Minnesota Hospital Association


May 02, 2016

MHA Newsline: May 2, 2016

In this issue    

Hospitals, health systems, MHA spotlight Minnesota’s mental health care needs

Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems and the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) have launched a statewide campaign to show the impact mental health has on families and communities around the state. Mental health consistently ranks among the top community health concerns in Minnesota. In a 2015 poll conducted by MHA, 85 percent of Minnesota voters consider mental health a serious problem in their community and 49 percent believe Minnesota’s mental health system requires major reforms.   

Hospitals and health systems believe that every Minnesotan deserves access to safe, effective and affordable mental health care, strengthened by a shared community responsibility to reduce stigma, bolster prevention initiatives and improve overall health. We are working to identify mental health challenges in the state and introduce thoughtful initiatives to improve mental health care for patients, their families and the communities where they live.   

To help increase awareness of mental health needs in Minnesota, MHA and members are conducting editorial board visits and media briefings around the state to talk about mental health care issues in our communities. Recent visits have resulted in a feature article in the Duluth News Tribune and an editorial in the St. Cloud Times.   

If you would like to schedule an editorial board or media visit in your region with MHA staff regarding the mental health campaign, please contact Emily Lowther, communications manager, MHA, 651-603-3495. return to top  

Governor Dayton appoints new Mental Health Task Force

Last week, Governor Dayton issued an executive order establishing a mental health task force to develop comprehensive recommendations to design, implement and sustain a full continuum of mental health services throughout the state.  

The task force will be comprised of 22 members, including two from hospital systems. The deadline to apply is May 19. Recommendations from the task force are due Nov. 15, 2016. return to top  

MHA participates in DHS roundtable on AMRTC and mental health funding

Dr. Rahul Koranne, chief medical officer, MHA, represented MHA members at a roundtable discussion on mental health funding priorities held at Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center (AMRTC) on April 26. Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper led the discussion, which also featured comments from Jane Pinney, a current AMRTC patient; John Dombrowski, the brother of a former AMRTC patient; and Roberta Opheim, the state ombudsman for mental health and developmental disabilities.   

Koranne was asked to provide perspective from hospitals and health systems regarding mental health services in Minnesota. He shared that mental health care is the biggest public health issue facing Minnesota, affecting every family and community.   

“Our patients are not getting the right care at the right time in the right settings,” said Koranne, emphasizing that additional capacity is needed for state-operated services. He also reiterated MHA’s legislative priorities, including funding the Excellence in Mental Health Act, fully funding and staffing CBHHs, providing funds to operate at least 110 beds at AMRTC and funding a stand-alone competency restoration program.   

View a sample of the media coverage generated by the roundtable. return to top   

House and Senate pass budget bills, conference committee work next

Both the House and Senate have passed their respective budget bills for Health and Human Services supplemental appropriations. On the Senate side, all 2016 supplemental appropriations were included in one large omnibus spending bill (SF 2356 now HF 2749). The House has divided its new spending into three smaller bills, including one for Health and Human Services (along with Public Safety and State Government) in HF 3467. The next step will be a conference committee to resolve differences between the bills. This task is further complicated this year since the subject areas of the appropriation bills are not perfectly aligned, and spending targets cannot be determined until after leadership decisions are made on a tax bill and a contentious transportation bill.   

MHA has focused on advancing a package of mental health initiatives aimed at improving access and quality of services. MHA is pleased both the House and Senate bills fully fund the Excellence in Mental Health Act, creating a certification process for community behavioral health clinics that will offer both chemical treatment and mental health services in one location. This is part of a national demonstration project and the state needs to fund the effort this year in order for Minnesota to be in consideration for participation.    

The Senate bill includes the following:

  • Funding to better staff the Community Behavioral Health Hospitals, bringing six of these facilities up to their originally-intended 16-bed capacity.
  • Funding for a stand-alone competency restoration program that could free up approximately 20 beds at the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center, as well as increased funding for additional staffing.
  • Funding for a much needed 5 percent Medical Assistance rate increase for preventive medical, dental and outpatient mental health services. 

If all the provisions can be enacted, it should help improve patient flow – receiving the right services in the right care setting.   

More information will be provided once legislators selected to serve on the conference committees have been announced. MHA members are encouraged to ask legislators to support a higher spending target for the Health and Human Services budget area so that mental health initiatives can be fully implemented.   

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

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, MHA, 651-603-3545. return to top    

Don't miss your chance to celebrate excellence in Minnesota health care

Register today for MHA's Annual Awards Banquet and help celebrate outstanding work by Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems. The Minnesota Hospital Association Annual Health Care Awards honor the best and brightest in Minnesota health care — individuals who have offered dedicated service to hospitals and organizations that have implemented successful, innovative programs. 

The 2016 MHA Awards Banquet will be held Friday, May 20, at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Minneapolis. Visit MHA’s website for the registration form. Registration deadline is Friday, May 6. For more information, contact Sarah Bohnet, visual communications specialist, MHA, 651-603-3494. return to top  

NAMI offers free online training for health care professionals

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)-Minnesota offers two online classes for health care professionals addressing mental illnesses. 

  • Compassion into Action: Recognizing and Responding to Patients with Mental Illnesses is for hospital staff and health care personnel to better understand people with mental illnesses and respond to their treatment needs. The training lasts about 40 minutes. 
  • Allies in Recovery describes how family and friends play a vital role in a person’s recovery. This training for professionals includes strategies for engaging families, how to help clients maintain these natural supports, how these relationships can aid in the treatment process and discussion on data practices laws. The training is about 40 minutes long.   

