Minnesota Hospital Association


October 16, 2017

MHA Newsline: Oct. 16, 2017

In this issue 

MHA participates in roundtable on maternal opioid addiction

Dr. Rahul Koranne, MHA's chief medical officer, on Oct. 13 joined Sen. Al Franken and other Minnesota health care leaders at a roundtable discussion on opioids, with an emphasis on pregnant women. Koranne shared what Minnesota’s hospitals are doing to help treat expectant mothers and their newborn babies who are addicted to opioids.   

To help provide a statewide response to the opioid epidemic in pregnant women and newborns, MHA convened a work group of obstetricians, perinatalogists and neonatologists to develop tools that hospitals and health systems across the state can now use to identify, assess and treat newborns with NAS and their mothers experiencing opioid addiction.   

Resources include a risk assessment tool to help medical professionals identify opioid addiction early during pregnancy, so pregnant women can get appropriate treatment before giving birth; several different newborn assessment tools to help medical professionals identify NAS; and information about NAS treatment options to help hospitals and health systems make decisions about how they will treat NAS.   

“We are in the midst of a severe opioid epidemic and many of our hospitals and health systems are caring for women who are addicted to these powerful opioids during their pregnancy and for babies who are born addicted,” said Koranne. “Our care teams want to treat addiction as early as possible in the course of a woman’s pregnancy in order to ensure a healthy mom and baby.”   

To access the resources, visit the MHA websitereturn to top   

MHA urges CMS to maintain funding for MinnesotaCare

MHA in an Oct. 5 letter joined other Minnesota health care and human service organizations in urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to stop potential funding cuts to MinnesotaCare, the state’s Basic Health Plan (BHP) under the Affordable Care Act, in conjunction with the state’s 1332 waiver request for federal funding for a state-based reinsurance program. State legislators approved creation of the reinsurance program during the 2017 legislative session, contingent on federal approval that would preserve BHP funding.   

MHA has long advocated for health care coverage for all Minnesotans. Minnesota was one of just two states to implement a BHP – enhancing the MinnesotaCare program, which was created over 25 years ago with bipartisan support and now provides nearly 100,000 people with low premiums, low copays and a good benefit set.  

“As we approach open enrollment for 2018 health coverage, Minnesotans need clarity and certainty as to the coverage that will be available to them through both public and private sources,” said Minnesota’s health care and human service leaders in the letter. “We implore you to immediately commit to holding harmless the funding to Minnesota’s BHP as you approve Minnesota’s innovation waiver for reinsurance.” return to top   

Sens. Klobuchar, Franken encourage CMS to consider feedback before finalizing 340B proposal

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken in an Oct. 6 letter were among 57 senators urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to consider feedback from stakeholders before the agency finalizes its proposal to reduce Medicare Part B payment for drugs acquired through the 340B Drug Pricing Program.   

“The long-term success of the 340B program is imperative,” the senators wrote. “As CMS finalizes the 2018 [outpatient prospective payment system] rule, we implore you to carefully consider stakeholder concerns and feedback, and to act to ensure that reimbursement for 340B providers enables them to continue serving the most vulnerable.”   

CMS has proposed to pay for separately payable, non-pass-through drugs purchased through the 340B program at the average sales price minus 22.5 percent, rather than the current rate of ASP plus 6 percent. MHA issued a comment letter Sept. 11 strongly opposing CMS’ proposal. return to top   

MHA’s Associate Member of the Year Life Link III named 2017 Program of the Year by AAMS

Life Link III on Oct. 9 was named Program of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS). The award recognizes an air medical program that has demonstrated a superior level of patient care, management prowess, and quality leadership through visionary and innovative approaches, customer service, safety consciousness, community service and commitment to the medical transport community as a whole.   

Life Link III is the air medical transport program for the following consortium member-owners: Allina Health, CentraCare Health, Children’s Minnesota, Essentia Health, Fairview Health Services, Regions Hospital/HealthPartners, Hennepin County Medical Center, St. Luke’s and Wisconsin’s Sacred Heart Hospital. The organization also earned MHA’s 2017 Associate Member of the Year Award. return to top