MHA Today | October 12, 2018

October 12, 2018
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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October 12, 2018

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 There’s a pretty good chance that the most important provider in your hospital organization isn’t a physician, nurse or other caregiver. Without access to a multitude of interconnected services, little can happen at a hospital bedside. As a result, hospitals should consider network administrators and data security experts as essential team members at the front line of care.

Every hospital safeguards protected health information. The fines and reputational costs of a breach are significant. However, the hazards of a hospital cyberattack are much greater in scope than HIPAA and stolen PHI. Hospitals in Missouri, the U.S. and internationally have been the target of attacks that literally can shut down hospital operations.

The risk isn’t just to hospital organizations, but also the patients hospitals serve. Consider a ransomware attack that locks down a hospital or health system’s network — including patients’ electronic medical records. Such an attack could immediately imperil the health of the entire inpatient population and extend to all patients’ care management.

Technology has allowed significant advances in medicine, underpins routine care, increases efficiency and drives higher quality. Technology also tethers hospitals to systems that are soft targets for actors who have little concern for patients’ health. PHI is marketable, and the life-or-death consequences of a ransomware shutdown place hospital administrators in an impossible position.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
I’ve buried the lead in this week’s column. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This particular recognition month is a reminder that if as health care leaders we aren’t having the hard conversations about our exposure, we’re jeopardizing our organizations and patients.

Part of the problem with cybersecurity is that the threat types evolve more quickly than the deterrents. Nonetheless, there are excellent resources within the technology and health care sectors, as well as government, to define the threats and identify best practices.

Two years ago, MHA established a Cybersecurity Task Force to identify the challenges and explore the risks for Missouri hospitals. MHA's cybersecurity program presently communicates with more than 90 hospital staff members responsible for information security to provide situational awareness, and curate and share key cybersecurity resources. The task force was a starting point; cybersecurity requires ongoing vigilance. Hospitals are encouraged to use the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Maturity Tool to better understand their high-level measure of risks and maturity of controls.

MHA also invested in an Information Security Officer to oversee programs to safeguard the data hospitals share with us. In addition, he is available as a resource on cybersecurity risks, strategies and best practices for Missouri’s hospitals. However, every hospital should have a dedicated expert — whether on staff or consulting — who understands the myriad of vulnerabilities to hospitals and patients, and oversees risk analysis and security.

Often, the greatest weakness is ourselves. Technology is so pervasive that we use it without even thinking about the implications. We’re used to sharing our information with retailers, social media platforms and countless other entities, because generally, there is a benefit. Unfortunately, our comfort with technology is easily used against us. It’s likely we’ve all asked ourselves whether we should open an email from an unfamiliar source or click on a link provided.

The stakes are extremely high. And, too often it’s not who we think at the other end.

I don’t know how many times hospital information technology staff have received recognition from patients for making their care experience better. It should probably be more often.

Let me know what you think.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
Congressional Committee To Investigate Maternal Mortality
CMS Announces 2019 Medicare Premiums And Deductibles
MHD Steps Up Managed Care Provider Standards
CDC Releases 2016 HAI Progress Report
CMS Updates Claims Detail Reports For OP-35 And OP-36
Next Week, MHA To Recognize Healthcare Security And Safety Week

state and federal health policy developments

Congressional Committee To Investigate Maternal Mortality

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon or Leslie Porth

The U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee will investigate increases in maternal mortality. The investigation is to “determine why maternal mortality and morbidity rates are rising in America and what federal agencies, states and hospitals are doing and can do to address this issue.”

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Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care

CMS Announces 2019 Medicare Premiums And Deductibles

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the Medicare Part A and Part B premiums and deductibles for 2019. Medicare Part A deductibles increased from $1,340 in 2018 to $1,364 in 2019. Part B deductibles will increase from $183 in 2018 to $185 in 2019. The Part B standard monthly premium will be increased from $134 in 2018 to $135.50 in 2019.

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MHD Steps Up Managed Care Provider Standards

Staff Contact: Brian Kinkade

The MO HealthNet Division’s Oct. 10 bulletin sets deadlines by which ordering, prescribing and referring providers who are members of Missouri Medicaid managed care plan networks must be enrolled as a Medicaid provider to be retained in the Medicaid provider’s network. Medicaid managed care network OPR providers either must be enrolled or have submitted an application to be enrolled as Missouri Medicaid providers by Wednesday, Oct. 31, to avoid termination. Providers with multiple national provider identifiers must enroll each NPI separately.

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Quality and Population Health

CDC Releases 2016 HAI Progress Report

Staff Contact: Alison Williams

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the 2016 Healthcare-associated Infections Progress Report. This report, displayed as a Patient Safety Atlas website, shows year-to-year progress on the prevention of key HAIs to help highlight progress and target areas that need improvement. The 2016 HAI Progress Report is the first report to measure year-to-year HAI prevention progress using the 2015 baseline. Missouri acute care hospitals either improved or maintained progress in every infection metric included. This speaks to the significant improvement work undertaken by Missouri hospitals to drive to zero preventable infections.

The HAI Progress Report includes national and state-by-state summaries of HAIs across four health care settings: acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term acute care hospitals and critical access hospitals.

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CMS Updates Claims Detail Reports For OP-35 And OP-36

Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost

As indicated in the Oct. 4 issue of MHA Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provided Claims Detail Reports for calendar year 2020 payment determination for the OP-35 and OP-36 measures. An error was identified with the reporting of emergency department codes in the Sept. 27 OP-35 CDRs. CMS has corrected the error and circulated updated OP-35 CDRs, as well as the original OP-36 CDRs to all eligible facilities. Detailed information about the OP-35 and OP-36 measures and CDRs is available.

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Next Week, MHA To Recognize Healthcare Security And Safety Week

Staff Contact: Jackie Gatz
Healthcare Security & Safety Week
Next week is Healthcare Security and Safety Week, and MHA staff will be sharing resources for hospital program staff on social media and through this forum. We’ll also be hosting more than 140 Missouri health care staff on Thursday and Friday at our annual Emergency Preparedness and Safety Conference. This year’s theme is “Creating Safe Environments to Give and Receive Quality Care.”

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Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

October 8, 2018
August MUR Available On HIDI Analytic Advantage®
Registration Open For 16th Annual Health Policy Summit
MHD Releases Provider Bulletins For Telehealth
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Highlights Cyber Careers
Cox Barton County Hospital Names Interim CEO

October 9, 2018
MHD Provides Guidance On Billing Telehealth Services
CMS Announces Participants In BPCI Advanced
CMS Announces MIPS Targeted Review Request Deadline
Cooper County Community Hospital Acquired By Pinnacle Health Care System
InfoSec Institute To Host Cybersecurity Webinar

October 10, 2018
HRSA Announces Nurse Faculty Loan Program

October 11, 2018
President Trump Signs Bills Banning Pharmacy Gag Clauses
Marketplace Premiums Drop In 2019
CMS Releases Medicare Advantage And Medicare Part D Star Ratings For 2019
OIG Releases Medicare Advantage Appeal Outcomes And Audit Findings
Issue Brief: CMS Announces Participants In New Value-Based Bundled Payment Model
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
Missouri Health Care Providers Support Hurricane Michael Response
CMS Announces Education Session
Ellett Memorial Hospital Names New CEO

Consider This ...

Over the course of six flu seasons, getting a flu shot reduced a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized from flu by an average of 40 percent. Other studies have shown that in addition to helping to protect the pregnant woman, a flu vaccine given during pregnancy helps protect the baby from flu infection for several months after birth, before he or she is old enough to be vaccinated themselves.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention