Minnesota Hospital Association


February 17, 2014

MHA Newsline

In this issue

Presumptive eligibility beginning to move forward

In a recent meeting with MHA, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) laid out a process for implementing a presumptive eligibility (PE) enrollment program for potential Medicaid beneficiaries.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires each state to develop a process through which hospitals can make PE determinations for patients who are likely eligible for Medicaid benefits. The advantage of PE is that hospitals can get these patients effectively enrolled in Medicaid before the full application process is complete.

Although the ACA states that hospitals’ PE authority was to begin Jan. 1, 2014, DHS has been unable to devote staff time and resources necessary to creating a PE program until recently. Moreover, the department struggled to identify a way to begin PE without modifying the online application process through MNsure, a solution MHA advocated for.

Now, DHS intends to create a PE process that, at least initially, will not rely on the MNsure website and expects to submit the necessary state plan amendment to the federal government by March 28. Although the state plan amendment is an important step toward implementing PE, there remains significant information technology and processing work that DHS must complete before PE begins. As a result, the department cannot estimate when it will be ready to process hospitals’ applications to participate in the future PE program or begin accepting PE applications.

MHA is pleased DHS is moving forward and seems to understand the importance of beginning PE enrollments as soon as possible.

Until the PE process is up and running, MHA encourages members to document and track the services they provide to patients who otherwise might have been enrolled into Medical Assistance through a PE determination by the hospital.

For more information, contact Matt Anderson, MHA vice president of regulatory and strategic affairs, 651-659-1421 or Joe Schindler, MHA vice president of finance, 651-659-1415. return to top  

US Senate extends moratorium on enforcement of direct supervision policy

Earlier last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed S. 1954 that would extend the moratorium on enforcement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) policy requiring direct supervision of outpatient therapeutic services. The previous enforcement moratorium expired on Jan. 1, 2014. If enacted, the bill would reinstate the moratorium through 2014 for critical access hospitals and rural hospitals with 100 or fewer beds.

MHA strongly supports S. 1954 because it will provide Congress with additional time to enact the Protecting Access to Rural Therapy Services Act (H.R. 2801/S. 1143 or PARTS Act), which would create a default standard of “general supervision” for outpatient therapeutic services delivered in a hospital.  

MHA applauded the unanimous vote as a sign of the bipartisan support for extending the moratorium, as well as a potential indication of similar support for the PARTS legislation later this year.

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

CMS seeking input on next generation of ACOs

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a request for information (RFI) asking for input and ideas regarding Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Specifically, CMS is looking for feedback regarding the Pioneer ACO program and how to increase participation in that model, as well as suggestions for “new ACO models that encourage greater care integration and financial accountability.”

The Pioneer ACO program is in its third year. Nine of the original 32 Pioneer ACOs dropped out of the program last year. All three MHA members that agreed to be Pioneer ACOs in 2012 — Allina Health, Fairview Health Services and Park Nicollet Health Services — have continued to stay in the program.

Comments in response to the RFI are due by March 1. MHA intends to submit comments and encourages members to provide feedback and suggestions to Matt Anderson, MHA vice president of regulatory and strategic affairs, 651-659-1421 no later than Feb. 26return to top  

Mental health workforce community forums scheduled

Community forums focused on gathering input on the state of Minnesota’s mental health workforce have been scheduled for late winter and early spring. HealthForce Minnesota, in conjunction with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), is holding these forums to gather information ahead of a state-wide mental health workforce summit on May 28.  

MHA members are encouraged to attend their local forum and offer input on the mental health workforce. HealthForce is seeking specific examples of what barriers exist to recruiting and retaining mental and behavioral health staff, as well as possible solutions to these barriers.  

Click on the city link for additional information and to register:
  • Rochester, Tuesday March 4 1-3 p.m.
  • Worthington, Wednesday, March 5 3-5 p.m.
  • Willmar, Tuesday, March 18 1-3 pm.
  • Brainerd, Wednesday, March 19 3-5 p.m.
  • Mankato, Tuesday, March 25 1-3 p.m.
  • Duluth, Tuesday, April 29 7:30-9 a.m.
  • Moorhead, TBD
  • Pine City, TBD
Visit HealthForce Minnesota’s website for more information, or contact Jen McNertney, MHA policy analyst, 651-659-1405. return to top

Strategies to help leaders engage and inspire employees at Healthcare Leadership Institute

Jake Poore, founder and president of Integrated Loyalty Systems in Orlando, Florida, will share proven success strategies and the pitfalls to avoid as leaders design and execute cultural blueprints for their organizations at Thursday morning’s opening session at the Healthcare Leadership Institute. Poore will inspire health care leaders to tap into the power of storytelling to continuously ignite the hearts and minds of their team members, providers and volunteers.  

Poore spent nearly two decades at the Walt Disney Company helping to train and align 65,000 employees toward creating memorable experiences for individuals. He spent the past 15 years fine tuning those blueprints by adding best practices from leaders in service, such as Southwest Airlines and Ritz-Carlton Hotels, and applying them to more than 100 top health care organizations.  

The conference has been approved for up to 14.25 clock hours Minnesota Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators.  

The Healthcare Leadership Institute is March 5-7 at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth. For more information or to register download the conference brochure or visit MHA’s website. return to top  

CEO, CFO and CNE salary surveys online

Requests were emailed last week to chief executive officers to participate in MHA’s annual CEO, CFO and CNE compensation surveys. 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.  

As always, the reported information will be kept confidential. Results will be reported in summary form only, with no individual responses identified. This year, the surveys are being conducted online, and a login and password are required to complete the survey. The web address, login, and password have been sent in an email. This was done so hospitals could partially complete the survey and return to it at a later date without the need to completely fill out the survey again.  

The deadline for completion is Friday, Feb. 28. The reports will be sent to participants in early May. Please make sure to specify the email addresses the reports should be sent to. 

For questions regarding the survey contact Jonathan Peters, MHA director of data and financial policy, 651-659-1422. return to top  

CMS announces open period for bundled payment model applications

The centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has announced a winter open period for organizations to be considered for participationin Models 2, 3, and 4 of the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative. The deadline for consideration in April 18, 2014.

The reform initiative pays for episodes of care instead of a fee for service model. For more information, click here. return to top