Minnesota Hospital Association


January 27, 2014

MHA Newsline

In this issue

MHA earns Outstanding Association Achievement Award for Healthcare Education

The American Association of Educators, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, recently awarded MHA with the Outstanding Association Achievement Award for Healthcare Education. The award was given for the Trustee Certification Program, in recognition of an outstanding milestone in health care education. MHA started the Hospital Trustee Certification Program in 2008 to help trustees strengthen their leadership and accountability to both their hospital and community. This program was designed to provide trustees with the opportunity to move beyond the basics of governance to a forward thinking, strategic understanding of the healthcare environment and how to move their hospital’s mission and vision to a new level.  

In order to achieve certification, a trustee must complete 35 hours of education in five specific areas of concentration, plus participate in nine basic standards of board involvement. Nearly 100 trustees have completed certification and 484 are currently in the process. In five short years, MHA has not only increased awareness of the importance of trustee education, but has also increased their trustee education participation in regional meetings and conference by more than 40 percent. return to top  

MHA pressing DHS for solutions on presumptive eligibility

MHA has been in close contact with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to identify possible solutions that would make the presumptive eligibility (PE) process available to hospitals, especially in light of the difficulty many Minnesotans face trying to enroll through MNsure.

Under the ACA, as of Jan. 1, 2014, hospitals have authority to make a presumptive eligibility determination for low-income, uninsured patients, thereby temporarily enrolling those patients into Medicaid pending an actual determination of eligibility. This practical approach helps uninsured patients get their initial care, often delivered in a hospital’s emergency department, as well as follow-up care covered by Medicaid while they complete the application process and a final eligibility determination is made by the state. The approach also helps reduce uncompensated care for hospitals by allowing them to recover a portion of their costs from Medicaid payments.

MHA raised and explored multiple temporary solutions with DHS that would allow Minnesota hospitals to begin making PE determinations as quickly as possible for patients likely to qualify for Medicaid. Unfortunately — more than three weeks after PE went into effect under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — DHS has decided that none of the ideas can be implemented, and it remains unable to project when a short- or long-term solution might be in place. DHS asserts that the resources necessary to develop a PE solution are devoted entirely to addressing problems with state public program enrollment through MNsure.

Given that a PE process is not in place and does not appear to be on the horizon anytime soon, MHA is exploring other avenues to protect patients’ and providers’ interests in the access to care and Medicaid reimbursements intended by federal law.

For more information, contact Matt Anderson, MHA vice president of regulatory and strategic affairs, 651-659-1421. return to top  

RARE Campaign earns National Quality Forum, The Joint Commission Patient Safety and Quality Award

Minnesota hospitals and their community partners have received national recognition for their work to reduce avoidable readmissions. The Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively (RARE) Campaign was named a recipient of the 2013 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality, one of the most prestigious quality and safety awards in the country. This national recognition is a reflection of the RARE Campaign participants' commitment to better care for our patients, innovative improvement strategies and hard work.

The award recognizes your collaborative work that has resulted in preventing 6,211 avoidable hospital readmissions between Jan. 1, 2011 and June 30, 2013. Your improvement work has helped patients spend 24,844 more nights sleeping comfortably in their own beds instead of the hospital and has reduced inpatient costs by an estimated $55 million. The RARE Campaign now includes 82 participating hospitals and 100 community partners across Minnesota. Congratulations, the campaign would not have earned the award without the work of participating hospitals! Read more about Minnesota’s award. return to top  

RARE collaborative on Mental Health Care Transitions set to begin

The RARE Collaborative: Mental Health Care Transitions, a yearlong learning collaborative for organizations with inpatient mental health units, begins this month. It is designed to support organizations in reducing readmissions for these patients and improve their transition into post-acute care.

Using best and promising practices as well as evidence-based interventions, each organization’s team will be coached through the process of improvement. The collaborative will primarily use virtual meetings with a daylong session at the beginning and end of the collaborative. Content will focus on the five key areas known to reduce avoidable readmissions: comprehensive discharge planning; medication management; patient and family engagement; transition care support; transition communications. Participating organizations, listed below, will network with each other and learn from national experts:
  •  Essentia Health – Duluth
  • Fairview Southdale Hospital, Edina
  • Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis
  • North Memorial Medical Center, Robbinsdale
  • Regions Hospital, St. Paul
  • St. Cloud Hospital
  • St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth
  • State Operated Services: Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center and Community Behavioral Health Hospital, Rochester
  • United Hospital, Fridley
  • University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, Minneapolis

For more information visit the RARE Campaign website. return to top 

Register for Building Collaborations for Local Community Health program

Registration is now open for the Building Collaborations for Local Community Health program. Hospital community health needs assessment staff and community benefits and outreach staff are encouraged to attend this dynamic and interactive program that will feature a keynote presentation by Julia Joh Ellingers, MPH, director, Assessment, Planning & Workforce Development at the National Association of County and City Health Officials.  

The program will feature a discussion with successful collaborations between local public health agencies and hospitals in Minnesota, and opportunities to explore community health needs assessments and strategies for leveraging local resources for improving population health.  

The program will take place on Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Dakota Lodge in West St. Paul. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and the program is from 12:30 to 3 p.m. with lunch provided. You must be an MHA member to register and space is limited to 50 MHA members so register early. Registration is $30 per person on or before Feb. 7. After Feb. 7, registration is $40 per person.  

For more information or to register, visit MHA’s website or download the brochure. return to top