Minnesota Hospital Association


February 06, 2017

MHA Newsline: Feb. 6, 2017

In this issue:

Reminder: Controlled substance diversion resources available

As the result of a joint task force partnership in 2011-12 with the state, health care stakeholders and law enforcement, Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems have enhanced efforts to create new security and controls to actively prevent and detect drug diversion.

The Controlled Substance Diversion Coalition was convened by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) in May 2011 to prevent theft of prescription drugs and to raise awareness about the issue within health care settings. The coalition is an effort of a broad-based stakeholder group, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, home care and hospice.

The coalition created a road map and tool kit to improve health care providers’ controlled substance storage and security, procurement, prescribing, preparation and dispensing. The road map includes training materials, sample policies and procedures, and a flow chart of reporting guidelines and requirements that providers should use when they suspect a drug diversion has occurred and to improve prevention and detection.

The road map is a collection of about 100 best practices for preventing and responding to controlled substance diversions. Some examples include camera surveillance in high risk areas, keeping prescription pads in locked locations, implementing a clearly defined process for controlling and accounting for keys, rules against sharing pass codes, utilizing bar codes for tracking, deploying secure and locked delivery carts and using tamper-resistant packaging

The Safer Care Controlled Substance Diversion Prevention Road Map is now posted for all hospitals and health systems on the MHA data portal. MHA members wishing to access the full road map to Controlled Substance Diversion Prevention or join the Controlled Substance Diversion Prevention Network should contact Jenny Schoenecker, quality improvement specialist and mental and behavioral health assistant director, MHA, 651-603-3507. return to top

DHS launches website with information about proposed ACA repeal

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has launched a website providing information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the potential effects of its proposed repeal on Minnesotans. Visit the website to access issue briefs, news updates and policy analyses. DHS plans to update the website regularly as new information is available. return to top

MHA testifies on governor’s budget proposal

Last week at the Capitol, the Health and Human Services committees of both the House and Senate held hearings to review the governor’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) budget proposals for the 2018-19 biennium.

During a hearing of the Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee, Mary Krinkie, vice president of government relations, testified on the governor’s proposals for direct care and treatment. Krinkie indicated MHA’s support of the governor’s proposal to return to counties a portion of the money counties pay when an individual is receiving care at Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center (AMRTC), a Community Behavioral Health Hospital (CBHH) or the residential competency restoration program and no longer requires the hospital level of care these programs provide. This return of county payments must be used for mental health services.

In addition, Krinkie expressed MHA’s concerns regarding the governor’s overall budget proposal because of its extensive use of the Health Care Access Fund (HCAF). The proposal shifts $716 million out of the HCAF to fund budget priorities outside of the MinnesotaCare program as well as outside of other health care expenditures. 

This week at the Capitol, Kimber Wraalstad, CEO, Cook County North Shore Hospital & Care Center, Grand Marais, will testify in support of legislation sponsored by MHA. HF582 (Schomacker – GOP – Luverne)/SF386 (Relph – GOP – St. Cloud) limits the ability of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to regulate physician locum agencies.

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

MHA joins other health care stakeholders in letter to Congressional delegation on Medicaid

MHA joined 26 other Minnesota organizations in urging Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and members of the House delegation to consider the impact of potential reform proposals on the Medicaid program. The letter stressed the importance of maintaining the current Medicaid federal funding level and ensuring the program can meet increased Medicaid enrollment during economic downturns. The letter highlighted that Minnesota providers are already low-cost, high-quality providers and were able to successfully implement innovations, including the Integrated Health Partnerships, under the ACA and current Medicaid structure. Read the letter.

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

340B Drug Pricing Program omnibus guidance withdrawn from OMB review

After receiving the 340B Drug Pricing Program draft rules in September 2016, the Office of Management and Budget withdrew 340B Drug Pricing Program omnibus guidance from consideration on Jan. 30. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) omnibus guidance, which will not be released, would have tightened requirements for which patients, drugs and providers qualify for the program discounts on prescription medicines.

Among the requirements included in the omnibus guidance released in August 2015, the proposal also called for increased documentation from hospitals and said that eligibility for discounts would be evaluated on a "prescription-by-prescription basis" rather than per individual patients. The American Hospital Association (AHA) previously expressed strong concerns regarding HRSA’s proposed policy changes, stating that redefining 340B patient eligibility would have inappropriately narrowed the number of drugs that qualify for 340B pricing and threatened access to care for patients who need it the most.

With questions, contact Briana Nord Parish, policy analyst, MHA, 651-603-3498; Ben Peltier, vice president of legal and federal affairs, MHA, 651-603-3513; or Joe Schindler, vice president of finance, MHA, 651-659-1415. return to top

Register for Feb. 16 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 Community of Patient Partners webinar will take place on Feb. 16 from 11 a.m. to noon on the topic of antibiotic stewardship.

During the webinar, MHA will highlight how Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems are changing practices and educating patients about antibiotic stewardship. A patient experience leader and patients will discuss sharing knowledge about this growing health care concern and helping empower patients to make informed decisions.

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