MHA Today | February 9, 2017

February 9, 2017
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

twitter linkedin MHA Today is provided as a service to members of the Missouri Hospital Association. Additional information is available online at MHAnet.

In This Issue
Judge Rules Against Proposed Anthem/Cigna Merger
Governor Nominates Director Of Health And Senior Services
State Senate Committee Approves Prescription Drug Monitoring Bill
CMS Updates OQR Known Issues Document
HIDI Posts 2016 Annual Licensing Survey Of Missouri Hospitals
HRSA Announces Loan Repayment Programs
Federal Officials Warn Hospitals To Be On Alert For “Lone Wolf” Terror Attacks

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state and federal health policy developments


Judge Rules Against Proposed Anthem/Cigna Merger

Staff Contact: Jane Drummond

A federal judge ruled against the proposed Anthem/Cigna merger on Wednesday citing the anticompetitive effect on national accounts, defined as employers with greater than 5,000 employees. Anthem is the largest carrier of such large commercial accounts, which the court found to be a distinct market. Because Anthem and Cigna are direct competitors in this market, the proposed merger would substantially lessen competition. The court also expressed concern that Anthem’s planned cost containment measures would allow the company to use increased market power to “strong arm” providers into accepting deep discounts, potentially reducing access to quality care.

The court also noted the rift between Anthem and Cigna as the trial unfolded, finding that the evidence presented by Cigna not only undermined that of Anthem, but at times actively contested it. The court ultimately concluded that Anthem’s practice of slashing costs through provider discounts was incompatible with Cigna’s model of provider collaboration and care coordination.

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Governor Nominates Director Of Health And Senior Services

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

Gov. Eric Greitens has nominated Randall Williams, M.D., to be the Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. He currently serves as the Deputy Secretary for Health Services with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Williams is an obstetrician/gynecologist.

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State Senate Committee Approves Prescription Drug Monitoring Bill

Staff Contacts: Daniel Landon or Rob Monsees

Today, a state Senate committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 314, which authorizes the creation of a state prescription drug monitoring program. The committee approved the bill after merging it with a similar bill. MHA was among the many proponents that expressed support for the legislation. The Senate will have two PDMP bills on its docket for debate. Previously, another Senate committee approved a more restrictive measure advanced by legislators concerned about the privacy implications of the broader PDMP bill.

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Quality and Population Health


CMS Updates OQR Known Issues Document

Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has updated the known issues document associated with the outpatient quality reporting program. The document has been updated with issue resolutions and newly identified issues, and is available on QualityNet.

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HIDI Tech Connect


HIDI Posts 2016 Annual Licensing Survey Of Missouri Hospitals

Staff Contact: Cerise Seifert

The Hospital Industry Data Institute has posted the 2016 Annual Licensing Survey of Missouri Hospitals on HIDI Analytic Advantage.® The survey is a combined data collection effort of the Missouri Hospital Association, the American Hospital Association and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Data from the annual survey is used to support various MHA advocacy efforts and is a key source of information regarding the hospital community in Missouri. Various reports, including trends analysis and margins analysis, are available to participating hospitals upon request. Completed surveys are due to HIDI by Wednesday, March 15.

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Workforce News


HRSA Announces Loan Repayment Programs

Staff Contact: Meredith Kenyon

The Health Resources & Services Administration is offering the following three loan repayment programs that can help nurses pay off unpaid education debt if they make a commitment to service in various areas. Join a technical assistance call held Thursday, Feb. 16, to learn more.



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Noteworthy


Federal Officials Warn Hospitals To Be On Alert For “Lone Wolf” Terror Attacks

Staff Contact: Jackie Gatz

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is urging hospitals and other health care facilities to be on alert for potential “lone wolf” terror attacks. The Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Counterterrorism Center have outlined possible indicators of targeting and possible mitigation strategies that facilities can take. The agencies state that they have not seen any specific, credible threat against hospitals and health care facilities, but “remained concerned that calls for such attacks may resonate with some violent extremists and lone offenders in the Homeland because of their likely perceived vulnerabilities and value as targets.”

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Consider This ...

February is American Heart Month. Up to 1.3 million Americans have some form of congenital heart defect, and approximately 36,000 children are born with a heart defect each year.

Source: American Heart Association