Minnesota Hospital Association


May 04, 2015

MHA Newsline: May 4, 2015

In this issue 

Recognize your nurses during National Nurses Week, May 6-12

This week is National Nurses Week, a time to reflect on the important role of nurses on the patient care team. National Nurses Week is celebrated each year from May 6 through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. For an example of a dedicated nurse who provides extraordinary care to his patients and extends his work beyond the hospital's walls to help others in the community, meet Ed Wurtzberger, R.N., New Ulm Medical Center, part of Allina Health, the 2015 Minnesota Hospital Association Caregiver of the Year. return to top

Members asked to contact their legislators on HHS budget

A Health & Human Services Conference Committee will begin meeting soon to resolve the significant differences between the Senate and House versions of the Health and Human Services finance bills. The real work of this Conference Committee, however, cannot move forward until a budget target has been set by Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk. MHA members are being asked to contact their legislators and ask them to speak to their Caucus leadership and to Conference Committee members. New end of session key messages are available on the MHA Member Center.  

For help accessing the Member Center, contact Ashley Gauster, MHA member services and communications specialist, 651-603-3545. return to top     

Federal bills introduced to increase physician residency slots and make needed improvements to the RAC program

Last week, two Minnesota Hospital Association priority bills were introduced at the federal level. One will increase physician residency slots at teaching hospitals and the other will make much-needed improvements to the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program.     

The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, H.R. 2124, would lift the 1996 cap on residency slots and would add 15,000 residency positions eligible for both Medicare direct graduate medical education (DGME) and indirect medical education (IME) support. The legislation would add 3,000 DGME and IME positions each fiscal year from 2017 through 2021, at least half of which must be used for a shortage specialty residency program.   H.R. 2156, the Medicare Audit Improvement Act, makes improvements to the RAC program including:        

  • Eliminating the RAC contingency fee structure and instead directing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to pay RACs a flat fee, as every other Medicare contractor is paid, to reduce the financial incentive for overzealous auditing practices;
  • Establishes a consistent and transparent methodology to calculate RAC’s total appeals overturn rates; 
  • Lowering payments to RACs with poor performance due to high rates of incorrect denials;
  • Allowing hospitals to rebill claims when appropriate; and
  • Requiring RACs to make their inpatient claims decisions using the same information the physician had when treating the patient, not information that becomes available after the patient leaves the hospital.

Both bills are supported by the American Hospital Association (AHA). MHA has asked our federal delegation to co-sponsor the bills, and this request will be reinforced this week when MHA members and staff visit our congressional offices during the AHA annual meeting in Washington D.C.   

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

Make It OK ambassador training available

May is Mental Health Month, and MHA has been working with HealthPartners, the creator of Make It OK, to amplify the anti-stigma campaign throughout the state. The Make It OK campaign aims to reduce the stigma of mental illness by encouraging open conversations and education on the topic.  

The Make It OK campaign will hold an ambassador training where you can learn more about mental illnesses from experts and learn how to talk about mental illness and stigma. The training is May 27 from 1:30-3 p.m. at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Click here for more information and to register.   

Last week, MHA and HealthPartners held a webinar on how to become a campaign partner. You can access the webinar at MHA’s Member Center.   

For more information, contact Ashley Gauster, MHA member services and communications specialist, 651-603-3545. return to top  

Summer Trustee Conference brochure available online

Print version will be mailed the week of May 11   

The schedule and brochure for the MHA Summer Trustee Conference is now available. Minnesota hospital trustees can expect a print version of the conference brochure in the mail the week of May 11. Click here or visit the MHA website to view the brochure. return to top   

DHS seeking provider feedback for mental health, community services gap analysis

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is asking providers to participate and provide their perceptions about the capacity of the entire system of all home and community-based services (HCBS) and mental health services and supports in meeting the needs of the following four targeted population groups:

  • Older adults
  • People with disabilities
  • Children and youth with mental health conditions
  • Adults living with mental health conditions   

MHA strongly encourages members to complete the survey, particularly as it pertains to mental health services. This is an excellent opportunity to offer feedback to the department about one of the most important health care issues facing our state.   

A link to the survey has been sent to MN-ITS provider folders. The survey is open until Friday, May 8, 2015. More information is available at Gaps Analysis – Provider Input Requested. return to top

DHS announces fourth round of IHP demonstration project

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced the fourth round of the Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP) demonstration project. DHS is now accepting proposals for qualified grantee(s) to provide health care services to Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare enrollees under alternative payment arrangements through the IHP demonstration. The Integrated Health Partnership demonstration is an opportunity for provider organizations to contract and collaborate with DHS to care for public health care program recipients under an accountable payment model that incents quality and efficient care delivery. There are currently 16 IHPs in MN.   

The projected service begin date is January 1, 2016. Proposals are due 4:00 p.m. on July 27, 2015.   

The RFP can be viewed by visiting the Department of Human Services RFP website. return to top   

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce holding statewide policy tour

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its statewide policy tour to obtain input into the Chamber’s policy agenda. MHA encourages hospital leadership to attend as a way to continue building strong partnerships within your community. The schedule is below:   

  • Willmar May 26 | Noon Bennett Office Technologies, Inc. REGISTER 
  • New Brighton May 27 | 8:00 a.m. Dalco Enterprises, Inc. REGISTER 
  • Alexandria May 28 | 12:30 p.m. CliftonLarsonAllen LLP REGISTER 
  • Elk River May 28 | 8:00 a.m. Metal Craft & Engineering REGISTER 
  • Minneapolis May 28 | 4:00 p.m. WSB REGISTER
  • Winona June 2 | Noon RTP Company REGISTER 
  • St. Cloud June 3 | 8:00 a.m. CliftonLarsonAllen LLP REGISTER 
  • Thief River Falls June 5 | 8:00 a.m. Digi-Key Corp REGISTER 
  • Perham June 5 | 12:30 p.m. KLN Enterprises REGISTER 
  • St. Peter June 9 | 8:30 a.m. Nicollet County Bank REGISTER 
  • Marshall June 9 | Noon BH Electronics REGISTER 
  • Apple Valley June 9 | Noon Uponor REGISTER 
  • Duluth June 11 | Noon Involta REGISTER 
  • Grand Rapids June 12 | Noon Industrial Lubricant REGISTER
  • Shakopee June 12 | 8:00 a.m. Dem-Con Companies REGISTER    

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