Minnesota Hospital Association


September 12, 2016

MHA Newsline: Sept. 12, 2016

In this issue

  • Lucinda Jesson honored with MHA Public Achievement Award  
  • DHS seeks feedback on measurement from MHA members 
  • CMS announces MACRA flexibility for providers 
  • September is Sepsis Awareness Month   

Lucinda Jesson honored with MHA Public Achievement Award

Former Department of Human Services commissioner and current Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Lucinda Jesson received the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) Public Achievement Award, which recognizes a public official or a private citizen who has performed extraordinary service in health care policy.   

During her five-year tenure as DHS commissioner, Jesson was a strong, effective, well-respected leader and a champion for providing health care access to all Minnesotans. When her office was charged with expanding Medicaid Minnesota, she took what was projected to be a nine-month job and completed it in only three months with higher-than-expected enrollment. Her department took care of all the processing that needed to happen – including working by hand – to make sure everyone who qualified received coverage.   

Jesson was an innovator, helping Minnesota remain a leader in providing health care models that meet the needs of Minnesotans. Thanks to her leadership, Minnesota is one of only two states to have a basic health plan, MinnesotaCare, which leverages federal funding to provide health coverage for low-income working individuals and families. Lucinda spearheaded the creation of Minnesota’s Integrated Healthcare Partnership program, which now has 19 organizations – most of whom are MHA members – doing Medicaid accountable care organization projects. This nation-leading effort is unique because providers are allowed to tailor their ACO to meet patients’ needs rather than adapting to a one-size-fits-all model.   

Jesson was also a passionate advocate for mental health services. During her final legislative session as commissioner, she led the effort to secure legislative funding for mental and behavioral health care. The resulting $51 million investment was Minnesota’s largest increase in mental health spending in decades. Jesson recognized the needs of patients receiving mental health services and made addressing those needs a priority.   

To learn more about the award winners, visit the MHA websitereturn to top   

DHS seeks feedback on measurement from MHA members

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is seeking feedback from MHA members regarding DHS measurement efforts. DHS is seeking to transform Minnesota’s health care measurement system in order to capture meaningful improvements in health and well-being of care recipients and communities. The measurement transformation is expected to: 

  • Align DHS, Minnesota and national measurement efforts 
  • Link measurements with current statewide efforts to create quality improvement strategies and interventions 
  • Foster collaboration of stakeholders in a statewide outcome measurement effort  
  • Provide stakeholders with more useful information to help navigate the health care system 
  • Work with national organizations and federal partners to reframe the measurement discussion in keeping with the themes of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Vital Signs Report 

MHA will host a webinar on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. at which DHS will present its proposal for measurement transformation. Participants will have an opportunity to provide feedback during the webinar, as well as through subsequent online surveys that DHS will administer. 

MHA appreciates having the opportunity to participate in discussions with DHS as the department seeks to find more effective and efficient ways to measure the care received by Minnesotans. 

To participate in the webinar, RSVP to Jenny Sanislo, division assistant for health information and analytics, MHA. Webinar access information and slides will be provided in advance of the webinar to those who RSVP. return to top   

CMS announces MACRA flexibility for providers

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) Quality Payment Program (QPP) is slated to begin impacting clinicians’ Medicare reimbursement rates beginning Jan. 1, 2019. The goal of the program is to support physicians in delivering high-quality patient care while moving the health care system from volume- to value-based.   

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that providers will have greater flexibility to pick their pace of participation for the first performance period, which begins Jan. 1, 2017, than what was anticipated in the agency’s proposed rule released earlier this year.   

Four options will be available: 

  • First option: Test the QPP. Providers have the opportunity to submit some data from after Jan. 1, 2017, to learn and ensure that their system is functioning properly in order to expand participation in 2018 and 2019.   
  • Second option: Participate for part of the calendar year. Providers can submit QPP data for a reduced number of days during 2017.   
  • Third option: Participate for the full calendar year. Providers who are prepared for QPP implementation can participate fully in data submission beginning on Jan. 1, 2017.   
  • Fourth option: Participate in an Advanced Alternative Payment model in 2017. Instead of reporting quality data and other information, providers can participate in QPP by joining an Advanced Alternative Payment Model. 

More information on the options is available on the CMS website. More specific information about the options and other supporting details will be described more fully in the final rule, which CMS anticipates releasing by Nov. 1, 2016. 

MHA believes that the additional flexibility provided by these options will be beneficial for providers as they prepare to implement and adjust to the broad changes of MACRA. MHA will review the final rule once it is released and communicate with members about additional items of note. return to top   

September is Sepsis Awareness Month

September is Sepsis Awareness Month. Throughout the month, advocates from around the world make a concentrated effort to spread information about what sepsis is, what it does and how each person can make a difference and save lives.   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report that found that nearly 80 percent of sepsis cases begin outside of the hospital. The findings emphasized that early identification and treatment of sepsis is key to improving patient outcomes. MHA developed the Seeing Sepsis Toolkit to facilitate the adoption of severe sepsis early detection tools and the Surviving Sepsis Campaign three- and six-hour care bundles by hospitals of all sizes.   

The Global Sepsis Alliance has declared Sept. 13 as World Sepsis Day to bring together health care professionals and members of the public in recognizing sepsis as a global problem. Mark your calendars and consider taking time out on Sept. 13 to join the world in increasing sepsis awareness. For more information, visit the Sepsis Alliance website.   

Resources about sepsis including patient tools, recent reports on the incidence of sepsis, clinical guidelines, bundles, staff educational materials and examples of quality improvement efforts by health care facilities to improve sepsis survival are available on the CDC’s website. return to top