Minnesota Hospital Association


August 27, 2012

MHA Newsline

In this issue:

MHA comments on recommendations regarding care integration and payment reform

The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) submitted comments to the Care Integration and Payment Reform Work Group, which will make recommendations for reforming the state’s health care delivery system to Gov. Dayton’s Health Care Reform Task Force later this fall.

MHA’s comments addressed a not-yet-final draft of recommendations by the work group. Work group members had not had an opportunity to review MHA's comments thoroughly before a brief conference call last Wednesday, yet some expressed support for positions raised in MHA's letter and asked the state's consultant to take the Association's comments into account as a new draft of the recommendations are further refined.

MHA’s comments expressed general support for the work group’s overarching goals of improving health and health care while addressing escalating health care costs. Main concerns outlined include:

  • imposing an artificial cap of Consumer Price Index plus one percent on health care spending by 2016;

  • setting penetration expectations or thresholds for accountable care organization (ACO) contracts by commercial health plans; and

  • suggesting new requirements and standards for ACO governance structures, services and measurements.

Lawrence Massa, MHA president and CEO, stated that the Association is “more concerned with what appears to be a whole new level of government regulation of health care at a time when the public is looking for more innovation and new models of care.” He went on to say that the work group’s interest in promoting ACOs and shifting the payment system to one that rewards providers for high quality, low-cost care aligns with MHA’s objectives. “We just want to make sure that we allow new models and organizational structures to form and develop, and to learn from a variety of them before coming down with rigid standards or one-size-fits-all approaches.”

MHA applauded the work group’s draft recommendation to enhance health care providers’ access to clinically appropriate patient data for use in care coordination. Massa said that hospitals and health systems are being asked to take on greater responsibility for the overall costs and health of their patients, “but they don’t have access to the basic information they really need to manage their patients’ care across the continuum and among different providers. One way or another, all of the other recommendations hinge on our ability to make that data available to providers.”

For more information about the work group or the task force, visit the health reform task force website. For more questions or concerns about MHA’s comments, contact Matt Anderson, MHA vice president of regulatory and strategic affairs, 651-659-1421.  ^top of page

RARE webinar focusing on mental health scheduled for Oct. 2

Members of the RARE (Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively) Mental Health Work Group will host an “Improving Care Transitions for Patients experiencing Mental Illnesses and Substance Use Disorders” webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 12-1 p.m. Dr. Michael Trangle, HealthPartners, and Dr. Paul Goering, Allina Health, will present the recommendations of the RARE Mental Health Work Group on improving transitions from acute care for patients experiencing a mental illness.

RARE formed a work group on mental health specifically to target areas of improvement to lower hospital readmissions for persons experiencing mental illnesses. The five key areas of improvement are:

  • patient and family engagement and activation;

  • medication management;

  • comprehensive transition planning;

  • care transition support; and

  • transition communication.

RARE is a collaboration between the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, Stratis Health, and the Minnesota Hospital Association.

To register for the webinar and for more information visit www.rarereadmissions.org/resources/calendar.html^top of page

Jeffrey A. Cook named Appleton Area Health Services’ CEO and administrator

Jeffrey A. Cook was named Appleton Area Health Services’ (AAHS) chief executive officer and administrator.

Prior to coming to AAHS, Jeff served as Essentia Health’s North Dakota Division Manager for the past 10 years. Cook also served as chief financial officer to Bridges Medical Center, a 25-bed critical care hospital and 49-bed nursing home and as CFO at Lisbon Medical, a 25-bed critical care hospital with a 56-bed nursing home. Cook is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), a professional certification sponsored by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Cook received his bachelor of science degree in University Studies from the University of Minnesota-Moorhead and an MBA and MSM with an HR emphasis from the University of Mary in Fargo, North Dakota   ^top of page

Hazelden symposium to focus on health care professionals in recovery

Hazelden is hosting a symposium on health care professionals returning to work after addiction treatment on Sept.13-14 in Minneapolis. The interactive evidence-based conference will highlight topics related to health care professionals returning to work successfully following addiction treatment. Reintegrating back into the workplace after addiction treatment is complex and can be problematic. But with effective strategies, health care professionals can return to work successfully. The symposium will offer 10 CMEs. Topics and speakers will include four members of the Minnesota Department of Health and MHA’s Controlled Substance Diversion Coalition:

  • Health Care Professional (HCP) return to work: employer perspective; Dr. Gretchen Stein
  • HCP return to work: PHP Perspective; Dr. Bill Nemeth
  • HCP return to work: Medical Board Perspective; Dr. Janice Huff
  • Disclosure to colleagues and patients; Dr. Brian Fingerson
  • Intoxication, impairment, addiction, and diversion; Dr. Marv Seppala
  • Diversion of medications in the health care workplace; Dr. Keith Berge
  • Diversion of medication: A presentation by the FDA and DEA; Kenneth Kulick and Joe Cappello
  • Career change for HCPs; Dr. Randy Adair.

The symposium is at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott, 2020 American Blvd. E., in Bloomington. ^top of page


DHS seeking interested participants for Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Council

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is requesting statements of interest from individuals to serve on an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) advisory council. The autism spectrum disorder advisory council will address supports for Medicaid eligible children and adults with ASD. The advisory council is assembled to provide guidance and input to DHS to inform the Department’s actions in restructuring the Medicaid benefit set to better serve individuals with autism spectrum disorder. For more information about these initiatives visit the DHS Autism Spectrum Disorders web page: www.dhs.state.mn.us/autism.

DHS is seeking to assemble an advisory council composition that includes self-advocates, family members of people with ASD, clinicians, professionals, advocates, educators, geographic, racial, and socioeconomic diversity. Selected members can expect intensive weekly meetings between September and November. During the months of December to January bi-monthly meetings are expected.

The deadline for submission is 4:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. For more information or to submit a completed form by email please contact Heidi Hamilton. ^top of page