Minnesota Hospital Association


June 26, 2017

MHA Newsline: June 26, 2017

In this issue 

Toni Strand, RN, honored with MHA Caregiver of the Year Award

MHA on June 2 honored innovative programs and outstanding leaders in health care at its 33rd annual awards ceremony.   

Registered nurse Toni Strand, house charge nurse at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center, received the MHA Caregiver of the Year Award, which recognizes an individual or caregiving team for providing outstanding patient-care services.   

Strand is described by leaders as engaged, eager to help, supportive and a good problem-solver. As a busy critical access hospital, Avera Marshall gives Strand the opportunity to serve in multiple areas. She oversees day-to-day staffing and all associated nursing operations for behavioral health, medical/surgical, OB/post-partum, emergency and ICU.   

Avera Marshall offers care in a number of specialties, with high activity in orthopedics and obstetrics. Strand is in charge of code teams and is a superuser for the electronic medical record system. She led Avera Marshall's medication reconciliation improvement project and took significant ownership for improved medication safety. She responds to traumas and delivers special care, such as ventilating, to critical infants while awaiting transfer.   

Additional award winners will be profiled in upcoming issues of Newsline. To learn more about the award winners, visit the MHA websitereturn to top   

Sen. Klobuchar visits Northfield Hospital

At MHA’s invitation, U.S. Sen. Klobuchar on Saturday met with Northfield Hospital & Clinics to hear the health care provider’s perspective and listen to concerns about the U.S. Senate’s health care bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). President and CEO Steve Underdahl shared that the bill will increase the number of uninsured Minnesotans who will seek care in the emergency room instead of primary and preventative care and will ultimately impact the hospital’s ability to serve its community. return to top   

Senate releases Better Care Reconciliation Act

Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate unveiled its draft bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the BCRA. The bill is similar to the House’s version, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), passed in May, but makes deeper cuts and structural changes to Medicaid.   

BCRA summary
The BCRA eliminates both the employer and the individual mandate, while allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until they are 26 years old.   

Health insurance subsidies
Tax credits will be primarily based on age, income and geography and would be made to cover a skimpier plan. People would also need to have lower income than under the ACA to receive the tax credits. Cost-sharing subsidies provided to insurers would end in 2020. Insurance companies are not allowed to increase premiums or deny coverage based on preexisting conditions, though states may allow them to not cover costs associated with some conditions. Insurers would be able to charge older customers up to five times as much as younger customers.    

Medicaid funding
Medicaid would be funded by giving states a per capita amount, or block grant, beginning in 2021. The funding amount would grow more slowly, meaning bigger spending cuts overall. The BCRA allows expansion states, including Minnesota, to continue getting federal funding through 2023, with reduced funding beginning in 2021.   

Essential health benefits
Like the ACA, the BCRA requires all insurers to offer 10 categories of essential health benefits, like maternity care and mental health services. The BCRA preserves the rule, but states could apply for a waiver and not have to provide coverage.   

MHA opposes the BCRA
MHA opposes the BCRA and will continue to advocate for preserving coverage for those who have insurance now; meaningful insurance coverage for all Minnesotans; coverage for all essential health care services; and for enhanced public health insurance program payments to providers to cover costs associated with caring for public program participants. MHA will continue to work with Sens. Klobuchar and Franken to protect the interests of Minnesota’s hospitals and the patients they serve, including federal funding for MinnesotaCare, as the Senate considers the BCRA.   

To share your concerns with our federal delegation, Minnesota’s Hospitals: Strengthening Healthy Communities campaign has a tool that will connect you with your member of Congress and the state’s U.S. Senators: http://mnhealthycommunities.org/tell-your-minnesota-representatives-protect-our-health-care/. You can also sign up to receive hospital and health system community information here: http://mnhealthycommunities.org/hospitals-take-action.   

With questions, contact Ben Peltier, vice president of legal and federal affairs, MHA, 651-603-3513. return to top   

New Stratis Health MIPS Estimator available

Stratis Health has developed a new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Estimator for providers to assess how they will perform in the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The estimator determines which measures and data submission methods give the highest baseline MIPS composite score. Click here to download the MIPS Estimator prerelease spreadsheet. Stratis Health plans to release in August an online application that will aggregate group data once individual data is entered. With questions, contact the QPP Help Desk. return to top  

Next issue of Newsline will be published July 10

Newsline will not appear on July 3 due to the Independence Day holiday. The next issue of Newsline will be published on July 10. return to top