Minnesota Hospital Association


April 17, 2017

MHA Newsline: April 17, 2017

In this issue

Neighborhood Health Connection promotes community health and well-being

Neighborhood Health Connection, a community grant program developed by Allina Health, aims to improve the health of communities through social connections, healthy eating and physical activity. Activities must include a series of at least six events, all for the same group of adults or families. 

“Research shows when we participate in a healthy activity with people we are connected to, we are more likely to stick with it,” said Ruth Olkon, community health improvement manager at Allina Health. “People with positive relationships, or social connections, are healthier and help make our communities stronger.” 

Neighborhood Health Connection Grant participants have consistently reported positive changes in social connections, healthy eating and physical activity. Additionally, follow-up surveys revealed these positive changes continued six months after the end of the grant.

In 2015, Allina Health awarded 59 Neighborhood Health Connection Grants to local nonprofits and government agencies in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Grants ranging from $500–$10,000 were used to help people make – and strengthen – personal connections through healthy activities. A total of 2,789 people participated in those activities. 

Visit the MHA website to learn more and read the full 2016 Community Benefit Report. return to top

CMS selects Allina Health for Accountable Health Communities project

Allina Health is among 32 organizations nationwide selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s Accountable Health Communities (AHC) model. Over a five-year period, CMS will implement and test the AHC model to support local communities in addressing the health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries by bridging the gap between clinical and community service providers. Social needs include housing instability, food insecurity, utility needs, interpersonal violence and transportation. Allina Health's target area for this project includes Anoka, Dakota, Isanti, Ramsey and Washington Counties.

"Our role is to screen the Medicare and Medicaid patients we see in our hospitals, primary care clinics, and urgent care centers in the five-county target area, to determine health-related social needs, and then help people connect to community resources to address their needs," said Ellie Zuehlke, Allina Health Director of Community Benefit and Engagement. "We know that health-related social needs are critical drivers of unnecessary health care utilization and costs, but are often difficult to address. Our goal is to provide the link between our patients and the community services that can help them before they end up in a hospital emergency room."

Learn more from Allina Health. return to top

CMS quality improvement director presents to MHA QPS Committee

The MHA Quality and Patient Safety at its quarterly meeting on April 13 welcomed Dennis Wagner, MPA, director of the Quality Improvement and Innovation Group, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Wagner and his team at CMS have partnered closely with MHA since the launch of CMS’ Partnership for Patients quality improvement work in 2011.

Wagner recognized Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems as national leaders in quality and patient safety efforts, specifically demonstrated by sustained improvements in the areas of readmissions, pressure ulcers, sepsis, delirium and patient and family engagement. He also highlighted a call to action for Minnesota to continue to reduce healthcare-associated infections.

Wagner gave the committee a national perspective on how CMS is tracking quality and patient safety improvement through yearly random patient chart reviews and measuring all patient harm incidences per 1,000 discharges. Through improvement work such as the MHA Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN), CMS has noted a significant reduction in patient harm from the baseline of 145 harm incidences per 1,000 discharges in 2010 down to 115 per 1,000 in 2015. This nationwide improvement work has translated into almost 125,000 patient lives saved.

Regarding the focus of CMS in the future, Wagner noted that behavioral health, obesity, opioids, showing results through data and results, and reducing the burden of data reporting will be critical to ensuring ongoing success in continuous quality improvement.

In closing, Wagner shared that he had queried his teammates and colleagues at CMS about how they would describe the work being performed by Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems. Their descriptions characterized Minnesota’s HIIN as diligent, collaborative, conscientious, thoughtful, intentional and effective.

“Having Dennis make this visit to MHA’s QPS Committee was an honor,” said Tania Daniels, vice president of quality and patient safety, MHA. “In my work with Dennis since 2011, I have found him and his team to be incredible leaders in quality and patient safety, which inspires us in Minnesota to be the very best that we can be for the patients and communities we are all privileged to serve.” return to top

Deadline for CEO, CFO, CNE salary surveys extended to April 21

The deadline for submitting this year’s chief executive officer, chief financial officer and chief nurse executive online compensation surveys has been extended to Friday, April 21.

The survey results will highlight salary averages by budget size, years in health care, geographical region and years in current positions. The broader the survey participation base, the more representative the results. Summary reports will be sent to participants in mid-May.

Members eligible to participate in the confidential surveys received a follow-up email with access instructions on April 10. With questions regarding the surveys, contact Matt Hovila, financial analyst, MHA, 651-603-3536. return to top

Submit proposals for PMP data grant opportunity by May 10

The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, through its Prescription Monitoring Program (MN PMP), has issued a call for proposals from qualified Minnesota health care entities, licensed pharmacies and State Certified Health Information Exchange Service Providers-Health Information Organizations (HIE-HIOs) to integrate access to PMP data into electronic clinical workflow using electronic medical record or pharmacy software. Successful respondents will receive funds to help them implement this effort. Visit MN PMP for more information about its grant opportunity. return to top