Minnesota Hospital Association


August 18, 2014

MHA Newsline: Aug. 18, 2014

In this issue 

Hospital spotlight: Involving patients and families in their care is key to good outcomes

For hospitals, providing high quality, safe, patient-centered care is paramount. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), studies show that providing patient-centered care has a positive impact on patient satisfaction, length of stay and cost per case. Across Minnesota, hospitals are engaging patients and their families as essential partners in efforts to continually improve the quality and safety of care in our hospitals.

Examples of these efforts include placing patients and family members on advisory councils to advise the hospital on facility design projects or process improvements that focus on what’s best for patients and families. One example from Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park was the implementation of bedside safety handoffs. At shift change, the on-coming nurse and off-going nurse meet at the bedside to discuss the care plan for the patient and ensure the entire team is on the same page. It provides the patient the opportunity to ask questions and makes them feel more comfortable that the lines of communication are open. The hospital also asks patients to share their stories at leadership meetings and finds that talking with patients openly leads to quality and safety improvement. 

To watch a video and learn more about the efforts in Minnesota to further engage patients and families to ensure top-notch, safe care, click herereturn to top   

Hospital Financial Ratio Book now available

The 2014 Minnesota Hospital Financial Ratio Book, based on 2013 financial statements, is now available to MHA members.   

The book contains the 27 key financial ratios that hospital administrators, board members and financial officers need to understand their hospitals’ financial standing compared to their peers groups in the state. The in-depth report is produced from hospitals’ audited financial statements and provides unique insight into the current trends different hospital groups face in Minnesota.   

The book also includes common-sized financial statements allowing hospitals to compare their own statements against those with similar characteristics. A system-level section shows the same 27 key financial ratios for hospital systems operating in the state.   

The following are some of the key summary points in this year’s ratio book: 

  • Between fiscal year (FY) 2012 and FY 2013, the statewide median operating margin decreased from 2.8 percent to 2.6 percent. 
  • The statewide median net margin decreased from 4.0 percent to 3.7 percent. 
  • Liquidity ratios slightly weakened and days in patient accounts receivable increased from 51.09 days in 2012 to 53.75 days in 2013. 
  • The day’s cash-on-hand ratio saw a slight decrease, from 33.51 days in 2012 to 31.38 days in 2013. 

The standard ratio book costs $100, and customized peer-group reports are $50 for MHA members. For more information, contact Jonathan Peters, MHA director of data and financial policy, 651-659-1422. To order the book or customized reports, contact Jennifer Sanislo, MHA division assistant, 651-659-1440. return to top   

Change to HPE coverage start date policy

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has determined that Hospital Presumptive Eligibility (HPE) coverage begins on the date an HPE approval is made. This is a change from previous policy, in which coverage would begin the day the HPE application was completed and the approval date could be within five business days of the application completion.   

An HPE application must now be completed and approved the first day of services for those services to be covered by HPE. Services provided before HPE determination is made will not be covered under HPE; although the services will be covered under Medical Assistance (MA) in an individual is eligible for MA the same month as s/he is eligible for HPE.   

The policy is now in effect, however, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will not begin enforcing the new start date policy until Sept. 1.    

To address the coverage and approval start date issue, DHS recommends training employees who currently collect HPE applications to make HPE determinations. Having more staff trained will enable additional staff to make HPE determinations in the evenings and on weekends and therefore provide HPE coverage for services delivered at those times.   For more information, contact Jen McNertney, MHA policy analyst, 651-659-1405. return to top   

Revisions to J-1 Visa Waiver Program

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), through the Office and Rural Health and Primary Care has reviewed and revised the J-1 Visa Waiver Program.   

The program aims to improve health care access for rural and urban underserved Minnesotans by assisting internationally trained physicians to practice in underserved areas. The revised program will move from a process where applications were reviewed on a first submitted-first reviewed basis to a competitive, committee-selected process. The new process will allow more applicants to submit applications and will allow the state to prioritize waivers based on need. Click here for the revised guidelines.   

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

Hospital corrections to HAC, readmissions data due

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that hospitals unable to review their readmissions or hospital-acquired conditions data on QualityNet due to technical difficulties accessing their hospital-specific reports should submit a ticket to QualityNet’s Help Desk before the preview period ends. Hospitals may preview and submit corrections to their readmissions data through Aug. 19 and their hospital-acquired conditions data through Aug. 21. The data are used in calculating fiscal year 2015 payment penalties under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program and Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Programreturn to top   

Controlled substance diversion prevention training available

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Minnesota Department of Health will host a seminar to provide an overview of controlled substance diversion prevention. The training will include information related to infection as a result of drug tampering. 

“The Narcotic Abuse Epidemic in Minnesota and the United States: It’s Causes and Consequences” will be held Friday, Sept. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.   

Hospital CEOs, administrators, drug diversion personnel, law enforcement and prosecutorial entities concerning infection agents as they relate to controlled substance tampering are encouraged to attend.   

The training will be simulcast at the DEA office in Minneapolis. View the agenda here. For more information and to register, email Joseph Cappello, U.S. Department of Justice. return to top   

Election resources available at MHA Member Center

Visit the MHA Member Center for important resources and essential election information. Helpful features include: 

  • MHA’s 2014 election tool kit, containing an election preview, fact sheets and talking points, advocacy tips and voting information; 
  • A grassroots search engine, allowing you to find the contact information for your legislators by hospital or legislative committee; and, 
  • A downloadable candidate listing for the 2014 Minnesota House elections. 

The MHA Member Center is username and password protected. For login information, contact Ashley Gauster, MHA member services and communications specialist, 651-603-3545.   

For questions, 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   

Rural Palliative Care Networking Group offers program

The Rural Palliative Care Networking Group will offer “Measures for Rural Palliative Care Programs”, a program to discuss the increasing importance for palliative care programs to measure clinical effectiveness, patient and family satisfaction and costs; share findings from a measures pilot with five rural Minnesota community-based palliative care programs; and identify opportunities and tools available to implement data collection processes in palliative care programs.   

The program is presented by Stratis Health and will be held Thursday, Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon at Lakeland Home Care and Lakeland Hospice in Fergus Falls.  

View the program brochure. To register for in-person attendance, click here. To attend via conference call, click here. For questions, contact Janelle Shearer, Stratis Health program manager, 952-853-8553. return to top    

MDH requesting feedback on medical cannabis registry program

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently published a request for comments on possible rules governing the medical cannabis registry program, created under the medical cannabis law passed in the 2014 legislature. MDH is considering rules including manufacturer operations and may also address medical cannabis testing laboratories, registry procedures, patient and provider participation, financial auditing requirements, and any other material requirements that may arise during the course of the rulemaking.   

According to the notice, the new rules would likely affect: licensed doctors of medicine, licensed physician assistants, licensed advanced practice registered nurses and others, including law enforcement.   

There are no draft rules upon which to comment. Instead, MDH is seeking input on the “principles, goals, and objectives” that should inform the rule-making process.   

For additional information or to share feedback from your organization that MHA can incorporate into comments, contact Jen McNertney, MHA policy analyst, 651-659-1405, by Sept. 8. return to top