Minnesota Hospital Association


February 23, 2015

MHA Newsline: Feb. 23, 2015

In this issue

MHA priority bills introduced

Last week, two bills advocated for by MHA were introduced. The first bill is MHA’s telemedicine proposal. This legislation would expand health insurance coverage to include telemedicine visits, coverage that is inconsistent currently.   

Telemedicine is an increasingly used technology to bring health care resources, including specialists, to people and communities that otherwise would have difficulty accessing them. The technology has been shown to increase access to health care services, improve health outcomes for patients and reduce health care costs (S.F. 981 – Sen. Rosen – Fairmont).   

The second piece of legislation sought by MHA will address our members’ growing concerns about workplace violence. This legislation will create a new definition of a “patient care zone” to include hospitals, nursing homes and hospice care facilities. This “safe zone” legislation would allow for an enhanced penalty for individuals convicted of committing certain crimes in the “patient care zone.” This is modeled after existing laws applicable to schools, parks and public housing zones (H.F. 1088 – Rep. O’Neill – Buffalo).   

Hearings of interest this week  
On Monday, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee was meeting at noon to complete work on legislation to require race, language and ethnicity data be collected as part of quality reporting.   

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at noon to consider the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact for physicians (S.F. 253 – Sen. Sheran – Mankato) and legislation proposed by AARP MN to require hospitals to train the designated caregiver (S.F. 107 – Sen. Eken – Twin Valley.)   

On Wednesday, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee will meet to hear the policy portions of the governor’s budget bill (S.F. 825 – Sen. Lourey – Kerrick.) The House Health and Human Services Reform Committee will hold an overview hearing at 2:45 p.m. on the Department of Human Services’ oversight of MNsure eligibility determinations for public programs.    

On Thursday, the House Health and Human Services Committee will hold a hearing at 12:45 p.m. on legislation to appropriate money to the Department of Human Services for education on the Safe Place for Newborns Law (H.F. 825 – Rep. Peterson – Lakeville.)    

On Friday, the House Aging and Long Term Care Policy Committee will hold a public hearing in Faribault on aging and long-term care issues.    

For a complete list of 2015 legislative bills MHA is tracking, visit the Member Center. For assistance accessing the Member Center, contact Ashley Gauster, MHA member services and communications specialist, 651-603-3545. return to top   

Behavioral Health Home meeting scheduled for March 2

MHA and the Department of Human Services (DHS) will co-host a meeting to discuss Behavioral Health Homes (BHH) and how hospitals and health systems may work with this integrated primary care model. The meeting will be on Monday, March 2 from 10-11 a.m. at the DHS Andersen Building in St. Paul. Members are encouraged to send behavioral health directors and/or directors of nursing to attend the meeting.   

Behavioral Health Homes are Minnesota’s first demonstration of the health home model authorized in the Affordable Care Act. The BHH model “will operate under a ‘whole person’ philosophy and assure access to and coordinated delivery of primary care and behavioral health services for adults and children with serious mental illness.”   

More information on BHH is available here. Contact Jen McNertney, MHA policy analyst, 651-659-1405, for more information and to RSVP. return to top   

Patient Safety Awareness Week highlights importance of being ‘United in Safety’

Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 8-14, an annual education and awareness campaign for health care safety. This year’s theme, United in Safety, underscores the importance that everyone in the health care process plays a role in delivering safe care, from patients to care providers to leaders in administration. The underlying focus of this campaign is patient engagement and the importance of the relationship between providers and patients and their families.   

The theme echoes the message of a new campaign from MHA, Include Always™, which aims to transform health care by authentically engaging patients and families at all levels within hospitals. Join MHA April 21 and 22 to learn ways to improve patient and family engagement at your hospital. To learn more or to register, view the conference brochure. The program is limited to 200 participants. For questions, contact Karen Olson, MHA patient safety and quality coordinator, 651-603-3521. return to top  

Fairview Health Services program honored by American Hospital Association

Fairview Health Services’ Youth Grief Services program was selected as the recipient of the 2015 American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Hospital Awards for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE). The HAVE Award celebrates the contributions and value of hospital volunteers – women and men who work tirelessly on behalf of their patients and communities. The program will be honored at the AHA’s annual meeting on May 4.   

Youth Grief Services (YGS) is a community outreach program that offers hope and healing to families after the loss of a loved one. YGS works with adults and children separately, giving them the tools they need to heal. Twice a year, YGS offers seven-week grief support and education sessions for children and teens and separate, simultaneous sessions for parents and caregivers. Read more about the program here. return to top  

Member news: Swift County-Benson Hospital CEO retiring

Frank Lawatsch, CEO of Swift County-Benson Hospital is retiring. He will be honored at a reception Friday, Feb. 27 from 3-6 p.m. at Swift County-Benson Hospital in Benson, Minn. During his 17-year tenure, Frank has been an active member of MHA, including serving on the Board of Directors and the Minnesota Hospital PAC Board. He is a past member of the Small, Rural Hospital Committee as well as the Policy and Advocacy Committee. MHA is grateful to Frank for his many contributions over the years. return to top