Minnesota Hospital Association


March 30, 2015

MHA Newsline: March 30, 2015

In this issue 

Invite legislators to your hospital this week

Hospitals are encouraged to reach out to legislators this week and invite them to visit your hospital while they are in their home districts on break. Please use the grassroots matching list found on our Member Center to call your legislators’ offices to issue an invitation.      

The House and Senate leadership have announced their general fund budget targets for 2016–17. The House Republicans propose to cut $1.148 billion out of Health and Human Services and the Senate Democrats propose to add $341 million in new spending to the Health and Human Services budget. This significant proposed spending difference could mean very long and difficult budget negotiations between the House and Senate when they return from break on April 7.    

Legislation proposed by the Long Term Care Imperative to require hospitals to inform a Medicare patient when he/she has been placed in observation status advanced in the Senate. MHA appreciated the Imperative’s willingness to work with us on amending the language for our members (S.F. 679 – Sen. Hayden - Minneapolis).   

The "Caregiver Act," sponsored by AARP MN, was amended to require hospitals to obtain the consent of the patient to share medical information needed to provide the caregiver with adequate training on the caregiver duties (H.F. 210 – Rep. Zerwas – Elk River). MHA was disappointed this amendment was added and we will continue to work with AARP MN and legislators to amend this legislation.   

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 mental health conference

Health care professionals who assist individuals with mental health, adverse childhood experiences and childhood safety are invited to attend the Mental Health 2015 conference, hosted by St. Cloud Hospital and CentraCare Health. The conference will help participants: 

  • Describe the epidemiology of sex trafficking in Central Minnesota 
  • Explore the trauma related to sexual exploitation and appropriate responses  
  • Understand the risk factors associated with bullying and relational aggression in adolescents 
  • Explore strategies to identify, prevent and intervene with bullying and relational aggression 
  • Identify why it is important to address the needs of children under age five, in our mental health systems 
  • Recognize unique components of trauma informed services for children under age five and their families 
  • Describe the use of the Broset Violence Checklist in assessing for patient violence risk 
  • Identify the Broset Violence Checklist risk level of a patient in a case study 
  • Increase awareness and knowledge about this profound study, and the relevance of this information for practitioners, families and the community at large 
  • Gain greater understanding of spiritual struggle due to trauma 

The conference takes place Thursday, April 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Windfelt Room at CentraCare Health Plaza in St. Cloud. The registration deadline is April 7. To learn more or to register, click here. return to top   

Don’t miss your chance to participate in the 2015 Summer Health Care Internship Program

Deadline to apply is Friday, April 17
Employer applications are still being accepted for the 2015 Summer Health Care Intern 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 also is 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 www.mnhospitals.org/shcip or contact Sarah Bohnet, Summer Health Care Internship Program coordinator, 651-603-3494. return to top   

U.S. House passes permanent physician payment reform

Some significant hospital cuts were avoided and extensions of crucial programs were included
Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to repeal the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for physician payments under the Medicare program. 

About $70 billion of the roughly $210 billion cost of replacing the SGR is offset by reductions to payments to providers and structural changes to the Medicare program; the remainder would not be offset. 

MHA weighed in with our congressional delegation and joined a Health Care Quality Coalition letter in support of the bill. The legislation was also supported by the American Hospital Association.   

Unfortunately, there are some hospital payment cuts included as an offset even though Medicare already pays less than the cost of delivering services. The final bill, however, rejected a number of options that were being considered as offsets such as reductions to hospital outpatient services, Graduate Medical Education, critical access hospitals,and certain services in rehab hospitals. The final bill also did not include a much talked about further delay in the ICD-10 program.   

Several extensions of important programs were included in the bill such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program; the Medicare Dependent Hospital program; rural low-volume adjustments; the rural ambulance add-on; and the partial enforcement delay on Medicare’s two-midnight policy.   

For more information, contact Ann Gibson, MHA vice president of federal relations and workforce, 651-603-3527. return to top   

U.S. House companion legislation reintroduced to protect access to outpatient therapeutic services

A U.S. House companion piece of legislation was reintroduced last week that would allow general supervision by a physician or non-physician practitioner for many outpatient therapeutic services. 

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken are co-sponsors of the Senate version of this legislation. MHA has submitted a request to all of our House members to sign onto the bill. 

H.R. 1611, the “Protecting Access to Rural Therapy Services (PARTS) Act,” would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to adopt a default setting of general supervision (rather than direct supervision) for outpatient therapeutic services, and create an advisory panel to establish an exceptions process for risky and complex outpatient services that may require a higher, direct level of supervision. The legislation would also hold critical access hospitals harmless from civil or criminal action regarding CMS’s retroactive reinterpretation of “direct supervision” requirements for the period 2001-2015. 

For more information, contact Ann Gibson, MHA vice president of federal relations and workforce, 651-603-3527. return to top   

Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education helps nurses with a seamless transition to baccalaureate education

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” report which identified eight recommendations to help nurses — the largest segment of the nation’s health care workforce — to be prepared to respond effectively to a rapidly evolving health care delivery system.   

Locally, the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) is working on “increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020,” the IOM’s fourth recommendation in this report.   

MANE is an alliance of nursing programs dedicated to increasing the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses in Minnesota. Faculty from seven community colleges and the School of Nursing at Metropolitan State University have created a concept-based dual admission Bachelor of Science in nursing program, which is taught on all eight campuses.   

Through MANE, students can complete coursework for the bachelor of science degree in nursing without leaving their home campus. Students on MANE community college campuses will receive an associate of science degree and will have the option to pursue licensure and attain a Bachelor of Science degree.   

For more information on MANE, contact Faye Uppman, MANE project director, 651-793-1380. return to top   

Register for ICSI’s Colloquium by April 3 and save

Register today for the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement’s Annual Colloquium, May 4-6 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. Keynote speakers are Kevin Kling, Minnesota’s renowned storyteller, and David Katz, M.D., director and co-founder, Yale Prevention Research Center. More than 25 presentations will support the Colloquium’s theme of “Better Health, Better Care, Better Costs: Are We There Yet?”  There is also a half-day pre-Colloquium workshop on May 4, discounted prices to attend the Colloquium for qualified “emerging leaders,” and a special payers’ breakfast. For more information and to register, click here. return to top