Minnesota Hospital Association


March 16, 2015

MHA Newsline: March 16, 2015

In this issue 

Mayo Clinic Hospital nurse honored with Good Catch for Patient Safety Award

Mayo Clinic Rochester Hospital, St. Marys Campus registered nurse Sara Lorenz was honored with the Good Catch for Patient Safety Award on March 10, 2015 for her demonstrated commitment to keep patients safe and for fostering a culture of safety at the hospital. 

Sara’s attention to detail and willingness to speak up prevented a patient from harm. In preparation for a procedure, the patient’s implantable cardiac device was deactivated and the pacemaker underwent programming changes. Following the procedure, Sara noticed the devices had not been reset to their original settings. Had Sara not identified the issue, the patient could have been discharged with the implantable cardiac device turned off and the pacemaker not at its original setting. 

“It is very clear Mayo Clinic understands the critical importance of team work and communication between various disciplines. They have a very cohesive team that fully embraces a culture of safety,” said MHA Chief Medical Officer Rahul Koranne, MD. “It is because of actions taken each and every day by dedicated professionals like Sara that Minnesota hospitals and health systems continue to be front-runners in patient safety across the nation.” 

The Good Catch for Patient Safety Award recognizes hospital professionals who demonstrate their commitment to keeping patients safe by “speaking up” to prevent a potential patient safety issue. All Good Catch for Patient Safety award winners are entered into the running to win the quarterly Good Catch for Patient Safety award. Quarterly winners are eligible to win the annual Good Catch for Patient Safety award, presented at the MHA Annual Awards banquet. 

To learn more about the Good Catch Award or to submit a nomination, visit the MHA website. return to top   

MHA priority legislation advances in House and Senate

Legislation to advance the use of telemedicine, advocated for by MHA, advanced in both the House and Senate. S.F. 981/H.F. 1246, (Sen. Rosen, R-Vernon Center; Rep. Mack, R-Apple Valley) passed in the Senate and House Health and Human Service Policy Committees and the bills were referred to the respective Commerce Committees. Special thanks to MHA members who testified on behalf of the legislation and who did a great job bringing the benefits of telemedicine to life — Kathleen Hall, M.D., Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Allina Health; Maureen Ideker, director of telemedicine, Essentia Health; and Gregory Wright, M.D., chief of critical care, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. 

Legislation to establish “patient care safe zones” for hospitals, nursing homes and hospice care facilities and give a judge the discretion to increase the penalty for certain crimes committed within the “patient care safe zone” advanced in the House.  H.F. 1088, authored by Rep. Marion O’Neill, (R-Maple Lake), was passed and referred to the Public Safety Committee. MHA extends special thanks to Mary Ellen Wells, administrator, CentraCare Health-Monticello and Jennifer Myster, president, Buffalo Hospital, part of Allina Health, both of whom committed their entire day to testify in support of the legislation as the hearing ran into the evening.  

MNA’s workplace violence complaint bill, which would require the Minnesota Department of Health to create a database and portal for hospital employees to submit complaints when they have concerns about violence or staffing also received a hearing. The bill included numerous new reporting requirements for hospitals, including documentation of the actions taken by the hospital to each of these complaints. Joy Plamann, MBA, RN, BC, care center director, medicine, St. Cloud Hospital and Laura Reed, RN, MSN, MBA, chief nurse executive, University of Minnesota Medical Center, testified in opposition to the bill on behalf of MHA. Both Joy and Laura highlighted all of the great work hospitals are already doing to prevent workplace violence. Because of significant concerns raised by committee members, the bill (S.F. 1071 – Sen. Wiger, DFL-Maplewood) was tabled by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill may be taken off the table this week for further consideration before Friday’s committee deadline. MHA continues to seek input from our members on the issue of workplace violence and possible alternatives to S.F. 1071. 

Upcoming hearings of interest:
Monday, March 16 at 5 p.m. the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to repeal MinnesotaCare and move that population to the health care exchange (H.F. 1665 – Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood).   

On Tuesday, March 17 at noon, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on legislation allowing survivors to continue legal action after the death of a patient (S.F. 1374 – Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park). 

At 2:45 p.m. the House Health and Human Services Reform committee will hold a hearing on legislation to require hospitals to notify Medicare patients when they have been placed in observation status (H.F. 445 – Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing). 

Wednesday, March 18 at noon the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on MHA supported legislation to advance telemedicine in Minnesota (S.F. 981 – Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont)   

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   

OIG recommends swing bed payment reform

In a report released last week, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) recommends critical access hospital (CAH) swing bed payments be reformed to match the standard skilled nursing facility rates paid by Medicare to nursing homes. The Department of Health and Human Services’ OIG estimates that Medicare could have saved $4.1 billion between 2005 and 2010 if CAHs were paid for swing-bed services using Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System rates. 

In comments included in the report, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services criticized the recommendations, saying that OIG failed to incorporate the level of care needed by swing-bed patients; potential transportation fees to alternative facilities; and the use of point-to-point mileage instead of road miles when measuring distances. 

The report was also met with criticism by the American Hospital Association, saying that the report focuses on savings rather than the needs of rural residents. For more information, contact Joe Schindler, MHA vice president of finance, 651-659-1415. return to top   

Hospitals hear overview of medical cannabis program

On Wednesday, March 11, the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Medical Cannabis, provided an overview of the program and implications for hospitals. The presentation included background on Minnesota’s medical cannabis law; qualifying medical conditions for which it can be prescribed; a timeline of the law’s implementation; and information on the extraction/refining process for medical cannabis. The presentation is available here. return to top   

CMS schedules call on Next Generation ACO model

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) has scheduled an open door forum call to discuss the new Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model. The call is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 from 3-4 pm. 

How to join:
Online viewing is accessible via this link.
Dial-in information: 1-877-267-1577
Access code: 990 507 079 

More information about the new model is available here. return to top   

AHA issues 2015 Environmental Scan

AHACareerCenter.org, the online job board of the American Hospital Association, released its 2015 Health Care Talent Acquisition Environmental Scan, an annual snapshot of America’s health care employment landscape. The free report looks at workforce challenges and opportunities facing the field, including changing demographics, the impact of diversity, and trends in recruitment and hiring demand. 

Laura Beeth, system director talent acquisition, human resources, Fairview Health Services, was one of three human resources leaders interviewed for the report and she shared her thoughts on the hiring trends, new roles and talent gaps experienced in health care. One gap Beeth identified as a result of care delivery changes moving outside the hospital is additional home care staff. 

“It continues to be challenging to find enough qualified help (nurses, physical therapists) to meet home care needs,” said Beeth. “With the aging population, patient demand will continue to grow.” return to top