In this issue
Health honored with MHA Quality and Patient Safety Improvement Award
MHA on June 1 honored innovative programs and outstanding leaders in health
care at its 34th annual awards ceremony.
RiverView Health in Crookston received the Quality and Patient Safety
Improvement Award in the small hospital category, which recognizes hospitals
that have taken extraordinary and innovative steps to make patient safety a top
priority throughout the hospital.
RiverView Health was recognized for its falls reduction efforts. Board and
leadership prioritization of falls reduction has been essential for improvement
in this area, and equally important has been the improvement work done closer
to where the care happens. RiverView Health’s multidisciplinary falls
prevention committee has worked diligently to research, implement and validate
the use of best practices surrounding fall prevention.
One of the most notable prevention interventions has been instituting the “No
Pass Zone” concept in which all employees on the inpatient unit are expected to
answer a patient's call light. Another intervention has been the launch of a
patient safety companion program. Staff are solicited to sit with high-falls
risk patients who would benefit from direct observation. This has helped
prevent patient falls and also been very gratifying for staff to have
interaction with patients that they may not otherwise have in their other roles
in the organization. Families are also invited to fill this role when deemed
appropriate and are great collaborative partners in keeping patients safe.
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
measles information and resources available
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on Aug. 7 issued a health advisory regarding a case of measles
being identified in Hennepin County. The health advisory gives guidance for
health care providers to isolate suspected measles cases, vaccinate susceptible
patients according to routine MMR vaccine recommendations and report suspected
cases of measles to MDH at 1-877-676-5414 or 651-201-5414.
To learn more and access tools and resources, visit the MDH measles information
website. return to top
participates in United States of Care meetings
Lorry Massa, president and CEO, MHA, and Mary Krinkie, vice
president of government relations, MHA, participated in stakeholder meetings
convened by United States of Care, a new nonprofit organization working to
identify and help launch state-level policy initiatives that will make
high-quality health care more affordable. The group was founded by Andy
Slavitt, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(CMS), and features a bipartisan board and Founder’s Council of high-profile health
care leaders from across the country.
Last week, United States of Care convened a series of meetings in the Twin
Cities to discuss issues and areas for possible improvements in Minnesota’s
Medicaid and MinnesotaCare programs, ways to make health care more affordable
for Minnesota purchasers and strategies for reducing health care disparities.
During the meetings, Massa highlighted the changing role of hospitals and
health systems in creating health in their communities. He specifically
noted the work of North Memorial Health in Robbinsdale and Lakewood Health
System in Staples in addressing food security in their respective service
Although United States of Care has not selected specific activities in
Minnesota that it will support or spearhead, it is important for MHA to
participate in these initial discussions. “We agree that real, long-lasting
solutions to our health care challenges need leadership and support from a wide
range of stakeholders, including hospitals and health systems, as well as both
political parties,” said Massa. return to top
behavioral health crisis center RFP expected this fall
The Department of Human Services (DHS) plans to issue a regional behavioral health crisis centers request for proposal (RFP) in early fall 2018. The RFP will be open for 90 days,
during which DHS will host a responders’ conference and publish a FAQ list. The
2018 Legislature appropriated $28.1 million in bond proceeds to establish these
Under the requirements established in statute, applicants will be required to
demonstrate a need for the proposed project, capacity to sustain the program
and willingness to build on and integrate with the existing service continuum
in the area they intend to serve. Projects will be required to provide, at a
minimum, screening, assessment and evaluation. The RFP will allow for funding
to be requested for pre-design, design, construction dollars or a combination
for the regional behavioral health crisis centers.
Hospitals are encouraged to partner with their cities, counties, housing and
redevelopment authorities or other public entities eligible to receive state
general obligation bond proceeds to be successful in securing state funds.
Publicly owned hospitals are also eligible applicants for state funding. To
learn about the RFP process or the bonding requirements, contact Hali Kolkind,
With questions, contact Jenny Schoenecker, senior director, quality
and patient safety, MHA, 651-603-3507. return to top
issues CY 2019 OPPS proposed rule
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(CMS) issued its hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) proposed rule for calendar year (CY) 2019. MHA
will analyze the proposed rule and submit a comment letter. MHA invites members
to share concerns with the proposed rule over the next month. Comments are due
to CMS by Sept. 24. The final rule will be published around Oct. 1, with the
policies and payment rates effective Jan. 1, 2019.
Under the proposed rule, CMS would continue to pay non-excepted off-campus
provider-based departments (PBDs) at the rate of 40 percent of OPPS rate, as
mandated by Section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.
The proposed rule included significant changes to Medicare payment policies for
excepted provider-based departments, which are hospital PBDs that were billing
Medicare before Nov. 2, 2015, or were considered to be “mid-build” on Nov. 2,
2015. CMS proposed to reduce payments for clinic visit services (evaluation and
management codes) in excepted PBDs to 40 percent of the OPPS rate. CMS
estimates Medicare payments would be reduced by $760 million in CY 2019. The
Minnesota state impact is estimated to be approximately $18 million in CY 2019.
Under the proposed rule, CMS would remove 10 measures from the Outpatient
Quality Reporting Program, seven measures from the ASC Quality Reporting
Program and the communication about pain questions from the Inpatient Hospital
Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey.
CMS also proposed reducing Medicare payments for new families of services
furnished in excepted off-campus PBDs to 40 percent of the OPPS rate. Currently
an excepted PBD may expand the type of services it furnishes and continue to
receive the full OPPS rate for such services. CMS proposed that if an excepted
off-campus PBD begins to furnish a new service from a clinical family for which
it did not previously furnish and bill between Nov. 1, 2014, and Nov. 1, 2015,
the new service would be reimbursed at 40 percent of the OPPS amount.
The proposed rule would also reduce payments for 340B-acquired drugs in
non-excepted PBDs to average sale price (ASP) minus 22.5 percent. For more
information on the 340B payment cuts, see the July 30 issue of Newsline.
CMS continues to request comments on price transparency, including whether
providers and suppliers can and should be required to inform patients about
charges and payment information for health care services and out-of-pocket
costs and what data elements the public would find most useful.
With questions, contact Joe Schindler, vice president of finance, MHA,
651-659-1415, or Briana Nord Parish, policy analyst, MHA,
651-603-3498. return to top