Minnesota Hospital Association


April 18, 2016

MHA Newsline: April 18, 2016

In this issue 

Transforming 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   

MHA legislative update

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 Center.   

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 health plan.   

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   

Mental 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 families. 

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 poverty.   

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   

MDH 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 work 

Register online to attend the webinar. With questions, contact health.healthcarehomes@state.mn.usreturn to top

University 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 onlinereturn to top