Minnesota Hospital Association


January 16, 2017

MHA Newsline: Jan. 16, 2017

In this issue 

Allina Health President/CEO elected to AHA council

Dr. Penny Wheeler, president and CEO of Allina Health, in January was among national health system leaders elected to three-year terms on the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Constituency Section for Health Care Systems Council. The 20-person council represents AHA’s 250 health system members by participating in AHA’s policy, advocacy and resource development, with a particular focus on unique issues for health systems. To learn more about the work of the council, visit the AHA websitereturn to top   

Health care insurance reform bill passes state Senate

Last week at the Capitol, Senate File 1 (Benson – GOP - Ham Lake) passed the Senate Floor. The House is expected to pass its version of the health care insurance reform bill, House File 1 (Hoppe – GOP - Chaska) this week. Once the bills pass both bodies, they will be reconciled in a conference committee. MHA has indicated general support for proposals that provide relief to Minnesotans experiencing these large increases and for using general fund revenues rather than the Health Care Access Fund.   

On Tuesday, four MHA members will testify in front of the House Health and Human Services Finance committee regarding access to health care providers and narrow networks in their counties.   

With questions, contact Mary Krinkie, vice president of government relations, MHA, 651-659-1465, or Kristin Loncorich, director of state government relations, MHA, 651-603-3526.  

Session bill tracker
For a complete list of 2017 legislative bills MHA is tracking, visit the MHA Member Center. For assistance accessing the Member Center, contact Emily Lowther, communications manager, MHA, 651-603-3495. return to top

Congress approves budget resolution, ACA repeal process begins

Last week, both the U.S. House and Senate approved the fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget resolution. Congressional approval of the budget resolution is the first procedural step in repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The budget resolution includes reconciliation instructions directing committees of jurisdiction to repeal certain ACA provisions that have a budgetary impact. A reconciliation bill will not include replacement provisions and is expected to repeal health care exchanges and eliminate subsidies to buy insurance on the exchange, terminate the individual and employer insurance mandates, and repeal the Medicaid expansion over a 2-year period, among other provisions.   

Support for repealing and replacing the ACA simultaneously seems to be growing among GOP members of the House and Senate. However, the timing of consideration of a replacement plan is still unknown. Some support quickly moving repeal and replace legislation early this year, while others favor a two-year delay of repeal to give Congress more time to develop a replacement plan, which will include policy provisions and will need 60 votes to pass the Senate.   

Last week in Washington, MHA met with members or staff of Minnesota’s congressional delegation. It was clear that health care is at the forefront of Republican and Democratic members’ minds; however, there seems to be no clear plan for ACA repeal and replace. MHA President and CEO Lawrence Massa and Ben Peltier, vice president of legal and federal affairs, met with Senator Franken, Representatives Emmer, Paulsen, Lewis, McCollum, Nolan and staff for Senator Klobuchar and Representatives Peterson and Ellison.   

MHA shared support for the ACA and its positive impact in the state, highlighting that it led to a drop in the uninsured rate, from 9 to 4 percent. Minnesota has a long tradition of providing coverage for its residents, and MHA emphasized coverage must be maintained under ACA repeal and replace.   

MHA also highlighted that the ACA has allowed the state’s providers to implement care innovations, such as establishing integrated health care partnerships, which have saved Minnesota health care spending. Also, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has continually recognized Minnesota’s hospitals as national leaders as a result of our participation in the Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network. It is important to MHA to maintain the emphasis on improvement and lowering costs. Health care payment reforms should continue to reward high quality, highly efficient providers.   

With questions, contact Briana Nord Parish, policy analyst, MHA, 651-603-3498, or Ben Peltier, vice president of legal and federal affairs, MHA, 651-603-3513. return to top   

Participate in 2017 workforce planning data collection by Feb. 3

In 2016, MHA developed our own online workforce planning tool that MHA members can access to analyze their own data against state benchmarks. Based on user feedback, the capabilities of the tool are being enhanced for the 2017 report.   

Since 2010, more than 100 hospitals annually have participated in MHA’s workforce planning survey of 38 direct patient-care jobs. MHA uses the results of this survey to inform members and other stakeholders about workforce trends. Data is now being collected for the 2017 report. The submission deadline is Feb. 3. All member hospitals and health systems are invited to participate in workforce data submission   Data is available to MHA members in April, with an annual statewide summary distribution in May. Regional summaries are also reviewed at spring MHA region meetings.   

For more information about participation, data submission, the online tool or any other questions, please contact Nathalie Squire, workforce project manager, MHA, 651-603-3540. return to top   

MHA subsidiary offers application and credential management services

The Minnesota Credentialing Collaborative (MCC) – a joint venture of MHA, the Minnesota Medical Association and the Minnesota Council of Health Plans – has new offers on web-based products available to assist hospitals and health systems with medical staff application processing and credentials management.   

Aperture, MCC’s exclusive vendor, provides a suite of services to help with all aspects of the application and credentialing process. MHA members are eligible for limited-time offers that allow for testing of the products.    

For more details about the MCC products and offers, view the flier.   

For more information, contact Ben Peltier, vice president of legal and federal affairs, MHA, 651-603-3513, or Tracey Tokheim, product manager, Aperture, 502-540-8204. return to top   

Community paramedic toolkit available from MDH

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has published a community paramedic toolkit for prospective employers and partners. The purpose of the toolkit is to assist employers and organizations planning to hire community paramedics.   

The community paramedic role leverages the medical and community expertise of paramedics and, through additional training, applies their skills to primary care settings. Community paramedics are able to: 

  • Reduce overall health care costs by helping patients avoid more acute care such as hospital readmissions  
  • Improve health outcomes for specific populations 
  • Improve patient experience 

The toolkit and background resources are available on MDH’s toolkit website.   

The community paramedic toolkit was developed by the Paramedic Foundation, with funding provided by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Improvement via the Minnesota State Innovation Model (SIM) grantreturn to top