Minnesota Hospital Association


October 30, 2017

MHA Newsline: Oct. 30, 2017

In this issue 

AHA releases opioid toolkit; MHA to develop new resources

The American Hospital Association (AHA) on Oct. 23 released a new opioid toolkit to provide guidance and information to hospitals and health systems on how they can work with patients, clinicians and communities to stem the opioid epidemic.   

The opioid toolkit reviews the multifaceted role of hospitals and health systems in fighting the epidemic; reiterates the key activities that every hospital should be undertaking; and offers sources of expertise, ideas and resources to assist hospitals in fulfilling their roles. Essentia Health’s chronic opioid analgesic therapy (COAT) program, CHI St. Gabriel’s Health and Morrison County’s Prescription Drug Task Force and MHA’s neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) toolkit are included in the AHA toolkit as best-practice examples.   

Through a partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS), MHA is convening a subgroup to develop a road map building on the NAS toolkit to support better identification, screening and treatment of NAS. MHA is seeking broad-based representation to comprise the subgroup, including the expertise of obstetricians, perinatologists, neonatologists, pediatricians, and other multidisciplinary leaders. With questions or to indicate your interest in participating, contact Susan Klammer, quality and process improvement specialist, MHA, 651-603-3529. return to top   

Congress approves budget resolution, streamlining legislative process for tax reform

The House on Oct. 26 approved the Senate’s budget resolution, which includes reconciliation instructions for reforming the tax code. The reconciliation rules will allow the Senate to approve a tax reform bill with a simple majority, not 60 votes as required under regular order.   

The budget resolution allows up to $1.5 trillion in additional deficits over the coming decade to pay for tax reform and does not require $203 billion in cuts to entitlement programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. The House's previous deficit-neutral budget plan required entitlement spending be reduced by $203 billion. The budget resolution does not contain reconciliation instructions to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).            

The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to release the tax reform bill later this week and to begin consideration of the bill the week of Nov. 6.   

The budget resolution is not binding law, but instead provides insight into Republican policy priorities. It calls for $473 billion in cuts to Medicare and an additional $1 trillion deduction in funding for mandatory programs. It does not include details of how the spending reductions would be implemented.   

MHA will work closely with the members of the Minnesota delegation to oppose the use of Medicare and Medicaid funding to pay for tax reform.   

Congress has a long list of legislation to address before its scheduled adjournment on Dec. 15. Congress must reach agreement on how to fund the government beyond Dec. 8 and address the debt ceiling, also expiring on Dec. 8. Legislative action is needed on a variety of health care-related issues, including potentially restoring the ACA cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and renewing the so-called “Medicare extenders.” Read more about the year-end congressional outlook. return to top   

Annual community benefit survey issued to members

MHA requests hospitals submit data by Friday, Nov. 3  
MHA has initiated community benefit data collection for fiscal year 2016. The data is presented in MHA’s Community Benefit Report.   

Chief financial officers and other finance contacts were emailed instructions and a link to the survey system used to collect the data. Participation by all member hospitals is requested; the more hospitals that participate, the more the representative and accurate the final report will be. The deadline for submitting data is Friday, Nov. 3.    

If your hospital did not receive emails regarding the survey, please contact Bonnie Terveer, MHA data operations assistant, 651-603-3520. return to top   

Register for Nov. 1 webinar on DHS admission, discharge, transfer alerts

MHA will host an informational webinar on Nov. 1 from 9-10:30 a.m. regarding implementation of the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Medicaid Encounter Alerting Service (EAS), which will enable providers to receive real-time alerts for beneficiaries who have been admitted, discharged or transferred from a hospital, emergency department or other care setting.   

This project is part of the DHS Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP) value-based care delivery initiative funded through the federal State Innovation Model (SIM) project. Representatives of DHS and the state’s chosen EAS vendor, Audacious Inquiry, will be the webinar presenters.           

The EAS helps providers identify where patients are receiving care throughout the state, regardless of electronic health record vendor or hospital system or network. The service will improve the timeliness and ease of receiving critical health notifications for patients, improve care coordination, reduce hospital readmissions, obtain better outcomes for high-risk populations and improve patient and provider satisfaction.   

The webinar is intended for hospital and health system CEOs, CFOs and CIOs. To register, provide your name, title and hospital or organization to Jenny Sanislo, division assistant, MHA, 651-659-1440. return to top   

MHA Winter Trustee Conference registration opens

Registration is open for the MHA Winter Trustee Conference, which will be held Jan. 12-14, 2018, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park.    

This year’s conference, themed “Connecting Care & Communities,” will offer participants eight general sessions and 15 breakout sessions on issues of mental and behavioral health, finance, patient safety and the future of health care. Friday will also feature the popular Training Camp for Rookie Trustees.   

For more information or to register, download the conference brochure. Print copies of the brochure will be mailed to member trustees and chief executive officers this week. Group rate accommodations at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest can be booked onlinereturn to top   

UnitedHealthcare begins provider network development in Minnesota

Representatives from UnitedHealthcare (UHC) sat down with MHA leaders to outline the company’s efforts to build a provider network in anticipation of selling health insurance products in Minnesota.   

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Legislature removed legal restrictions on the sale of certain products by for-profit health insurers. UHC and other for-profit health insurance carriers that offer coverage in other states are now able to sell plans to individuals and employers in Minnesota for the first time in many years.   

Kevin Carlson, UHC’s regional vice president of provider network management for Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, explained that he and his colleagues are meeting face-to-face with executives from MHA’s members, as well as specialty groups and unaffiliated clinics, throughout the state.   

UHC is evaluating whether it will offer products in Minnesota’s individual market. Because the company is building its provider networks from the ground up, it does not expect to have policies in place and claims from providers at the start of 2018. Instead, it plans to begin covering employees in Minnesota’s fully insured large employer market by July 1, 2018, and then in the state’s small employer and self-insured employer markets by Jan. 1, 2019. return to top