In this issue:
Ensuring health care for all: Why hospitals support
Valerie was self-employed as a contract worker for a large
company in Hibbing, working more than full-time as well as helping to raise her
grandkids while living with diabetes. Unfortunately, she didn’t qualify for
Medical Assistance and, before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),
she couldn’t purchase private insurance because of her pre-existing conditions.
Valerie was spending so much out of her pocket on insulin
and diabetes supplies that she could barely afford bandages for the
three-times-a-day dressing changes she applied to painful leg ulcers, a result
of her diabetes.
With help from Project Care Free Clinic, including insulin
and other prescriptions, Valerie is able to afford the supplies she needs. She
is on the road to improved health, achieving significant weight loss and
managing her diabetes more effectively. That means fewer emergency room visits,
fewer days in the hospital and a much better life for Valerie and her family.
To learn more about Valerie's story and how Minnesota's
hospitals are bridging the health care coverage gap, visit the Minnesota's Hospitals: Strengthening Healthy Communities website. You can also interact with this story on Facebook by
“liking” the Strengthening Healthy Communities Facebook page and clicking “like” and “share” on the
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Hospital Association selected to continue improvements in patient safety
Hospital Engagement Networks will
continue patient safety improvement efforts in hospitals
The Minnesota Hospital
Association (MHA) has been selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services as one of 17 hospital associations and health system organizations in
the country to continue efforts in reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions
Partnership for Patients initiative – a nationwide public-private collaboration
that began in 2011 to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40
percent and 30-day readmissions by 20 percent – MHA will participate in a
second round of Hospital Engagement Networks (HEN) to continue working to
improve patient care in the hospital setting.
“We are pleased to
continue our work to improve the quality and safety of care of Minnesotans
through the Partnership for Patients initiative,” said Rahul Koranne, M.D.,
senior vice president of clinical affairs and chief medical officer, MHA. “Our
Hospital Engagement Network has made tremendous strides toward the
partnership’s goals of reducing hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions,
as well as reducing harm across the board. Collectively, our 115 participating
hospitals have prevented nearly 15,500 patients from being harmed and saved
more than $112 million in health care costs. Our selection as a returning participant
in the Partnership for Patients will allow us to build on these efforts to make
a positive difference in the health of communities statewide.”
MHA will host two
HEN informational webinars on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 2-3 p.m. and
Tuesday, Oct. 13, from 10-11 a.m. to review the program requirements, focus
areas, quality measures and data submission dates, program communication methods
and mini-grant requests for proposal. Register to attend one webinar by
clicking on a link below:
Thank you to the 68
hospitals that submitted their signed commitment letters. Previous MHA HEN
members who have not yet submitted their letter are encouraged to reaffirm
their commitment to this important program by signing the commitment letter and including updated patient safety and HEN
contact information by email to Susan Klammer, MHA quality/safety project coordinator, or by fax to 651-659-1477. Learn
more about MHA’s continuing involvement with HEN on the MHA website. return to top
nursing homes recognized for efforts to vaccinate health care workers against
The Minnesota Department of Health’s FluSafe program
completed its fifth year by awarding a record number of blue ribbons to
hospitals and nursing homes that vaccinated 90 percent or more of their health
care workers against influenza last season.
For the 2014-15 season, 175 health care facilities
participated. Of the 151 facilities that earned ribbons, 70 reached vaccination
levels of 90 percent or greater, earning blue ribbons; 51 were in the 80-89
percent range, earning red ribbons; and 30 reached 70-79 percent, earning white
The FluSafe program aims to get all health care workers,
except those with medical exemptions, at hospitals and nursing homes in
Minnesota vaccinated against influenza each season. Anyone can get very sick
from the flu, including people who are otherwise healthy. Unvaccinated health
care workers can potentially pass highly contagious influenza to their
patients, many of whom are at high risk for complications of influenza. Vaccination
helps protect health care workers, their families and their patients.
FluSafe registration for the 2015-16 season is now open.
Facilities can register at Participatein FluSafe. Facilities that completed
FluSafe in 2014-15 do not need to re-register but may use the link above to
update their contact information, if necessary.
