Minnesota Hospital Association


August 13, 2018

MHA Newsline: Aug. 13, 2018

In this issue

RiverView 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 websitereturn to top   

Updated 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 websitereturn to top  

MHA 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 areas.   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   

Regional 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 regional centers.   

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, DHS, 651-431-4907.   

With questions, contact Jenny Schoenecker, senior director, quality and patient safety, MHA, 651-603-3507. return to top   

CMS 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