MHA Today | March 17, 2016

March 17, 2016
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders


MHA Today is provided as a service to members of the Missouri Hospital Association. Additional information is available online at MHAnet. Connect with us on LinkedIn.

In This Issue
U.S. Senate Committee Approves Mental Health Bills
House Completes Work On Supplemental Budget
Local Government Bill Includes Hospital Tax Levy Change
Ransomware Virus Infects Hospital Computer Systems
AHRQ Chartbook Shows 17 Percent Decline In HACs
CMS Provides Additional Information Regarding OP-33
CMS Extends Fourth Quarter 2015 OQR Submission Deadline

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state and federal health policy developments


U.S. Senate Committee Approves Mental Health Bills

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee approved five bills concerning mental health treatment and opioid abuse. The Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 (S. 2680) addresses mental health parity and HIPAA privacy issues. The Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act (S. 1455) increases the cap on the number of patients for whom a practitioner may dispense narcotics for maintenance or detoxification treatment. The Co-Prescribing Saves Lives Act of 2015 (S. 2256) addresses concurrent prescribing of overdose reversal drugs and opioids. The National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act (S. 480) sets new standards for state-administered controlled substance monitoring systems. The Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act (S. 2687) concerns care of infants born to addicted parents.

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House Completes Work On Supplemental Budget

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

The state House of Representatives has given its final approval to House Bill 2014. The appropriation bill provides funding for unanticipated spending during the current state fiscal year, which ends June 30. The supplemental spending request totals $489 million, with $306.6 million coming from the general revenue fund. Approximately 88 percent of the general revenue request stems from Medicaid expenditures. The version approved by the House retains the full amount of funding requested for Medicaid hospital payments ― $40.6 million in general revenue and $19 million in federal funds. The bill now moves to the Senate.

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Local Government Bill Includes Hospital Tax Levy Change

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

The state House of Representatives has given its final approval to House Bill 2188 and sent the bill to the Senate. The local government bill includes a section authorizing Barton County Memorial Hospital to replace its property tax levy with a sales tax, subject to local voter approval.

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HIDI Tech Connect


Ransomware Virus Infects Hospital Computer Systems

Staff Contact: Bryant McNally

There are reports that a new ransomware variant called “Locky” has been infecting computer systems of health care providers. The Locky ransomware shows up in many formats, but in most cases it is disguised as an invoice, shipping document or similar legitimate attachment. Typically, the attachments are Word or Excel documents, but the malware also might be hiding inside a ZIP or RAR file. Locky will encrypt documents making them unreadable without the key — not just those on the infected computer, but also files on mapped external drives and network locations. Even cloud-based documents are at risk (Dropbox, Google Docs, etc.). After infecting the system, a ransom is demanded in return for the decrypting key. More information on Locky is available online.

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Quality and Population Health


AHRQ Chartbook Shows 17 Percent Decline In HACs

Staff Contact: Jessica Rowden

According to the 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports’ Chartbook on Patient Safety, patient safety in hospitals nationwide continued to improve from 2010 to 2014, as the overall rate of hospital-acquired conditions declined by 17 percent. Approximately 2.1 million harmful events were avoided during that time, which saved an estimated 87,000 lives and $20 billion in health care costs. The chartbook provides a summary of trends across patient safety measures and a data-query tool to access data tables.

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CMS Provides Additional Information Regarding OP-33

Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has posted the “Fact Sheet for OP-33: External Beam Radiotherapy for Bone Metastases” to the Quality Reporting Center website. The new tool provides guidance on measure specifications, which identifies the numerator and denominator, and provides a list of FAQs.

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CMS Extends Fourth Quarter 2015 OQR Submission Deadline

Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost

Because of the partial release of the hospital outpatient quality reporting CART abstraction tool, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has extended the OQR submission deadline for fourth quarter 2015 patient-level chart-abstracted data from Sunday, May 1, to Wednesday, June 1. The extension provides hospitals sufficient time to submit their patient-level chart-abstracted data. Only the following measures are affected by the extension.

  • OP-1: Median Time to Fibrinolysis
  • OP-2: Fibrinolytic Therapy Received Within 30 Minutes of Emergency Department Arrival
  • OP-3: Median Time to Transfer to Another Facility for Acute Coronary Intervention
  • OP-4: Aspirin at Arrival
  • OP-5: Median Time to Electrocardiogram
  • OP-18: Median Time from ED Arrival to ED Departure for Discharged ED Patients
  • OP-20: Door to Diagnostic Evaluation by a Qualified Medical Professional
  • OP-21: ED – Median Time to Pain Management for Long Bone Fracture
  • OP-23: ED – Head Computed Tomography Scan Results for Acute Ischemic Stroke or Hemorrhagic Stroke who Received Head CT Scan Interpretation Within 45 Minutes of Arrival

No other data submission deadlines for the OQR program or CMS quality reporting program are affected. To submit data following the CART update, hospitals will need to download the software patch targeted for release in April 2016.

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Consider This ...

This week is Patient Safety Awareness Week. More than 1 billion outpatient visits occur annually in the U.S., compared with 35 million hospital admissions.

Source: National Patient Safety Foundation