Minnesota Hospital Association


October 28, 2013

MHA Newsline

In this issue

Hospital spotlight: Three MN hospitals earn Magnet status

Three Minnesota hospitals have earned Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for excellence in nursing. Magnet status is the highest international recognition for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. There are 393 Magnet hospitals in 45 states, the District of Columbia and four countries. In Minnesota, the three Magnet hospitals are: Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester and St. Cloud Hospital. The Magnet program promotes high standards based on 14 Forces of Magnetism, including:

  • Quality of nursing leadership (strong, visionary leaders)
  • Organizational structure (decentralized with care decisions made at the unit level)
  • Management style (staff members are involved at all levels)
  • Personnel policies and programs (competitive salaries and benefits)
  • Professional models of care (number and type of staff needed to care for patients)
  • Quality of care (always striving for better patient outcomes)
  • Quality improvement (always learning and a non-punitive environment)
  • Consultation and resources (staff have access to experts and evidence)
  • Autonomy (staff practice at the highest level allowed by their education and licensure)
  • Community and the hospital (staff members make a positive impact on the community)
  • Nurses as teachers (teaching is an important nursing role)
  • Image of nursing (viewed as integral to the hospital mission)
  • Collegial interdisciplinary relationships (team members work together for the patients)
  • Professional development (personal growth and development are valued and are a part of the mission).

Congratulations to each of the Magnet hospitals. To learn more about Magnet status, visit the ANCC website. return to top 

Hospitals affected by MNsure gaps

The rollout of Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace, MNsure, has been better than that of the federal exchange used in Minnesota's border states. However, gaps remain in MNsure's features, and additional patient education is necessary to help residents make the best health plan decisions. Two gaps that directly affect hospitals and health systems are health plans' provider network designs and patients’ understanding of the role of deductibles in comparing the overall value of different options.  

MHA members are strongly encouraged to learn which MNsure plans include their hospitals and clinics in network and those that do not. The MNsure website does not allow consumers to see which providers are in- or out-of-network for the different health plan products offered. Unless consumers leave the MNsure site and look up providers on the health plans’ own websites, they could unknowingly choose products that do not include their preferred hospital or clinic in network, thereby requiring them to travel farther distances or incur much higher out-of-pocket costs.  

MHA members should learn which MNsure plans include or exclude them from their provider networks and educate patients and families in their communities. In the absence of this functionality from MNsure, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) designed a simple web-based tool for determining whether a provider is in- or out-of-network in that region's plans. MPR's tool can be found here. Also MHA members can check the Minnesota Department of Health’s website for more information.  

In addition, hospitals are strongly encouraged to educate patients about the implications of deductibles in assessing the overall value of particular plans. This is particularly true for patients who might be deciding between MinnesotaCare and a Bronze plan, because a Bronze plan might appear to be cheaper due to slightly lower monthly premiums. However, the bronze products have high deductibles that could leave needed care seeming unaffordable in practice, whereas MinnesotaCare has no deductible. Patients should be educated regarding what a high-deductible product covers and how deductibles work so they can make an informed financial decision as they enroll in health coverage.  

MHA will be discussing its members' concerns and questions, especially those related to the Consumer Assistance Partners program, with MNsure officials later this week. Watch for more information early next week. In the meantime, members with issues or topics they would like MHA to raise with MNsure should send them to Matt Anderson, MHA vice president of regulatory and strategic affairs, or Jen McNertney, MHA policy analyst, by noon on Wednesday, Oct. 30. return to top  

First Contact could start Nov. 1

Hospitals should be prepared for the possible implementation of First Contact on Friday, Nov. 1. The Minnesota Board on Aging is expected to inform stakeholders by Oct. 29 whether First Contact will begin on Nov. 1. The program has already been delayed from an Oct. 1 start date because the state had not received federal approval in time.  

First Contact redesigns the preadmission screening process for patients discharged to a Medicaid-certified nursing home, regardless of payer source. In addition, the 30-day stay is no longer exempt from the process. A referral form must be submitted to Senior LinkAge Line and Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) level 1 and 2 screening completed before a patient can be transferred to a nursing home.  

Many questions remain about the implementation of First Contact, particularly regarding specifics on how transfers to nursing homes can occur if a referral is in process. Members are encouraged to check the Minnesota Board on Aging website for the latest information.