More information on the FluSafe program, including a list of
the 2014-15 facilities earning blue, red and white ribbons, can be found on the
MDH website. Questions from new or existing participants may be directed to email@example.com. return to top
Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 4-10
Mental Illness Awareness Week was established by Congress in
1990 to take place the first full week in October. This year, the 25th
annual Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 4-10. The week’s theme
revolves around building a movement through the new StigmaFree
One in five adults experiences mental illness problems every year; however, 50
percent of chronic mental illness begins by age 14 and three-quarters by age
24. Although many people today understand that mental illness is a medical
condition, individuals and families affected by mental illness are still often
subjected to stigma and discrimination.
Being stigma-free means learning about and educating others
on mental illness; focusing on connecting with people to see each other as individuals
and not a diagnosis; and, most importantly, taking action on mental health
issues and taking the StigmaFree pledge.
For more information, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)website. return to top
MDH medical cannabis meetings continue; new date
for Minneapolis meeting
There are still three opportunities left to attend an Office
of Medical Cannabis community session. Please note the date change on the
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Office of Medical
Cannabis is holding a series of community sessions around the state this fall
offering members of the public the opportunity to learn more about the state’s
medical cannabis program. Participants also will have the opportunity to
provide input on the question of adding intractable pain to the list of medical
conditions that qualify people to participate in the program.
- Tuesday, Oct.
Minneapolis Urban League
Glover Sudduth Center - Laura Scott Williams
- Tuesday, Oct.
1300 W. St.
St. Cloud, MN
For more information, visit the MDH website.
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NAMI Minnesota state conference Nov. 7
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)-Minnesota
will hold its state conference on Saturday, Nov. 7, at the RiverCentre in St.
Paul. Dr. Lisa Dixon of the Columbia University Medical Center and comedian
Kevin Breel are the keynote speakers. The daylong event features multiple
breakout sessions, including a youth track. For more information and to
register, visit the NAMI-Minnesota website.
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MNsure advisory committees seeking applicants
Applicants are being sought to fill open seats on the
Consumer and Small Employer Advisory Committee and on the Health Industry
The advisory committees provide guidance, advice and
recommendations to the MNsure Board as it carries out its mission. MHA members
are encouraged to apply for the Health Industry Advisory Committee.
Applications are due Thursday, Oct. 15. For more information
and to apply, visit https://www.mnsure.org/about-us/jobs/advisory-opportunities.jsp. return to top
Resources for hospitals developing nondiscrimination
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a national lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, has queried 1,000
hospitals across the country on their policies regarding LGBT patients,
employees and visitors. HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) asks health care organizations whether they meet HRC’s
“Core Four” criteria for LGBT patient-centered care:
- Patient nondiscrimination
- Equal visitation
- Employment nondiscrimination
- Training in LGBT patient-centered care
The annual HEI report indicates,
for each rated organization, which of the Core Four criteria were met. Organizations
that meet all Core Four criteria are awarded the status of “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality.”
Resources for developing policies in each of the Core Four areas – including
sample policies, guidelines, legal references and definitions – are available
on the HRC website. MHA is also seeking example policies from hospitals to share with
all members. Hospitals with policies to share should submit them to Wendy Burt, vice president of
communications and public relations, MHA, 651-603-3549.
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Minnesota hospitals prepared for ICD-10 implementation
The MHA Finance Committee at its Sept. 30 meeting conducted
a roundtable discussion on hospital preparedness for the implementation of
ICD-10 beginning Oct. 1. The committee agreed that hospitals were extensively
prepared for the change and were equipped to deal with challenges that might
arise since there had been two former delays to its implementation.
Hospitals and health systems began conducting training on
ICD-10 well in advance of implementation. To help prepare coding staff for the
switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10, many hospitals hired additional staff and
practiced dual coding to allow coders to become accustomed to the ICD-10 coding
process while still accurately recording information with the previous codes.
Hospitals also worked to familiarize physicians and professional staff at all
levels of their organizations with ICD-10.
Committee members said they anticipate that additional bill
processing time will be necessary as billing offices and insurance carriers
become familiar with the vast number of new codes. Most said they transmitted
test files with their payer partners. In addition, they expect that
coding productivity may decline until coding staff have fully adapted to the
new system, although they are optimistic that this decline will be offset by no
longer dedicating staff time to dual coding. Finally, they anticipate an
adjustment period will be necessary to fully acclimate to the new codes used in
With questions about ICD-10, contact Joe Schindler, vice president of
finance, MHA, 651-659-1415. return to top