Minnesota Hospital Association


November 07, 2016

MHA Newsline: Nov. 7, 2016

In this issue

Hospitals partner with drug courts to change lives

Todd’s 20s were a struggle. Issues with substance abuse and run-ins with the law landed him in a court-ordered treatment program, and it didn’t look like he was going to make it out of the cycle. Every time he received the judge’s orders, he failed to comply. Todd was headed for jail.  

But he was a member of a special program—drug court—and the drug court team wasn’t ready to give up on him. They referred Todd to Allina Health’s New Ulm Medical Center for a neuropsychological exam, which revealed extensive brain injury and damage. The exam resulted in suggestions for how to better communicate with Todd, including the use of certain audio and visual cues.  

Once the judge incorporated these communication techniques, Todd was better able to understand, remember and stay compliant with the judge’s orders. Today, he is sober, has a full-time job and has stayed out of jail – and out of the vicious cycle many substance abusers experience.  

Mental health and addiction often go hand in hand. In a 2012 study of 535 individuals who had gone through drug court, nearly half were dealing not only with substance abuse disorder, but with a mental health disorder too. Minnesota’s hospitals play a major role helping drug court participants receive treatment and achieve recovery. For example, New Ulm Medical Center provides substance abuse counselors as part of a drug court team.  

“We all come to the table with different opinions,” said Marie Larsen, substance use counselor with Allina Health. “So to work as a team to figure out what we think might be the best option for the patient and know that everyone has the patient’s best interest in mind – it’s really impressive to watch that happen.”  

To learn more about how Minnesota hospitals and health systems are making a difference in their own communities, visit the Minnesota's Hospitals: Strengthening Healthy Communities website and Facebook page. return to top  

CDC issues health advisory on infections related to cardiac surgery heater-cooler units

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an additional health advisory regarding a rare risk of life-threatening infection for patients who underwent open-heart surgery involving a Stöckert 3T heater-cooler. Information indicates that this heater-cooler may have been contaminated with the rare bacteria Mycobacterium chimaera during manufacturing.  

Hospitals performing open-chest cardiac surgery should immediately assess their use of heater-cooler devices and determine whether they are currently using – or have previously used – 3T devices. Facilities should ensure that they are implementing current FDA recommendations to minimize patient risk of infections associated with heater-cooler devices.  

Hospitals should advise potentially exposed patients to seek medical care if they are experiencing symptoms such as night sweats, muscle aches, unexplained weight loss, fatigue or unexplained fever. Hospitals and health systems should also review the CDC health advisory and the CDC resource toolkit for more information, sample notification letters and recommendations. return to top  

CMS finalizes 2017 Medicare hospital outpatient payments

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Nov. 1 published its final rule for the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). The agency finalized its proposal to permanently end paying the hospital outpatient facility fee for designated provider-based clinics that came into existence, moved their physical address or changed ownership on or after Nov. 2, 2015. However, CMS will allow grandfathered provider-based clinics to expand their service delivery outside a family of services, but noted it will monitor the expansion of clinical services and likely revisit the policy in future rulemaking.  

CMS will establish Medicare Physician Fee Schedule payment rates for most non-excepted services provided by provider-based clinics, which will reimburse providers at 50 percent of the OPPS rates beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. CMS will accept comments on the new payment system through Dec. 31, 2016.  

Under the final rule, CMS provided a hospital payment update of 1.65 percent, reduced the requirements for electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use attestation and removed three pain management questions on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey from the calculation of value-based purchasing program scores.  

With questions, contact Joe Schindler, vice president of finance, MHA, 651-659-1415, or Briana Nord Parish, policy analyst, MHA, 651-603-3498. return to top  

MHA welcomes new policy analyst

Briana Nord Parish joins MHA as the new policy analyst. In her role, she will assist members on public policy topics, provide support to MHA’s federal and state government relations efforts and oversee the MHA regulatory comments process.  

Briana brings extensive government relations experience in the health care policy arena to MHA. Most recently she was employed at a Washington, D.C., law firm specializing in government relations and advocacy, where she represented a broad range of health care clients.  

Briana holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and international relations from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Master of Public Health degree with a focus on health policy from The George Washington University. Email Briana. return to top  

Register for Nov. 17 patient and family engagement webinar

MHA convenes a statewide virtual Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC) webinar on the third Thursday of each month. The next webinar will take place on Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to noon on the topic of care transitions.  

During the webinar, participants will discuss bedside rounding with patients and families at shift changes and best practices for handoffs across the continuum of care. The webinar will also address tools for safe and effective transitions.  

Online registration is required to join the webinar.  

MHA’s virtual PFAC is an inclusive online community for anyone who is involved in a local PFAC in Minnesota. It is open to patient partners, patient and family engagement leaders and anyone passionate about including patients as partners in their care.  

To learn more or submit proposed content for the webinar discussion, contact Joy Benn, quality and patient safety specialist, MHA, 651-659-1441. return to top  

25 hospitals met PAC fundraising goal by November 1

Congratulations to the 25 hospitals that have met their Minnesota Hospital Political Action Committee (PAC) fundraising goal for 2016:

  • Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center
  • CentraCare Health - Monticello
  • CentraCare Health - Paynesville
  • CHI St. Joseph's Health, Park Rapids
  • Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Crosby
  • Essentia Health-Sandstone
  • Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center, Brainerd
  • FirstLight Health System, Mora
  • Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, Saint Paul
  • Johnson Memorial Health Services, Dawson
  • Lakewood Health System, Staples
  • LifeCare Medical Center, Roseau
  • Maple Grove Hospital
  • Mille Lacs Health System, Onamia
  • North Shore Health
  • Northfield Hospital
  • Perham Health
  • Redwood Area Hospital
  • Riverwood Healthcare Center, Aitkin
  • Saint Elizabeth's Medical Center, Wabasha
  • Sanford Jackson Medical Center
  • St. Cloud Hospital
  • United Hospital District, Blue Earth
  • Windom Area Hospital

These hospitals demonstrate the importance of supporting the PAC. For more information about the PAC or your hospital PAC goal, contact Kristin Loncorich, director of state government relations, MHA, 651-603-3526. return to top  

Participate in the 20th annual ICSI Colloquium on Health Care Transformation

The Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) is accepting abstracts from hospitals and health systems that wish to share their work at the 20th Annual ICSI Colloquium on Health Care Transformation, to be held May 8-10, 2017, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park, MN. Submissions must be received by Friday, Nov. 11.  

The colloquium’s theme, “Health: A Team Sport,” will focus on exploring the new and evolving teams and teamwork needed, both inside and outside of health care, to achieve better health for all and meet the coming shift to value-based payment systems. To learn more and submit abstracts, visit the ICSI websitereturn to top  

MNCM President Jim Chase to step down

Dr. Tim Hernandez, chair of the MN Community Measurement (MNCM) Board of Directors, has announced that MNCM President Jim Chase will step down from his position in early 2017. Chase has served for over a decade in his leadership role and has seen the organization become recognized nationally as an effective public-private partnership measuring health care quality in Minnesota. The board is accepting applications for the position. Learn more on the MNCM websitereturn to top