MHA Today | March 15, 2019

March 15, 2019
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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March 15, 2019

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 Last week, I compared the large and growing problem of suicidality among adolescents to the actions taken at the state level to address the measles outbreak. Washington State recently announced a public health emergency for measles. To my knowledge, no state has declared a similar emergency to address this clear behavioral health challenge, despite a much broader scope.

Earlier this week, an article in Modern Healthcare grabbed my attention for the same basic reason. In the article, Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, called violence against health care workers an epidemic. He said, “It is an epidemic, because it is an epidemic that nobody speaks about.”

This week is National Patient Safety Awareness Week. Every hospital is in the business of protecting patients from harm. Traditionally, I would use this week to talk about our efforts to improve care. This year, throughout the week, MHA has been sharing components of how we protect patients, visitors and staff from verbal and physical harm.

Although I agree with Dr. Mihalijevic that there’s an epidemic of violence against health care workers, I’ll take exception with the idea that no one speaks about it. First, our ongoing efforts to improve safety in the workplace is gaining attention. Last year, Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) added language to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ budget for a report on options to reduce assaults on hospital staff. The appropriation directs the department “to work with the Department of Labor to provide a report to the Committees on Appropriations in the House of Representatives and the Senate 180 days after enactment on how they can collaborate to provide protections and support safe environments for health care workers, patients, families and visitors.” The report should arrive later this month.

We’ve also been working to build structure around what hospitals can do to mitigate assaults on health care workers. MHA’s S.A.F.E.R. initiative was launched in 2016 to provide hospitals with a framework for improving safety and quality. We’ve also been surveying hospitals to better understand the problem. This week, we released a progress report on many of the activities hospitals are undertaking. Hospitals continue to view workplace violence or violent behavior among their top three organizational threats. Here are several important takeaways from our survey: Hospitals increasingly are employing security personnel, the number of hospitals with 24/7 security in the emergency department has doubled between 2018 and 2019, 70 percent of hospitals employ formal de-escalation programs, and nearly 40 percent of hospitals include security as a formal part of the care team.

Protecting patients and caregivers will require both regulatory and cultural change. While federal guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration do not align — CMS regulations focus on patients, while OSHA focuses on employees — the report to Congress may offer paths to clarity and consistency.
Healing Happens Here Flyer
Communities have an important role to play in ensuring that hospitals are a safe space. This week, MHA announced new community-focused materials that are available to educate and inform. The Healing Happens Here message reminds patients, families and visitors that to offer the care they need the hospital must remain a safe space. The message is part of the design, “Our staff is here to provide the best medical care to you and your loved one with kindness and respect. We know it can be stressful visiting the hospital. Let us know what we can do to help.”

If the last century of public health has taught us anything, it is that epidemics aren’t inevitable. The same is true with the epidemic of verbal and physical assaults on health care workers. Reducing harm to health care workers will take significant investment by leaders in health care, recognition of the problem by policymakers and buy-in from the public.

Healing Happens Here sets expectations. S.A.F.E.R. provides a growing set of tools. And, policymakers are starting to pay attention and help provide solutions. We’re making headway.

Patient Safety Awareness Week is a good time to reflect on the fact that our efforts to improve care for the communities we serve only will be as good as the environment our communities help us provide to deliver care.

Let me know what you think.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
State Senate Advances Supplemental Spending Bill
House Approves Physical Therapy Practice Standard

state and federal health policy developments

State Senate Advances Supplemental Spending Bill

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

The state Senate approved its version of House Bill 14. Dubbed the “supplemental appropriations” bill, the legislation authorizes additional spending to address budget shortfalls or unforeseen expenses of the current state fiscal year, which ends Sunday, June 30. The measure provides $133.5 million in additional funding for Medicaid hospital services. The bill returns to the House of Representatives for consideration of the Senate changes.

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House Approves Physical Therapy Practice Standard

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon or Bill Anderson

The state House of Representatives gave its final approval to House Bill 410. The legislation removes the current requirement that a physical therapist must have a prescription or referral from a physician to treat a patient. Limits are established for the scope of the exemption. The bill moves to the Missouri Senate.

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Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

March 11, 2019
President Trump Releases 2020 Executive Budget
MHA Recognizes National Patient Safety Awareness Week
CHR&R Announces 10th Edition Ranking Release
CMS Releases Updated QRDA I File
TJC Announces eCQM Expert To Expert Webinar

March 12, 2019
House Budget Committee Approves State FY 2020 Budget
Committee Advances Certificate Of Need Repeal Legislation
State Legislators Consider Practitioner Licensure Legislation
Legislative Committee Approves New Standards For Hospital Inspectors
MHA Releases Issue Brief On President’s 2020 Budget
MHA Launches Resources To Promote Safe Care

March 13, 2019
Registration And Attestation Submission Deadline Is Tomorrow
DHSS Issues Emergency Hospital Licensure Rule
CMS To Improve Nursing Home Compare In April
Patient Safety And Human Trafficking Resources Available
Missouri Organ And Tissue Donor Program Requests Input

March 14, 2019
Committees Review Provider Tax Reauthorization
Legislative Committee Approves Network Credentialing Bill
Legislation Revises Physical Therapy Standards
Integrating Security Into The Care Team Could Improve Safety
Missouri State Board Of Nursing Approves Expansions For Nursing Programs

Consider This ...

A new study shows that American teens have higher rates of suicide compared with previous generations in their adolescent years. Rates of depression in young adults have risen dramatically in the last decade, particularly among girls and people at higher income levels.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch