MHA Today | November 16, 2018

November 16, 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 Yesterday, Thursday Nov. 15, was National Rural Health Day. This week, every edition of MHA Today featured a story about Missouri’s rural hospitals. Each story underscored rural hospitals’ significance to the communities they serve.

In truth, these are everyday stories.

Throughout 2018, MHA has featured numerous rural hospital staff members through our Hospital Heroes program. At last week’s 96th Annual MHA Convention and Trade Show, we recognized a rural hospital CEO with the Visionary Leadership Award, a rural hospital trustee as Trustee of the Year, a rural hospital quality-improvement effort for delivering patient-centered care and three rural hospital auxiliaries for their tremendous service to their hospitals and communities. And, today MHA released a new video featuring Jeff Davis, D.O., a physician at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Mo., talking about the opportunity and satisfaction of serving in a rural hospital.

Many of Missouri’s rural hospitals — and those throughout the nation — are struggling. So are the rural communities they serve.

What’s clear is that strong rural hospitals are at the foundation of strong rural communities. Not only do rural hospitals provide lifesaving care close to home, they are the economic and social lifeblood of the communities they serve. According to one northwest Missouri resident we quoted on Wednesday, “Harrison County Community Hospital is a vital part of our community and was one of the deciding factors in our choosing Bethany, Mo., as our new home five years ago.”

Each of this week’s stories provide a different perspective on the importance of rural hospitals. For example, Dr. Jaroslaw Michalik at Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital is helping his patients address obesity, through weight loss surgery — locally, and with remarkable results.

Dr. Davis in Memphis, and Sarah Trokey, FNP, at Washington County Memorial Hospital in Potosi, Mo., both provide examples of how rural hospitals create opportunities for strong patient-caregiver connections. Trokey describes how hospital-issued binders that help patients through care and recovery help her understand her patients better. She said, “one of my favorite aspects of the binder is a section that allows the patient to write down concerns and questions they have during their stay or even after they return home.”

Davis points to the opportunity to practice broadly and serve multi-generationally. “It’s very touching, and I would also say rewarding, when you have developed a relationship with a young mother, delivered their baby, and then their grandmother has a health problem and you take care of them in the hospital.”

A week’s worth of stories hardly does justice to the incalculable benefit of rural hospitals. Nonetheless, National Rural Health Day provides an opportunity to pause and to celebrate hospitals’ contributions.

More than 2.2 million Missourians live in the rural areas of our state. Most rural communities have higher rates of poverty, chronic conditions and uninsured individuals than their urban and suburban counterparts. Rural hospitals make the difference for rural residents and rural communities — making lives better and communities stronger.

I hope you had a great National Rural Health Day. As this is the last column before the holiday, happy Thanksgiving in advance.

As always, I’m interested in what you’re thinking.
Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
Medicare FFS Improper Payment Rate At Lowest Since 2010
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
MHA Publishes High Reliability Organization Toolkit
Weekly Flu Monitoring In Missouri Continues

Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care

Medicare FFS Improper Payment Rate At Lowest Since 2010

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released information that the 2018 Medicare fee-for-service improper payment rate is 8.12 percent. This is the lowest Medicare FFS improper payment rate since 2010. This also marks a second consecutive year that the rate is below 10 percent. The improper payment rate decreased 1.39 percentage points from 9.51 percent in 2017. This decrease represents a $4.59 billion decrease in estimated improper payments.

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MLN Connects Provider eNews Available

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

Updates to MLN Connects Provider eNews were issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. eNews includes information about national provider calls, meetings, events, announcements and other MLN educational product updates. The latest issue provides updates and summaries of the following.

  • Patients over paperwork November newsletter
  • Quality Payment Program
    • Year 1 performance results
    • Participation status tool updated
  • Hospice
    • Quality reporting program quarterly update document
    • 4.5 month data correction deadline for public reporting
    • Item set freeze date: November 15
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Quality and Population Health

MHA Publishes High Reliability Organization Toolkit

Staff Contact: Jessica Stultz

In an effort to support the development of high reliability health care organizations, MHA has published an online HRO Toolkit, now available on MHA’s website. Leadership is at the pinnacle of the HRO framework, and leaders are responsible for establishing safety as the most important part of care delivery. Sustainment of highly reliable health care is critical to achieving zero preventable health care-acquired conditions. Hospitals are encouraged to review and implement the practical application strategies for each HRO component, and use the tools and resources provided to address any gaps.

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Weekly Flu Monitoring In Missouri Continues

Staff Contact: Jackie Gatz or Carissa Van Hunnik

Since late September, the Missouri Hospital Association has conducted weekly queries of Missouri hospitals in EMResource® to monitor flu-related hospital activity throughout the state. These weekly queries are evaluated and used as early indicators of potential impacts to hospital resources, bed availability and staffing levels due to increased flu activity. Hospitals are strongly encouraged to respond to these weekly queries with accurate and timely information.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly surveillance report for the week ending Nov. 3, indicates that small increases in flu activity were reported, but that national flu activity levels remain low. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reports influenza activity in Missouri remains sporadic. Influenza-like Illness activity was above baseline for both the Missouri Outpatient ILINet and the hospital emergency room visit chief complaint data reported through ESSENCE. Although the data types differ, information compiled from the weekly EMResource flu queries are consistent with the CDC and Missouri DHSS reports.

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Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

November 12, 2018
Missouri House And Senate Announce New Leadership
Management And Productivity Report Available
CDC COCA Call Addressing Acute Flaccid Myelitis, Tomorrow
AHA To Host Workplace Safety And Violence Reduction Strategies Webinar
Missouri Board Of Healing Arts Partners With The University Of Missouri
School Of Medicine To Collect Physician Workforce Data
This Week, MHA Recognizes Rural Health

November 13, 2018
CMS Encourages Improvement In Mental Health Treatment Through Medicaid Waivers
MHA To Participate In Opioid Webinar Focusing On Midwestern Mothers And Newborns
CMS Quality Payment Program: Webinar On 2019 Final Rule Overview
This Week Is U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week
A Provider’s Perspective On Rural Health

November 14, 2018
Weekly Snapshot: Marketplace Enrollment For Week 2
CMS Proposes Revised Medicaid Managed Care Rule
OIG Finds Missouri, Other States, Complied With Medicaid Provider Tax Limits
TJC Announces eCQM CQL Basics Webinar
CMS Announces Rural Open Door Forum
Rural Patient Finds Care Close To Home

November 15, 2018
Lean Six Sigma Application Process Opens
At-Risk Patients Find Needed Care At Rural Hospital

Consider This ...

Missouri’s rural/urban divide is more pronounced than the nation as a whole. There are 55.9 primary care physicians for every 100,000 rural residents in Missouri. That compares to 139 per 100,000 urban residents.

Source: MHA Primary Care Physicians Special Report