In this issue
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
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
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
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
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
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
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