Minnesota Hospital Association


May 27, 2014

MHA Newsline: May 27, 2014

In this issue

Hospital spotlight: New Ulm Medical Center works to reduce heart attacks

New Ulm Medical Center, part of Allina Health, recently received the 2014 MHA Community Benefit Award, small hospital category, for its “Heart of New Ulm Project,” a 10-year demonstration project with the goal of reducing heart attacks and health risk factors. Community interventions including free phone-based coaching, free heart screenings, tobacco cessation courses and worksite wellness programs have contributed to a 24 percent reduction in heart attacks. Read more about New Ulm Medical Center and the other 2014 MHA award winners here. return to top 

CMS proposes limited additional flexibility in meeting meaningful use in 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released a proposed rule that would allow hospitals and eligible professionals multiple pathways to meet meaningful use in 2014, including using the 2011 Edition Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) to meet the meaningful use requirements in place for 2013. CMS says in a news release beginning in 2015, all eligible hospitals and professionals would be required to use the 2014 Edition CEHRT to report meaningful use. The rule also proposes beginning stage 3 meaningful use in fiscal year 2017. The agencies will accept comments on the rule for 60 days.  

While this is certainly a welcome reprieve for hospitals and eligible professionals, there are still concerns. First, there are timing issues. The 60-day comment period ends in mid-July, but hospitals and eligible professionals wishing to attest for stage 2 in 2014 must start the process by July 1. Second, while the proposed rule does offer relief to providers that are having issues with getting the updated certified version of their electronic health record installed, it may be less helpful to providers who are struggling to meet other stage 2 requirements in 2014.  

For questions, contact Mark Sonneborn, MHA vice president of information services, 651-659-1423. return to top  

Senator Franken named co-chair of Senate Rural Health Caucus

Senator is a lead sponsor of legislation aimed to bolster rural health care

Sen. Al Franken (D) was recently named co-chair of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, a bi-partisan caucus of members committed to advancing rural priorities in health care policy. Sen. Franken joined others from the caucus in introducing the bipartisan Craig Thomas Rural Hospital and Provider Equity Act. The bill, S.2359, would remove the 96-hour physician certification requirement as a condition of payment for critical access hospitals (CAHs) and would extend through 2014 the enforcement moratorium on the outpatient therapy “direct supervision” policy for critical access hospitals and rural prospective payment system hospitals with 100 or fewer beds. The bill would also reinstate the outpatient hold harmless provision, increase the low-volume payment adjustment to 2,000 discharges, extend cost-based reimbursement for rural outpatient labs and implement other provisions important to CAHs. Both MHA and the American Hospital Association support this legislation.

For questions, contact Ann Gibson, MHA vice president of federal relations and workforce, 651-603-3527. return to top  

Minnesota Reps. Ellison and Paulsen sign onto legislation in support of fix to the two-midnight requirement

Reps. Keith Ellison (D) and Erik Paulsen (R) recently signed on as cosponsors to H.R. 3698, the Two-Midnight Rule Delay Act of 2014. This legislation would support delaying enforcement of the two-midnight policy and direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to take a more thoughtful approach by developing a new standard that will provide clarity on whether a patient should be billed as an inpatient or outpatient.  

Under the current requirement, Medicare beneficiaries must stay at least two midnights in a hospital to be presumed to be appropriately paid for by Medicare as an inpatient admission. There are some exceptions to hospital stays of a shorter duration with proper physician documentation, but MHA is concerned about the precarious position this puts physicians in at the time of admission. The requirement is administratively burdensome and gets in the way of the best medical judgment.  

Sens. Klobuchar (D) and Franken (D) have signed onto the Senate bill and Reps. McCollum (D), Bachmann (R) and Peterson (D) have all previously signed onto the House version. The Senate and House bill are supported by MHA and the American Hospital Association.  

For questions, contact Ann Gibson, MHA vice president of federal relations and workforce, 651-603-3527. return to top  

Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Ellison add support to improve Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor program

Sen. Klobuchar  and Rep. Ellison added their support to S. 1012/H.R. 1250, the Medicare Audit Improvement Act, which would make much needed improvements to the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program.  

