quality care.
Staff are also working to seamlessly integrate behavioral health into medical
health care. “How do we treat the whole individual rather than just treating
one side of the individual?” asked Barstad. “We need to bring full primary care
access and connectivity to behavioral health treatment.”
Outside of the hospital, the community is becoming increasingly more engaged in
mental health care. Visit the Minnesota’s Hospitals: Strengthening Healthy
Communities website to learn more about how Sanford Health
is working to transform Thief River Falls into a mental health supportive community.
Like the Minnesota’s
Hospitals Facebook page
to get regular updates on how Minnesota’s hospitals work beyond physical walls
to strengthen the health of Minnesotans and our communities. return to top
Letters sent to legislative leadership regarding proposed
funding for improving mental and behavioral health services
MHA and MHA’s Chief Medical Officer Group submitted letters to legislative
leadership on behalf of MHA members to support proposed funding for improving
mental and behavioral health services during the 2016 legislative session. The
letters emphasize MHA’s legislative priorities, including funding for the
Excellence in Mental Health Act, Community Behavioral Health Hospitals,
competency restoration services and for the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment
Read the letters on the MHA website.
Testimony on proposed House
health and human services budget bill
The House Health and Human Services Finance Committee took public testimony on
April 13 on its health and human services budget bill, HF3467, authored by Rep.
Matt Dean (R – Dellwood).
Mary Krinkie, MHA’s vice president of government relations, thanked the
committee for including the Excellence in Mental Health Act, MHA’s top
legislative priority, in the bill, as well as for excluding the governor’s
proposal to shift expenses from the general fund to the Health Care Access Fund
for a portion of the Medical Assistance program’s cost for the coverage of
adults without children. She also renewed MHA’s request for additional funding
for Community Behavioral Health Hospitals, competency restoration services and
for the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center.
The bill also includes provisions related to requiring providers to report
their health care costs and volume. MHA understands the growing interest in
health care cost transparency, Krinkie testified. She said Minnesota health
systems and hospitals have gone beyond the law’s existing requirement of
publishing each hospital’s charges for the 50 most common outpatient procedures
and the 25 most common inpatient procedures and, instead, MHA publishes
hospitals’ charges for all of their procedures. Because consumers most often
wish to know their individual costs under their individual health plan, MHA
encourages individuals to go to the source of that information: their own
Krinkie emphasized that any type of payment data should come from health plans,
since most providers have contractual language that prohibits them from sharing
payment information. She also proposed that these calculations be made using an
average “commercial” payment.
Senate budget targets released
Last week, the DFL-controlled Senate released its proposed supplemental
spending budget targets. The Senate Democrats suggest new spending for health
and human services of $43.3 million for the rest of the biennium. The Senate
suggests an additional $85 million for broadband funding.
The House and Senate will complete work on their separate supplemental budget
bills this week and then finish the bills in conference committee.
Session bill tracker
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
Health Community Partners Network learning opportunities continue
The Mental Health Community Partners Network, a networking
opportunity for hospitals, clinics and community partners serving patients with
mental illnesses, continues to provide learning opportunities to stakeholders
from across Minnesota. The network, made possible by the Minnesota Hospital
Association’s Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network and the
Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI), provides an opportunity to
plan for optimal care transitions for patients with mental illnesses.
At the network’s most recent meeting on April 12, representatives from the
Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance provided an overview of how
community health workers (CHWs) can help bridge cultural and linguistic
barriers in their communities to expand access to coverage and care, and
improve health outcomes.
Dr. Matthew Kruse of University of Minnesota Physicians presented on the First
Episode Program at the University of Minnesota, which provides comprehensive
care to patients experiencing a first episode of psychosis, as well as their
Ellen Benavides from the Minnesota Community Healthcare Network (MCHN) shared
background information about the network, which is an alliance of five Twin
Cities health care organizations including Canvas Health; Guild Incorporated;
Mental Health Resources, Inc.; RESOURCE, Inc.; and Touchstone Mental Health.
MCHN’s goal is to participate in innovative care models, providing care
coordination and an array of community-based behavioral health services to
individuals who have serious mental illnesses, as well as co-occurring health
conditions, and face other challenges including homelessness, unemployment and
The Mental Health Community Partners Network will continue to offer events and
subject-specific webinars through August 2016 on the topic of care transitions
for the following patient population groups:
- Patients admitted to an
inpatient psychiatric hospital unit
- Those with acute conditions and
known mental health diagnoses
- Patients with chronic disease
who develop mental health conditions
- Those who are newly diagnosed
with serious mental illnesses
The next networking event will take place on Wednesday, June 29,
from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at CentraCare Health Plaza in St. Cloud. Learn more about the event and sign
up; registration closes on June 22. For more information, contact Jill Kemper, ICSI, 952-858-8991. return to top
to offer health care homes webinar featuring Sanford Luverne Clinic on April 19
The Minnesota Department of Health will offer a health care
homes webinar called “Expanding the Care Coordinate Team and Moving to Advanced
Medical Home” on Tuesday, April 19, from noon to 1 p.m.
The webinar will share the story of how Sanford Luverne Clinic used a recent
State Innovation Model (SIM) grant to set care coordination goals and processes
aimed at improving outcomes in diabetes and depression. Laurie Jensen, director
of clinic operations at Sanford Luverne Clinic, will present.
Webinar participants will:
- Explore the goals and process
improvement objectives of a SIM grant in Luverne
- Review the grant focus on
diabetes and depression quality outcomes, including pre- and post-grant Minnesota
Community Measurement scores
- Discuss the care coordination
team in Luverne, their roles in patient care and tools to assist in their
Register online to attend the webinar. With questions,
contact firstname.lastname@example.org. return to top
of Minnesota to offer hospital decontamination continuing education at Mayo
Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls on May 20 and 23
The University of Minnesota will offer two
hospital decontamination continuing education opportunities on May 20 and 23 at
Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls. The eight-hour training includes a
combination of hands-on and didactic training for addressing chemical and
biological hazards within a health care setting.
All participants receive a variety of continuing education units (CEU) from the
university, including nursing, industrial hygiene, POST credit and others. This
course meets the JCAHO requirements for first receiver training.
Learn more and register online. return to top