Minnesota Hospital Association


August 25, 2014

MHA Newsline: Aug. 25, 2014

In this issue

Hospital spotlight: Heart of New Ulm Project and New Ulm Medical Center receive AHA NOVA Award

Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project (HONU) and New Ulm Medical Center, part of Allina Health, received the 2014 NOVA Award from the American Hospital Association (AHA) and celebrated the award with a community reception.   

The HONU Project is an innovative 10-year grassroots initiative to significantly reduce the number of heart attacks among residents of New Ulm and is a collaborative partnership of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, New Ulm Medical Center and the community members of New Ulm.   

Since the HONU Project began five years ago, the culture of New Ulm has transformed to improve health risks such as physical activity, nutrition, obesity and tobacco use through community education and outreach programs and as a result, reduce the rates of acute heart attacks and deaths from coronary heart disease.   

The AHA NOVA Awards are given nationwide each year to hospitals and health systems for their collaborative efforts towards improving community health. For more information on the AHA NOVA Award, click here. For more information on the Heart of New Ulm Project, click here. return to top         

Minnesota hospitals recognized for fight against influenza

The Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) FluSafe program awarded ribbons to 100 Minnesota hospitals that achieved vaccination rates of 70 percent or greater for the 2013-2014 flu season.   

The FluSafe program aims to get all health care personnel, except those with medical exemptions, at hospitals and nursing homes in Minnesota vaccinated against influenza each season. National rates of influenza vaccination of health care workers are estimated at 72 percent.   

Under the FluSafe program, health care facilities receive guidance and access to tools and promotional items from MDH and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help them increase their vaccination rates. Hospitals and nursing homes record their vaccination rates through the state’s electronic immunization information system.   

Hospitals wishing to participate in the FluSafe program can register here. Facilities that participated in 2013-2014 do not need to re-register for the upcoming season, but may use the link above to update their contact information, if necessary.   

A list of the 2013-2014 hospitals and care centers earning ribbons can be found here. For questions, contact the FluSafe program. return to top       

AF4Q highlights Minnesota’s efforts to improve quality, handle cost of care

Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) is highlighting the work in Minnesota to improve quality and reduce the total cost of health care in the state. AF4Q is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce disparities and provide models for national reform.   

Minnesota is one of 16 AF4Q alliances operating nationwide, and includes MHA, Stratis Health, MN Community Measurement (MNCM), and the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI).   

AF4Q highlights Minnesota’s patient safety efforts, including the results of the Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively(RARE) Campaign, which prevented 7,975 avoidable readmissions and allowed patients to spend 31,900 nights at home instead of in the hospital. The RARE Campaign saved an estimated $70 million in inpatient costs in three years.   

Building on the quality measurement and improvement efforts, the Minnesota alliance is now working on the task of measuring how much an individual health care episode costs in an effort to increase transparency for consumers.   

For more information, visit the AF4Q website and access the article here. return to top      

Engage candidates, get involved in upcoming elections

With campaigns in full swing, now is the time for Minnesota hospitals, health systems and their employees to get involved, engage candidates and share the message face-to-face about your hospital’s patient safety work and contributions to your community.   

Hospitals are encouraged to invite members of our congressional delegation to visit your hospital before they return to Washington the week of Sept. 8.   

MHA members should reinforce with our delegation that Minnesota hospitals and health systems are involved in many reforms to ensure our tradition of nation-leading care. These efforts are taking place while already facing billions of dollars of payment reductions as a result of the Affordable Care Act, sequestration and other regulations. MHA members should encourage our delegation to continue to support thoughtful policy reforms instead of across-the-board cuts.   

MHA members are also encouraged to communicate their support for H.R. 3991/S.2037, the Critical Access Hospital Relief Act of 2014. This legislation removes the 96-hour physician certification requirement as a condition of payment for CAHs. There is a possibility that this bill language could be attached to moving legislation after the district work period. A strong show of support is necessary to make that happen.   

To view a full list of MHA’s priority federal bills click here.   

For more information on election engagement, access the MHA 2014 Election Tool Kit on the MHA Member Center. The Member Center is username and password protected. Contact Ashley Gauster, MHA member services and communications specialist, 651-603-3545.   

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

MDH rural hospital planning and transition grants available

The Minnesota Department of Health Office of Rural Health and Primary Care is taking applications for the Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant Program. The program helps small hospitals (50 or fewer beds) preserve or enhance access to health services through planning or implementation projects. 