Hospitals take seriously their obligation to bill properly for the services they provide to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Hospitals want to bill and be paid accurately the first time. Nearly 60 percent of the hospital medical records reviewed by RACs are found to have no overpayment error. RACs are not impartial judges of Medicare payments; they receive a commission on each rejected claim. MHA and the American Hospital Association strongly support S.1012/H.R. 1250 to improve oversight and management and fix the broken appeals process.  

This legislation would ensure transparent and fair audit practices and provide assistance to hospitals in mitigating excessive overall audit burden. It would also place annual limits on documentation requests from RACs and other auditors; impose financial penalties on RACs if they fall out of compliance with the program; make RAC performance evaluations publicly available; and allow denied inpatient claims to be billed as outpatient claims without regarding for filing limitations; among other provisions.  

Rep. McCollum and Rep. Peterson previously signed onto the bill.  

For questions contact Ann Gibson, MHA vice president of federal relations and workforce, 651-603-3527. return to top  

2014 Minnesota Hospital PAC golf event Monday, Aug. 11

The Minnesota Hospital Political Action Committee’s (PAC) golf tournament will take place Monday, Aug. 11 in St. Cloud at Territory Golf Club.  

Hospital CEOs are asked to contribute at a club level ($350 minimum) to participate. Hospital employees and trustees can attend for $200 per person. Please contact Carol Eshelman, Minnesota Hospital PAC coordinator for a registration form.  

Members who have already contributed at a club level in 2014 are invited to participate at no extra charge, but are asked to register with Eshelman.  

The Minnesota Hospital PAC thanks the following members who have already contributed $350 or more in 2014 as of May 21:  

Washington Club – individuals giving $3,000 or more

  • Lorry Massa, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul  

Ben Franklin Club – individuals giving $1,000 or more

  • Brad Beard, Fairview Southdale Hospital, Edina
  • Craig Broman, St. Cloud Hospital
  • Alan J. Goldbloom, M.D., Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Ben Koppelman, St. Joseph’s Area Health Services, Park Rapids
  • Mary Maertens, Avera Marshall
  • Ken Paulus, Allina Health, Minneapolis
  • Terrence Pladson, M.D., CentraCare Health, St. Cloud
  • Rulon Stacey, Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis
  • Randy Ulseth, FirstLight Health System, Mora
  • Carl Vaagenes, Douglas County Hospital, Alexandria
  • Mary Ellen Wells, CentraCare Health - Monticello
  • Matt Anderson, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
  • Mary Krinkie, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
  • Ben Peltier, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul  

Chairman's Circle – individuals giving $500 or more

  • David Albrecht, Owatonna Hospital
  • Rick Ash, Ortonville Area Health Services
  • Catherine Barr, Bethesda Hospital, St. Paul
  • Mark Koch, Mayo Clinic Health System, Rochester
  • Carrie Michalski, RiverView Health, Crookston
  • Steven Mulder, M.D., Hutchinson Health
  • Dan Odegaard, Bigfork Valley Hospital/Rainy Lake Medical Center
  • Keith Okeson, LifeCare Medical Center, Roseau
  • Tim Rice, Lakewood Health System, Staples
  • John Solheim, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Crosby
  • Wendy Burt, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
  • Tania Daniels, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
  • Ann Gibson, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
  • Kristin Loncorich, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
  • Joe Schindler, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
  • Mark Sonneborn, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul
  • Peggy Westby, Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul  

Capitol Club – individuals giving $350 or more

  • Daniel Anderson, Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis
  • Jon Braband, Glencoe Regional Health Services
  • George Gerlach, Granite Falls Municipal Hospital & Manor
  • Gerry Gilbertson, CentraCare Health - Melrose
  • Paul Goering, M.D., Allina Health, Minneapolis
  • Joy Johnson, Sanford Bemidji Medical Center
  • Beth Krehbiel, Fairview Ridges Hospital, Burnsville
  • Loren Morey, Lakewood Health System, Staples
  • Jon Pryor, M.D., Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis
  • Mary Ruyter, Sanford Jackson Medical Center
  • Rachelle Schultz, Winona Health
  • Gary Shaw, Cambridge Medical Center  

