In this issue:
spotlight: Fairview Northland a great place to work
Fairview Northland Medical Center in
Princeton has paid close attention to creating the kind of
environment that promotes both employee and patient satisfaction.
Guided by the saying, “Our every day is their once in a lifetime,”
Fairview Northland has built a culture that focuses on communication
and places a strong emphasis on improving results. Read more about how Fairview
Northland earned the small hospital award for MHA’s Best Minnesota
Hospital Workplace. return to top
Get your questions answered about enrolling patients through MNsure
financial and patient services reps encouraged to attend Sept. 6
to join us on Friday, Sept. 6 at the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis to hear from the experts about enrolling
patients in MinnesotaCare and Medicaid through Minnesota’s online
insurance marketplace, MNsure.
Beginning Oct. 1, Minnesota's hospitals and health systems will play
important roles in helping our patients enroll in state public
programs and new subsidized coverage options through Minnesota's new
Health Insurance Exchange. Susan Hammersten, health care reform
program manager, Minnesota Department of Human Services, will join
David Van Sant, navigator broker manager, MNsure, in providing the
most comprehensive and up-to-date information available about how
hospitals and health systems will fulfill these roles. Other
trainings from MNsure are expected to be web-based and not in-person,
so MHA urges your attendance at this program.
The program is designed for CEOs, CFOs, financial counselors,
business office managers, social workers, patient services and
government relations officers. The program begins at 10 a.m. at the
Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis. Please share this information with the
relevant people within your organization and encourage them to
attend. Click here to register.
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Hospitals at risk for additional cuts to reimbursement during upcoming budget and debt ceiling debates
Minnesota hospitals’ ability to
maintain our current level of high-quality, low-cost access to care
will once again be threatened as Congress faces the looming
challenges of passing a fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget and the need to
raise the debt ceiling. Congress resumes on Sept. 9 from its August
recess and has just nine session days to handle these issues or face
a government shutdown.
The federal FY begins on Oct. 1 and Congress must decide if they will
pass a new budget, a continuing resolution which funds the government
at current “sequester” levels, or face a government shutdown. In
addition, the Treasury Department is expected to announce that a
debt-ceiling increase will be needed by the end of October.
During the Congressional recess, top White House officials are
negotiating with Republican Senators in an effort to reach a deal
that cuts the deficit, lifts the debt ceiling and funds the
Republican leadership would like to use this opportunity to defund
elements of the Affordable Care Act, although neither the Republicans
nor Democrats have fully shown their “hand” in this debate.
As Congress looks for savings, cuts to hospital reimbursement that
have been on the table in previous proposals will likely be
considered once again. These previously proposed cuts include:
- reductions in reimbursement for outpatient
evaluation and management services;
- reductions in direct and indirect graduate
medical education funding;
- restrictions in mileage or reductions in
reimbursement for critical access hospitals and sole community
- and assistance to low-income Medicare
beneficiaries or “bad debt” reimbursement cuts.
MHA staff will be in Washington D.C.
in mid-September to meet face-to-face with the health care staff from
our delegation to discuss how further cuts to hospitals and health
systems could limit patients’ access to care.
MHA members are also encouraged to reach out to federal lawmakers to
discuss the impact of the cuts we are already facing, including the
sequester. Hearing first-hand how these cuts have impacted your
facility and the patients you serve is one of our most powerful ways
For questions regarding federal advocacy efforts with our delegation,
please contact Ann Gibson, MHA vice president of
federal relations and workforce, 651-603-3527. return to top
New study to look at collaborative models for improving community health
Minnesota hospitals and health
systems have an opportunity to participate in a new study which seeks
to identify, compare and contrast exceptional models of collaborative
partnerships involving hospitals, public health departments, and
other stakeholders who are committed to improving community health
and determine the key lessons learned from their experience.
The study, which is being sponsored by a coalition including the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and supported by the American Hospital
Association, will be led by Lawrence Prybil, PhD., LFACHE, at the
University of Kentucky, College of Public Health.
