MHA Today | December 6, 2019

December 6, 2019
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

linkedin twitter facebook
December 6, 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 & CEOYesterday, MHA launched the 2020 Reimagine Rural Health™ agenda. Assembled from core rural health challenges identified at Gov. Parson's Dec. 4, 2018, Rural Health Summit, the Reimagine Rural Health™ agenda provides a framework for engagement on policy change and state investment in improved rural health.

Last year, numerous rural health-related investments included in the reimagine agenda were part of Parson’s budget and legislative agenda. Many of these items were adopted. We made important progress, but there’s a long way to go.

In 2019, we built the agenda around 10 issues. The 2020 agenda centers around three core policies: infrastructure that supports health and health care, the health care workforce, and increased access to primary and behavioral health care. These policy areas connect well with Parson’s larger infrastructure- and workforce-related agenda for Missouri.

Here’s what Parson said about investments in rural health.

Gov. Parson Rural Health Video

“Last year, we invited stakeholders to a rural health summit to help identify the investments and policies needed to reduce health disparities in rural Missouri. After establishing priorities and a strong framework, we began to invest in primary and behavioral health care expansion, in better rural broadband, and in the rural workforce. Rural communities need access to quality health care, and we will continue to promote the policies and investments that make rural Missouri and rural Missourians healthier.”

At the core of the agenda is reducing disparities.

Poor rural infrastructure impedes access to care. Poorer roads can increase the time to care, and the lack of broadband connectivity reduces opportunities to extend the reach of primary, specialty and behavioral health care, and limits the options for seniors to age in place through monitoring technologies.

There simply are too few health care providers in rural Missouri to meet present and future demand. In the short term — through policy changes designed to maximize high-skill practitioners’ skills, recognition that health care travels across state lines and better technology — we can reduce shortages. In the long run, the workforce system’s design must reflect rural-specific workforce challenges and invest in programs to train, place and retain rural health care workers.

It’s essential that Missouri address the profound behavioral health gaps in rural Missouri. MHA has worked with state leaders and stakeholders from throughout rural Missouri to understand and support solutions to the rural behavioral health crisis. State and federal resources continue to arrive to build a stronger framework, but significant gaps remain.

To maintain and strengthen the state’s rural health care system, new ideas are necessary. The Reimagine Rural Health™ agenda is a framework to bring together the people, policies and programs to improve rural health and rural health care.

Parson’s leadership on this issue is essential to success — for hospitals struggling to serve their rural communities and for rural Missourians who need access to health care services. MHA appreciates his attention to, and support of, rural health.

Send me a note to let me know what you think.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
CMS Office Of The Actuary Releases 2018 National Health Expenditures
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
October MUR Available On HIDI Analytic Advantage®
New Research Highlights Buprenorphine In Primary Care
CMS Updates QRDA Resources

state and federal health policy developments

CMS Office Of The Actuary Releases 2018 National Health Expenditures

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the 2018 National Health Expenditures report. Total health care spending grew by 4.6% in 2018, which was slower than the 5.4% overall economic growth, as measured by the gross domestic product. The share of the economy devoted to health spending decreased from 17.9% in 2017 to 17.7% in 2018. As a percent of the total health care spending, 34% was spent by private health insurance plans, 21% was spent by Medicare and 16% was spent by Medicaid. Out-of-pocket spending grew 2.8% to $375.6 billion.

Back To Top


Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care

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.

  • Direct contracting risk-sharing options: submit letter of intent by Tuesday, Dec. 10
  • Quality Payment Program
    • Technical expert panel nominations due Friday, Dec. 20
    • Merit-based Incentive Payment System exception applications due Tuesday, Dec. 31
  • Average sales price files: January 2020
  • Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Reports for short-term acute care hospitals
Back To Top


HIDI Tech Connect

October MUR Available On HIDI Analytic Advantage®

Staff Contact: Cerise Seifert

Data for the October 2019 monthly utilization report have been posted on HIDI Analytic Advantage® and are available to download for distribution or placement in a network folder. HIDI Analytic Advantage® PLUS has been updated to include this data. Contacts from participating hospitals have been notified by email, and they may download and save the Excel worksheet to a secure network location or PC. The data are encrypted on the site and also during the transmission from HIDI. Once the data have been transferred, it must be secured according to the hospital’s security procedures. November 2019 data now are being collected and are scheduled to be available Monday, Jan. 6.

Back To Top


Quality and Population Health

New Research Highlights Buprenorphine In Primary Care

Staff Contact: Shawn Billings or Tiffany Bowman

A new editorial published in the Family Practice journal highlights the use of buprenorphine in primary care. It references a new approach to the “assisted” piece of medication-assisted treatment, which is used to treat opioid use disorder. The document addresses the unintended consequences of increased access to buprenorphine and underscores the need for primary care to provide buprenorphine to patients. One additional key finding speaks to the need for ongoing research to continue expansion of MAT prescribing utilizing evidence-based strategies and approaches.

Back To Top

CMS Updates QRDA Resources

Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated resources to support the Health Level Seven International QRDA I IG Release 1 Standard for Trial Use Release 5.1 errata released in October 2019.

  • 2020 CMS Quality Reporting Document Architecture Category I Implementation Guide for Hospital Quality Reporting
  • Schematron and Sample Files

Additional details are available.

Back To Top


Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

December 2, 2019
Weekly Snapshot: Marketplace Enrollment For Week 4
Timeline Charts Missouri Hospital Quality Improvement Efforts Throughout 20 Years
Free Resources Available For Addressing Opioid Misuse

December 4, 2019
Weekly Snapshot: Marketplace Enrollment For Week 5
OIG Posts Semiannual Report To Congress
CMS Requires Electronic Reporting Of Restraint Death
Hospital Groups Sue Over Price Transparency Rule
CMS Reminds Hospitals Of HCAHPS Submission Deadline
CMS Announces IQR Education Session

Consider This ...

About 6.2 million U.S. middle and high school students were current (past 30-day) users of some type of tobacco product in 2019.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention