Valley Hospital honored with MHA Community Benefit Award
MHA on June 2 honored innovative programs and outstanding leaders in health
care at its 33rd annual awards ceremony.
Bigfork Valley Hospital received the Community Benefit Award in the small
hospital category, which recognizes hospitals for working beyond their physical
walls to improve the health and well-being of their communities.
Bigfork Valley Hospital was honored for its Bigfork Valley ACTIVE magazine.
Through its Community Health Needs Assessment, Bigfork Valley found it needed
to connect with the community in a meaningful and effective way to address
obesity. It chose to make staying active and eating well important enough to
community members to overcome constraints like not having enough time or not
liking the flavors of healthy foods. Bigfork Valley transformed its four-page
hospital district newsletter into a 16-page magazine describing locally
available fitness activities and delicious healthy foods.
Six times a year, 3,020 households in the approximately 1,000-square-mile
hospital district receive Bigfork Valley ACTIVE magazine. For a wider
distribution, the hospital also posts the entire magazine on its website.
Highlighted topics have ranged from cross country skiing and golf course
walking to antioxidants and roasting vegetables to the value of laughter. As a
call to action, the magazine includes a calendar of area active events where
people can learn, practice or compete in a sport or activity.
Additional award winners will be profiled in upcoming issues of Newsline. To
learn more about the award winners, visit the MHA website. return to top
president and CEO appointed to represent hospitals on MCHA board of directors
MHA President and CEO Lorry Massa was appointed by Commissioner
of Human Services Emily Piper to serve on the Minnesota Comprehensive Health
Association (MCHA) board of directors.
Legislation that went into effect April 4 requires that the MCHA board be
comprised of two additional members, one representing hospitals and one
representing health care providers. Massa was selected to represent hospitals
on the board for a term beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2019. This is a
particularly important role as the state looks at re-creating a high-risk pool
as a potential solution to the problems with the individual insurance
market. return to top
proposes changes to QPP
On June 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
issued a proposed rule amending the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) for
calendar year 2018. The QPP – often referred to as MACRA for the original
authorizing legislation – requires certain clinicians to participate in either
Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) or a Merit-based Incentive Payment
The Trump administration believes the proposed changes will increase
flexibility for clinicians and will reduce the regulatory burden imposed by the
quality initiatives. Some key changes include allowing facility-based providers
to meet MIPS requirements through the submission of measures and results from
hospitals, allowances for more group reporting and “virtual groups” in MIPS,
and an increase in the low-volume threshold that will exempt more providers
from the participation requirements.
The deadline to submit comments on the proposed rule is Aug. 21. A final rule
is expected in October. View the proposed rule. return to top
call for MN Hospital PAC golf tournament
This is the last call for registrations for the Minnesota
Hospital Political Action Committee (PAC) golf tournament. The tournament will
be held on July 31 at Territory Golf Club in St. Cloud. Lunch will be
served at 11:30 a.m., shotgun start at 12:30 p.m., with a dinner buffet and
awards to follow at 5 p.m. Please contact Andrea Wombacher, division assistant, MHA, 651-603-3539, for information
and to register. return to top
for Aug. 24 medication safety conference
MHA will host a medication safety conference on Aug. 24 from 8
a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth. Pharmacists, physicians,
nurses, leadership, medication safety officers and quality and risk management
staff are encouraged to attend this full day of learning on medication safety.
Lt. Col. Jerry Both, a commercial pilot, will deliver a keynote patient story
comparing aviation’s Crew Resource Management (CRM) with health care’s TeamSTEPPS,
both aimed at improving communication and teamwork skills to optimize safety.
Joe Cappello, a diversion investigator for the DEA, and Kimberly Brill, the DEA
diversion group supervisor for Minnesota, will present on diversion and answer
your questions about when and how to report diversion. Other topics include
newer insulins, direct oral anticoagulants and medication reconciliation.
To learn more and register, view the conference brochure or event page. return to top
members encouraged to complete Lean survey
Approximately six weeks ago, American Hospital Association (AHA)
members received a request from the CLEAR Institute to participate in a short
survey about Lean management. The survey is designed to gather data for a study
being conducted by Professor Stephen M. Shortell at the University of
California – Berkley in collaboration with the AHA.
The survey is to be completed by an organization’s chief medical officer or
equivalent and is estimated to take three to 20 minutes. The deadline to
complete the survey has been extended to July 31.
MHA encourages members, including members that use Lean management principles,
as well as those that have not adopted that program, to participate in the
survey. The study will generate valuable insights for all participants, as well
as important information for MHA’s and AHA’s ongoing activities on behalf of
For additional details about accessing the survey, please refer to the
invitation from CLEAR Institute or contact AHA’s survey support resources at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 800-530-9092. To learn more, view the sample invitation. return to top
Medicaid face-to-face documentation requirements effective July 1
As of July 1, face-to-face documentation requirements expanded
to home health services covered by Medicaid per federal legislation.
Legislation passed as part of the health and human services omnibus finance
bill contains specific direction for Minnesota in coming into compliance with
this new federal mandate.
The language states that a face-to-face encounter by a qualifying provider must
be completed for all home health services regardless of the need for prior
authorization, except when providing a one-time perinatal visit by skilled
nursing. The face-to-face encounter may occur through telemedicine as defined
in statute. The encounter must be related to the primary reason the recipient
requires home health services and must occur within the 90 days before or the
30 days after the start of services. The face-to-face encounter may be conducted
by one of the following practitioners, licensed in Minnesota:
- Nurse practitioner or clinical
- Certified nurse midwife
- Physician assistant
Learn more from the Minnesota HomeCare Association. return to top