In this issue:
Hospital spotlight: Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare preparing the health care workforce of the future
Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul earned the 2013 MHA Health Care Career Promotion Award for its commitment not only to the children it serves, but also the next generation of health care workers. Gillette has focused its energies on a six-pronged approach to creating greater awareness of health care careers, including: a simulation lab experiential program, e-mentoring, tours, interactive career demonstrations, school presentations and summer paid internships. Gillette is also a site for Minnesota Healthcare Occupation Students of America, the Step-Up Achieve Jobs Program, Project Lead-the-Way Biomedical Science Program, and other schools that have a demonstrated interest in providing first-hand experiences to students interested in health care. The goal is to expose students to the vast number of clinical and nonclinical careers that the health care industry offers and the education and qualifications necessary to compete for those positions. During the simulations you can see the students’ fascination, intense focus and desire to learn more about health care careers that shows an impact is being made. ^top of page
Deadline to apply to become MNsure consumer assistants is Friday, July 19
Minnesota hospitals are encouraged to become consumer assistants for MNsure. 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. Hospitals seeking to become consumer assistants (including navigators, in-person assisters, or certified application counselors) must complete 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. Application forms and instructions can be found here:
- Application - Appendix A (multiple locations form)
- Application Instructions
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 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/. 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.
Questions about MNsure
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. Be sure to check the MNsure website frequently as it is being updated regularly with frequently asked questions. In addition, 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. Click here for answers to the questions MHA is receiving most frequently from members.
Finally, if you have not yet provided the name and email contact information for your key staff person to whom we should communicate on this subject, please send it to Lynette Virnig, 651-603-3545. ^top of page
MHA urges congressional delegation to not sign onto legislation mandating nurse-to-staff ratios
Last week, MHA staff contacted Minnesota’s congressional delegation and urged them to not sign onto H.R. 1907, the “Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act.” MHA reiterated that Minnesota hospitals are united in their opposition to a government-imposed mandate establishing a nurse-to-patient staffing ratio, and that care delivery decisions are best handled at the local level by health care professionals as close to the patient as possible. MHA also pointed out that federal legislation would undermine the agreement reached in the 2013 legislative session that resulted in the Staffing Disclosure Act.
H.R. 1907 is the companion bill to S. 739, the “National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Safety Advocacy Act.” There are currently no cosponsors to S. 739 and MHA has also contacted the Senate offices about our opposition to that bill. ^top of page
MHA and BWBR prepare MDH-approved OR humidity waiver template
In April the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a change in the minimum required relative humidity (RH) percentage in hospital anesthetizing locations. The change will allow hospitals to maintain an RH of ≥20 percent rather than the traditional ≥35 percent.
CMS made the change in response to concerns expressed by hospitals about the negative impact on infrastructure maintenance and the high compliance costs related to the higher level of relative humidity. After consultation with engineers, CMS concluded that a lower RH level would not have an adverse impact on patient safety.
In conducting licensure surveys, the Engineering Services Section of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has indicated it will allow Minnesota hospitals to use the lower RH level so long as individual Minnesota facilities apply directly to MDH for a waiver of the higher standard. MHA and BWBR, a leading architecture firm and MHA associate member, prepared this template waiver request form for MHA members to use to apply for the necessary MDH waiver. The template has been approved by MDH. The template requires a minimal amount of hospital-specific information and should be sent directly to MDH for approval.
CMS does not require hospitals to submit a waiver request for its purposes but both CMS and MDH require hospitals to maintain documentation of the intent to meet the lower RH requirement.
For questions about the waiver request form, please contact Ben Peltier, MHA vice president of legal services, 651-603-3513. ^top of page
Task force recommends MHA bylaws changes
This year, MHA convened a Bylaws Review Task Force to review the association’s bylaws and recommend amendments to ensure a strong governance structure going forward. The association’s bylaws had not been subject to a comprehensive review since their adoption in 1997, when the association and the Metropolitan Healthcare Council merged. The recommended amendments can be found here.
The task force, chaired by Larry Schulz, CEO of Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls, consisted of a cross representation of MHA’s membership, including representatives from each of MHA’s six regions, critical access and prospective payment system hospitals, and independent and health system members. MHA’s Board will act upon the task force’s recommendations at its meeting on Aug. 15. Amendments approved by the Board will then be presented to the MHA membership for adoption during the annual meeting on Sept. 19.
