Minnesota Hospital Association


November 03, 2014

MHA Newsline: Nov. 3, 2014

In this issue 

Hospital employees urged to get flu vaccine

Hospital employees have a responsibility to protect patients, and the flu vaccine is the first line of defense. Unvaccinated health care workers can pass highly contagious influenza to their patients, colleagues and loved ones. With Ebola top of mind for hospitals across the country, it is now more important than ever for people to vaccinate against the flu. The United States has a bigger threat each year from the influenza virus – 200,000 citizens are treated in hospitals each year for the flu and tens of thousands die from the flu each year. Yet many of the symptoms of influenza – fever, muscle aches and headaches – resemble the early symptoms displayed by patients with Ebola. Increasing the number of people who are vaccinated against the flu will decrease the false alarms. As you review your emergency preparedness plans this fall, be sure to add the flu vaccine to your checklist and encourage all employees to get one. return to top    

Minnesota hospitals continue preparations for Ebola

Following the announcement of four hospitals designated to treat confirmed cases of Ebola in Minnesota the work continues to fine-tune Minnesota’s response plan. MHA and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are regularly communicating and collaborating to make sure any patient in Minnesota can be properly identified, isolated and transferred to one of four hospitals for treatment. Collaboration has included regular, ongoing meetings, information sharing, and planning with work groups specific to personal protective equipment (PPE) supply and protocols, clinical assessment of patients, patient transfer practices, and the handling of lab specimens. MHA will continue to hold regular conference calls to update members on the latest information.   

Training videos 
Training videos on donning and doffing PPE have been posted on the MHA Ebola Resources page, including from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Greater New York Hospital Association and the North Carolina Division of Public Health. The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality have collaborated to create an interactive, web-based, educational training program focusing on proper personal protective equipment (PPE) use for healthcare personnel caring for patients with Ebola. The training allows hospitals to select the specific recommended PPE it is using for customized training. return to top   

MHA attends CMS Region V meeting

MHA staff joined other associations in a meeting with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Region V office in Chicago on Oct. 21. Highlights include: 

  • The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which administers the 340B drug discount program, received an additional $6 million in funding. They intend to use the funds to enhance 340B program performance and integrity programs (audits) and to create more education outreach. 
  • The Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program restarted its activities in August beginning with DRG reviews and is now moving into more complex medical necessity reviews. The FY2013 Recovery Auditing report to Congress is posted online
  • The Probe & Educate reviews of Medicare claims for medical necessity illuminated a significant problem with physician documentation either lacking or conflicting with electronic medical record indications. 
  • Medicare Advantage (MA) plans continue to gain traction nationally. It was reported that Minnesota has highest Medicare Advantage concentration with 51 percent of Minnesota’s Medicare beneficiaries covered by a MA health plan. 

For any questions, contact Joe Schindler, MHA vice president of finance, 651-659-1415. return to top 

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce holding statewide policy tour

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its statewide policy tour, sponsored by CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. The meetings provide an opportunity to offer input into the Chamber’s policy agenda and we encourage hospitals to attend. The schedule is below: 

Inver Grove Heights 
Nov. 10, 11:30 a.m.

Nov. 11, 11:30 a.m.
North Central Door Company

Nov. 11, 11:30 a.m.
Ag Power Enterprises

Nov. 13, 8 a.m.

Detroit Lakes
Nov. 14, noon
BTD Manufacturing

Red Wing
Nov. 17, noon

Nov. 18, 11:30 a.m.
Henry's Foods

St. Cloud
Nov. 19, 8 a.m.
U.S. Bank

Nov. 19, 8 a.m.
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Nov. 19, noon

Nov. 19, 4 p.m
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Nov. 20, 11:30 a.m.

Nov. 21, noon
Custom Products of Litchfield

Nov. 24, 11:30 a.m.
Thomson Hydro Station/Dam - Minnesota Power

Nov. 25, 8 a.m.
Essar Steel Minnesota, LLC
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University of Minnesota offers hospital decontamination training

The University of Minnesota School of Public Health offers a one-day hospital decontamination course geared toward hospital first receivers, nurses, ER personnel, facilities, environmental services/housekeeping and safety/security personnel.   

The course includes an extensive review of the Incident Command System, personal protective equipment (PPE), donning/doffing, how to select the right PPE for decontamination, and emergency response to unknown hazards. A review of decontamination shelters and procedures and hands-on decontamination simulation is included. All materials, equipment and a variety of CEUs are provided. The course is offered onsite with two complementary registrations for the hosting facility. 

For more information or to schedule a course at your facility, contact the University's Hazardous Materials training program 612-624-6023 or 612-626-0900. The course description and a video of recent training are listed at www.hazmat.umn.edu under "Emergency Preparedness.” return to top