MHA's Streamlining Government Initiative

September 1, 2016

Authors: Ted Wedel, Vice President of Policy Development, and Daniel Landon, Senior Vice President of Governmental Relations

MHA’s Streamlining Government Initiative solicits member suggestions to help us determine existing regulatory requirements that are unnecessary, overly burdensome, duplicative or inconsistent with other federal or state requirements. We encourage hospital CEOs and staff to share suggestions as to how hospital regulations can be changed to work more efficiently, without compromising quality.

Last legislative session, MHA worked with the state legislature to approve a number of regulatory reform proposals. These included proposals to eliminate duplicative regulations and unnecessary data collection.

In one case, we were able to get legislation approved that allows hospitals to have the option of being certified by the nationally recognized Joint Commission or other certifying organizations instead of going through the state certification process. Many hospitals currently are surveyed and certified as stroke centers through The Joint Commission certification process. In spite of hospitals meeting the rigorous standards of a nationally recognized stroke certification process, the state does not recognize these certifications and requires those hospitals to be surveyed and undergo a second review through the state certification process. This dual certification process can be costly and time-consuming for our members.

In another case, we were able to eliminate a requirement for hospitals that are not designated as trauma centers to submit data to the Department of Health and Senior Services’ trauma registry. DHSS has not been using that data. Also, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury data is available through other sources.

Also, we got legislation approved that requires the state to accept data from national stroke and STEMI registries in lieu of entering data into state registries. Our hospitals that are designated by the state as stroke and STEMI centers are required to collect an enormous amount of data on stroke and STEMI patients, and enter it into state registries. State registries are inefficient, slow and, in many cases, a duplication of data already entered into national registries. This generates an additional cost for both hospitals and state government. Also, the state registry lacks the specificity and rigor of national registries developed according to the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association and the American College of Cardiology guidelines.

We want to build on these successes and the success we have had in previous years. With your help, we can do this without compromising the high-quality care you provide. To help us, hospital CEOs and staff should submit their thoughts about requirements that can be eliminated or modified to Ted Wedel or Daniel Landon.

We look forward to hearing your suggestion on how we can make your life simpler.