For more information about the Bylaws Review Task Force or its recommended amendments, contact Matt Anderson, MHA vice president of strategic and regulatory affairs, 651-659-1421. ^top of page
16 hospital trustees earn certification
Sixteen hospital trustees from across Minnesota have earned certification through the Minnesota Hospital Association’s trustee certification program. The comprehensive certification process prepares hospital trustees to effectively meet the growing demands of serving on a hospital board and to be strong health care and community leaders. They join 57 other trustees across the state to become certified. By participating in MHA’s voluntary certification program, hospital trustees receive training on current health care trends; governance best practices; ethics; government regulations; patient safety; and quality. Participants undergo 35 hours of coursework, making Minnesota’s initiative the most comprehensive in the nation. Following are the newly certified trustees:
Cook Hospital & C&NC
- Barbara Johnson
- Michael Harry Enzmann
FirstLight Health System, Mora
- Paul Kent
- Eric Yost
Lake View Memorial Hospital, Two Harbors
- John Strange
Lakewood Health System, Staples
- Marie Rose
Mayo Clinic Health System in New Prague
- Renee Brod
Mercy Hospital, Moose Lake
- Kelly Goeb
Paynesville Area Health Care System
- Ross Amundson
- Robert Brauchler
- Lois Johnson
- Joe Musel
- Debra Vogt
Prairie Ridge Hospital and Health Services, Elbow Lake
- Gene Wenstrom
River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic, St. Peter
- Michelle Chalin
Tri-County Health Care, Wadena
- David Fjeldheim
For more information about MHA’s hospital trustee certification program, visit www.mnhospitals.org/trustees. ^top of page
First Contact meetings scheduled
The Minnesota Board on Aging (MBA) has scheduled a statewide road show to introduce legislative changes made to the hospital discharge and pre-admission screening process. These changes, called First Contact, will mostly affect patients being discharged to a nursing home. Beginning Oct. 1, 2013, all individuals discharged to a nursing home will be referred to the Senior LinkAge Line for preadmission screening.
MHA encourages hospital staff to attend these meetings to learn about the changes and new process. There is no need to pre-register for these meetings. More information, including times and locations, can be found here. ^top of page
Olmsted Medical Center elects new president
Kathryn Lombardo, M.D.Kathryn Lombardo, M.D. has been elected to serve as the president of Olmsted Medical Center (OMC) in Rochester. Lombardo joined OMC’s department of psychiatry and psychology in 1994 and most recently served as chair of that department. She was elected to succeed internist Roy A. Yawn, M.D., who served two three-year terms as OMC’s president beginning in 2006. As OMC president, Lombardo plans to continue the organization’s practice of responsible, measured growth, the delivery of exceptional patient care, and the efficient operations that contribute both to OMC’s positive financial performance and its reputation as a preferred employer. ^top of page
Web-based credentialing system streamlines management of provider credentialing
Discount available for hospitals with fewer than 250 credentialed providers
The Minnesota Credentialing Collaborative (MCC) — a joint venture of MHA, the Minnesota Medical Association and the Minnesota Council of Health Plans — is offering discounted access to a comprehensive, Web-based credentialing system from CredentialSmart known as CredSmart. The discount is available to hospitals with fewer than 250 credentialed providers. CredSmart is an alternative to the cumbersome management of the provider credentialing process through excel spreadsheets or PC-based database tools. Through CredSmart hospitals can accept and review credentialing applications and reapplications online, perform primary source verifications, and manage provider privileges. CredSmart is JCAHO and NCQA compliant.
As a result of the MCC discount, hospitals with fewer than 250 credentialed providers have access to CredSmart for only $4,200 per year. For more information on MCC or CredSmart or to schedule a demonstration at your facility, click here. ^top of page
New Mental Health First Aid guide provides support for increasing mental health literacy in rural America
For Americans living in rural areas of the country, accessing mental health treatment is a challenge due to lack of awareness about services and a chronic shortage of behavioral health providers. A new guide, developed to enhance Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in rural settings, was created with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-Health Resources and Services Administration (SAMHSA-HRSA) Center for Integrated Health Solutions run by the National Council. MHFA training in rural areas is offered through an in-person training that presents an overview of mental illnesses and substance use disorders, and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems. Participants learn a five-step action plan to help individuals in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care.
