MHA Today | March 20, 2020

March 20, 2020
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

linkedin twitter facebook
March 20, 2020

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

COVID-19 Updates


For the latest updates and most current information on coronavirus disease 2019, visit MHA's website.


Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEOBy now, we all know that COVID-19 is a novel virus; we have no natural immunity. The American Heritage Dictionary’s primary definition of “novel” relates to fiction writing. The second common usage relates to COVID-19 — defining novel as, “Strikingly new, unusual or different.” That’s certainly true for the virus itself. However, the local, state, national and international response to contain the virus strains the bounds of the term novel. I would suggest a different set of adjectives: unprecedented, game-changing or transformational seem more appropriate.

Last week, The Washington Post offered a graphic simulation about how COVID-19 could spread. The simulation modeled four different strategies, including free-for-all, an attempted quarantine, moderate social distancing and extensive social distancing. The least disruptive option results in a sharp peak in cases; the most disruptive — extensive social distancing — offers the greatest opportunity to “flatten the curve.” As a community of hospitals, we understand that the flatter we can make the curve, the greater our chance of addressing the supply, space, workforce and cost challenges posed by the crisis. Stories from Italy, where caregivers are making gut-wrenching decisions about limited resources and excess demand, are instructive of what an unmitigated disaster looks like.

Time matters. In the coming weeks, we will have a better sense of where we are in our timing and the scale of the challenge in Missouri. However, many of the measures needed to mitigate a worse-case scenario are public health measures, not clinical measures.

Missouri is beginning to make hard but necessary choices. Schools and businesses are closing, events are being cancelled, and we’re beginning to understand the new normal — life in a time of novel virus. Much work remains.

At the same time, this has been a watershed week for the health care and hospital communities. Many of the regulatory tools needed to continue to serve are being delivered through the state and federal government. Last week’s emergency declarations have expanded our capacity to continue in the near term, and additional flexibility and supplies are creating a needed bridge. I appreciate hospitals’ help in explaining the real, on-the-front-lines perspective to the decisionmakers in Jefferson City and Washington, D.C.

Despite the new reality, our emergency planning and response systems are working effectively. No one hospital or health system has the capacity to address a crisis of this scope — just as no community, state or nation can singularly manage the crisis. The essential coordination between our hospitals and with our response partners is producing, and will continue to accrue, dividends for our patients and communities.

The challenges remain manifold. Hospitals will experience clinical, operational and fiscal difficulties that are ongoing. Our communities will look to us for leadership and hope. Nonetheless, we know that it will get worse before it gets better.

We’re working with you to remove the impediments to mitigation and continued care. Every day, we’re sending the new resources through a separate COVID-19 email to ensure that the information is placed in the hands of the leaders who can use it most effectively.

MHA is engaging our partners in health care, public health, government, advocacy and business to educate them and help them understand how to take action. These efforts are designed to clear the way for hospitals to fulfill their missions.

Just 100 years ago, two stories of how an epidemic can unfold were exemplified in Missouri — in St. Louis and Kansas City during the Spanish flu. At the time, the measures taken by the public health officials in St. Louis were considered a “bold step.” They are the identical measures being requested by public health officials today. They made a difference. St. Louis had the lowest death rate among the 10 largest cities in the nation. What is past is prologue.

Keep up the magnificent work. Please identify impediments and help MHA find solutions.

As we tell our children and grandchildren about the work we are doing now, let’s continue to work toward a future where we explain these days as novel rather than transformational.

Let me know what you’re thinking.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
MHA Releases Analysis Of The Medicare Inpatient VBP And HAC Programs, Quality Trends Reports
Missouri Medicaid Modifies Eligibility Processes For Incarcerated Participants
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
TJC Announces Upcoming Webinars Regarding CY 2020 Direct Data Submission Platform

state and federal health policy developments

MHA Releases Analysis Of The Medicare Inpatient VBP And HAC Programs, Quality Trends Reports

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

MHA is providing an analysis of the Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System Value-Based Purchasing program, the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program and the quality program measures trend reports. The VBP and Hospital-Acquired Condition reports apply to IPPS hospitals and include estimated Medicare payment adjustments. The quality program measures trend reports are provided for both IPPS and critical access hospitals.

MHA has free, on-demand webinars about the Medicare pay-for-performance programs. Policy and analytic studies, prepared for distribution by the Hospital Industry Data Institute, are available for download to authorized users of HIDI Analytic Advantage®.

Back To Top


Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care

Missouri Medicaid Modifies Eligibility Processes For Incarcerated Participants

Staff Contact: Brian Kinkade

Missouri Medicaid has implemented a state law that requires MO HealthNet eligibility to be suspended rather than terminated when MO HealthNet eligible participants are incarcerated. The Missouri Department of Corrections and city, county, and private jails are responsible for notifying the Department of Social Services that a MO HealthNet participant is incarcerated. The change in policy will promote a more timely and efficient resumption of coverage when the participant is released.

Back To Top

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.

  • IRF, LTCH and Hospice provider reports: review your data by April 13
  • Quality payment program: 2020 facility-based status
  • Provider minute video: the importance of proper documentation
  • IRF and LTCH compare refresh

Back To Top


Quality and Population Health

TJC Announces Upcoming Webinars Regarding CY 2020 Direct Data Submission Platform

Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost

As previously announced by The Joint Commission, all accredited hospitals will use the TJC direct data submission platform to submit calendar year 2020 electronic clinical quality measures and chart-abstracted measures data. TJC is offering a two-part webinar series that will include, among other topics, an overview of the DDSP, onboarding processes and any updates for eCQMs and chart-abstracted measures. TJC encourages staff that work with eCQMs to attend both sessions. The second session primarily will be focused on chart-abstracted data submission.

  • Part 1 — 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 21
  • Part 2 — 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 9
Registration is required and available at the noted links.

Back To Top


Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

March 16, 2020
HIDI Posts Hospital Profile Report Online
MHA Highlights SDOH Screening Tools In Recent Report

March 18, 2020
State House Advances FRA Reauthorization Legislation
CMS Updates 2020 QRDA I
St. Luke’s Hospital Names Interim President And CEO

Consider This ...

Last year, an estimated 6,179 people in Missouri didn’t have a stable place to call home, according to a 2019 federal government report on homelessness. Of those, 707 were family households; 488 were veterans; and 477 were young adults, ages 18-24.

Source: The Kansas City Star