The grant program supports small hospitals in: (1) developing strategic plans for improving access to health services, or (2) implementing transition projects to modify the type and extent of services provided, based on an existing plan. Coordination with local community organizations is a key component of this grant program. Applicants may apply for grants of up to $50,000, and approximately $300,000 is available in the program as a whole.   

Applications are due Oct. 10, 2014. Application forms and guidance are available on the Officeof Rural Health & Primary Care (ORHPC) website

For more information, contact Will Wilson, MDH Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, 651-201-3842. return to top

DHS hosts mental health reform 2018 listening sessions

Lucinda Jesson, commissioner of the Department of Human Services (DHS) invites hospitals and other health care stakeholders to discuss ideas for improving mental health services in the community.   

DHS is considering legislative initiatives and is obtaining feedback to help guide their efforts. MHA encourages members to attend the meeting on Aug. 29 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the South Central Community College in North Mankato. Additional session dates and locations will be announced by DHS.   

For questions, contact Jen McNertney, MHA policy analyst, 651-659-1405. return to top   

Minnesota stroke registry program workshops registration open

The Minnesota Stroke Registry Program, part of the Minnesota Department of Health, will be hosting a series of regional workshops around the state. “Breaking Stroke Barriers in Rural Minnesota with Your Partners” will focus on pre-hospital and hospital care including stroke recognition and mimics, drop and ship tPA management and pre-hospital to hospital care transition. The workshops provide an opportunity for EMS professionals and hospital-based providers to receive stroke education, participate in facilitated discussions and network.   

EMS professionals, ED nurse managers and directors, ICU managers and directors, stroke and trauma coordinators and nurse and EMS educators are encouraged to attend.   

The workshops are scheduled from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the following locations: 

  • St. Cloud Hospital – Sept. 23 
  • Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center – Oct. 1 
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth – Oct. 21 
  • Otter Tail County Government Services Center, Fergus Fall – Oct. 30   

To view the agenda, click here and to register, click here. For questions, contact Mary Jo Mehelich, quality improvement nurse, 651-201-5419 or Megan Hicks, quality improvement coordinator, 651-201-5436, Minnesota Stroke Registry Program. return to top  

World Sepsis Day Sept. 13

World Sepsis Day will be observed on Sept. 13 and is a single day where events worldwide focus on creating sepsis know-how and awareness. World Sepsis Day is organized by the Global Sepsis Alliance, a coalition of organizations with over one million caregivers in 70 countries working to elevate public, philanthropic and governmental awareness, understanding and support of sepsis and to accelerate collaboration among researchers, clinicians, and organizations to reduce incidence of sepsis by 20 percent by 2020.   

Visit the World Sepsis Day website for more information on ways your organization can join in the observance and sign the World Sepsis Declaration form.   

There is still time to participate in the MHA Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics (LEAPT) Seeing Sepsis campaign, which includes a tool kit to facilitate the adoption of severe sepsis early detection tools and the Surviving Sepsis Campaign three- and six-hour care bundles by hospitals of all sizes.   

To join Seeing Sepsis, contact Karen Olson, MHA patient safety/quality coordinator, 651-603-3521. return to top  

Integrated Care in Rural Practice conference registration available

Coordinated by the Minnesota Psychological Association, the Integrated Care in Rural Practice conference aims to provide quality continuing education to behavioral health professionals on the particular practice issues involved in working with people from rural communities.   

Presentation topics include: 

  • Integrating primary care and behavioral health in rural settings 
  • The integrated behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders in primary care: extension to rural practice 
  • Lessons from the front lines of rural pediatric integrated care 
  • The challenge of treating individuals with both mental illness and substance use disorders in integrated rural settings   

The conference is intended for the full range of behavioral health care professions, and will provide a knowledge base at the intermediate to advanced level for implementing rural integrated services.   

The conference will be held by Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The conference will be held via group webcast sites or individual webcast.    

To register, click here. For questions, contact Kay Slama, MPA conference coordinator, 320-905-6051. return to top  

Julie Brunner, executive director of MCHP to retire

Julie Brunner, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans (MCHP) has announced plans to retire at the end of this year after 12 years with the organization and 40 years in the health care industry.   

Under Brunner’s leadership, MCHP gained national recognition for bringing competing health plans, physicians and hospital groups together to create a more efficient health care system and improve the health of Minnesotans. MN Community Measurement (MNCM), the leading health care quality reporting organization in Minnesota, is an example of this work. return to top   

Newsline schedule

Newsline will next be published Tuesday, Sept. 2. return to top