MHA Today | October 23, 2019

October 23, 2019


MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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October 23, 2019

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


In This Issue
Premiums For Healthcare.Gov Plans Reduced By 4%
Judge Reaffirms Order For CMS To Stop Site-Neutral Payments
DSS Issues Funding Addendum
CDC Updates Guidelines To Prevent Infections Among Health Care Personnel
Vaping Educational Resources Available
DEA National Drug Take Back Day To Include Vaping Materials
Karl Announces Retirement From Parkland Health Center

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state and federal health policy developments


Premiums For Healthcare.Gov Plans Reduced By 4%

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that the average premium for the second lowest cost silver plan, known as the benchmark plan, for a 27-year-old will drop by 4% for the 2020 coverage year. CMS also states that 20 more insurers will be participating in states that use the Federal Health Insurance Exchange platform in 2020. HHS Secretary Alex Azar stated, “Lower costs and more options for American patients are a key piece of President Trump’s health care vision: an affordable, patient-centric system that puts you in control and treats you like a person, not a number. The president has delivered lower costs and more options under the Affordable Care Act for two straight years…” In Missouri, the number of insurers increased from four to seven, and the average benchmark premium for a 27-year-old decreased 3.45%.

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Judge Reaffirms Order For CMS To Stop Site-Neutral Payments

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer reaffirmed her past ruling that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services exceeded its authority when it finalized the site-neutral payment reductions. The judge ordered to reverse Medicare payment cuts for hospital outpatient clinic visits, rejecting efforts to reduce rates to align with the lower physician office reimbursement rates.

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DSS Issues Funding Addendum

Staff Contact: Sarah Willson or Brian Kinkade

The Missouri Department of Social Services Victims of Crime Unit issued two addendums to a recently released Notice of Funding Opportunity related to human trafficking victim services and hospital-based victim advocacy. The addendums extend the application due date to mid-November giving hospitals additional time to complete the application. Additional information, including fillable forms for submitting applications/proposals, can be found on the DSS website.

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Quality and Population Health


CDC Updates Guidelines To Prevent Infections Among Health Care Personnel

Staff Contact: Jackie Gatz or Keri Barclay

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its 1998 guidelines related to the prevention and control of infections in the health care setting, including special considerations associated with emergency response personnel and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Developed for health care leaders and occupational health staff, the updated guidelines include expanded guidance on policies and procedures, and apply to a broader range of health care settings, including hospitals, and long-term care and outpatient settings. The new information supports resource allocations and the use of performance measures to track and guide quality improvement initiatives to prevent and control infections.

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Vaping Educational Resources Available

Staff Contact: Shawn Billings or Tiffany Bowman

The Public Law Health Center is providing a free webinar for states and Tribes examining best practices to address the vaping epidemic. This 30-minute webinar will take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, and will offer a state-by-state update on strategies implemented to address this public health crisis. Additional details and registration is available.

MHA also is offering a complimentary vaping webinar on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 10 a.m. to address the impact of electronic smoking devices. Attendees will learn about the new generation of e-cigarettes and the risk factors associated with them. Information on prevention and treatment for those trying to quit also will be provided. To learn more about tools to address vaping, visit MHA’s website.

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DEA National Drug Take Back Day To Include Vaping Materials

Staff Contact: Shawn Billings

This year, the National Drug Take Back Day, taking place Saturday, Oct. 26, will include vaping materials. Along with prescription medicines, the Drug Enforcement Administration will collect vaping devices and liquids; however, the device batteries must be removed before disposal. To learn more or find a collection site, visit the Take Back Day website.

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CEO Announcements


Karl Announces Retirement From Parkland Health Center

Staff Contact: Carol Boessen

Thomas “Tom” Karl, president of Parkland Health Center in Farmington and Bonne Terre, announced his plans to retire, effective April 1, 2020. He has served as president of Parkland Health Center for 11 years and has been with the hospital and BJC HealthCare for 35 years. Karl joined the hospital in 1985 as chief financial officer and assistant administrator. A list of CEO changes is available online.

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Consider This ...

Among 1,358 patients with lung injury cases associated with e-cigarette use, 70% were male and 79% were under age 35.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention