Minnesota Hospital Association


November 30, 2015

MHA Newsline: Nov. 30, 2015

In this issue 

Get answers to your questions about this year’s flu vaccine

This flu season, you may have heard someone say, “The flu vaccine didn’t even work last year!” And that makes you wonder, “Should I get the flu shot?” or “Should I vaccinate my family?”   

As part of the Minnesota's Hospitals: Strengthening Healthy Communities campaign, this month we are dispelling myths about the flu and promoting #FluTruths on social media. Dr. Stacene Maroushek, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, who works in the areas of pediatric infectious diseases and general pediatrics at Hennepin County Medical Center, tackles these concerns head-on in our latest story.   

Visit the Minnesota's Hospitals: Strengthening Healthy Communities website to read Dr. Maroushek’s answers to questions about the makeup of the influenza (flu) vaccine, its effectiveness and why vaccinating against the flu can prevent flu outbreaks.   

Like the Minnesota’s Hospitals Facebook page to get regular updates on how Minnesota’s hospitals work beyond physical walls to strengthen the health of Minnesotans and our communities. return to top   

2015 PAC contribution deadline is Dec. 4

MHA members are asked to make their final 2015 MN Hospital PAC contributions by Friday, Dec. 4, to be counted toward 2015 goals. Please make every effort to meet your 2015 hospital goal.   

Members are encouraged to involve key management staff and trustees in their fundraising efforts and let them know that any amount they contribute counts in our advocacy efforts. Every donor’s name will be listed in the PAC annual report.   

All contributions are voluntary. If you have questions about your hospital PAC goal, please contact Carol Eshelman, PAC coordinator, MHA, 651-603-3539. return to top   

MHA advises Medicare regarding physician payment reforms

When Congress enacted the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) earlier this year, it set in motion significant changes to Medicare’s physician reimbursement methodology beginning in 2019. MHA provided comments and advice regarding development of these payment reforms.   

MACRA requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish a Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to measure physician performance in terms of quality and efficiency of care, among other areas. Overall MIPS scores will impact up to 9 percent of a physician’s Medicare reimbursements when the system is fully implemented.   

Physicians electing to participate in an Alternative Payment Model (APM), such as an accountable care organization with downside financial risk, will be exempt from the MIPS reimbursement structure.   

MHA’s comment letter emphasized Minnesota hospitals’ and health systems’ long-standing commitment to moving the Medicare payment system to one that rewards providers who deliver high-quality, low-cost care and, therefore, sees the MACRA reforms as opportunities for CMS to move further in that direction. MHA encouraged CMS to design the new reimbursement systems in ways that align with existing payment systems, such as the Value-Based Purchasing and Readmissions programs for hospitals, in order to ensure that quality measures and financial incentives are aligned across the continuum of care.   

In addition, MHA suggested that CMS provide significant flexibility for how providers design and structure APMs. In particular, MHA discouraged CMS from requiring each individual provider to bear downside financial risk to qualify as being part of an APM so long as the APM entity as a whole bears some level of risk.   

MHA’s comment letter can be found online. For questions about MHA’s comments, or the MIPS or APM reforms, contact Matt Anderson, senior vice president of policy and strategy, MHA, 651-659-1421. return to top