Minnesota Hospital Association


November 14, 2016

MHA Newsline: Nov. 14, 2016

In this issue

2016 election review

MHA has reviewed the results of the 2016 election in order to identify priorities and issues that will be important to members moving into the next Congress and Minnesota legislative sessions.   

On the federal level, Republicans maintained control of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House. There was no change in the political party makeup of Minnesota’s congressional delegation, which is comprised of five DFL members and three Republican members.   

Regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the current Congress sent President Barack Obama repeal language through the budget reconciliation process, which Obama vetoed. That language would have eliminated the individual mandate, tax credits for those purchasing insurance in the state's exchange, the ACA’s Medicaid expansions and penalties for large employers not providing health coverage. It also would have eliminated the medical device tax and the “Cadillac” plan tax. Major components of President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to replace the ACA involve tax credits for individuals purchasing insurance, allowing people to contribute to health savings accounts tax-free, permitting people to purchase insurance across state borders and introducing block grant federal funding to states for Medicaid.   

On the state level, Republicans gained control of the Minnesota Senate and maintained control of the Minnesota house. MHA’s 2017 legislative priorities will remain consistent, focusing on: 

  • Health care coverage for all Minnesotans, for which hospitals and health systems have long advocated 
  • Mental health, the top public health issue facing Minnesotans 
  • Reducing barriers to health care access 
  • Health care payment reforms that reward high-quality, highly efficient providers 

MHA encourages members to meet with their local legislators prior to the start of Minnesota’s 2017 legislative session on Jan. 3. Legislators appreciate hearing from constituents with personal expertise about health care issues and issues affecting their community’s hospital, and there will be a number of new legislators who may need to be oriented to health care and hospital issues. Resources to support legislative visits are available on the MHA Member Center, which is username and password protected. 

For login information, contact Ashley Beno, member services and communications specialist, MHA, 651-603-3545.    More information for members will be forthcoming closer to the legislative session. For additional support, contact Mary Krinkie, vice president of government relations, MHA, 651-659-1465, or Kristin Loncorich, director of state government relations, MHA, 651-603-3526. return to top   

CMS announces opportunity for partial payment for outstanding inpatient claim appeals

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering hospitals an opportunity to pursue an administrative settlement process for denied inpatient claims. Beginning on Dec. 1, acute care hospitals, including those paid under the prospective payment system and periodic interim payments, and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) will have the option to withdraw pending claims appeals in exchange for partial payments of 66 percent of the net allowable amount. Only denied claims with dates of service prior to Oct. 1, 2013, with appeals pending before an administrative law judge or the Medicare Appeals Council are eligible. Hospitals choosing to participate in the 2016 Hospital Appeals Settlement Process cannot choose to settle some claims and continue to appeal others.   

This is the second round of claim settlements. In 2014, CMS reached settlements with 2,022 hospitals, representing about 346,000 claims. CMS paid hospitals 68 percent of the net allowable amount, approximately $1.47 billion.    

The deadline to submit an Expression of Interest to CMS is Jan. 31, 2017. CMS will host a National Provider Call on Nov. 16 at 12:30 p.m. CST. To register or for more information, visit MLN Connects Event Registration.   

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   

Get Smart About Antibiotics Week is Nov. 14-20

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Get Smart About Antibiotics Week observance will be held Nov. 14-20 to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and the importance of antibiotic prescribing and use. Each year, more than 2 million people in the United States get infections from germs that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 die as a result.   

The single most important action to slow the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant infections is to improve the way antibiotics are prescribed and used. Antibiotic stewardship programs and interventions help ensure that patients receive antibiotics only when absolutely necessary, and that when they are needed, the correct antibiotic is prescribed in a timely manner at the right dose and duration. The CDC has developed promotional and educational materials for health care settings to share with partners and patients. For more information, visit the CDC Get Smart websitereturn to top