Minnesota Hospital Association


June 29, 2015

MHA Newsline: June 29, 2015

In this issue 

Member spotlight: Fairview Health Services’ scholarship program encourages career development

This past spring, the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) recognized Fairview Health Services with the 2015 Health Care Workforce Champion award for its comprehensive scholarship program. The program was designed to encourage educational career development for employees, employee dependents and community residents and to sustain a workforce pipeline. Since 1996, the program has included hundreds of scholarship awards to assist individuals who are interested in furthering their education in the health care industry. Offering these incentives to employees and the community allows Fairview to grow its health care pipeline, both in direct and non-direct patient care roles. The program contributes to health care career exploration, employee engagement and diversity pipeline expansion, as well as provides an employee benefit that is unique to the health care field. To learn more about this award winner, click herereturn to top   

Notification requirement of observation status begins July 1

Effective July 1, a new state law similar to existing Medicare regulations requires all Minnesota hospitals to provide both oral and written patient notification of placement in observation status within 24 hours and to document the date of the notice in the patient’s record. It also requires hospitals to follow certain federal discharge planning rules.   

To comply with the notice of observation status requirement, hospitals must explain that observation status may affect the patient’s Medicare coverage for hospital services, including medications and pharmaceutical supplies, home or community-based care or care at a skilled nursing facility upon the patient’s discharge. Because the notice requirement is specific to informing patients about their Medicare benefits, MHA interprets the law as requiring notice to Medicare patients only.   

The state law reflects the growing frustration with Medicare rules that place significantly greater financial burdens on individual beneficiaries and impose troubling barriers for them to access the care they need. MHA and the American Hospital Association (AHA) have called on Congress to enact federal legislation ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries get the full extent of their acute, post-acute, pharmaceutical and other benefits regardless of whether Medicare considers their hospital care status to be “inpatient” or “observation.”   

“Medicare’s rules allow Medicare to avoid paying for appropriate care its beneficiaries receive,” said Lawrence Massa, MHA president and CEO. “The rules certainly aren’t good for our seniors or their families, for hospitals, for post-acute and long-term care providers or for the state’s Medicaid program that often shoulders greater costs.”   

The new state law also requires hospitals to conduct a discharge planning evaluation and provide a Medicare patient with information regarding Medicare-eligible home care agencies or skilled nursing facilities in the patient’s geographic area if needed. Once the patient has made a choice, the hospital is to assist the patient in securing care covered by the patient’s insurance. The hospital is to document in the patient record that the list of agencies or facilities was provided.    

The new state law provisions can be found here. For more information about the law or other state legislative issues, contact Mary Krinkie, MHA vice president of government relations, 651-659-1465, or Kristin Loncorich, MHA director of government relations, 651-603-3526. return to top   

Strengthening Healthy Communities update

It has been six months since MHA publicly launched the Minnesota’s Hospitals: Strengthening Healthy Communities campaign. Since then, more than 6 million Minnesotans have viewed the campaign ads or sponsored content. More than a third of people visiting the campaign website have returned to read content. Here are a few other highlights: 

  • To date, 15 original stories, including two videos, have been created for the website. If you haven’t viewed the website recently, visit www.mnhealthycommunities.org
  • Stories have come from all around the state representing the diversity of MHA members – rural and metro, small and large, system and independent. 

We continue to encourage communications and social media managers to share and like the stories posted on the campaign’s Facebook page in order to broaden the campaign’s reach to their external audiences and employees. If you have compelling story ideas, contact Ashley Gauster, MHA member services and communications specialist, 651-603-3545. return to top   

MHA Member Center online resources available

The MHA Member Center features important resources and information specifically for MHA members, such as: 

  • An online membership directory, with up-to-date information on all MHA member hospitals and health systems and contact information of key staff 
  • Timely updates and members-only documents including key messages, fact sheets and resources on pertinent hospital issues, such as medical cannabis 

The Member Center is username and password protected. For login information, contact Ashley Gauster, member services and communications specialist, 651-603-3545. return to top   

MHA Annual Meeting brochure available online

This September, hospital leaders will gather to hear from exceptional, forward-thinking speakers on ways to move health care forward and to network and share best practices with colleagues from around the state. The theme of this year’s Annual Meeting is “Responding to New Health Care Challenges” and is especially appropriate as we learn to address challenges of reform and focus more intently on our goals and priorities as health care organizations.   

The MHA Annual Meeting will be held Sept. 16-18 at Madden’s on Gull Lake in Brainerd. The schedule and brochure are now available online. Click here to make reservations online at Madden’s or to purchase meal tickets as a day guest. return to top