Minnesota Hospital Association


May 16, 2016

MHA Newsline: May 16, 2016

In this issue 

AHA honors Winona Health volunteer program

Winona Health’s Community Care Network (CCN) Health Coaches volunteer program was among four hospital volunteer programs nationwide honored by the American Hospital Association (AHA) with its Hospital Awards for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE).   

The CCN Health Coaches program was developed to improve individual health and quality of life, prevent hospitalization and emergency department visits and avoid unnecessary health care costs. In partnership with Winona State University, the CCN trains students and other volunteers to become health coaches. The coaches assist people living with chronic health conditions by conducting home visits and becoming non-clinical members of the care team.   

When patients are referred to the program, they meet with nurses or social workers, who assign a volunteer health coach to visit their homes weekly or biweekly. Coaches support clients in their efforts to improve their health and strengthen their community connections. In the first three months of the program, emergency department visits and hospitalizations for CCN clients declined by more than 85 percent. Some 47 percent of CCN clients have primary diagnoses of mental illness and 20 percent have congestive heart failure. The average client is 60 years old and coping with multiple chronic conditions.   

University students enroll in a two-credit course for health coaches and must volunteer a minimum of two additional semesters as a coach. Most continue volunteering until they graduate. The program also has trained community members – primarily retired health professionals – to become health coaches. These non-student volunteers undergo eight hours of training before going on home visits.   

MHA congratulates Winona Health on this recognition! return to top   

Lt. Gov. Smith, legislators share thanks during National Hospital Week

During National Hospital Week, May 8-14, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith shared a message of thanks with Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems via Twitter. Minnesota’s legislators also thanked hospital care teams for their hard work in a series of photos that were shared on Facebookreturn to top   

Hospitals, health systems, MHA promote statewide mental health campaign

Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems and the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) are continuing a statewide campaign to show the impact mental health has on families and communities around the state. 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. 

To help increase awareness of mental health needs in Minnesota, MHA and members conducted editorial board visits and media briefings around the state to talk about mental health care issues in our communities. As a result, the Rochester Post-Bulletin published an editorial highlighting the need for a statewide investment in mental health support services.   

Scheduled media opportunities have concluded for now. 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   

Legislation of interest to MHA members moves forward

MHA urges continued support of the Excellence Act
Last week, MHA launched a series of targeted social media promotions asking for continued support of the Excellence in Mental Health Act, MHA’s top legislative priority. There has been bipartisan support for this, but MHA still needs to make sure this is included in final supplemental spending bills. View and share the promotions on MHA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.   

Governor signs bills into law
Two bills of interest to MHA members were signed into law last week by Governor Dayton. SF 107/HF 210, authored by Sen. Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley) and Rep. Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River), is legislation sponsored by AARP that requires hospitals to provide patients with the opportunity to designate a caregiver and to provide a discharge plan that includes after-care instructions to the caregiver. MHA worked with the bill’s authors to address concerns with the original bill. The legislation now includes liability language protecting hospitals from litigation for care that is provided by a designated caregiver, as well as an ability for hospitals to deny the designation should the hospital believe the designated caregiver is unable to perform the functions called for in the discharge plan. The final language also omits the burden of getting a second written consent for sharing information in the individual’s health record with their designated caregiver. Similar legislation has been passed by AARP in numerous states. (Chapter 103)   

Also signed was this year’s workers’ compensation reform legislation, SF 2398/HF 2478, authored by Sen. Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin) and Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake). Unlike the 2015 workers’ compensation legislation, which enacted significant reform of the hospital inpatient payment system, the 2016 legislation is more technical in nature. The 2015 legislation was an agreement with MHA, the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Committee and the Department of Labor and Industry to address the inpatient payment system and to allow more research and discussion before reforming the outpatient payment system. Unfortunately, a drafting error was made that would have adversely impacted outpatient workers’ compensation rates for hospitals with a bed capacity between 25 and 100 beds. This year’s bill corrects the language and maintains usual outpatient workers’ compensation payments for this group of hospitals. (Chapter 110)   

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

Session scheduled to conclude May 23
The session must adjourn by Monday, May 23. Reaching agreement on a bonding bill, a tax bill and a transportation bill has delayed legislative action on the budget bill, which includes health and human services funding and appropriations improving mental health care delivery.   

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   

Reminder: CHNA meetings begin this week

Register now for upcoming meetings to discuss partnering during the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) process. Sponsored by MHA and the Local Public Health Association (LPHA), 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. Register online to attend a meeting. For more information, please contact Kristin Loncorich, director of state government relations, MHA. return to top   

Honoring Choices annual conference to be held July 21

Honoring Choices Minnesota, an initiative of the Twin Cities Medical Society, is hosting its seventh annual Sharing the Experience Conference on July 21 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Ramada Plaza Conference Center, 1330 Industrial Blvd. NE, Minneapolis. The conference brings together champions of advance care planning (ACP) from around the state, offering learning and networking opportunities to health care professionals and community members interested in promoting ACP to all Minnesotans.   

Rahul Koranne, M.D., chief medical officer, MHA, is a featured speaker at the conference. He will share some of his experiences from across the health care continuum and reflect on why health organizations across Minnesota should work to collaborate on ACP in service of their local communities.   

Learn more and register onlinereturn to top   

Reimbursement education programs scheduled for June

MHA will offer two education programs on reimbursement, coding and billing on June 22 and 23. Both programs will be held at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth.   

The program on June 22, “Chargemaster 101: Starting at the Beginning,” is an overview program that will provide attendees with the basics around billing, reimbursement and record maintenance. For more information, view the brochure or click here, login and select program title to register.   

The program on June 23, “APCs for 2016: Operational and Financial Impact on Your Facility,” is an in-depth program that will review the OPPS Final Rule for 2016, along with the latest CMS program transmittals. For more information, view the brochure or click here, login and select program title to register. return to top