Minnesota Hospital Association


July 28, 2014

MHA Newsline: July 28, 2014

In this issue 

Hospital leaders receive trustee certification

Five hospital trustees from across Minnesota were recognized for earning certification through the Minnesota Hospital Association’s trustee certification program. The comprehensive certification process prepares hospital trustees to effectively meet the growing demands of serving on a hospital board and to be strong health care and community leaders.      

By participating in MHA’s voluntary certification program, hospital trustees receive training on current health care trends; governance best practices; ethics; government regulations; patient safety; and quality. Participants undergo 35 hours of coursework, making Minnesota’s initiative the most comprehensive in the nation.   

The newly certified trustees are: 

Cook County North Shore Hospital, Grand Marais 

  • Justin Mueller 

District One Hospital, Faribault 

  • Audrey Tebo 

Tri-County Health Care, Wadena 

  • Jolene Johannes 
  • Jon Johnson  

Unity Hospital, Fridley 

  • Gerald Maeckelbergh 

Learn more about MHA’s hospital trustee certification programreturn to top   

New MHA study projects shortage of Minnesota physicians

A new study conducted for MHA confirms a shortage of primary care physicians will develop over the next 10 years. Every year, MHA collects health care workforce data from the majority of the state’s hospitals. MHA asked Towers Watson to conduct a comprehensive review of the state of the primary care physician and registered nurse (RN) workforces in Minnesota. Towers Watson used publicly available data from the national Bureau of Labor Statistics and state of Minnesota, as well as the workforce data provided to MHA by Minnesota hospitals.  

The study found that the number of graduates is inadequate to replace retirements as they occur. Coupled with the projected increases in demand because of an aging population will result in a significant gap of physicians. According to the study, a cumulative shortfall of almost 850 primary care physicians is projected for the Minnesota workforce by 2024 because of the lack of annual growth in Minnesota’s graduate medical education programs, including residency or clinical training positions.   

MHA is urging federal and state policy makers to: 

  • Lift the 17-year freeze on the number of physician residency positions available under Medicare funding, which artificially limits the number of physicians trained each year. 
  • Oppose cuts to federal Graduate Medical Education funding that would further jeopardize the ability of Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems to train the next generation of physicians. 
  • Develop a statewide health care workforce plan, such as one focused on primary care that is under discussion by the Governor’s office in conjunction with the National Governor’s Association. 
  • Seek ways to increase funding of Minnesota’s Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) program that helps hospitals and health systems offset some of the higher costs associated with training physicians and other health care professionals. 
  • Support development of new care delivery models, including increased use of tele-health technologies, to relieve some of the demands on primary care physicians while continuing to ensure timely and convenient access to primary care for residents across the state. 

View a presentation of the MHA workforce study. For more information about MHA’s workforce tool, contact Ann Gibson, MHA vice president of federal relations and workforce, 651-603-3527. return to top   

MHA partners with NJHA and RWJF to monitor ACA impact

MHA has joined with the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and 23 other state hospital associations to monitor the impact of the Affordable Care Act on hospital admissions and emergency department utilization.   

RWJF recently posted its first report on its Hospital ACA Monitoring Project, with base-year findings.   

It is anticipated that extending healthcare coverage to more Americans will increase the use of primary care and ambulatory services and reduce reliance on hospital emergency departments. The study aims to learn how the newly insured patients will impact hospital utilization and seeks to find out if hospital ED use will decline as seen in Massachusetts after the state implemented coverage mandates. The group will also monitor to see if greater access to primary care will lower avoidable admissions.   

Under the initiative, 24 state associations have agreed to share summary level data on a quarterly basis by payer category for certain disease conditions believed to be sensitive to insurance status. Under a RWJF grant, NJHA serves as the project data intermediary and collects quarterly data submissions from state associations and shares them securely with RWJF for analysis. The year-end 2013 data set has already been collected and will serve as the study baseline. The first quarter of 2014, which is due by the end of the summer, will be the first opportunity to begin studying early impacts of the ACA.   

“The potential financial impact of health reform on hospitals is also unclear,” said Katherine Hempstead, coverage team director and senior program officer at RJWF. “While the reduction in uncompensated care is clearly a plus, there may be significant increases in utilization by patients who have payers that reimburse at relatively low rates.”   

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

Mental health conference brings together experts

MHA’s second annual mental health conference, “Community Partnerships for Community Solutions,” will examine ways hospitals can work with other providers and stakeholders in their communities to improve treatment for people with serious mental illnesses.   

The program features several experts. Laura Shrader, director of clinical services, Two Rivers Behavioral Health in Kansas City, MO will deliver a keynote address on her experience developing an emergency room diversion program in Kansas City. Hennepin County Judge Jay Quam; Dr. Paul Goering, vice president of behavioral health, Allina Health; and others will address the state’s civil commitment law. A panel discussion on building successful community partnerships will include Glenn Anderson of Northern Pines Community Mental Health Center; Augsburg College professor and consumer Melissa Hensley; and Lana Bruggeman of Sanford Thief River Falls Medical Center.   

Minnesota Department of Human Services Direct Care and Treatment executive director Steve Allen will provide an update on the state’s role in treating Minnesotans with the most challenging mental health conditions. Chris Walker, director, inpatient mental health units & behavioral access nurses at St. Cloud Hospital will finish the day with her hospital’s work implementing the Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively (RARE) Campaign’s transitions for mental health recommendations.   

The program will be held at the Crown Plaza, Minneapolis West in Plymouth on Aug. 1. Click here for the event brochure or here to register onlinereturn to top   

Safety alert issued: Controlled substance diversion can lead to health care-associated infection

MHA and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently issued a safety alert stressing the importance of continued implementation of the recommendations of 2012’s controlled substances diversion task force. New preliminary data of drug diversion by health care personnel as reported to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) showed an increase of 65 reports in 2011 to 104 in 2012. In the first eight months of 2013 there were 69 reports.   

“As a result of the recommendations and roadmap created by the MDH and MHA task force in 2012, we anticipated that reports would increase,” said Tania Daniels, MHA vice president of patient safety.   

The safety alert also highlights specific actions required to prevent and respond to the threat of health care-associated infection resulting from drug diversion from health care personnel. Diversion of injectable medication represents a risk for transmission of blood borne pathogens and for bacteremia. A recent review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified six outbreaks of bacterial and hepatitis C virus infections that resulted from drug diversion by health care personnel in U.S. health care settings in the past 10 years.   

View the safety alert and recommendations here. Access the MHA drug diversion tool kit herereturn to top   

Workplace violence prevention webinar provides overview of coalition’s goals

A private-public coalition of health care stakeholders has formed to prevent workplace violence towards staff in health care settings and to provide resources to hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and other facilities to help identify risks for violence and put effective strategies in place.   

To kick off the coalition’s work, the Minnesota Medical Association will host a series of webinars. The first webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, July 30, from 10 to 11 a.m. and will provide an overview of violence in health care workplaces and a road map to reducing incidence and severity. The webinar is complimentary but registration is required.   

Click here for more information on the coalition. For questions, contact Julie Apold, senior director of patient safety, 651-603-3538. return to top