In this issue
spotlight: Involving patients and families in their care is key to good
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 here. return to top
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
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
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
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
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
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 Program. return to top
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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