For more information about the Minnesota Hospital PAC contact Kristin Loncorich, MHA government relations director, 651-603-3526 or Mary Krinkie, MHA vice president of government relations, 651-659-1465. return to top  

Webinars: Two-midnight rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) final rule CMS-1599-F modifies and clarifies CMS' longstanding policy on how Medicare contractors review inpatient hospital and critical access hospital admissions for payment purposes. Under this final rule, surgical procedures, diagnostic tests, and other treatments are generally appropriate for inpatient hospital admission and payment under Medicare Part A when the physician (1) expects the beneficiary to require a stay that crosses at least two midnights and (2) admits the beneficiary to the hospital based upon that expectation.  

National Government Services is offering webinars to help better understand the requirements outlined in CMS-1599-F. These webinars are designed for departments of Utilization Review, Case Management, Compliance, Nursing, and Staff Education, physicians, as well as members of your clinical, administrative, coding and financial staff and other clinical personnel who have key roles in making the correct decision between inpatient and outpatient status for your patient population. Two-midnight rule webinars will be held on:

  • Friday, May 30, noon - 2 p.m. CT
  • Friday, June 6, 9 - 11 a.m. CT
  • Thursday, June 12, noon - 2 p.m. CT
  • Tuesday, June 24, 9 - 11 a.m. CT

Register online here. return to top  

Conference to explore ways to manage aggressive behaviors in health care

CentraCare Health and St. Cloud Hospital are hosting a one-day conference to help hospitals and health care workers better manage aggressive behaviors. The conference will define a strategic approach for mitigating the risk of behaviorally challenging situations in a health care environment and provide professionals with information and tools to address increasing health care incidents of aggressive behavior toward caregivers. Following the program, participants will be able to:

  • Explore ways to prepare for and respond to an active shooter in the hospital setting.
  • Identify methods for maintaining operations during an active shooter incident.
  • Describe risk management, legal, law enforcement, community and other challenges associated with an Aggressive Patient Management Program.
  • Address strategies regarding post-incident debriefing and other post-incident approaches.
  • Implement skills and tools that will decrease or de-escalate violent behavioral incidents in the work environment.

The conference will take place Wednesday, June 11 at the Gorecki Center – College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph. Learn more or register online. return to top  

MHA Member Center launched

MHA recently launched a new Member Center that provides resources and information specifically for MHA members. The Member Center is your connection to MHA, allowing you to manage your contact information, register for upcoming events and programs, search for MHA hospitals and employee members, and find contact information for your legislators to perform grassroots advocacy. You’ll also have access to timely member-only resources and documents.  

The Member Center is password protected; if you need help with your login ID and  password, contact Ashley Gauster, member services and communication specialist, 651-603-3545. return to top  

Laura Beeth appointed chair of Governor’s Workforce Development Council

Gov. Dayton has named Laura Beeth, system director, talent management/system H.R., Fairview Health Services, as the chair and business representative for the Governor’s Workforce Development Council (GWDC) beginning July 1, 2014.  

The council’s mission is “to analyze and recommend workforce development policies to the governor and legislature toward talent development, resource alignment and system effectiveness to ensure a globally competitive workforce for Minnesota.”  

The GWDC membership, outlined in state statute, includes leaders from business and industry, community-based organizations, education, local government and organized labor.  

Beeth’s term expires June 30, 2017. return to top  

Putting Policy into Action seminar

Treo Solutions, a 3M Health Information Systems company,  will host “Putting Policy into Action”, a half-day conference where attendees will learn about the development, implementation and testing of innovative health care programs within the context of the nation’s health laws and policies. Mark Sonneborn, MHA vice president of information services, will present during a panel discussion.  

The event will be held on Tuesday, June 3 at the St. Paul Hotel. Payers, providers, government agencies and other health care stakeholders are encouraged to attend. The program is complimentary, but registration is required. For more information, click here. return to top