An executive summary of the study can be found on the MHA website here. In particular, the study looks
to identify models that demonstrate the core characteristics of
successful partnerships outlined on pages 3-4 of the executive
summary. Nomination materials to participate in the study can be
found at http://www.uky.edu/publichealth/nominationForm.
Nominations should be submitted by Sept. 12, 2013. return to top
Medicaid presumptive eligibility hospital tool kit available
The Affordable Care Act allows
hospitals to use “presumptive eligibility” in determining patients’
eligibility for Medicaid. Under the new regulations, hospitals can
temporarily enroll patients in Medicaid coverage at the point of
service with a few basic pieces of information such as income and
household size. This not only will help patients get connected to
needed health coverage, but also will help hospitals receive payment
for services provided before a full Medicaid determination is made.
For more details on Minnesota’s presumptive eligibility rules, see
this July 29 Newsline article.
To help hospitals get started and learn more about making presumptive
eligibility determinations, Enroll America has developed a web-based
tool kit. Enroll America is a nonpartisan organization whose mission
is to enroll uninsured Americans in available health coverage. Click here to access the tool kit.
The American Hospital Association has also developed a new website, www.aha.org/getenrolled, with
resources on ways hospitals can get involved in health insurance
outreach and enrollment. return to top
96 Minnesota hospitals recognized for high flu vaccination rates
The Minnesota Department of Health
recently recognized hospitals and nursing homes for achieving high
levels of vaccination rates among their employees for the 2012-13
influenza season. A total of 106 hospitals participated in MDH’s
FluSafe program and 96 achieved vaccination rates of at least 70
percent. Among the 2012-13 hospital participants, 31 reached
vaccination levels of 90 percent or greater, earning blue ribbons; 35
were between 80-89 percent, earning red ribbons; and 30 were between
70-79 percent, earning white ribbons. Check out the full list of ribbon-earning hospitals.
Information on how to participate in FluSafe for the 2013-14
influenza season will be available soon. return to top
First Contact video, form fields online
The Minnesota Board on Aging (MBA)
has posted a video of the recent First Contact Road Show meetings on
its website. Those
who were unable to attend the meetings in person can watch the videos
to receive the information.
In addition, MBA will be posting the First Contact referral form
fields online to allow providers to incorporate these fields into
their electronic medical records system and help streamline the
process at discharge. The fields will be available this week on the MBA website.
First Contact is the new hospital discharge protocol for adults
discharged to a Medicaid-certified nursing home, including swing
beds. The protocol is scheduled to be implemented Oct. 1. For more
information, click here. return to top
Normandale College offers workforce training in health IT
The need for health information
technology (HIT) professionals is at critical mass for hospitals due
to federal and regulatory requirements that are driving software,
hardware and many other IT and business needs. Normandale Community
College offers a six-month Health IT Training program (100 percent
online) designed to give students the knowledge, skills and critical
thinking to work as an HIT professional within healthcare, IT,
insurance, pharmacy, medical device, allied health and other related
industries that utilize health information systems for electronic
medical records and health information exchange. So far, more than
450 health IT professionals have completed this program and are
helping with HIT needs for providers across the state.
An information session will be held Sept. 11 at Normandale College
and the next cohort begins Sept. 23. To learn more about the program
and how you can train in Health IT, visit www.MNHealthIT.com.
return to top
ECHO Minnesota seeks input from health professionals
ECHO Minnesota has provided various
multilingual resources about health and safety to the health
community since 2004. With the insight of public health
professionals, the cultural and linguistic knowledge of ECHO’s
Bilingual Ambassadors, and the expertise of medical professionals
from various cultural backgrounds — ECHO has been able to create
relevant, needed and helpful multilingual multimedia materials to
help Minnesotans be healthy, safe and ready.
You are invited to complete ECHO’s “Service Provider Survey” to ensure
multilingual health education materials are created for our
community. Your opinions are anonymous and your input is important.
ECHO encourages you to also forward the survey to friends and
colleagues and invite them to share their feedback and
suggestions. The survey deadline is Sept. 30. A summary of
results will be shared with survey participants this fall. return to top