Minnesota Hospital Association


November 20, 2017

MHA Newsline: Nov. 20, 2017

In this issue

Join the MHA oral health subgroup

The MHA Quality and Patient Safety Division is beginning work to connect oral health with overall health in service of patients. MHA is seeking participants for a new subgroup to develop a road map focused on oral health and hygiene in the ICU.

Poor oral health has been shown to be linked with hospital-acquired pneumonia, including ventilator-acquired pneumonia. The road map will incorporate published literature and evidence-based best practices, as well as expert feedback from dental care providers, in partnership with patients and multidisciplinary leaders. It will include an accompanying toolkit to be used by hospitals and health systems across Minnesota to standardize best practice approaches to inpatient oral health interventions.

Subgroup members may have diverse roles (physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, quality staff, etc.) and should be passionate about and/or have expertise in this area. The subgroup will meet monthly beginning in January.

An informational call for interested parties will be held Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. Register online to participate in the call. For more information or to join the subgroup, contact Jenny Schoenecker, senior director, quality and patient safety, MHA, 651-603-3507. return to top

Join the MHA Controlled Substance Diversion Prevention Network

The Controlled Substance Diversion Prevention Network is open to MHA members responsible for the important work of preventing, identifying and overseeing controlled substance diversion. The learning network consists of quarterly diversion prevention webinars. This year’s topics included diversion case studies, exemplar diversion prevention programs and the state’s treatment and monitoring program for licensed health professionals.

The next webinar takes place on Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to noon and will feature a presentation from Kim New, the executive director of the International Health Facility Diversion Association (IHFDA). Registration is now open.

To join the network, register for the webinar or contact Joy Benn, quality and process improvement specialist, 651-659-1441. return to top

DHS requests comments for new IHP model

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) released a Request for Comments (RFC) to obtain feedback regarding a new payment model option for organizations participating in the state’s Integrated Healthcare Partnership (IHP) demonstration projects in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Comments are due by Dec. 15.

Existing IHP payment models will continue to be available for current and future IHP participants. The proposed model, referred to by DHS as the Next Generation IHP, is intended to offer another option for organizations seeking to gain a greater portion of the state’s total per member/per month capitated spending for nonelderly, nondisabled adults and children in the Medical Assistance (Medicaid) and MinnesotaCare programs.

Next Generation IHP organizations will compete more directly with Prepaid Medical Assistance Plans (PMAPs) in the state’s procurement process in 2018 for coverage that will begin in 2019. With the opportunity for greater financial rewards comes greater financial risk if a Next Generation IHP’s enrollees generate greater health care spending and/or receive poorer quality care than expected. MHA continues to review the details of the proposed model.

“The IHP demonstration projects have a strong record of success and have been a great example of how the state and health care providers can collaborate to improve care,” said MHA President and CEO Lawrence Massa. “Health care reform and innovation are more successful when policymakers and health care providers work together to improve care for patients, decrease costs and respond to the health needs of our communities. New IHPs will offer another option for hospitals and health systems to go further in their efforts to deliver the most coordinated, high quality and efficient care possible.”

Before comments are due, DHS will hold two public meetings to discuss the Next Generation IHP proposed model. The first meeting occurred earlier today and the second meeting will be held on Dec. 7 from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Merriam Park Library in St. Paul.

For more information about the IHP demonstration projects or to discuss topics that MHA should include in its comment letter, please contact Matt Anderson, senior vice president of policy and chief strategy officer, MHA, 651-659-1429. return to top

Tax reform legislation continues to move through Congress

On Nov. 16, the House approved the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR 1) and the Senate Finance Committee approved its tax reform bill. The full Senate is expected to consider its bill the week after Thanksgiving. The Senate bill differs from the House-passed bill, so if the Senate approves its legislation, the legislative differences will have to be worked out by a conference committee. House and Senate Republican leadership aim to approve a compromise bill in December.

Unlike the House bill, the Senate legislation would not eliminate the tax exemption for private activity bonds (PABs), which is an important source of financing for nonprofit hospitals. MHA joined LeadingAge Minnesota in sending a letter to the Minnesota delegation and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken urging that the repeal of tax-exempt PABs not be included in the final tax reform legislation.

Hospitals would also be negatively affected by the elimination of advance refunding bonds, which is included in both the House and Senate legislation. Additionally, the House bill would repeal the itemized deduction of medical expenses beginning next year and eliminate the deduction for contributions to Archer medical savings accounts. These provisions are not included in the Senate proposal.

The Senate tax bill would repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would save the federal government $338 billion and result in about 13 million individuals losing health care coverage.

MHA will continue to work closely with Minnesota’s representatives and senators to oppose the provisions negatively impacting hospitals and patients. return to top

HIE study public comments released

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) released a summary of public comments received regarding its health information exchange (HIE) study that listed options for addressing the barriers to HIE presented by the misalignment of the Minnesota Health Records Act (MHRA) and HIPAA. More information about the study was published in the Nov. 6 issue of Newsline.

MHA strongly supports full alignment between MHRA and HIPAA. HIPAA is a very strong federal privacy law that includes a myriad of safeguards and has served as the basis for significant enforcement actions and penalties when breached. Full alignment between MHRA and HIPAA would remove barriers and allow all Minnesotans to benefit from a robust HIE. MHA believes that Minnesota should adopt the HIPAA standard that 48 other states have in place. Several health care providers as well as advocacy groups such as the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce also support full alignment.

Regrettably, Minnesota Sen. Warren Limmer and Rep. Peggy Scott wrote to MDH expressing concerns regarding the options presented by the committee and indicated that any proposed legislation to modify MHRA would be closely scrutinized by House and Senate committees overseeing data.

MHA encourages members to connect with their state legislators to share their expertise and experiences related to MHRA and HIE. return to top

BCBSMN to implement short-stay review policy

MHA was informed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (BCBSMN) directors of their plan to implement a new short-stay, inpatient hospitalization review policy effective Jan. 1, 2018. A provider bulletin was posted Nov. 13.

BCBSMN plans to review inpatient stays over a one-year look-back period. The reviews will be focused on BCBSMN’s commercial and managed care Medicaid products. BCBSMN is contracting for this service through a company called EquiClaim and will be using McKesson’s InterQual medical necessity system to perform the reviews.

MHA staff voiced concerns over the ongoing policies implemented by BCBSMN that add administrative complexity and delays to the billing system. MHA will continue monitoring developments and communicate any additional changes with members. return to top

AHA announces new Region 6 executive

The American Hospital Association has named Jeanette “Jen” A. Porter, Ed.D., as the Region 6 AHA regional executive effective Jan. 16, 2018. AHA Region 6 includes Minnesota as well as Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Porter will assume the position of previous regional executive Paul Muraca, who became AHA’s vice president of member engagement. She will be based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Porter most recently served as vice president for post-acute care services for the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations. In that role, she was responsible for planning, organizing and directing activities related to long term care, home care, hospice and other aging services in the post-acute care continuum as well as oversight and direction for the overall communications activities for the association. She also oversaw the quality integration activities of the association, including project oversight for the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN).

AHA’s Region 6 team also includes Michael McCue, director, member relations, and Kristina Weger, executive director, executive branch relations. 

Porter can be reached after Jan. 16 at jporter@aha.org or 800-981-9826. return to top