The classes are free and each provides two Minnesota Board of Social Work CEUs. Visit the NAMIMinnesota website and scroll down toward the bottom of the page for “Online Classes for Professionals” to learn more and take the courses. return to top  

DHS releases IHP RFP and seeks feedback on demonstration

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has released a request for proposals (RFP) for the latest round of the Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP) demonstration projects. The RFP is available online.   

DHS is offering potential responders the opportunity to schedule a 60-minute question and answer session in person or via conference call between May 15 and July 25. Proposals are due Aug. 19. Services will begin Jan. 1, 2017.    

In addition, DHS is offering an opportunity to provide feedback on the IHP demonstration through a request for information (RFI), available online. DHS is holding a stakeholder webinar on Wednesday, May 4, from 2:30-4 p.m. Webinar information is as follows:

MHA has strongly and actively supported the IHP demonstration projects from helping draft the enabling legislation and working with DHS to develop the original request for proposals, to encouraging MHA members to consider submitting proposals for the department’s consideration. Today, 14 of the 19 IHP demonstration projects underway - and serving more than 340,000 residents across the state - are directly led by MHA members.   

MHA intends to respond to the department’s RFI and appreciates receiving any feedback or issues that members want the association to include in our comments. Please send them to Matt Anderson, senior vice president, policy and strategy, MHA. Responses must be submitted to DHS by May 27.   

For more information about the RFP or RFI, contact Mathew Spaan, DHS. return to top  

Proposed two-midnight policy adjustment will enhance Medicare payment rate for FY 2017

In the FY 2014 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) final rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted its two-midnight policy for inpatient admissions and implemented a 0.2 percent prospective reduction to the IPPS rate to offset a predicted increase in expenditures resulting from this policy. The hospital industry challenged the validity of CMS’ reasoning for the reduction and in Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, Inc. v. Burwell, the District Court for the District of Columbia ordered that the policy be remanded back to CMS “to correct certain procedural deficiencies in the promulgation of the 0.2 percent reduction and reconsider the adjustment.”    

In response to the court’s decision, CMS is proposing to rescind the prospective adjustment –increasing the IPPS rates by 0.2 percent – and will restore the money previously recouped in federal FYs 2014, 2015 and 2016 by applying a one-year adjustment of 0.6 percent for FY 2017. return to top  

Physician payment reform proposed rule released

A proposed rule with far-reaching repercussions for Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) members was released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 27. The proposed rule would implement physician payment reform provisions of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The CMS proposal lays out which demonstration projects or payment arrangements will qualify as “Alternative Payment Models,” as well as the measures and relative weights of four performance categories that CMS will use to adjust physicians’ Medicare payments under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) beginning in 2019. Payment adjustments will amount to +/- 4 percent in 2019 and increase each year until they reach +/- 9 percent in 2022. MHA is analyzing the proposed rule and will provide additional summaries and resources for our members in the weeks ahead.   

CMS will hold a webinar on Tuesday, May 3 at 11 a.m. CT to provide an overview of the proposed rule; another webinar on Wednesday, May 4 at 11 a.m. CT to explain further details regarding the provisions of the proposed rule dealing with the MIPS program; and a national provider conference call on Tuesday, May 10 at 1 p.m. CT to offer another overview of the proposed rule.   

Additional resources and background information about MACRA are available through the American Hospital Association.   

MHA encourages members to send feedback and concerns to be incorporated into the association’s comment letter, which is due by June 27, to Matt Anderson, senior vice president, policy and strategy, MHA. return to top  

CMS seeks input regarding regional global budget payments

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a request for comments regarding potential regional budget payment concepts for providers based on Maryland’s all-payer model. Under Maryland’s unique program, a hospital receives the same reimbursement amount for a service regardless of whether the patient is covered by Medicare, Medicaid or a commercial health plan. CMS specifically expressed interest in developing this model for use in rural communities.   

The request for comment and background information about Maryland’s model can be found here.   

MHA intends to submit its comments by the May 13 deadline and encourages members to share their concerns, suggestions or perspectives with Matt Anderson, senior vice president, policy and strategy, MHA. return to top  

CHNA meetings scheduled

MHA is once again partnering with the Local Public Health Association (LPHA) to sponsor three meetings across Minnesota to discuss partnering during the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) process. These meetings will identify how local public health and hospitals are currently collaborating, identify barriers in CHNA work and clarify areas where additional technical assistance is needed across the state for both local public health and hospitals. The same facilitation guide and format will be used at each of the meetings. MHA members with CHNA responsibility are encouraged to attend one of the meetings:

  • May 20, noon-4 p.m., St. Paul
  • May 24, noon-4 p.m., St. Cloud
  • June 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Mankato     

Lunch will be provided. Registration information will be available soon. For more information, please contact Kristin Loncorich, state director of government relations, MHA. return to top  

Mental Health First Aid grants available

The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) is offering grants to members wishing to hold Mental Health First Aid trainings. Mental Health First Aid is a basic first aid training for mental health, often compared to CPR. Members can host trainings for their employees, the general public or other audiences. In addition, members can choose between adult, youth and older adult trainings.   

The training lasts eight hours, includes a workbook and accommodates up to 30 attendees per class. Grants can be made to cover the entire cost of the training - $1,500 for one day, up to 30 students – or match a member’s amount. MHA will offer up to 12 grants for the full amount and will also help market the training and assist with media coverage. return to top  

MHA members are increasingly concerned about mental health in their communities and MHA is offering these grants as part of the association’s overall strategy for addressing mental health. We are working to support members in their communities as we also seek state-level solutions.   

For more information, please contact Matt Anderson, senior vice president, policy and strategy, MHA. return to top