2018 Community Investment Report Finds Charity Care, Community Benefit Up In 2016
Staff Contact: Mary Becker
MHA’s new Community Investment Report finds that in 2016, Missouri hospitals provided $37 million more in uncompensated care than in 2015, with the growth in cost primarily in charity care provided to Missouri’s most vulnerable. In 2016, hospitals provided $719 million in charity care, and incurred nearly $538 million in bad debt, for an uncompensated care total of $1.26 billion. When other benefits are added — including hospitals’ unpaid costs of treating Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, health care workforce investments, free or reduced cost clinic services, and donations to local causes — hospitals’ total community benefit increased by $250 million over 2015, to approximately $3 billion.
Hospitals’ economic investments support Missouri communities. In 2016, Missouri’s hospitals employed more than 158,000 full-time equivalent staff, with an annual payroll and benefits of $10.6 billion. Between 2015 and 2016, hospitals added more than 5,000 full-time equivalent employees and expanded payroll by $670 million. Hospitals also invested approximately $1.8 billion in various capital improvement projects throughout the state.
The report underscores how hospitals’ investments support healthier communities, a healthier state and continue to serve as the safety net for the uninsured. The data, as well as updated quality and price information, are available on MHA’s consumer-focused transparency website, www.focusonhospitals.com. Talking points are available online.
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U.S. House Republicans Unveil Continuing Resolution Legislation
Staff Contacts: Daniel Landon or Andrew Wheeler
The Republican caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives released its proposed continuing resolution and a summary. The legislation addresses the need to extend federal spending authority to avert a partial government shutdown, currently slated to begin Thursday at midnight. The House proposed yet another short-term extension, through March 23, to finish its budget debate. Congress is working to pass the short-term extension package by noon tomorrow, before the Democrat retreat. The 515-page legislation also includes many health care components, including a:
- two-year delay of the scheduled reductions in states’ Medicaid disproportionate share hospital allotments
- two-year extension of Medicare-dependent and Low Volume hospital programs
- permanent repeal of Medicare’s payment cap for therapy services
- five-year extension of the home health and ambulance rural add-on payments
- two-year extension of funding for the National Health Service Corps, teaching graduate medical education and other public health programs.
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State Senate Advances FRA Reauthorization And Safeguard Legislation
Staff Contacts: Daniel Landon or Rob Monsees
The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would reauthorize the hospital Federal Reimbursement Allowance and other state provider taxes, as well as upgrade a payment safeguard for hospitals. MHA is promoting Senate Bill 775. During Senate debate, minor clarifications were made to the new payment safeguard language. The length of the extension of the various provider taxes was shortened to two years. The original bill had a three-year extension.
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CDC COCA Hosts Call To Update On Current Influenza Season
Staff Contacts: Jackie Gatz or Toi Wilde
The 2017-2018 influenza season has proved challenging for health care providers. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of influenza-related illnesses, evidenced by hospitalization rates that are exceeding milestones set during the 2014-2015 season – recognized as a severe season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity will host a call at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, to discuss the current season, addressing clinical issues and pertinent updates.
MHA continues to conduct queries in EMResource to monitor influenza impacts and inform coordination at the regional and state level. Resources are updated and available on MHA's website.
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TJC Releases Specifications Manual Version 2018A
Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost
Specifications Manual for Joint Commission National Quality Measures, version 2018A, is available on The Joint Commission Performance Measurement System Extranet Track (PET). The manual is effective for discharges from July 1 through Dec. 31.
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