MHA Today | October 26, 2018

MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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October 26, 2018

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


MHA's 96th Annual Convention & Trade Show


Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO In less than two weeks, there may be a seismic shift in the nation’s politics. Or, maybe there won’t be.

In midterm elections, the president’s party usually takes a thumping. President Trump’s approval is below 50 percent in nearly all polling, and Democrats are ahead in most “generic ballot” questions about the election. However, the environment isn’t a lock for a “blue wave.” Yes, projections from many of those who closely watch these races project Democrats to gain enough seats to control the U.S. House of Representatives. However, the number of seats in the U.S. Senate defended by Democrats — and the political geography of those Senators — could result in Republicans retaining control of the Senate.

Missouri is home to one of the most closely watched and highly contentious campaigns in the nation — the matchup between Sen. Claire McCaskill and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. For months, polling has indicated that the race was a statistical dead-heat. Most of the experts consider the race a tossup. Although seldom is a campaign about a single issue, the future of protections for individuals with preexisting health conditions has dominated the final months of Missouri’s Senate race. However, what happens in Missouri may be less influential than measures and matters related to health care throughout the nation.

The attempts to “repeal and replace,” or at least fundamentally undermine, the provisions of the Affordable Care Act cast attention on health care that the law itself never could. It motivated activists to bypass state legislators and use initiatives to place Medicaid expansion on the ballot. Maine voters already have approved expansion, and four states — Idaho, Montana, Nebraska and Utah — have ballot measures on Medicaid that will be decided in November. Moreover, health care in general and Medicaid expansion in particular, could be influenced by the outcome of gubernatorial elections in Florida, Georgia and Wisconsin.

Presently, two-thirds of states have adopted Medicaid expansions. Missouri has not. This election could fundamentally change the calculus by creating a firewall to significant change in the Medicaid program in Congress, while reducing the “have not” states to a handful. States without expansion have experienced the majority of hospital closures. At the same time, these states face some of the greatest health challenges — access problems in states with low population density and poor individual health status in states throughout the South.

The election, and the future, will be driven by enthusiasm. Although the makeup of Missouri’s legislature will not change significantly, the climate they work in could. Missouri has approximately 150,000 hospital employees. Each member of our community has a stake in the outcome of this election, and the future policy environment.

Earlier this year, MHA released a set of questions that advocates for a strong health care system could use to engage lawmakers. There’s still time to ask the candidates where they stand.
Your Vote Matters
Elected officials like to be on firm footing. It’s too early to know whether Nov. 6 will result in a small but discernable shaking under their feet or open fissures in the landscape. In either case, we must be a part of the message and prepared for the result.

Remember to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Send me a note to let me know what you think.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
CMS Invites Comments On International Pricing Index Model For Medicare Part B Drugs
Lean Six Sigma Application Process Opens
AHA Releases Quality Improvement Report

Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care

CMS Invites Comments On International Pricing Index Model For Medicare Part B Drugs

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued an Advance Notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the development of a potential model that seeks payment prices comparable for Part B drugs relative to other economically similar countries. It invites comments regarding the design of the model. The proposed International Pricing Index model would use private-sector vendors to procure, distribute and bill Medicare for certain physician-administered drugs. Medicare would reimburse the vendors at a rate comparable to the rate listed in the International Pricing Index. MHA published an Issue Brief with additional details.

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Quality and Population Health

Lean Six Sigma Application Process Opens

Staff Contact: Amanda Keilholz

MHA is pleased to announce the second cohort of the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Project, offered exclusively to Hospital Improvement Innovation Network-participating hospitals.

Lean Six Sigma is a performance improvement platform with roots originating in the production and manufacturing industry. Its methodology builds upon a five-step process — Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control — with an intense focus on the removal of errors, defects or “waste,” described as any step, motion or resource that does not add value to the process.

The second cohort will be hosted in Jefferson City and is limited to 23 projects that require a two-person, hospital-based team. Completing the eight-month intensive project, including in-person trainings covering the steps of Lean Six Sigma DMAIC methodology, will result in a Green Belt certification. Each training will be followed by an implementation phase to apply the knowledge and skills learned toward a required hospital-based improvement project.

The application process opens Monday, Oct. 29, and closes Friday, Nov. 30.

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AHA Releases Quality Improvement Report

Staff Contact: Peter Rao

The American Hospital Association recently released a report on aligning efforts to improve quality. While hospitals and health systems have made major strides in improving outcomes, regulatory burdens and a dizzying array of quality measures cause a shift from patient-focused towards “checking the box.” AHA’s report highlights some obstacles and offers recommendations to policymakers and other stakeholders. It emphasizes the need to reduce barriers with meaningful approaches to improving health outcomes.

Examples of exceptional quality have been highlighted throughout this week. Every member of the health care team is important to positively affect quality outcomes, and deserve recognition for their contributions towards building a healthier Missouri.

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Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

October 22, 2018
CMS Comments On Marketplace Data Breach
State Relief And Empowerment Waivers Provide States With Additional Flexibility
This Week Is National Healthcare Quality Week
CMS Announces IPFQR Education Session
HHS Awards $293 Million To Expand Primary Health Care Workforce
Gov. Parson Issues Proclamation
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October 23, 2018
Richardson Appointed MHD Director
This Week Is National Healthcare Quality Week
October Is Health Literacy Month

October 24, 2018
MHA Suggests Improvements To Anti-Kickback Statute Safe Harbor Provisions
CMS Releases SNF Quality Reporting Program Data
Subscriptions Available For HIDI 2018 Premier Package
CMS Model Increases Access To OUD Treatment For Expectant And New Mothers
Hospital-Based Incident Command Systems: Real Experiences And Practical Applications
HIIN Celebrates Healthcare Quality Week

October 25, 2018
CMS Regional Office To Host Webinars About The Omnibus On Burden Reduction Proposed Rule
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
HIDI Releases Third Quarter FFY 2018 Inpatient, Outpatient Databases
MHA Recognizes Missouri CAHs During Healthcare Quality Week
St. Louis Children’s Hospital Names New President

Consider This ...

Fewer than four out of 10 adults in the U.S. got flu shots last winter, the lowest rate in seven seasons. Vaccination coverage among adults was 37.1 percent, a decrease of 6.2 percentage points from the previous season.

Source: The Washington Post