Minnesota Hospital Association


September 28, 2015

MHA Newsline: Sept. 28, 2015

In this issue 

New behavioral health center opens in Thief River Falls

Sanford Health has opened a new behavioral health center in Thief River Falls. Located at the Sanford Health Thief River Falls Downtown Campus, the new Sanford Behavioral Health Center features inpatient, outpatient and community-based services.    

The first floor serves as the outpatient behavioral health space including group therapy rooms, quiet testing space, children’s activity therapy rooms and children’s waiting area. The second floor features the inpatient behavioral health unit, complete with individual and group therapy spaces and patient rooms.   

“Keeping patient care close to home is a priority for Sanford, and we are pleased this expansion will allow us more space to care for our patients,” said Brian Carlson, CEO of Sanford Health Thief River Falls. return to top   

CMS ready for ICD-10 on Oct. 1, officials say

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will continue to pay claims and implement ICD-10 if the Congress fails to act by Thursday, Oct. 1, on legislation to fund the government into fiscal year 2016, according to CMS Principal Deputy Administrator Patrick Conway. Health care claims must include ICD-10 codes for medical diagnoses and inpatient hospital procedures beginning Oct. 1. Payments to providers for ICD-10 will continue even if the federal government is shut down during ongoing budget negotiations.   

“We recognize that [ICD-10] is a significant transition and we have set up processes and operations to monitor the transition in real time, assess our system and investigate and address issues as they come in through the ICD-10 Coordination Center,” Conway said. “Providers experiencing issues related to the submission of their claims should first contact their billing vendor and/or clearinghouse. After that they can contact their Medicare administrative contractor. If the providers need additional assistance they can contact the ICD-10 ombudsman at CMS.”   

It could take two weeks to 30 days for the agency to have a full picture of how the transition went because it can take that long to process Medicare and Medicaid claims, respectively, Conway said. For more on the transition, see the CMS Blog post by ICD-10 Ombudsman Bill Rogers, M.D., or visit www.aha.org. With questions, contact Joe Schindler, vice president of finance, MHA, 651-659-1415. return to top   

MDH rural hospital grants available

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Office of Rural Health and Primary Care (ORHPC) announced two upcoming rural hospital grant application deadlines.   

The Rural Hospital Planning and Transition grant is intended to help small rural hospitals preserve access or respond to changing conditions. Hospitals have used transition grants to prepare strategic plans, implement new uses for hospital space and develop community services. Approximately $300,000 is available each year and the maximum grant amount is $50,000. Applications are due Friday, Oct. 16. For more information, visit the ORHPC website.   

The Rural Hospital Capital Improvement grant helps small rural hospitals make needed facility and equipment improvements. Pre-applications are due Friday, Nov. 13. For more information, visit the ORHPC website.   

With questions about either grant, contact Will Wilson, ORHPC, 651-201-3842. return to top   

New changes for Two-Midnight Short-Stay reviews

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced changes to its approach with regard to educating providers and enforcing the Two-Midnight Rule. CMS has decided to use beneficiary and family-centered care quality improvement organizations (BFCC-QIOs), rather than Medicare administrative contractors or recovery auditors, to conduct the first-line medical reviews of providers who submit claims for inpatient admissions. BFCC-QIOs have a significant history of collaborating with hospitals and other stakeholders to ensure high-quality care for beneficiaries.   

The BFCC-QIO’s Two-Midnight Short-Stay reviews will focus on educating doctors and hospitals about the Part A payment policy for inpatient admissions. Recovery auditor patient status reviews will be conducted by the recovery auditors for those hospitals that have consistently high denial rates based on BFCC-QIO patient status review outcomes.   

KEPRO is the BFCC-QIO for more than 30 states, including Minnesota. KEPRO will host a webinar reviewing the upcoming changes on Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 2-3 p.m. To register for the webinar, visit the QualityNet website and look for Two-Midnight Short-Stay Reviews.   

KEPRO will post updates on its website regarding the effective date of these changes as provided by CMS, along with additional information and education materials. return to top