Minnesota Hospital Association


March 23, 2015

MHA Newsline: March 23, 2015

In this issue 

Plan to meet with legislators next week during holiday break

MHA members are encouraged to invite legislators to the hospital for meetings the week of March 30th when legislators are on a break. Please use the grassroots matching list found on our Member Center to call your legislators’ offices to issue the invitation.   

Here’s what happened last week at the Capitol and what’s coming up this week. Last Friday was the first committee deadline of the legislative session. In order for a bill to still be under consideration it is supposed to have passed in all policy committees of at least one body of the legislature. The second policy committee deadline is this Friday, March 27. In order to still move forward, bills need to be approved by all policy committees in both bodies. The focus will now turn to the finance committees and work on the Omnibus spending bills.   

Last week, the Minnesota Telemedicine Act, supported by MHA, passed in both the House and Senate Commerce Committees. The bills were referred to their respective House and Senate Health and Human Service Finance Committees for consideration of the Medical Assistance provisions (H.F. 1246 Rep. Mack, R-Apple Valley, S.F. 981 Sen. Rosen, R-Vernon Center).    

Legislation to provide additional funding for Minnesota’s critical access hospitals passed out of the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee. H.F. 1853, (Rep. Backer, R-Browns Valley), was sent to the Health and Human Services Finance Committee for consideration. MHA testified in support of this important legislation. This provision and funding ($5.2 million for the biennium) is included in S.F. 825 (Sen. Lourey, DFL-Kerrick).   The House Ways and Means Committee heard public testimony on the budget targets. MHA testified on the importance of not cutting existing health care expenditures in order to fund new spending initiatives. New spending should be allocated from the projected budget surplus.   

Legislation sponsored by the Minnesota Nurses Association on violence reporting to MDH and staffing complaints was taken off the table in the Senate Health and Human Services Policy Committee. The bill’s author, Sen. Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, amended S.F. 1071 to remove the penalties and the creation of a new database at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). While hospitals expressed a shared concern over violent and aggressive behavior affecting staff, patients and visitors, the amendment remains very prescriptive and requires incident reporting by hospitals to MDH. The amended bill was passed and referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Finance Division. MHA will continue to work with the author and the finance division members to improve the legislation to further support the implementation of the violence prevention gap analysis created by a coalition of health care stakeholders including MHA, MNA and MDH.   

Hearings of interest this week:
On Tuesday, March 24 at 12:45 p.m. the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the governor’s supplemental budget for the Departments of Health and Human Services. At 2:45 p.m. the House Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to allow a patient to stop the collections process if the patient was not given a copy of the hospital financial assistance policy (H.F. 1647 – Rep. Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center). At the same time the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee will hold a hearing on legislation sponsored by AARP Minnesota to require hospitals to document the name of and train a patient’s caregiver on post-hospital care prior to discharge (H.F. 210 – Rep. Zerwas, R-Elk River). At 7 p.m. the House Ways and Means Committee will adopt the budget resolution establishing the budget targets for 2016-17.   

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   

CentraCare Health hosting conference to manage aggressive behaviors in health care

CentraCare Health is hosting a one-day conference to provide innovative approaches to managing aggressive behaviors in health care. The conference is designed for health care administrators, executives, board members, nursing leaders, social workers, law enforcement, other health care professionals and community partners. It will define a strategic approach for mitigating the risk of behaviorally challenging situations in a health care environment and provide professionals with information and tools to address health care incidents of aggressive behavior toward caregivers. Following the conference, attendees will be able to: 

  • Address strategies regarding post-incident debriefing and other post-incident approaches. 
  • Implement skills and tools that will decrease or de-escalate violent behavioral incidents in the work environment. 
  • Turn potential workplace violence into verbal de-escalation. 
  • Consider facility design (clinics, EDs, hospitals) to mitigate the risks of patients with aggressive behaviors. 
  • Understand Behavioral Escalation Response Team (BERT) concepts, design, implementation and expected outcomes. 

The conference takes place Monday, May 11 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Gorecki Center at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph. To learn more or to register, click here. return to top   

Upcoming education sessions designed specifically for rural hospitals

MHA will hold its annual “Health Care Delivery Strategies for Rural Hospitals” sessions throughout the state April 28-30. Rural critical access hospitals (CAH) and prospective payment system (PPS) hospitals are invited to attend.   

Topics include state/federal reimbursement, cost report issues, Medicare billing updates, Electronic Health Record reporting strategies and physician/clinic billing.   

Following each daily general session, separate breakout sessions will be provided for both billing and finance issues. MHA Vice President of Finance Joe Schindler and McGladrey LLP Director Sue Ankeny will present the finance breakout sessions and National Government Services provider outreach and education staff Kim Thomas will speak at the billing breakout sessions.    

The programs are co-sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. The locations are as follows: 

  • Tuesday, April 28, Timberlake Lodge, Grand Rapids 
  • Wednesday, April 29, Le St. Germain Suites, St. Cloud 
  • Thursday, April 30, Jackpot Junction, Morton 

More information and registration materials are available on the MHA website or click here for the brochure. Contact Christy Brager, MHA education specialist, 651-659-1412 with questions. return to top   

PrairieCare provides free Psychiatric Consultation Line

PrairieCare Medical Group offers free clinical triage and child and adolescent psychiatric phone consultations to health care providers called the Psychiatric Assistance Line (PAL). The PAL service is offered on a voluntary basis and is designed to be physician-friendly and help empower the treatment of mental illnesses in the primary care setting. Any health care provider can call for mental health triage and referral or for a consultation with a Board Certified child and adolescent psychiatrist regarding a patient. 

The Psychiatric Assistance Line (PAL) provides valuable clinical expertise that has empowered primary care providers to treat psychiatric conditions in a timely and cost effective way. The consultations have allowed patients to receive timely and quality care in a familiar environment without the costs and waiting involved in accessing a child/adolescent psychiatrist. The ability for primary care providers to manage behavioral health cases in the primary care setting can prevent the child and family from having to wait for an appointment with a child and adolescent psychiatrist who are already overwhelmed with the most complex patient cases. Barriers to receiving timely consultation also means the increased risk of worsening symptoms in the meantime. Over 120 children have been served, but the service is available to serve every child across the state. 

PAL has been able to provide services to 74 primary care providers in 41 clinics in the first six months, and its trajectory is to provide over 300 consultations in the first year. To learn more about PAL, click here. return to top