In this issue:
Health care finance conference Oct. 11-12
“Preparing for the Transformation of Health Care Finance”
Co-sponsored by MHA and the Minnesota Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management
Association (HFMA), the annual fall conference on health care finance issues will include updates on
federal and state policy issues, along with programs to improve hospital operations such as billing
and collections, quality measurement benchmarking and technology assessment.
The event will take place Oct. 11-12 at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth. The deadline
for a group room rate at the hotel is Sept. 21, so call 753-559-6600 to make reservations.
To learn more, download the brochure on “Preparing for the Transformation of Health Care Finance.”
Visit MHA's event registration site to login and register for this event.
For other details, contact Joe Schindler, MHA vice president of finance, 651-659-1415.
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Comments due by Aug. 27
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is encouraging hospitals to submit comments to the federal
government with detailed estimates of the burden hospitals expect in order to implement new tax-
exempt hospital requirements. The new requirements, which were enacted as part of the Affordable
Care Act, require adoption of a variety of hospital policies, limitations on the amount a hospital may
charge individuals eligible for financial assistance, and limits hospital collection activities. AHA
believes that the IRS has underestimated the time and effort hospitals will need to comply with the new
Under the federal Paperwork Reduction Act, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must
approve any regulatory requirement involving the collection of information and the public must have an
opportunity to comment on the burden. As a result, hospitals should submit comments to the OMB. A
separate comment period, ending in September, is available to submit substantive comments to the
AHA has provided a model comment letter and a worksheet hospitals can use to estimate the
resources required to comply. The new requirements are similar in many respects to the obligations
imposed through the billing and collections agreement between Minnesota hospitals and the
Minnesota attorney general. As a result, when submitting information to OMB, Minnesota hospitals
may want to identify the time and effort already invested in complying with the requirements. The
experience of Minnesota hospitals over the past seven years will provide a good example of what the
rest of the nation’s hospitals can expect if the new IRS rules are finalized.
Comments on the paperwork burden are due Aug. 27 and can be submitted at the following address:
Office of Management and Budget
Attn: Desk Officer for the Department of the Treasury
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Washington, D.C. 20503
If you have questions, contact Ben Peltier, MHA vice president of legal services, 651-603-3513.
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Sponsors help deliver quality annual meeting
MHA would like to thank the following sponsors for their generosity and support in helping to deliver a
quality Annual Meeting Sept. 19-21 in Brainerd:
Acute Care, Inc.
BMO Harris Bank
Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq Healthcare
Real Estate Advisory
Dougherty & Company LLC
Eide Bailly LLP
JE Dunn Construction
Kraus-Anderson Construction Company
Leonard, Street and Deinard
Memorial Blood Centers
Meridian Leasing Corporation
Northland Employment Services, Inc.
ACT Services LLC
DMS Health Technologies
The Minnesota Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators has approved the conference
content for a total of 11 clock hours.
For more information about sponsorships, contact Cari Kronschnable, MHA program coordinator, 651-
659-1428. To register for the MHA Annual Meeting, click here. ^top of
Minnesota hospitals, nursing homes take steps to prevent influenza
80 percent of hospitals participate in FluSafe program
Nearly 200 hospitals and nursing homes across Minnesota increased their rates of influenza
vaccination among their health care workers in 2011-12 as participants in the Minnesota Department of
Health’s (MDH) award-winning FluSafe program. MHA has been a partner in the FluSafe program,
actively promoting participation by hospitals.
Eighty percent of hospitals in Minnesota participated in the voluntary program last year, with 46 new
hospitals joining FluSafe during the last influenza season. Twenty-six Minnesota hospitals achieved
vaccination rates of 90 percent or higher, earning the blue ribbon; 30 had vaccination rates between
80-89 percent and earned the red ribbon; and 31 hospitals achieved vaccination for 70-79 percent of
workers and earned the white ribbon.
The FluSafe program aims to get all health care personnel at hospitals and nursing homes, except
those with medical exemptions, vaccinated against influenza each season. Unvaccinated health care
workers can pass highly contagious influenza to their patients, many of whom are at high risk for
complications from influenza. Nationally, approximately 63.5 percent of health care workers are
vaccinated for influenza. While the overall rate in Minnesota is better at 72 percent, more work needs
to be done to protect patients from influenza. The state has set a goal of having 90 percent of health
care workers vaccinated against influenza.
MDH is getting set to launch FluSafe for the 2012-13 flu season so watch for more information on how
your hospital can get involved in this important program. A webinar is scheduled for Monday, Sept.
10; more details coming soon. For questions about FluSafe, contact Jennifer Heath, MDH FluSafe
program coordinator, 651-201-541^top of page
Johnson Memorial Health Services receives safety certification
Johnson Memorial Health Services (JMHS) located in Dawson, has been named a Minnesota Safety
and Health Achievement Recognition Program (MNSHARP) certified worksite. MNSHARP is a
Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) program of the Minnesota
Department of Labor and Industry (MNDLI) that recognizes companies’ exemplary health and safety
programs that supersede applicable OSHA standards. As one of 39 MNSHARP certified worksites,
JMHS is the second health care facility and first care center to become certified. Riverwood
Healthcare Center in Aikin is the other Minnesota hospital to earn certification. Learn more about
MSHARP certification.^top of page
Essentia Health reaches lease agreement with Sandstone-area health district
Essentia Health and the North Pine Area Hospital District board have reached a new three-year lease
agreement. Essentia Health has been managing the Sandstone hospital and nursing home under a
lease agreement since 1997. “This new lease clearly outlines plans for enhancing health care delivery in
Sandstone,” says Ron Osladil, Chairman of the North Pine Area Hospital District board (NPAHD). “Part
of that planning will include identifying parts of our facilities that need to be upgraded or replaced.”
The two parties reached an agreement that gives NPAHD board members a voice in selecting citizens
for a new local hospital board. Those two boards will be involved in planning a new health care
delivery model for the hospital that will include facility upgrades. If local board members feel Essentia
isn’t meeting the lease commitments, the NPAHD can terminate the lease after 18 months and either
run the hospital itself or look for a new partner.^top of page