Minnesota Hospital Association


March 11, 2019

MHA Newsline: March 11, 2019

In this issue 

Sanford Health fitness programs keep generations of community members healthy, mobile

Two programs sponsored by Sanford Health in rural southwestern Minnesota enhance the fitness and health of community members across generations.   

In Tracy and Westbrook, physical health and mental health are often two top concerns identified during community health needs assessments – not just for adults, but for children as well. Sanford Tracy Medical Center and Sanford Westbrook Medical Center used Sanfordfit, a health activation program, to address this concern. Starting in January 2017, Sanford Tracy and Sanford Westbrook completed a 19-week Sanfordfit program with fourth-grade classes at Tracy Area Elementary School and Westbrook Walnut Grove Elementary School. In 2017, the Sanfordfit program taught 74 fourth-grade students about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. In 2018, the program reached 64 fourth-graders.   

The community of Canby identified a problem of older individuals experiencing falls. Sanford Canby Medical Center addressed the issue by launching Steady Steps, a class featuring general fitness and mobility, balance training, fall prevention and how to fall. Led by a physical therapist, the class was geared toward those with a fear of falling, those who had fallen in the past and those who wanted to be proactive in their health and wellness. A group of 12 active participants ranged in age from 68 to 90, with an average age of 80.   

Both Sanfordfit and Steady Steps received positive feedback from participants and improved health and fitness in their communities.   

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

Health care legislation advances

Governor’s health care proposal receives first hearing
Gov. Walz’s ONEcare health care proposal received its first hearing in the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee on March 6. HF 3, authored by Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester) would phase in measures aimed at stabilizing the individual insurance market over the next four years, including a premium subsidy, a state-based tax credit available to those whose income is less than or equal to 400 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and a public buy-in option. These expenditures are in lieu of continuing the reinsurance program. The bill passed the HHS committee and will be heard in the House Commerce Committee on March 13.   

Physician noncompete legislation update
Legislation prohibiting physician noncompete contracts and certain employment agreements was heard in House Health and Human Services Committee on March 8. Mary Krinkie, vice president of government relations, MHA, testified in opposition to HF 557, authored by Rep. Alice Mann (DFL-Lakeville), which would eliminate a key tool used in the recruitment and retention of physicians in Minnesota. The bill was passed and is scheduled to be heard in the House Labor Committee on March 13.   

MHRA reform gets Senate hearing
Legislation 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 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee on March 14. SF 1575, authored by Sen. Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake), 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.   

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   

DHS releases new opioid prescribing education resources

A new provider education campaign developed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) in collaboration with the medical community aims to change the narrative around prescription opioid therapy, pain management and prescription opioid misuse in Minnesota. The goal of the campaign is to support Minnesota prescribers in preventing new cases of inappropriate opioid use while continuing to provide appropriate pain management for patients.   

The Flip the Script campaign offers resources for health care professionals, including: 

  • Conversation starters and other tips for discussing alternatives to opioids for pain management, with an emphasis on preventing the progression from opioid use for acute pain to long-term opioid use for chronic pain (as defined in the Minnesota Opioid Prescribing Guidelines), and improving patient safety for those patients who continue opioid therapy. 
  • A video testimonial from Dr. Paul Kietzmann, family practitioner, Alomere Health, Alexandria. 
  • A podcast about the Minnesota Opioid Prescribing Guidelines developed in partnership with the University of Minnesota. The online learning activity offers physicians, pharmacists and nurses an opportunity to earn continuing education credits for learning more about the guidelines on safe opioid prescribing behavior. Additional continuing education credits will soon be available from a three-part webinar series created in partnership with the Minnesota Medical Association. 

Hospitals and health systems are partnering with patients, families and communities to prevent misuse by improving opioid prescribing practices, to reduce exposure to opioids by using alternative therapies and to treat opioid use disorder with evidence-based therapy. Visit the MHA website for resources including MHA’s opioid road map and toolkit. return to top   

Staffer for Sen. Smith presents to MHA Small, Rural Hospital Committee

Lindsay McLaughlin, outreach director for health care and aging for U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, on March 6 addressed the MHA Small, Rural Hospital Committee. McLaughlin outlined Smith’s health care priorities, including addressing rising prescription drug costs and improving access to mental health care services. She also shared that as co-chair of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, Smith is focused on ways Congress can help support rural hospitals and providers to improve obstetric services and outcomes for women living in rural areas. return to top   

MHA annual CEO, CFO, CNE salary surveys due March 22

The deadline to submit this year’s chief executive officer, chief financial officer and chief nurse executive online compensation surveys is March 22.   

The survey results will highlight salary averages by budget size, years in health care, geographical region and years in current positions. The broader the survey participation, the more representative the results. Participants will receive summary reports.   

Members eligible to participate in the confidential surveys were emailed access information on Feb. 21. With questions regarding the surveys, contact Nick Johnston, financial analyst, MHA, 651-603-3536, or Jennifer Sanislo, division assistant, MHA, 651-659-1440. return to top   

Hospital Safety Net Grant Program applications due April 19

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Office of Rural Health and Primary Care is soliciting proposals for Hospital Safety Net Grants to hospitals that serve Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA) enrollees.   

Approximately $1,315,000 may be available. Eligible applicants include licensed hospitals that provided care to EMA enrollees resulting in individual claims in excess of $50,000, between April 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019.   

Final applications must be received by MDH no later than 12 p.m. on April 19. Applications postmarked prior to the due date but not received by MDH prior to the deadline will be considered late. Late applications will not be considered for review.     

View the full RFP on the MDH website. With questions, contact Randi Callahan, MDH, 651-201-3860. return to top