Minnesota Hospital Association


February 25, 2019

MHA Newsline: Feb. 25, 2019

In this issue 

Mayo Clinic provides funding to boost community housing efforts in Rochester

Mayo Clinic has helped to form the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing with a funding commitment of $4 million over 2018 and 2019. The coalition to address local housing needs is a collaboration among the Rochester Area Foundation, Olmsted County, the city of Rochester and Mayo Clinic.   

The coalition will use these and additional funds raised to create and preserve affordable housing in the Rochester area by supporting efforts suggested by the community. These efforts include: 

  • Identifying and prioritizing opportunities to address regional affordable housing goals  
  • Developing projects that test innovative housing solutions 
  • Distributing resources to create or preserve affordable housing in the Rochester area 
  • Ensuring participation and involvement from major stakeholders and funders  
  • Encouraging ongoing fundraising from the community 

Affordable housing has been a long-term challenge for the growing Rochester community. Over the years, Mayo Clinic has been a key supporter to local efforts, including the First Homes Initiative and, more recently, through the Olmsted Housing Initiative.   

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

MHA, Hennepin Healthcare host new MAT education program

MHA and Hennepin Healthcare’s Project ECHO opioid education learning network, in partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS), on Feb. 21 and 22 hosted Buprenorphine Boot Camp, an intensive program to educate clinic staff in best practices around office-based medication-assisted treatment (MAT).   

Over 180 attendees from clinic sites across the state heard from experts and participated in small-group learning sessions designed to help them generate plans to launch these services at their clinics to meet the needs of their communities.   

“Educating front-line clinic providers and staff in best practices of medication-assisted therapy is part of MHA’s multipronged approach to combat the opioid crisis across our state,” said Dr. Rahul Koranne, chief medical officer, MHA. “We and our members are simultaneously working to promote the new DHS opioid prescribing guidelines across the state, educate patients and communities, support strong opioid policies at the Legislature and collaborate with other stakeholders such as DHS. All these efforts are designed to continuously improve the care hospitals and health systems provide to all Minnesotans.”   

Information about additional MAT education opportunities will be available for MHA members in the future. Visit the MHA website for additional information on opioid adverse drug event prevention and the Hennepin Healthcare website for additional information on Project ECHO. return to top   

MHA priority bills move forward

MHA bill to ensure access to cath lab services moves forward
The Minnesota Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously voted to advance a bill brought forward by MHA to clarify state law so cardiovascular technologists (CVTs) can continue moving and adjusting fluoroscopy equipment during interventional cardiac procedures. SF 966, authored by Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), will go next to a vote by the full Senate.   

Today, CVTs are working under temporary variances granted by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). This bill will require CVTs to have one of three educational credentials and adjust fluoroscopy equipment only under in-person supervision of a physician. The bill also states that CVTs cannot activate the fluoroscopy equipment.   

Dr. Ganesh Raveendran from Fairview Health Services provided an overview of the role CVTs play in patient care for the committee members, as well as distinguished between activities performed by CVTs and those that are the responsibility of the physician.   

Minnesota Health Records Act reform gets House hearing
On Feb. 20, a bill to amend the Minnesota Health Records Act (MHRA) to align with federal laws to allow for the clinically appropriate release of health information for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations received its first hearing in the House. HF 831, authored by Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL-Eagan), is one of MHA’s top legislative priorities for 2019.   

MHA supports this legislation because today’s misaligned dual regulatory framework makes it more difficult for providers to access the information they need to deliver the safest, timeliest and most effective care for patients. In addition, it creates confusion and frustration for patients and their families, adds unnecessary costs to Minnesota’s health care system and burdens health care providers with administrative work.   

The bill was passed on a voice vote and sent to the Judiciary Committee.   

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   

Gov. Walz unveils FY 2020-21 budget priorities

Gov. Tim Walz on Feb. 19 released his biennial budget proposal for fiscal years (FY) 2020-21. The $49.5 billion proposal would increase state spending by nearly $4 billion and includes a number of state revenue increases, including a 20 cent per gallon gas tax increase to support investments in roads and bridges and the reinstatement of the 2 percent MinnesotaCare provider tax.   

Under current law, the provider tax is scheduled to sunset on Dec. 31. The Walz proposal eliminates the sunset, a position that MHA supports; however, MHA would prefer decreasing the rate of the tax to more closely align with the state’s costs for MinnesotaCare and Medicaid expansion without generating ongoing surpluses, as well as adding statutory provisions to assure that provider tax revenues are used only for their current health care purposes.   

