In this issue
Hospital spotlight: Owatonna Hospital increases patient and
Hospital, part of Allina Health, was honored this spring with the 2015 MHA Best
Minnesota Hospital Workplace Award in the small hospital category. Owatonna
Hospital has worked
diligently to instill in its employees that they make a difference in the care
of each patient and to reinforce the significance of their work in achieving
the hospital's vision. Leadership and staff have worked as a team by implementing
improvements that engage staff in owning relationship-based care and
nurse-to-nurse bedside shift handoffs. The hospital has employee-led teams that
create fun in the workplace and contribute to a positive work environment. And
the work is paying off. Patient satisfaction scores have increased to 80.1
percent and employee satisfaction has improved from 54 percent in 2009 to 88
percent in 2013. Read more about Owatonna Hospital and the other 2015 award recipients here. return to top
telemedicine bill passes Legislature
Minnesota is on the cusp of joining almost two dozen states
with telemedicine parity laws that help extend access to health care services
for patients, decrease the costs of care and help providers meet the growing
demands for care in the midst of existing health care workforce shortages. Over
the weekend, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Minnesota Hospital
Association’s (MHA) Minnesota Telemedicine Act as part of the Health and Human
Services Omnibus Finance bill that now awaits the Governor’s signature. Before
being incorporated into the Omnibus bill, the telemedicine legislation was
authored by Sen. Julie Rosen (R – Vernon Center) and Rep. Tara Mack (R – Apple
The final version adopted by the state legislature will
prevent health plans from excluding coverage for a service delivered via
telemedicine if it otherwise would have been covered if the patient and
provider were face-to-face under the patient’s policy. Also, the bill will
require health plans to pay for a telemedicine service at the same rate the
plan would pay if the service was delivered face-to-face.
MHA advocated for language requiring payment of a negotiated
originating site facility fee if the patient received telemedicine services at
a health care facility, which would have held the greatest benefit for providers
in rural communities. Strong opposition from health plans and the Minnesota
Chamber of Commerce dissuaded legislators from including the provision.
Lawrence Massa, MHA president and CEO, hopes Governor Dayton
will sign the bill because “the legislation is an important step for expanding
access to care in a time of workforce shortages.” In addition to the strong
engagement from MHA members, Massa acknowledged the important support MHA
received from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness
(NAMI), HealthForce Minnesota, and the Minnesota Rural Health Association.
For more information about the Minnesota Telemedicine Act,
contact Matt Anderson, MHA
senior vice president of policy and strategy, 651-6591421. For information
about the Health and Human Services Omnibus Finance Bill, contact Mary Krinkie, MHA vice president of
government relations, 651-6519-1465 or Kristin Loncorich, MHA director of
government relations, 651-603-3526. return to top
Minnesota likely to join
Interstate Physician Licensure Compact
Both the state Senate and House of Representatives voted
unanimously to adopt legislation authorizing Minnesota to join the new
Interstate Physician Licensure Compact. The bill is awaiting Governor Dayton’s
signature before becoming fully enacted. The Minnesota Hospital Association and
Minnesota Medical Association support the bill.
The Interstate Physician Licensure Compact was developed by
the Federation of State Medical Boards to create an expedited process for
physicians to be licensed in other states participating in the Compact. The
Compact does not decrease or change any state’s standards for licensure, allow
a physician to avoid each state’s licensure requirements or practice standards,
or alleviate the licensure costs of each state. Instead, if a physician in a
state participating in the Compact wants to be licensed in another Compact
state, he or she has the option of pursuing an expedited process to become
licensed more quickly.
The Compact also allows participating states the ability to
exchange information about disciplinary actions taken against physicians,
making it easier for state medical boards to ensure the safety and standards of
practice for physicians.
Six other states, including South Dakota, have enacted the Compact
already. Three other states, including Minnesota, are awaiting gubernatorial
action to officially adopt the Compact legislation.
For more information about the Interstate Physician
Licensure Compact, contact Matt Anderson, MHA senior vice president of policy and strategy, 651-659-1421. 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
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.
MHA and HealthPartners held a webinar on how to become a campaign partner. You
can access the webinar at MHA’s Member Center. The Make It OK tool kit
with resources your hospital can use to amplify the anti-stigma campaign are
For more information, contact Ashley Gauster, MHA member services and
communications specialist, 651-603-3545. return to top
Health Model Practice Transformation grants now available
Applications are now being accepted for the second
round of Practice Transformation grants under the Minnesota Accountable Health
Model (AHM). The grant program supports a range of
providers and teams in primary care, behavioral health, and social services to
allow team members to participate in transformation activities that advance the
goals of patient-centered, coordinated and accountable care.
Transformation supports the broad goals of the Minnesota Accountable Health Model related to providing Minnesotans with
better value in health care through integrated, accountable care using
innovative care delivery models that are responsive to local health needs.
is available for implementation of up to 15 grants from $20,000-$30,000 per
grantee for nine months.
- Primary care
providers including health care homes, rural health providers, federally
qualified health centers, or a group of primary care providers seeking to
transform their practice to a certified health care home or implement
integration of services with behavioral health or social services.
health providers working with primary care providers to implement
integrated services such as behavioral health homes.
- Social service
providers working with primary care and behavioral health to implement
integrated services; including a community mental health center.
primary care and behavioral health providers.
Applications are due June
26, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. A copy of the complete
request for proposal may be found on the Minnesota Accountable Health Model website. An optional informational webinar will
be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am CDT. For questions,
click here. return to top
Use live chat to answer questions
by the Lake Superior Quality Innovation Network, a complimentary live chat will
answer participant questions about meaningful use, changes to the program,
audits and meeting requirements, among other topics.
use project directors, office managers, health IT staff, eligible professionals
in the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program and anyone else interested in
meaningful use are encouraged to join in.
The live chat will occur on Thursday, May 28 from noon to 1
p.m.; advance registration is not necessary. To access the live chat, click here on May 28. A user guide has been provided in advance. For questions, contact Marni Anderson, MetaStar, Inc.,
608-441-8253. return to top