MHA Today | May 24, 2019

May 24, 2019
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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May 24, 2019

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

Editor's Note: MHA Today will not be published Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Publication will resume Tuesday, May 28.


Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO As the emergency sirens sounded Wednesday night and Thursday morning in communities throughout the state, it was hard not to think back to May 22, 2011, when a massive tornado ripped through Joplin. Despite the significant difference in the scope of the damage and loss of life, the timing — as much as the storm itself — was a reminder of the awesome power of nature and the need to prepare to meet its wrath.

As the system moved from southwest Missouri to the northeast, tornadoes touched down in several locations, damaging property, causing numerous injuries and taking three lives. In Jefferson City, Capital Region Medical Center sustained damage but remained operational during the storm and after. SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City was not damaged, nor was MHA. However, members of the hospitals’ and MHA’s staff certainly were affected personally. And, many other members of the hospital community in locations throughout the state may have been victims of the storm as well.

Events like this are a reminder of two things. First, although hospitals may compete in the marketplace, in an emergency, they are a family. There have been offers of support from hospitals statewide and countless examples of members of the community “checking in on each other.” Second, years of focus on preparedness have positioned hospitals to be ready to serve. Hospitals throughout the state affected by the storm implemented their incident command systems to ready their organizations. In Jefferson City, Capital Region Medical Center was able to maintain continuity of operations despite disruptions such as loss of power.

MHA is working with hospitals to manage resources and information as the recovery process starts in Jefferson City and other areas. We will continue to provide situational awareness and let hospitals know how they can help.

Hospitals are organizations that serve Missourians during their personal crises every day — 24/7, 365. When a community crisis occurs, we are reminded of the essential nature of the institutions we serve.

Today, again, we are inspired by the first responders and hospital staff who run toward the crisis — those who exemplify service and community. Additionally, we are reminded that the buildings and high-tech equipment that make up our hospitals are only the venue for the compassionate care provided within.

Thank you for what you do. Let me know what you think and how MHA can help.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
Federal Momentum Builds On Price Transparency Mandates
Trump Administration Considers Changes To Federal Poverty Measure
America’s Health Rankings Releases Senior Report
Babb Announces Retirement, Fulbright Named His Successor

state and federal health policy developments

Federal Momentum Builds On Price Transparency Mandates

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

Media reports indicate President Trump is expected to issue an executive order to mandate the disclosure of health care prices. Such an order could be implemented by directing federal agencies to use their regulatory and enforcement powers to expand price transparency. Also, one component of a discussion draft of bipartisan legislation just released by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee would require hospitals, physicians and health insurers to furnish estimates of out-of-pocket costs within 48 hours of the patient’s request.

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Trump Administration Considers Changes To Federal Poverty Measure

Staff Contact: Dave Dillon

The Trump Administration is considering a proposed change to a U.S. poverty measure, which is used to determine financial eligibility for federal programs such as the school lunch program. Under the proposed metric, the poverty level itself could increase at a slower pace than it would using the current measure, relative to overall inflation. Although the number of people affected would be small at first, it would grow over time, potentially affecting income thresholds used to determine Medicaid eligibility.

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America’s Health Rankings Releases Senior Report

Staff Contact: Dave Dillon

According to a new America’s Health Rankings report, the U.S. senior population continues to grow with more than 11 million additional seniors ages 65 to 74 in 2017 than in 2002. Even though 11 percent more seniors reported their health is very good or excellent, the prevalence of certain unhealthy behaviors and health outcomes has increased. The report shows an increased rate of young seniors are drinking excessively, have diabetes and are more obese.

Missouri ranked 39th overall for seniors, dropping from 36th in 2018. The state ranks 38th for general population health and 41st for the health of women and children.

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CEO Announcements

Babb Announces Retirement, Fulbright Named His Successor

Staff Contact: Carol Boessen

Donald J. Babb, CEO of Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, Mo., announced he will retire in January 2020. Babb has served a CEO since August 1981. Gary Fulbright, CMH chief financial officer, will succeed Babb upon his retirement. Fulbright has been with the hospital since it opened nearly 38 years ago and has experience as a certified public accountant and internal auditor. A list of CEO changes is available online.

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Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

May 20, 2019
MHA Comments On Medicare Wage Index Changes Proposed By CMS
HIDI Announces 2019 Regional Meetings
CMS Announces IQR Education Session
DeSouza Leaves Research Medical Center

May 21, 2019
MHA Publishes 2019 State Legislative Session Summary
MHA Distributes Final Wage Index, Occupational Mix Data For Review
EPICC Expands To Address Opioid Use
Patient And Family Engagement Resources Available

May 22, 2019
Report Shows Missouri’s Physicians Contribute $12 Billion To Gross State Product
Congressional Committee Leaders Seek Maternal Mortality Information
HIDI Releases Fourth Quarter 2018 VBP Payments Model
CMS Selects Targeted Hospitals For IQR Program Validation

May 23, 2019
MHA Distributes Analysis Of Proposed Medicare Inpatient PPS Payment and Policy Updates
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
Trajectories — Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: A Conversation That Could Save Two Lives
Medication First Model Receives Publication Distinction
Severe Weather And Tornadoes Damage Several Missouri Communities

Consider This ...

Nine percent of Missouri’s rural bridges are rated as poor/structurally deficient, the 16th highest share in the U.S., and 21 percent of Missouri's rural roads are rated in poor condition, the 13th highest in the nation.

Source: Jefferson City News Tribune