MHA Today | March 23, 2018   

March 23, 2018
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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


Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Microbiology underpins much of modern medicine. However, until scientists were able to develop tools to see microorganisms, little was understood about how their behavior influenced health. The new perspective delivered by the microscope changed health care forever.

On Wednesday, MHA joined Missouri Foundation for Health in launching a new tool to enhance hospitals’ and community health stakeholders’ perspectives of health throughout Missouri. provides a broader dataset than other publicly available community health improvement sources and allows stakeholders to focus more closely on communities — down to the ZIP code level.

Significant thought leadership was provided by the Hospital Industry Data Institute, which — in partnership with the Washington University School of Medicine — pioneered the Missouri ZIP Health Ranking Project with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In addition, Missouri Foundation for Health contributed their county-level behavioral risk factor surveillance system data for Missouri. The MFH data includes information from 52,000 randomly-selected Missourians who voluntarily responded to more than 100 questions about their health and health-related behaviors and attitudes.

The new tool offers an unparalleled opportunity for community health needs assessment. County-level data will supply powerful benchmarks, while ZIP code data will help identify significant variation in health and social determinants within a county. Today, health planners are using a “boots on the ground” approach to collect community health data. With this new resource, hospitals and other stakeholders have the equivalent of an electron microscope. The system’s detection of high-contrast variation will help identify the influence of upstream health issues and social determinants at a hyperlocal level.
The system’s value is two-fold. First, extensive effort and resources are required to improve community health. Targeting limited resources to the areas of greatest need helps deliver the greatest value. Second, by addressing the challenges of these high-impact communities, health improvement is more likely to be measurable across the entire county.

Health improvement efforts will greatly benefit from this enhanced understanding of the definition of “community.” The resource is powered by our partnership with MFH. And, we hope the new data will power your CHNA process and stakeholder engagement at the local level.

I urge you to take a look through the microscope.

Send me a note with your thoughts.

P.S. — Next week, Modern Healthcare and the American College of Healthcare Executives will honor Sister Mary Jean Ryan, former SSM Health CEO and Board Chair, by inducting her into the Health Care Hall of Fame. Under Sister Mary Jean’s leadership, in 2002 SSM Health became the first health care organization to earn a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. For decades, her influence has shaped quality improvement and delivery of value in health care. Please join me in congratulating Sister Mary Jean on this achievement.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO


Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
Congress Enacts Omnibus Appropriations Legislation
Congressional Committee Leaders Question CMS On Medicaid Drug Rebates
U.S. House Committee Considers Opioid Abuse Legislation
MO HealthNet Provides Fillable OPI Feedback Form
Stratis Health Features Missouri Critical Access Hospital
Cooper County Community Hospital Names New CEO


state and federal health policy developments

Congress Enacts Omnibus Appropriations Legislation

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

With U.S. Senate ratification of a 2,232-page omnibus appropriations bill, Congress averted a government shutdown slated to occur on Saturday, March 24. No changes were made to the proposed legislation unveiled and passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday, March 22.

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Congressional Committee Leaders Question CMS On Medicaid Drug Rebates

Staff Contacts: Daniel Landon or Brian Kinkade

A bipartisan group of 10 committee leaders and members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and its subcommittees are voicing concern about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ oversight of Medicaid drug rebates. Among other implications, misclassified drugs reduce federal funding available to state Medicaid programs. The legislators’ letter to CMS poses a series of questions, with a CMS response requested within a month. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill is a signatory.

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U.S. House Committee Considers Opioid Abuse Legislation

Staff Contacts: Daniel Landon or Leslie Porth

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a two-day hearing to review 25 legislative proposals regarding opioid abuse. The subcommittee posted summaries of the hearing’s first and second days, with short descriptions of the bills and highlights of testimony. Missouri Congressman Billy Long serves on the subcommittee.

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Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care

MO HealthNet Provides Fillable OPI Feedback Form

Staff Contact: Brian Kinkade

MO HealthNet created a fillable PDF version of the feedback form for prescribers to use to respond with information on their patients listed on the MMAC Opioid Prescription Intervention Report.

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Quality and Population Health

Stratis Health Features Missouri Critical Access Hospital

Staff Contact: Stephen Njenga

Carroll County Memorial Hospital has been featured as a spotlight hospital in the March 2018 MBQIP Monthly e-newsletter. The national e-newsletter provides critical access hospitals with information and support for quality reporting and improvement, and highlights current information about the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project.

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CEO Announcements

Cooper County Community Hospital Names New CEO

Staff Contact: Carol Boessen

Randy Simmons has been named chief executive officer of Cooper County Community Hospital in Boonville, effective Monday, April 2. Simmons has more than 25 years of strategic and operational health care experience, most recently serving as CEO at a hospital in Oklahoma. He replaces Mark Hirshberg who left Wednesday, March 21, after serving as interim CEO from March 2017 to February 2018, when he was named permanent CEO. Bill May will serve as interim CEO from Thursday, March 22, to Monday, April 2. A list of CEO changes is available online.

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Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

March 19, 2018
CMS Releases Fourth Quarter 2017 Submission Checklists

March 20, 2018
White House Announces Federal Opioid Initiatives
MHA Releases Issue Brief On Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act
Medicare Margins Continue To Drop
Recruitment Challenges Prompt New Wave Of Innovation For U.S. Hospitals

March 21, 2018
MHA And Missouri Foundation For Health Launch
Trajectories: Broadening The Culture Of Safety: Addressing Workplace Violence
Publication Addresses The Effects Of Increased Access To Naloxone
CMS Amends OQR Specifications Manual
CMS Releases HVBP FY 2020 Baseline Measures Reports

March 22, 2018
Congress Unveils Giant Appropriations Bill For Quick Passage
MO HealthNet Posts Feedback Form For Opioid Prescription Intervention Report
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
PSVA Tool Updates Available

Consider This ...

Americans fill about 4.5 billion prescriptions each year. In 11 states, the top prescriptions are opioid pain pills that are mixtures of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Missouri's most-prescribed medication is atorvastatin, or Lipitor, used to treat high cholesterol.

Source: Kaiser Health News