Minnesota Hospital Association


April 15, 2019

MHA Newsline: April 15, 2019

In this issue 

Minnesota hospital leaders meet with Sen. Smith, members of House delegation, congressional staff

A group of Minnesota hospital leaders and MHA leadership staff traveled to Washington, D.C., April 7-10 for the American Hospital Association annual meeting. The group met with Sen. Tina Smith; Reps. Dean Phillips, Ilhan Omar, Jim Hagedorn and Pete Stauber; and staff for Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Reps. Betty McCollum, Tom Emmer and Collin Peterson.    

Minnesota hospital representatives discussed challenges posed by site-neutral payment polices, regulatory barriers to providing telemedicine and the importance of the 340B Drug Discount Program and critical access hospital designation. Additionally, they shared information about hospital-specific programs established to address the needs of their communities. return to top   

Legislative advocacy needed this week; HHS budget bills advance

Legislative advocacy needed this week
MHA members are asked to contact their local legislators and meet with them over the legislative spring break, which started April 13 and ends April 22.   

Legislators appreciate hearing from constituents, particularly hospital leaders, about health care issues and issues affecting their community’s hospital. MHA developed a fact sheet highlighting legislative session priorities that can be used during meetings with legislators. MHA members can find contact information for their legislators using the MHA grassroots matching tool.   

Omnibus health and human services budget bills advance
Last week the Legislature worked to pass major spending bills out of committees to meet the third deadline on April 12. The third deadline is the date by which the various subject area appropriation bills must have been passed out of their jurisdictional subject area committees.   

The House’s health and human services (HHS) bill (HF 2414) has been approved by both the Ways and Means Committee and the House Tax Committee and its next stop will be the House floor for consideration. The bill was considered by the House Tax Committee because of the inclusion of the elimination of the sunset on the MinnesotaCare provider tax.   

The Senate’s HHS omnibus bills – SF 92, dealing primarily with long-term care, waiver and personal care services, and SF 2452, dealing primarily with health care policy and health care funding provisions – will need to be considered by the full Senate Finance Committee after the legislative break before being taken up on the Senate floor.   

The House and Senate bills have very few similarities. The House omnibus bill is over 1,100 pages and contains many provisions that MHA supports, including funding for mental health programs, repealing the sunset of the provider tax and provisions that bring the state into compliance with the federal outpatient drug rule.   

The Senate’s HHS omnibus bill is around 200 pages. It contains no changes to the current sunset of the provider tax. Without the provider tax in place for the last 18 months of the biennium, the Senate bill does not fund some important mental health initiatives and it does not include the small increase for Disproportionate Share Hospital payments to help offset the acquisition costs of high-priced drugs that are in the House bill.   

The Senate bill also contains two very concerning proposals: 

  • Changes the benefit set for adults in Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare to the 2016 federal benchmark plan benefit set. It eliminates coverage for adult dental and vision care, well baby visits, transplants and chemotherapy. The proposed change saves $57.6 million this biennium and $110.5 million in the next biennium. 
  • A proposed growth limitation on PMAP (Prepaid Medical Assistance Program) to 1%. There is concern that health plans would try to pass on this reduction to providers and this proposal would also result in lost federal matching dollars. This is estimated to save $36.9 million this biennium and $144.5 million in the next biennium. 

After the bills have been passed by their respective bodies, a conference committee will begin the difficult process of sorting out the significant differences between the bills.   

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   

MHA hosts second annual speaker showcase May 16

MHA has partnered with Nationally Speaking, a local speakers bureau, to host its second annual speaker showcase on May 16 at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth. The showcase will feature 10 speakers representing a wide range of content levels; fees; and topics including beating burnout, ethics, cohesive health care teams, patient perspective, leadership and more.   

The lineup from Nationally Speaking includes hilarious comedy and a great sendoff from Kat Perkins, a finalist on NBC’s “The Voice.” Each of the speakers featured at this luncheon customizes content to fit health care organizations and/or patient events.   

This is a free event for individuals who choose the speakers, entertainers and emcees for their meetings and conferences. Participants will leave with a list of speakers who will be a great fit for your hospital teams and your community when the time comes for your next event. View the brochure, which includes a full speaker list.   

For more information, visit the MHA website, log in, click “Calendar of Events” and select the program title to register. return to top   

DHS releases information on updated FPG and suggested social services fee schedule

The Department of Human Services (DHS) released updated information for county human services agencies regarding the statutory social services fees counties can charge to persons or families whose adjusted gross household income is below the poverty level established by the federal poverty guidelines (FPG).   

Under the 2019 FPG, effective Jan. 11, 2019, the annual income level for a family of four at 100% of FPG is $25,750. For an individual, the annual income level at 100% of FPG is $12,490.   

Learn more in the DHS bulletinreturn to top