The Walz “Budget for One Minnesota” had three areas of focus: education, health care and community prosperity. For health care, Walz proposed a three-pronged approach, including a health insurance premium subsidy projected to reduce monthly premiums for Minnesotans who purchase their insurance through MNsure by 20 percent. This subsidy would be applied directly against a consumer’s premiums and would help individuals with incomes above 400 percent of the federal poverty guidelines who do not qualify for the federal premium tax credit. This proposal would replace the extension of the reinsurance program.   

The second part of the Walz reform proposal is a state-based health insurance tax credit to help Minnesotans on the individual market pay no more than roughly 10 percent of their incomes on health insurance, beginning with plan year 2021 coverage.   

The Walz proposal also establishes a public option health insurance plan called ONECare Minnesota. Beginning in 2023, any Minnesotan would have the opportunity to buy platinum-level coverage (covering 90 percent of the consumer’s annual costs) through ONECare. Payment rates to providers are slated to be at Medicare rates. MHA will continue to analyze this reform initiative, seek member input and work with both legislators and the administration to voice our concerns and seek opportunities to make improvements.   

In addition to these health insurance affordability proposals, the total recommended new expenditure above base spending for the Department of Human Services is $274 million for FY 2020-21. Behavioral health is slated to receive an additional $33.5 million. MHA will continue to analyze the various funding requests.   

For community prosperity, Walz proposed investments in housing, including $150 million in state bonding dollars. The proposal also includes $68 million to pay start-up costs for a state-managed paid family leave program that would guarantee families a portion of their income after the birth or adoption of a child or when taking time off of work to care for a family member. This program would be paid for by a new tax on both employers and employees, similar to the state’s current unemployment insurance program.   

Walz also recommended $70 million in additional funding for the statewide broadband program. The administration believes this will provide approximately 193,000 homes and businesses with high-speed internet.   

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. return to top   

Still time to join MHA members and leaders at AHA Annual Meeting

Early bird registration for the American Hospital Association (AHA) 50th Annual Meeting, taking place April 7-10 in Washington, D.C., has been extended through March 1.   

Programming includes a varying list of speakers addressing trends in health care and national politics. With approximately 1,500 attendees, it is an excellent chance to network with MHA colleagues and health care professionals from across the country.    

MHA staff will be hosting activities for members, including group dinners on Monday and Tuesday evenings and policy meetings with members of the Minnesota congressional delegation on Tuesday and Wednesday.    

To learn more and register, visit the AHA website. Once you have registered, inform Ben Peltier, vice president, legal and federal affairs, MHA, 651-603-3513, so he can add you to the MHA delegation list. Questions about the AHA Annual Meeting may also be directed to Ben. return to top   

Don’t miss the chance to earn recognition for your hospital

MHA Awards nominations due Monday, March 11  
MHA wants to honor your hospital and caregivers for our 35th annual awards program celebrating the outstanding work you do to deliver patient care and serve your communities.   

MHA award categories recognize excellence involving community health, best workplace, and patient care, for example. Honors for individuals recognize trustees, volunteers, hospital executives, caregivers and public officials. Additional information on the categories and judging criteria can be found on MHA’s website.   

Entries are due Monday, March 11; find the entry form online.   

MHA will notify all entrants whether they have won in mid-April. A reception and dinner will take place Friday, May 31, at the Metropolitan Ballroom in suburban Minneapolis. All MHA members and associate members are invited and encouraged to attend the awards ceremony. Mark your calendars and plan to join us for this celebration of excellence in Minnesota health care.   

For more information, contact Sarah Bohnet, visual communications specialist, MHA, 651-603-3494. return to top   

Register for HCID webinar March 13

Due to the ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reminding U.S. front-line health care facilities to be prepared to identify, isolate (for at least 24 hours) and inform others when a person presents who may have a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) such as EVD.   

MHA is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Health to host a webinar on March 13 from 12-1 p.m. that will include discussion of current HCID threats, review of a HCID screening algorithm and an overview of the Minnesota HCID Collaborative’s Toolbox for Frontline Health Care Facilities. The toolbox was designed to help front-line health care facilities prepare for the presentation of a person with HCID and contains components designed for integration into routine training and infection control practices to prevent the spread of HCID.   

Advance registration can be completed online. With questions, contact Susan Klammer, quality and process improvement specialist, MHA, 651-603-3529. return to top