In this issue:
Hospitals have until July 19 to apply to become consumer assistants for MNsure
MHA staff is working to answer your questions about MNsure, the state’s health insurance exchange that will open for enrollment on Oct. 1 for policies that take effect Jan. 1, 2014. In addition to offering individual and small group coverage, MNsure will be the new and only vehicle for enrolling low-income Minnesotans in Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare.
We received clarification from MNsure on June 28 that hospitals seeking to become consumer assistants (including navigators, in-person assisters, or certified application counselors) should fill out a Consumer Assistance Partner Application by July 19 in order to be ready to enroll people on Oct. 1. Note that the notice of intent that MHA encouraged you to submit (in our communication to you on June 24) is only for brokers and not for hospitals or hospital staff. Members do not need to submit a letter of intent.
Members should submit an application by July 19, and instructions can be found here:
While there are some distinctions between the roles of the certified application counselors, navigators and in-person assisters, MNsure staff acknowledges that those differences may not be very material to hospitals initially. Hospitals can choose the level of assistance that is most appropriate for your patient population and within your staffing capacity. At a minimum, MHA encourages members to partner with MNsure and have hospital staff qualified as certification application counselors.
For more description of the various categories of consumer assistant partners, go to: http://www.mn.gov/hix/your-benefits/consumer-assistant/.
MHA strongly suggests members get their applications in to MNsure by July 19 in order to receive training and certification by Oct. 1. MNsure expects most of its training to be Web-based and on-demand. Training modules are expected to be launched in August, although education for some of the topics might not be available until September.
Many questions about MNsure, the process and requirements for consumer assistants, consumer outreach efforts and other aspects of the new exchange will continue to be addressed over the weeks and months ahead. MNsure intends to issue weekly updates to its list of frequently asked questions on its website.
MHA members are encouraged to contact Matt Anderson, MHA vice president of strategic and regulatory affairs, or Jennifer McNertney, MHA policy analyst, with questions about MNsure and the role hospitals and health systems can play in helping their patients and community residents obtain health coverage through MNsure.
Second, to facilitate MHA communications with you regarding MNsure, please provide the name and email contact information for your key staff person to whom we should communicate on this subject. Please respond to Lynette Virnig, 651-603-3545.^top of page
Hospital spotlight: Nurses’ focus on the patient earns them the Good Catch Award
Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center nurses JoAnn Hill and Susan Lackson received MHA’s Good Catch for Patient Safety Award. The award is a symbol of the strong patient safety culture we strive to instill in all of our hospitals. The two were caring for a patient who had undergone a repeat Caesarean section the day before. Although the patient’s vital signs were stable, both nurses noticed the patient was in great pain and didn’t look right 24 hours after the birth. The two have cared for hundreds of women after Caesareans and felt something wasn’t right. The patient’s abdomen was too distended and she was having difficulty breathing. JoAnn sought out an obstetrician to check on the woman. The obstetrician immediately called in a hospitalist and the patient was taken for a CT scan, which showed that she had a life-threatening condition. The woman was taken into surgery that night. These seasoned and experienced nurses saved this patient’s life by their close observation, excellent clinical judgment and continual advocacy for the patient.^top of page
MHA submits comments on accrediting organizations and community health needs assessments proposed rules
MHA has submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding a proposed rule to revise CMS’s relationship with national accrediting organizations (AOs) and a proposed rule on community health needs assessments (CHNAs) for charitable hospitals. The letters can be found here.^top of page
Honoring Choices MN to hold annual advance care planning conference
Health care professionals are invited to attend the 4th annual “Sharing the Experience” advance care planning conference, sponsored by Honoring Choices Minnesota through the Twin Cities Medical Society. The conference brings together interdisciplinary providers and professionals (physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, case managers, others) with multicultural, faith, health and human service, and business leaders in a diverse learning community around advance care planning (ACP). No one needs to re-create the wheel around ACP; this annual event shares best practices, new communication tools, community resources, and innovative approaches to health care decision making. Join in the discussions concerning “who would speak for you if you couldn’t speak for yourself?”
Click here for online registration. The conference will take place July 18 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Ramada Plaza Minneapolis.^top of page
Data preview periods for hospital quality reporting programs underway
Hospitals can preview their hospital-specific reports for the inpatient and outpatient quality reporting programs through July 27 at My QualityNet. Hospitals are encouraged to review their reports and alert the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to any data issues. For measure and program-specific contacts, see the Help guides at QualityNet. Hospital-specific preview reports for the fiscal year 2014 Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program also are available at My QualityNet through July 12. Participants should report any suspected errors in their Excess Readmission Ratio calculations or discharge-level data to CMS_readmissions_reduction@mathematica-mpr.com. The inpatient, outpatient and readmissions data in the preview reports are scheduled to appear on CMS’ Hospital Compare website in October.^top of page
PrairieCare works to improve access to mental health care
Studies show that only 25 to 35 percent of children and adolescents who suffer from a psychiatric disorder will receive treatment. Early intervention is necessary to decrease the severity and duration of symptoms and morbidity related to psychiatric disorders. Across the Twin Cities, PrairieCare is expanding access to intensive psychiatric services for children and adolescents. Its newest facility will be housed in the newly expanded Two-Twelve Medical Center in Chaska and is expected to serve 600 children annually through its partial hospitalization program and intensive outpatient treatment. The expansion is part of PrairieCare’s effort to expand services to meet the mental health needs in underserved areas. PrairieCare has been working closely with Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, local providers and school districts to meet the demand
for services in this area. To learn more, visit www.prairie-care.com.^top of page