hospital leaders meet with Sen. Smith, members of House delegation,
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
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
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
- 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
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
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
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
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 bulletin. return to top