For more information visit the MHFA website. ^top of page
Golf in support of the Minnesota Hospital PAC Monday, Aug. 19 in St. Cloud
Register by Tuesday, July 30
Registrations for the Minnesota Hospital Political Action Committee’s (PAC) premiere fundraising event, the golf open, are filling quickly. The deadline to register for the annual day of golfing, food, networking and fun is Tuesday, July 30. This year’s golf event will take place Monday, Aug. 19 in St. Cloud at Territory Golf Club. Hospital CEOs are asked to contribute at a club level to participate. Hospital employees, trustees and other guests can attend for $200 per person. Please contact Carol Eshelman, MHA PAC coordinator, at 651-603-3539 for a registration form by July 30. Members who have already contributed at a club level in 2013 are invited to participate at no extra charge, but please register. The Minnesota Hospital PAC thanks the following members who have already contributed $350 or more in 2013 as of July 11:
Ben Franklin Club – individuals giving $1,000 or more
- Bradley Beard, Fairview Southdale Hospital, Edina
- Craig Broman, St. Cloud Hospital
- Ty Erickson, Regina Medical Center, Hastings
- Alan Goldbloom, M.D., Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
- Ben Koppelman, St. Joseph's Area Health Services Inc., Park Rapids
- Mary Maertens, Avera Marshall
- Charles Mooty, Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis
- Margaret Perryman, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, St. Paul
- Terence Pladson, M.D., CentraCare Health System, St. Cloud
- Matt Anderson, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
- Lorry Massa, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul Ben Peltier, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
Chairman's Circle – individuals giving $500 or more
Capitol Club – individuals giving $350 or more
- David Albrecht, Owatonna Hospital
- Daniel Anderson, Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis
- Michael Baumgartner, St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Shakopee
- Debra Boardman, Range Regional Health Services, Hibbing
- Bill Fenske, Rice Memorial Hospital, Willmar
- John Herman, Fairview Northland Medical Center, Princeton
- Peter Jacobson, Essential Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Detroit Lakes
- Mark Koch, Mayo Clinic Rochester
- Daniel McGinty, Essentia Health–St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth
- Steven Mulder, M.D., Hutchinson Health
- Bill Nelson, Mille Lacs Health System, Onamia
- Keith Okeson, LifeCare Medical Center, Roseau
- John Porter, Avera, Sioux Falls, S.D.
- Steve Pribyl, District One Hospital, Faribault
- Tim Rice, Lakewood Health System, Staples
- Carl Vaagenes, Douglas County Hospital, Alexandria
- Mary Ellen Wells, CentraCare Health – Monticello
- Jani Wiebolt, Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Brainerd
- Wendy Burt, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
- Tania Daniels, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
- Ann Gibson, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
- Mary Krinkie, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
- Kristin Loncorich, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
- Joe Schindler, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
- Mark Sonneborn, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
- Peggy Westby, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
- Nathan Blad, RC Hospital & Clinics, Olivia
- David Borgert, CentraCare Health System, St. Cloud
- Thomas Crowley, Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Wabasha
- Deb Fischer-Clemens, Avera, Sioux Falls, S.D.
- George Gerlach, Granite Falls Municipal Hospital & Manor
- Gerry Gilbertson, CentraCare Health – Melrose
- James Davis, CentraCare Health System, St. Cloud
- Deb Fischer-Clemens, Avera, Sioux Falls, S.D.
- Steven Housh, Fairview Lakes Health Services, Wyoming
- Dale Hustedt, Rice Memorial Hospital, Willmar
- Kathy Johnson, Johnson Memorial Health Services, Dawson
- Richard Korman, Avera, Sioux Falls, S.D.
- Beth Krehbiel, Fairview Ridges Hospital, Burnsville
- Daniel Milbridge, Essentia Health-Virginia
- Fred Slunecka, Avera, Sioux Falls, S.D.
- John Rau, Stevens Community Medical Center, Morris
- Mary Ruyter, Sanford Jackson Medical Center
- John Solheim, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Crosby
For more information about the Minnesota Hospital PAC visit www.minnesotahospitalpac.com or contact Kristin Loncorich, MHA government relations director, 651-603-3526 or Mary Krinkie, MHA vice president of government relations, 651-659-1465. ^top of page