In this issue
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
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
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
- Turn potential workplace
violence into verbal de-escalation.
- Consider facility design
(clinics, EDs, hospitals) to mitigate the risks of patients with
- Understand Behavioral
Escalation Response Team (BERT) concepts, design, implementation and
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
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
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.
- 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
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
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