Minnesota Hospital Association


May 22, 2017

MHA Newsline: May 22, 2017

In this issue 

No agreement on HHS omnibus bill

The regular legislative session ends today, May 22, at midnight. While work took place at the Capitol over the weekend and continues today, with progress being made in some areas, no final agreement on the health and human services omnibus bill had been reached at the time of publication of this edition of Newsline.   

MHA continues to advocate for legislative priorities, including hospital rebasing and no cuts to providers. It is anticipated that a short special session will be necessary to pass final bills.   

Once an agreement has been reached, MHA legislative staff will send a summary to MHA members.   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 Ashley Beno, member services and communications specialist, 651-603-3545. return to top   

CMS holds listening session on rural hospital impacts of direct supervision requirement for therapeutic services, other regulatory burdens

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma on May 16 led a listening session focused on the direct physician supervision of outpatient therapeutic services issue and its impact on rural hospitals. Representatives from the American Hospital Association, the National Rural Health Association and several state hospital associations, including MHA, participated in person or by phone describing concerns over cost, patient access and the administrative burden of CMS’ current interpretation.   

Verma was sympathetic to rural hospital needs and said CMS will be placing greater emphasis on the unique challenges facing rural hospitals. Though there was no specific commitment to address the direct supervision issue, it was noted as a high-priority concern. Other areas of potential regulatory relief for rural hospitals cited during the meeting included proposals to cancel the Stage 3 “meaningful use” program, expand Medicare coverage of telehealth services, allow flexibility for providers who want to share treatment space and loosen restrictions associated with the 96-hour condition of payment.   

For more information about the meeting, contact Joe Schindler, vice president of finance, MHA, 651-659-1415. return to top   

Upcoming trustee conference receives approval for continuing education for nursing home administrators

The MHA Annual Summer Trustee Conference, themed “Strategies for Effective Governance,” will be held July 14-16 at the Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria. The content of the Summer Trustee Conference has been approved by the Minnesota Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators for up to 8.75 contact hours.   

A total of six general sessions and nine breakout sessions at the conference will focus on areas such as transformation, reform, patient safety and the future of health care. All sessions were approved for credit. 

For more information or to register, download the conference brochure or visit the MHA websitereturn to top  

DHS requests 2018 proposals for next generation of Integrated Health Partnerships program

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) inviting health care delivery systems to join the next generation of the Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP) program.   

Over the past five years, DHS has contracted with innovative health care delivery systems to provide high-quality, efficient care to Minnesota’s Medicaid population. Under this program participating providers enter into an arrangement with DHS, by which they are held accountable for the costs and quality of care their Medicaid patients receive. Providers showing an overall savings across their population, while maintaining or improving the quality of care, receive a portion of the savings. Providers who cost more over time may be required to pay back a portion of the losses.   

Beginning in 2018, DHS will be expanding and enhancing this model in several important ways. DHS will introduce multiple tracks to accommodate a diverse set of provider systems, add a quarterly population-based payment to support care coordination and infrastructure needs and modify the quality measurements methodology.   

DHS encourages current IHP participants, health care homes and other innovative provider systems to apply. The RFP is available through the program’s webpage or through DHS’s Grants and RFPs website

Letters of intent to apply must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 18. Applications must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1.   

Informational webinars will be scheduled throughout the open response period prior to the application due date. The dates of these webinars will be announced 10 days prior to their delivery through the DHS IHP listserv and on the IHP website. To be added to the DHS IHP Listserv, please email [email protected] or sign up online.   

For further information, please contact Mathew Spaan, DHS, 651-431-2495. return to top   

USDA accepting applications for rural telemedicine grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for rural telemedicine grants through July 17. Grants of up to $500,000 each for equipment and technical assistance to provide telemedicine services in rural areas will be available to hospitals and other eligible providers. The grants, which are awarded through a competitive process, may be used to fund telecommunications-enabled information, audio and video equipment, and related advanced technologies that extend educational and medical applications into rural areas.   

Grants are intended to benefit end users in rural areas, who are often not in the same location as the source of the educational or health care service. Of the funds made available, $1.6 million will be prioritized to provide for communication upgrades between ambulances, emergency transportation vehicles and medical facilities. Applicants must serve a rural area, demonstrate economic need and provide at least 15 percent in matching funds. Grants are provided through the Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program, which provides funds to improve telemedicine and distance learning services in rural areas. For more information and to apply, visit www.rd.usda.govreturn to top  

AHA launches campaign to combat violence

On June 9, hospitals nationwide will call attention to ending all forms of violence through a digital media campaign sponsored by the American Hospital Association (AHA): #HAVhope. Violence is one of the country’s major public health and safety issues in homes, workplaces and communities. According to the CDC, more than 2.3 million people are treated in U.S. emergency departments each year for violent injuries. Violence costs more than $85 billion annually in medical expenses and lost productivity.   

#HAVhope National Day of Awareness encourages local and national organizations to unite via shared tweets, posted photos and other online efforts. To become an organizational supporter, sign up on the #HAVhope website. Supporters only need to share a photo holding hands with colleagues or community partners, along with a short description of their commitment to combating violence and a link to their website.   

For more information, visit the #HAVhope website. You also can download AHA’s digital toolkit for sharing messages on social media. return to top   

UMHLPLC annual conference to be held June 1

Registration is now open for the 2017 Upper Midwest Healthcare Legal Partnership Learning Collaborative (UMHLPLC) annual conference, “From Aim to Impact,” which will be held June 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Continuing and Education Conference Center in St. Paul.   

The conference will explain how Healthcare Legal Partnerships (HLPs) can improve health and how interested health care and legal service providers can collaborate on reducing negative social determinants of health in primary and specialty care practice settings.   

The keynote speaker is Frank Cerra, M.D., McKnight Presidential Leadership Chair, emeritus professor and dean of the Medical School, former senior vice president for health sciences and senior advisor to the Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, University of Minnesota. The event also features Chris Wendt, J.D., chair, Minnesota Legal Services Advisory Committee, and legal counsel, Mayo Clinic. 

Learn more and register online. With questions, contact Lynn Lederman, conference planner. return to top   

Next issue of Newsline will be published May 30

Newsline will not appear on May 29 due to the Memorial Day holiday. The next issue of Newsline will be published on May 30. return to top