In this issue
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
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
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
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
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.
Nov. 14, noon
Nov. 17, noon
Nov. 18, 11:30 a.m.
Nov. 19, 8 a.m.
Nov. 19, 8 a.m.
Nov. 19, noon
Nov. 19, 4 p.m
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
return to top
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
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