Minnesota Hospital Association


February 18, 2019

MHA Newsline: Feb. 18, 2019

In this issue 

Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare prevents brain injury, pediatric trauma through community education

When children or adolescents experience traumatic injuries, the results can be far-reaching and lifelong. Recognizing that many childhood injuries are preventable, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare participates in community activities throughout the year that raise awareness about proactive measures parents can take to keep their children safe.          

Gillette has a long history of providing education and community outreach around pediatric trauma. The hospital sees children with all types and severities of brain injuries, from minor neurotrauma (concussion) to severe brain trauma. Care team members are passionate about communicating the importance of prevention in thoughtful and structured ways that effectively reach – and resonate with – children, adolescents and their parents.   

For example, technicians in Gillette’s Assistive Technology Department developed and fabricated a device that visually represents the importance of wearing a helmet when biking and during other potentially high-impact activities. The device is a palm-sized replica of a bike or ski helmet with space for an egg secured inside. Dropping the egg, sans helmet, represents the human brain without protection. Dropping the egg while secured inside the helmet protects it from cracking. The Egg Helmets are used to engage with members of the community during safety expos and public events.  

Visit the MHA website to learn more and read the full Community Benefit Reportreturn to top   

Legislation on earned sick and safe time, reinsurance advances; Gov. Walz to release budget Feb. 19

Earned sick and safe time legislation advances
On Feb. 13, legislation that would require employers to provide paid sick and safe time to their employees was heard in the House Labor Committee. HF 11, authored by Rep. John Lesch (DFL-St. Paul), is modeled after similar ordinances recently passed in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth and would require employees to earn, at a minimum, one hour of paid, earned sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year.   

Accrual would begin when a qualified employee begins employment, but an employee may not begin using sick and safe time until they have worked for the employer for 90 days. The safe time refers to time off for an employee to address situations “related to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking of the employee.”   

The bill passed 10-4 and was referred to the House Government Operations Committee.   

Reinsurance program extension gets first hearings in Senate, House
On Feb. 12, legislation extending Minnesota’s Statewide Premium Security (Reinsurance) Program received hearings in Senate and House committees. As introduced, SF 761, authored by Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls), and HF 629, authored by Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL-Eagan), would extend the program for three years.   

MHA submitted a comment letter supporting a one-year reauthorization of the reinsurance program to ensure short-term market stability. The letter states MHA’s concerns about the impact to the Health Care Access Fund, particularly if the provider tax or other funding is not ongoing.    

SF 761 was passed out of committee and will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 20. HF 629 also passed out of committee and was referred to the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee; a hearing has not been scheduled.   

Gov. Walz to release his budget
Feb. 19 Gov. Tim Walz will release his first statewide budget proposal for the 2020-21 biennium on Feb. 19 at noon. This will be the first concrete look at where the governor’s budget priorities are for the state and how his budget measures up against the House and Senate priorities, as well as the upcoming February economic forecast. MHA will carefully review the budget and share more information in next week’s Newsline.      

With questions, contact Mary Krinkie, vice president of government relations, MHA, 651-659-1465, or Kristen McHenry, director of state government relations, MHA, 651-603-3526.   

Session bill tracker
For a complete list of 2019 legislative bills MHA is tracking, visit the MHA Member Center. For assistance accessing the Member Center, contact Ashley Beno, member services and communications specialist, MHA, 651-603-3545. return to top  

HHS announces new Medicare payment model for ambulance services

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation on Feb. 14 announced a new payment model for emergency ambulance services that aims to allow Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries to receive the most appropriate level of care at the right time and place with the potential for lower out-of-pocket costs.   

According to HHS, the Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport (ET3) model will allow participating ambulance suppliers and providers to partner with qualified health care practitioners to deliver treatment in place (either on-the-scene or through telehealth) and with alternative destination sites (such as primary care doctors’ offices or urgent-care clinics) to provide care for Medicare beneficiaries following a medical emergency for which they have accessed 911 services. The model also will encourage development of medical triage lines for low-acuity 911 calls in regions where participating ambulance suppliers and providers operate.         

The model will have a five-year performance period, with an anticipated start date in early 2020. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expects to release a request for applications from Medicare-enrolled ambulance suppliers and providers this summer, and a funding opportunity notice for the triage lines for low-acuity 911 calls this fall. return to top