Minnesota Hospital Association


October 01, 2012

MHA Newsline

In this issue

MHA encourages IRS to abandon one-size-fits-all approach in proposed rule

MHA submitted comments in response to a proposed rule on billing and debt collection issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in June. The proposed rule provides additional clarification of requirements imposed on non-profit hospitals included in the Affordable Care Act. The proposed rule contained draft regulations on areas such as financial assistance policies, billing the uninsured, and limits on “extraordinary collection actions” by hospitals. The comments reflected input from a variety of MHA members.

In the proposed rule, the IRS established a series of highly specific standards for compliance. MHA encouraged the IRS to abandon its one-size-fits-all approach and instead focus on establishing broad standards that allow a hospital to comply while still meeting the specific needs of its community. The letter also encouraged the IRS to defer to similar state requirements, where they exist, to reduce the administrative burdens on hospitals.

Read MHA’s comment letter on our website. For questions or additional information on the proposed regulations or MHA’s letter contact Ben Peltier, MHA vice president of legal services, 651-603-3513.^top of page

Metro area location added to October trustee regional meeting schedule

October’s regional trustee meetings will feature a presentation focusing on year-end federal budget issues and health reform implementation issues for Minnesota by Matt Anderson, MHA’s vice president of regulatory and strategic affairs.

Regardless of the outcomes of the November elections, substantial cuts to health care spending are almost certain. The transition period for implementing health care reform, changing care delivery and payment models, and absorbing potentially significant reimbursement cuts will be punctuated by political tension, market turbulence and economic risk. This presentation and discussion will focus on policy issues that health care leaders need to be aware of to prepare for the potential changes and challenges in the health care environment in 2013 and beyond.

In response to member requests, a session has been added at MHA’s office in St. Paul on Oct. 30. The meetings will take place:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 16 — Redwood Area Hospital, Redwood Falls
  • Wednesday, Oct. 17 — St. Francis Healthcare Campus, Breckenridge
  • Thursday, Oct. 18 — Essentia Health St. Mary's Hospital - Detroit Lakes
  • Tuesday, Oct. 23 — Mercy Hospital, Moose Lake
  • Tuesday, Oct. 30 — MHA office, St. Paul

Trustees working toward MHA Board education certification will earn 1.0 credit hour under the effective governance (EG) component. Click here for further information and a registration form.^top of page

Hospitals sign on to protect against influenza

47 hospitals among first to register for FluSafe Program
Flu season is just around the corner, and hospitals across Minnesota have committed to protecting patients, employees and the public from influenza by signing on to the Minnesota Department of Health’s award-winning FluSafe Program. As of Sept. 21, 47 hospitals have registered to participate in the voluntary program, which recognizes Minnesota health care facilities for attaining high influenza vaccination rates among employees. MHA has set a goal of having 100 percent of hospitals participate in FluSafe, so if you haven’t yet signed up we encourage you to do so and begin working toward getting your employees vaccinated against influenza. Hospitals have until Dec. 1 to register.^top of page

Road map guides hospitals in preventing controlled substance diversion

The Controlled Substance Diversion Coalition, made up of hospitals, health care providers, state government and law enforcement, has developed a road map and tool kit that will improve health care providers’ controlled substance storage and security, procurement, prescribing, preparation and dispensing. The road map includes training materials, sample policies and procedures, and a flow chart of reporting guidelines and requirements that providers can use when they suspect a drug diversion has occurred.

All hospitals are encouraged to complete the electronic gap analysis on the MHA call to action registry website and use the tool kit to implement the best practice recommendations. To get started, contact Karen Olson, MHA patient safety/quality coordinator, 651-603-3521 for a username and passcode.^top of page

Webinar: Meaningful Use Stage 2

Understanding the changes for the EHR Incentive Program

On Tuesday, Oct. 2 from noon-1 p.m. REACH, a program of the Key Health Alliance, is hosting a webinar on Stage 2 meaningful use. The webinar will give attendees an overview of the changes for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. Dr. Paul Kleeberg, who serves on the HIMSS board of directors, will present the most important proposed changes and briefly describe some of the major concerns and issues that have been raised on the topic. At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will:

  • Understand changes to Stage 1 and Stage 2
  • Learn about new quality measurements for 2014
  • Understand EHR software certification standards for 2014 along with a clarification of penalties
  • Discover the timeline for changes and how they will affect your organization
  • Identify what you need to do now

Click here to register for the webinar. The program is free to REACH clients and $50 per line for all others.^top of page

CMS awards contract for Jurisdiction 6 A/B MAC

Minnesota providers will need to update Medicare billing address

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded a contract for the Jurisdiction 6 A/B MAC to National Government Services, Inc (NGS). The Jurisdiction 6 A/B MAC administers Medicare Part A and Part B claims for covered services in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. This contractor will also administer Medicare billings from home health and hospice providers in 13 states and five U.S. territories. The current Medicare fiscal intermediary for Minnesota, Noridian Administrative Services, and carrier, Wisconsin Physician Services, will continue in their responsibilities for several months while CMS and NGS implement the new contract. If you have any questions, contact Joe Schindler, MHA vice president of finance, 651-659-1415.^top of page