MHA Today | September 30, 2016

September 30, 2016

MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO Last week, Missouri hospital leaders were in Washington, D.C., meeting with members of the state’s congressional delegation. It was a short but important trip focusing on legislators whose districts include multiple rural hospitals.

Today is the last day of the federal fiscal year. Last week, Congress was busy trying to craft a continuing resolution to forestall a government shutdown and extend current spending until after the election. On Wednesday, they reached agreement regarding funding for disaster recovery in Louisiana, a process for resolving the water crisis in Flint, Mich., Veteran’s Administration spending for 2017 and additional Zika spending authority, among other things. That’s good news.

Congress has now recessed until after the election. And, with a new Congress due in January, only a few health care items — legislation on biomedical research and behavioral health — are expected to emerge in the post-election lame duck session.

No matter. We weren’t in the capital to push for passage of specific legislation in the waning legislative days of 2016, as much as to urge our delegation to focus on hospital issues in 2017.
Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO
During our meetings, we raised some new issues, such as pointless Medicare data collection and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ role in treating hospitals as lab rats in its new care delivery experiments. We expressed concerns about the loss of insurers in the health insurance marketplace, access to behavioral health and threats to the 340B drug discounts program, among other topics.

As we continue to focus members of Congress on these issues, there have been some important policy victories out of Washington, D.C.

For example, yesterday, 179 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to CMS asking it to stop implementing mandatory national payment model experiments. Five members of Missouri’s delegation signed the letter. This was among the topics we discussed during our visit.

In addition, yesterday, CMS announced the new Hospital Improvement and Innovation Network funding. HIIN is the next generation of quality improvement — following on and continuing the work of the Hospital Engagement Network and HEN 2.0. This innovation and care transformation has been delivering results and holds great promise for future strides in quality improvement. Beginning in 2010, HEN and HEN 2.0 activities have resulted in an estimated 2.1 million fewer patients harmed, 87,000 lives saved and an estimated $20 billion in cost savings. In Missouri, our participation has resulted in 622 harms prevented, adding up to a cost savings of $4,426,467. This work provides meaningful quality-of-life changes for patients.

MHA is coordinating state activity in the HIIN through the American Hospital Association’s Health Research and Educational Trust. Preliminary recruitment for the Missouri HIIN, which will be a two-year project at a minimum, exceeds the HEN 2.0 participation level. Formal recruitment currently is underway.

There’s no question that what happens in Washington, D.C., matters, and that our federal advocacy shapes the policies we see from Congress and the administration. The relationships that are built between hospital leaders and lawmakers during these trips are essential to keeping our issues top-of-mind. For example, those relationships have fueled the effort to get a majority of Congress to sign letters urging CMS to provide flexibility in implementing site-neutral payments to off-campus hospital outpatient departments. Most of Missouri’s congressional delegation is on board.

We don’t know what will happen in November or beyond. What we do know is that the Missouri delegation and the next Congress will return and begin 2017 well informed of our agenda.

Thank you to the hospital community members who attended the trip last week, and to the 100-plus hospitals that have signed up to continue their quality improvement journey with the Missouri HIIN. Our state is better for your commitment to hospitals and patients.

Send me an email to let me know what you’re thinking.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
179 U.S. House Members Urge CMS To Stop Mandatory Payment Experiments
CMS Plans Another Settlement Offer For Inpatient Status Denials
CMS Releases Inpatient Quality Reporting Checklist

Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care

179 U.S. House Members Urge CMS To Stop Mandatory Payment Experiments

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

One hundred and seventy-nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services urging the agency to “cease all current and future planned mandatory initiatives under the CMMI [Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation].” Noting that CMS’ delivery models and tests had until recently been voluntary, limited-scale initiatives, the letter observes that a number of mandatory national payment model experiments have emerged since November 2015. It expresses concern about the effect of the experiments on patients and providers, and asserts that they allow CMS to circumvent the legislative process. MHA developed a briefing paper for its latest advocacy trip to Washington, D.C., voicing concern about CMS’ role in treating hospitals as lab rats in the new payment experiments. Five Missouri members of the U.S. House of Representatives are signatories: Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason Smith, Billy Long and Ann Wagner.

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CMS Plans Another Settlement Offer For Inpatient Status Denials

Staff Contacts: Daniel Landon or Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has posted the following on its website: “What’s New: CMS has decided to once again allow eligible providers to settle their inpatient status claims currently under appeal using the Hospital Appeals Settlement process. Specific details of the settlement will be released in the near future. Please continue to monitor CMS’ website for additional information.” MHA will keep its members informed as details emerge.

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Quality and Population Health

CMS Releases Inpatient Quality Reporting Checklist

Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released the second quarter 2016 inpatient quality reporting checklist. The checklist will assist hospitals in determining necessary steps for submitting data and running reports to review data submissions for the upcoming deadlines.

  • Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems — Wednesday, Oct. 5
  • Population and Sampling — Tuesday, Nov. 1
  • Chart-Abstracted Clinical, Healthcare-Associated Infection and PC-01 — Tuesday, Nov. 15

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Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

September 29, 2016
Medicaid Directors Recap IMD Issues
Congress Enacts New Law On Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence
TJC To Delete 51 Elements Of Performance
CMS Issues Final Rule Improving Care, Safety And Consumer Protections
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
CMS Awards $347 Million To Continue Progress Towards A Safer Health Care System

September 28, 2016
DHSS Expands Reportable Disease Mandates
SAMHSA Releases MAT Requirements
Trajectories — Sepsis

September 27, 2016
DSS Considers One-Year Extension For Gateway To Better Health Project

September 26, 2016
MHA Submits Letter And Research To CMS On Star Ratings
MHA Posts Presumptive Eligibility Plan Resources
MHA Distributes Analysis Of Final Medicare Inpatient PPS For FFY 2017
VA St. Louis Health Care System Names Director

Consider This ...

September is Pain Awareness Month. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain and approximately 3 percent to 4.5 percent of the global population suffers from neuropathic pain.

Source: The American Academy of Pain Medicine