Minnesota Hospital Association


March 04, 2019

MHA Newsline: March 4, 2019

In this issue 

Regions Hospital’s embedded social worker connects people in crisis with care

Police are called to a home where a teenage boy is described as being threatening and aggressive. Did the boy meet requirements to be taken to the hospital? In the past, police might have transported him just to be safe, in what could turn out to be an unnecessary and expensive ER visit. But now, when the St. Paul Police Department (SPPD) responds to a mental health crisis, they get to bring along some extra expertise.   

Regions Hospital and People Incorporated, a mental health services nonprofit, are each supplying a full-time social worker to the police department’s new Mental Health Unit to help connect people in crisis with the care they need and significantly reduce mental health crisis-related arrests and repeat calls for service.   

“We’ll hook people up with case managers, community behavioral health hospitals, all kinds of different services,” said Kara Haroldson, the Regions social worker assigned full-time to the program.   

The program was created after SPPD discovered that a high percentage of mental health calls resulted in officers bringing callers to the hospital emergency department for mental health evaluations. Now embedded social workers join the police on their calls to provide a clinical assessment and help determine appropriate mental health care needs and resources.   

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

Commissioner Lourey presents to MHA board

The MHA Board of Directors engaged with Department of Human Services Commissioner Tony Lourey at its meeting March 1. Lourey outlined DHS priorities, including the governor’s health and human services budget. He thanked MHA for its partnership with him and for its support of the provider tax. return to top   

MHA-supported bills advance; February forecast released

MHA-supported bills advance in the Legislature
The MHA-supported bill to clarify cardiovascular technologists’ (CVTs) ability to adjust fluoroscopy equipment in interventional cardiac procedures passed the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee unanimously. HF 819, authored by Rep. Heather Edelson (DFL-Edina), is now in line for floor votes in the House and the Senate.

MHA also supports a proposal brought forward by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to reform the Medical Assistance (Medicaid) program’s payment formula for fee-for-service outpatient prescription drugs. Because the reform is expected to result in significant reductions in payments to certain hospitals that provide extremely expensive drug therapy for conditions, such as hemophilia and HIV, to a large number of public program enrollees, MHA worked with DHS to include a small increase to the disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payment system. The bill was heard in the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee where it will be considered for inclusion in a future omnibus spending bill.   

In addition, legislation ensuring sustainability for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) was heard in the House HHS Policy Committee on Feb. 27. MHA submitted a letter of support for HF 1250, authored by Rep. Robert Bierman (DFL-Apple Valley). It was passed out of the policy committee and is scheduled to be heard on March 5 in the HHS Finance Committee.   

February forecast released
On Feb. 28, Minnesota Management and Budget released the February economic forecast of a projected $1.05 billion budget surplus for the 2020-21 biennium. While MHA is pleased a surplus still exists, this is a $492 million decrease since the November forecast. The forecast is critical to how the legislative session will proceed as legislators will use the forecast numbers to help shape policies for the remainder of the 2019 session, which must end by May 20.   

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   

New MHA board officers elected

Randy Ulseth, CEO of FirstLight Health System in Mora, was elected chair of MHA last week. The chair position was vacated by Jon Pryor, M.D., in February. Ulseth had held the position of chair-elect of the board.   

In addition to the chair position, Sara Criger, president of Allina Health’s Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, was elected chair-elect; Steven Underdahl, president and CEO of Northfield Hospital and Clinics, was elected secretary/treasurer; and David Herman, M.D., CEO of Essentia Health in Duluth, was elected to the board’s executive committee.   

“We are grateful for each of these leaders’ willingness to step up and take on greater responsibility on behalf of the association and all of our members,” said Lawrence Massa, president and CEO, MHA. return to top   

Employer applications being accepted for Summer Health Care Internship

Program Deadline to apply is Friday, April 12  
Employer applications are being accepted for the 2019 Summer Health Care Internship Program (SHCIP). Hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities, home care providers and adult day services facilities are encouraged to participate on behalf of qualified students in their community.   

The internship program benefits students by allowing them to explore health care careers and gain experience in a health care setting. The initiative is also a great opportunity for health care employers to become more involved in their communities.   

Up to half of an intern’s wages are reimbursed through a grant from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. The grant is administered by MHA. The employer application form is available on the MHA website. The application deadline is April 12 at 5 p.m. 

For more information on the Summer Health Care Internship Program, visit the MHA website or contact Sarah Bohnet, Summer Health Care Internship Program coordinator, 651-603-3494. return to top