MHA Today | September 2, 2016

MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

Your Vote Matters Icon 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.

Editors Note: MHA Today will not be published Monday, Sept. 5. Publication will resume Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Information about the Nov. 8 election is available on the Your Vote Matters page of Hospitals can help educate their communities about the election using the resources on MHAnet.


Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO Last month — after Missouri’s Aug. 2 primary — I wrote about the upcoming election’s importance for our health care system. In that column I provided five questions that health care advocates could ask candidates this fall. In addition, I promised to share more when the campaign season began in earnest.

Monday is Labor Day, the unofficial kick-off of the general election season. In just 10 weeks, voters will go to the polls. It’s the beginning of the end — well, at least chronologically. Now I want to provide an update on MHA’s plan.

To help voters identify the candidates and understand the issues, MHA has launched the “Your Vote Matters” campaign on Missouri Health Matters. The site links to voter registration information and ballot issues through the Missouri Secretary of State’s website. We’ve also provided links to gubernatorial candidate websites and other helpful information. The resources are growing daily.

MHA recently submitted a gubernatorial candidate questionnaire to Republican Eric Greitens and Democrat Chris Koster to provide them space to illuminate their positions on health care. We have requested their answers by Sept. 8. When they arrive, we will post them verbatim on the site.

This isn’t all we are doing. Earlier this year, MHA embarked on a campaign to share hospitals’ stories through the “H” image. The goal was to build on the strong connection between the state’s hospitals and the communities they serve. The effort is ongoing; the results have been amazing. Between the existing Missouri Health Matters efforts and the H campaign, we’ve broadened our advocacy database by tens of thousands of supporters and more than doubled our social media followers. For example, between Aug. 24 and Aug. 30, more than 800,000 individuals were reached by H campaign messages on Facebook. There’s more. Are you familiar with those annoying online videos that you can click “skip now” after a few seconds? Our viewers aren’t skipping. H campaign videos are watched all the way through nearly 90 percent of the time.

Elections are about choices. The 150,000 employees serving in hospitals and the countless members of our communities who rely on and take pride in their hospitals must understand where the candidates who seek office stand on health care. Between Labor Day and the election, we’re focused on helping get them that information.

I encourage hospitals to add the “Your Vote Matters” logo to websites and share our messages in social media. Resources are available for hospitals to use throughout the next 10 weeks, including the logo and sample social media messages. New information will be on our Missouri Health Matters Facebook page and Twitter feed daily.

As the election draws closer and advertising testier, it will be increasingly difficult for Missourians to make heads or tails of candidates’ positions on the issues. We will be in the “honest broker” space with information — including some in the candidates’ own words. That’s where we want to be as we move into 2017.

Happy Labor Day. Let me know what you’re thinking.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
MHA Comments on Proposed Medicare OPPS-ASC Regulations
CMS Announces eCQM Receiving System Production File Acceptance Dates
CMS Releases EHR Incentive Program Fact Sheet

state and federal health policy developments

MHA Comments On Proposed Medicare OPPS-ASC Regulations

Staff Contacts: Daniel Landon or Andrew Wheeler

MHA has submitted a comment letter responding to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposed regulatory changes for fiscal year 2017 in the Medicare outpatient and ambulatory surgical center prospective payment systems. The proposed rule also affects various other federal health programs. MHA released an Issue Brief when the rules were first published. The deadline for submitting comments to CMS is 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6.

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Quality and Population Health

CMS Announces eCQM Receiving System Production File Acceptance Dates

Staff Contacts: Dana Dahl or Stephen Njenga

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services electronic clinical quality measure data receiving system will begin accepting production file submissions for the hospital inpatient quality reporting program and the medicare electronic health record incentive program on Saturday, Oct.1. Submissions must be in quality reporting document architecture category I file format and sent through the QualityNet Secure Portal. The CMS data receiving system will remain open for QRDA I file submissions until the calendar year 2016 reporting period submission deadline of Feb. 28, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

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Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care

CMS Releases EHR Incentive Program Fact Sheet

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a fact sheet for the 2017 Medicare electronic health record incentive program payment adjustments. The fact sheet includes answers to the following questions.

  • How does a hospital demonstrate meaningful use?
  • How have hospitals received incentive payments?
  • What is the fiscal year 2017 EHR eligible hospital payment adjustment?
  • How many hospitals successfully demonstrated meaningful use for 2017?
  • Is there an exceptions process for hospitals that did not demonstrate meaningful use?
  • Does a hospital have to achieve meaningful use each year to avoid the payment adjustments or can it avoid the payment adjustments by achieving meaningful use only once?

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Consider This ...

Missouri and Texas are tied for the 10th most obese state, with 32.4 percent of adults having a body mass index of 30 or more.