Minnesota Hospital Association


March 02, 2015

MHA Newsline: March 2, 2015

In this issue 

State’s budget surplus grows

A group of bipartisan legislators joined MHA to announce the introduction of legislation to require all Minnesota insurance companies and Minnesota public programs to cover telemedicine patient visits as they would an in-person visit. The Minnesota Telemedicine Act, S.F. 981 is authored by Sen. Julie Rosen (R – Fairmont) and the companion bill, H.F. 1246, is authored by Rep. Tara Mack (R – Apple Valley). 

The February forecast was released last week and shows an increase of $832 million more than November’s projected budget forecast. The budget outlook is strong, but these projections depend on economic conditions that can change over the next two years. The legislature will use this forecast to build the budget for 2016-17.   

Hearings of interest this week
On Monday, March 2 at noon, the Senate Health and Human Services Policy Committee will hold a hearing on a bill to create a health care program for low income Minnesotans that are ineligible for Medical Assistance (S.F. 643 – Sen. Hayden – Minneapolis). 

Tuesday, March 3 at 12:45 p.m., the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the February budget forecast, Health Care Access Fund and MNCare (the Basic Health Plan.) At 2:45 p.m., the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to add mental health and independent clinical social workers to the health professional loan forgiveness program. 

On Wednesday, March 4 at 12:45 p.m., the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee will hold a hearing on various bills related to EMS, nonemergency medical transportation, community medical response, emergency medical technicians and rural special transportation services.   

Thursday, March 5 at 12:45 p.m., the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee will hold a hearing on providing additional funding to the poison information center (H.F. 346 – Rep. Hoppe – Chaska.) 

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   

MHA submitting proposal for HEN 2.0

Program would help further improve patient safety in Minnesota
Significant progress in strengthening hospital patient safety has been made as a result of the three-year Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network contract, which ended in December 2014. MHA is pleased that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) 2.0 request for proposal. As a high performing HEN and one of only six to receive a Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics (LEAPT) contract, MHA is submitting a proposal for HEN 2.0. This contract will bring MHA additional resources to continue to support members with implementing effective strategies to improve patient safety and quality, including measuring and improving outcomes for patients. 

The Partnership for Patients program achieved significant results, both locally and nationally. In Minnesota there was a 37 percent reduction in harm across the board, and more 13,000 patients were prevented from being harmed, resulting in over $93 million in cost savings. Nationally, there was a 17 percent reduction in harm, and 1.3 million patients were prevented from being harmed, saving $12 billion. 

MHA looks forward to continuing to work with Minnesota’s hospitals to further improve safety in the state. MHA’s support will include benchmark data reports, education, continued learning networks for Safe Care, Patient and Family Engagement, and topic specific learning networks with educational webinars/conference calls/office hours, listserv, and tool kits. Learning networks also include virtual or in person education opportunities, staff/expert consultations to review progress and identify areas for improvement, routine communication and updates. MHA will submit its proposal to CMS by March 30 and will send members more information about signing up for the MHA HEN 2.0 in April.  return to top   

Employer applications being accepted for the Summer Health Care Internship Program

Deadline to apply is Friday, April 17
Employer applications are being accepted for the 2015 Summer Health Care Internship Program (SHCIP). Hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities and home care providers are encouraged to participate on behalf of qualified students in their community.   

The internship program benefits students by allowing them to explore health care careers and gain experience in a health care setting. The initiative is also a great opportunity for health care employers to become more involved in their communities.   

Up to half of an intern’s wages are reimbursed through a grant from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Rural Health & Primary Care. The grant is administered by MHA. The employer application form is available on the MHA website. The application deadline is Friday, April 17 at 5 p.m.

For more information on the Summer Health Care Internship Program, visit the MHA website or contact Sarah Bohnet, Summer Health Care Internship Program coordinator, 651-603-3494. return to top   

AHA Survey sent to hospitals

MHA is coordinating the collection of the American Hospital Association survey of services, staffing, finances and EHR implementation. The cover letter, survey, walkthrough and login/password were emailed to CEOs on Feb. 27. We ask for your hospital’s assistance in completing the survey. The AHA Directory of Hospitals is useful for identifying trends and the information is used for analysis in a variety of ways at the national level. Please enter your survey information online at www.ahasurvey.org. If you need your login and password, email Jenny Sanislo, MHA division assistant. The due date is March 31. return to top   

Free sustainability forum scheduled for March 5

HEARRT will be hosting a free forum on Thursday, March 5 from 9-noon at Hennepin County Medical Center. The forum addresses empowering employees to create a culture of environmental sustainability in healthcare organizations. Featured presenters are Elise L. Amel, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Director of Environmental Studies, University of St. Thomas and Milt Thomas, Employee Engagement Specialist, MN Pollution Control Agency. This forum offers an excellent opportunity to learn how your organization can foster a culture of sustainability. 

HEARRT is a coalition of hospitals and health systems, MHA, the MN Technical Assistance Program, and Zimmer Environmental Improvement. HEARRT connects health care professionals to encourage and support sustainability actions that improve environmental and community health and reduce costs.  

For more information and to register go to http://www.hearrtmidwest.org/. return to top