MHA Today | August 23, 2019

August 23, 2019
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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August 23, 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 I’ve been thinking about all of the “back-to-school” photos on Facebook. The ritual seems to be getting more formal. A lot of this year’s photos include kids holding signs indicating their grade. The proudest of parents usually post an earlier year picture to show how much aging has occurred as the years have advanced.

Pictures that take us from a pint-sized, front-tooth-missing first grader directly to the lanky, awkward high school senior provide a stark contrast. However, the more enterprising parents — those that post every year’s photos side by side — offer a different story. In this case, the progress is obvious. It isn’t even a big stretch to envision what the young adult might look like next year, given all of the context. The difference is in the data.

In June and August 2015, MHA published two reports on asthma, finding that the condition is the most commonly diagnosed chronic condition for Missouri children. Asthma ranks third behind accidental injury and poisoning for pediatric emergency department visits. Unlike the accidents and poisoning, asthma is a manageable chronic condition. Looking at recent Hospital Industry Data Institute pediatric ED use for asthma in the St. Louis region for 2018, the highest rates were in early September. Just as kids were headed back to school, ED asthma use spiked.

Asthma Chart HIDI currently doesn’t offer predictive modeling for pediatric asthma. However, the data made me wonder what the future may hold. Once we can harness the power of past utilization trends to identify historical timing of peaks and troughs, we will be empowered to marshal resources to manage the condition more efficiently.

In the second of the two 2015 MHA reports, several innovations designed to improve the health outcomes and quality of life for children with asthma were detailed. With better predictive power, would additional engagement with school nurses or parents, reminders about rescue medications during the transition to the classroom, or other tactics, improve asthma management and reduce ED visits? Will the trend data help us understand the “why” in pediatric ED spikes? Will we be able to establish that the timing is caused by environmental factors, such as allergy season, dust from harvest in rural areas, changes in the weather or kids moving inside after a summer outside?

The University of Missouri Health Asthma ECHO program has experts from throughout the state educating other providers that can disseminate best practices throughout the system. By connecting the treatment experts to the data experts, it will be possible to not only deliver the best practices, but also get them in the right hands when they are most likely to make a difference.

A smarter health care system would improve lives and save costs — directly and indirectly. Asthma is a nuisance at best and life threatening at worst. Chronic asthma management saves expensive ED interventions, and reduces student absenteeism and parent time away from work.

It’s been said that humans are great at making predictions as long as they aren’t about the future. Just like the kids in the school photos, we know that as our world gets smarter and more connected, the future is full of promise. Big data, backed by experts who can raise awareness at just the right time, may be just the nudge patients, providers and community stakeholders need to make a difference on asthma and other conditions.

Would you rather predict the future or change it?

Send me a note to let me know what you are thinking.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
DHHS Proposes Looser Restrictions On Substance Abuse Treatment Records
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
Analytic Tool Available To Assess Wage Index Reclassification For FFY 2021
AgriSafe Nurse Scholar Program Available

Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care

DHHS Proposes Looser Restrictions On Substance Abuse Treatment Records

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon or Jane Drummond

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released proposed regulations that would relax the extra confidentiality restrictions applied to records of substance abuse treatment. The proposal will officially be published on Monday, Aug. 26, triggering a 60-day comment period.

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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.

  • Quality Payment Program exception applications
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System Patient Driven Payment Model: Get ready for implementation on Tuesday, Oct. 1
  • Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings: Upcoming enhancement
  • Promoting interoperability: 2019 program requirements for hospitals

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HIDI Tech Connect

Analytic Tool Available To Assess Wage Index Reclassification For FFY 2021

Staff Contact: Shane VanOverschelde

Available to HIDI Premier Reporting subscribers, HIDI offers an analytics tool allowing hospitals to test their potential ability to achieve a Medicare hospital wage index reclassification, as well as assess whether or not to pursue reclassification in the future. To be reclassified for federal fiscal year 2021, applications must be submitted to the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board by Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Hospitals interested in subscribing to the HIDI Premier Report Package available on HIDI Analytic Advantage® should review the package information. Current subscribers with questions about downloading files should contact HIDI.

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Workforce News

AgriSafe Nurse Scholar Program Available

Staff Contact: Jill Williams

Through its Nurse Scholar program, AgriSafe offers a distance learning opportunity available to rural nurses provided by experienced health and safety educators. Participants will increase their knowledge base in prevention, identification and assessment of diseases related to agricultural work exposures. Classes are in the form of webinars that can be viewed live or on demand.

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Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

August 19, 2019
CMS To Update Hospital Star Ratings In 2020
CDC Releases 2018 Update On Antibiotic Use In The U.S.
CMS Announces IPFQR Education Session

August 21, 2019
OIG Faults Collection Of Medicaid Data On Opioid Prescribing
CBO Releases Federal Deficit Projection
MHA Distributes Wage And Occupational Mix Data For Review
CMS Issues Clarification On CAH Provider Locations
PFAC Releases Part Three In Vlog Series
HRSA Announces Funding Opportunity

Consider This ...

During 2012-2016, an estimated average of 34,800 HPV-attributable cancers were diagnosed each year. Of these, 92 percent were attributable to the HPV types that are included in the HPV vaccine and could be prevented if HPV vaccine recommendations were followed.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention