MHA Today | October 25, 2019

October 25, 2019

MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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October 25, 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 & CEOA community’s “connectedness” can determine its future. The history of the American west begins in St. Louis, Kansas City and St. Joseph, Missouri — the departure point for river and trail travelers. Later, rails created hub-and-spoke networks that drove commerce and population, nationwide. The Interstate- and state-highway systems connected cities small and large, and spurred growth in the linked communities along the way. Many of the communities disconnected from these arteries faced challenges to their vitality — they were bypassed.

Certainly, it still serves communities well to be on a major hub of transportation. However, we live in an era where virtual connectivity is as, or perhaps more important than, river, rail or concrete. Rural — and even certain neighborhoods in urban communities  can’t access the broadband internet connections that underpin much of modern life and are left out.

Panelists discuss broadband at the University of Missouri Office of Extension and Engagement event. Thursday, I participated in a panel discussion about broadband in Missouri. The event was sponsored by the University of Missouri Office of Extension and Engagement, and included U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, state agency heads and other stakeholders — including the Missouri Farm Bureau and MHA.

I was surprised that — to a person — the panelists considered better access to health care services for rural Missourians as a prime benefit of extended broadband. Marshall Stewart, University of Missouri’s Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement, said, “If you go to any community where you have good education and good economic prosperity, I will show you one which typically also has good health care access. If you go to one where there is exceptional health care access, you’re typically going to find the other two aspects are going well, too. We’ve reset Extension outreach around those three pillars.”
Marshall Stewart
The benefit of increasing broadband access in rural areas is abundantly clear. It connects communities with assets otherwise not sustainable, and it creates new opportunities within education, the workforce and the economy. Broadband also creates new opportunities for improved health and health care.

A digital connection can expand access to health care services not available locally. Through telehealth, remote monitoring and better access to patients’ electronic health assets, we can extend the reach of the health system to bring additional convenience and improved quality while controlling costs to patients and the health system.

All Missouri hospitals are connected to a degree, and most indicate they have a good to very good connection. However, broadband dead zones and a lack of interconnectivity can hamper hospitals’ efforts to reach into patients’ homes — in both urban and rural areas — limiting remote monitoring. Even with institutional connections, some rural hospitals don’t have the bandwidth to support real-time two-way connections. This is important because it not only limits opportunities for telehealth support of patient care, but the mentoring, engagement and professional development opportunities available through Show-Me ECHO and other programs.

We know that 30% of Missourians live in rural areas, but only 9% of physicians practice there. Broadband and telemedicine could expand the reach of rural and urban providers, generating access in the most remote parts of the state.

Gov. Mike Parson has made broadband expansion part of his agenda. It has been a pillar of MHA's Reimagine Rural Health initiative as well. Missouri is currently 41st nationally in broadband, so a lot of work remains.

We live in a time of wearable health improvement technology — an iWatch may have told you to stand up while you were reading this column — and overnight delivery of goods and services. In an era when we define “connectedness” as virtual versus physical, broadband is the key to the future of health in both urban and rural communities.

Send me a note to let me know what you’re thinking.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
Spencer Fane Provides Guidance To Hospitals For Medicaid Expansion Campaign
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
JAMA Publishes HHS Clinical Guide For Tapering Long-Term Opioid Analgesics
CMS Releases First Annual Substance Use Disorder Data Book
Ellett Memorial Hospital Names New CEO
Dubois Leaving Mosaic Life Care At St. Joseph Medical Center

2019 MHA Convention & Trade Show

state and federal health policy developments

Spencer Fane Provides Guidance To Hospitals For Medicaid Expansion Campaign

Staff Contact: Jane Drummond

In response to member inquiries, MHA obtained a guidance document from the Spencer Fane law firm to assist hospitals in assuring activities to support the Medicaid expansion ballot initiative comply with state and federal law. Laws regulating public and nonprofit hospitals may impact the ways in which those facilities participate in the campaign. A copy of the document was mailed to hospital CEOs this week. MHA urges members with legal concerns about campaign activities to contact their legal counsel.

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Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care

MLN Connects Provider eNews Available

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issues updates to MLN Connects Provider eNews. 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.

  • New Medicare card: claim reject codes after Jan. 1
  • Medicare diabetes prevention program: become a Medicare enrolled supplier
  • ICD-10 vaping coding guidance
  • Take Medicare fraud, waste and abuse fighting further, through innovation

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Quality and Population Health

JAMA Publishes HHS Clinical Guide For Tapering Long-Term Opioid Analgesics

Staff Contact: Shawn Billings or Tiffany Bowman

To mitigate the risks of long-term opioid use, clinicians and patients should regularly reevaluate the effectiveness of opioid therapy for managing chronic pain. Because of the growing success of nonopioid strategies for effective pain relief, tapering or discontinuing opioids under the supervision of a physician may be a helpful approach. The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published guidance to help clinicians reduce risks and improve outcomes related to opioid dose reduction and discontinuation.

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CMS Releases First Annual Substance Use Disorder Data Book

Staff Contact: Shawn Billings or Tiffany Bowman

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released the first annual Substance Use Disorder Data Book. This is a publicly available compendium of the number of Medicaid beneficiaries with an SUD diagnosis and the services received. This report includes data on diagnosis, enrollment type and treatment service utilization with national- and state-level summaries. By cataloging the prevalence of SUD in the Medicaid beneficiary population and the services provided for the treatment of SUD, the Data Book was developed to address the pressing need for SUD treatment and prevention services, with a focus on opioid use. Data are provided in tabular form for calendar year 2017, which is the most recent complete year of T-MSIS enrollment and claims data available.

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CEO Announcements

Ellett Memorial Hospital Names New CEO

Staff Contact: Carol Boessen

Laura Smith was named CEO of Ellett Memorial Hospital in Appleton City, effective Oct. 24. She has worked in patient care at Ellett Memorial Hospital since 2008, previously serving as chief nursing officer, and was named interim CEO April 1, 2019, when Julie Tootle resigned. A list of CEO changes is available online.

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Dubois Leaving Mosaic Life Care At St. Joseph Medical Center

Staff Contact: Carol Boessen

Brady Dubois, president of Mosaic Life Care at St. Joseph Medical Center, announced his resignation, effective Friday, Nov. 22. He has accepted the CEO position at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind. Dubois has served as president of Mosaic Life Care at St. Joseph Medical Center since January 2016. A list of CEO changes is available online.

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Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

October 21, 2019
MHD To Enforce NPI Requirement For Claims Submissions
Missouri DHSS, NACDD And Leavitt Partners To Host A Diabetes Prevention Meeting
CMS Announces IPFQR Education Session

October 23, 2019
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

Consider This ...

In Missouri, 667 patients received a blood stem cell transplant between 2013 and 2018.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch