MHA Today | March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020


MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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

In This Issue
MHA Suspends 2020 Aim For Excellence, Trustee Of The Year And Visionary Leadership Awards
Details Of Congressional COVID-19 Legislative Accord Emerge
Missouri Medicaid Caseload Rebounds In February
MHA Highlights SDOH Screening Tools In Recent Report
TJC Extends Deadline For 2020 Pioneers In QualityTM Proven Practices Program

COVID-19 Updates


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


MHA Suspends 2020 Aim For Excellence, Trustee Of The Year And Visionary Leadership Awards

Staff Contact: Leslie Porth, Ph.D. or Dana Dahl

Because of the exceptional burden COVID-19 is placing on hospital and health system staff, MHA will be suspending the 2020 Aim for Excellence, Trustee of the Year and Visionary Leadership Awards. While we believe these awards are important to recognize the outstanding work that individuals and hospitals are doing, we also understand how valuable your time is — especially now. Our goal is to reduce the burden for hospitals and health systems as they focus on operational and community-centered needs.

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state and federal health policy developments

Details Of Congressional COVID-19 Legislative Accord Emerge

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote sometime today on a major COVID-19 stimulus legislative proposal that has emerged from lengthy negotiations. Final technical details are being worked through, but the text and a summary of the pending legislation provide insight into its components.

The bill provides for $100 billion in financial assistance to health care providers for COVID-19-related expenses and lost revenues, as well as a temporary suspension of Medicare sequestration from May through the end of December. It also would boost Medicare payments for treating COVID-19 patients by 20%, delay pending reductions in states’ allocations of federal funding to support Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments, and clarify telemedicine requirements and payments for rural health clinics as a site of service.

Based on the March 23 MHA membership call with Missouri’s U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, two important changes were added to the final bill. One clarifies that the funding from the $100 billion fund for health care providers will be allocated on a rolling basis rather than the ordinary process of processing grant disbursements. This will permit quicker distribution of funds. Also, as described in section 3719 of the summary document, the bill includes an expansion of the accelerated Medicare payment program known as periodic interim payments. It allows hospitals to receive advance payments based on prior period payments, with a higher payment limit for critical access hospitals.

MHA deeply appreciates the responsiveness of Senators Blunt and Hawley to the concerns raised on the MHA membership conference call.

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Missouri Medicaid Caseload Rebounds In February

Staff Contact: Brian Kinkade

Missouri’s Medicaid caseload increased in February by 1,850 to 848,000. February marked the first increase in the Medicaid caseload since October 2019. Despite the increase, the current caseload is 5% lower than this time last year, and nearly 15% lower than April 2017 when nearly 1 million Missourians were covered by the program. Children account for most of the drop in the caseload.

Governor Parson recently announced that Medicaid redeterminations will be suspended, and the Family First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law by President Trump on March 18 prohibits states from removing persons from Medicaid coverage during the duration of the COVID-19 crisis unless they move out of the state. The federal prohibition is a condition of the state receiving federal relief in the form of a 6.2% increase in the federal matching funds rate. These changes, coupled with the anticipated sharp decline in economic activity portend increasing Medicaid case counts in the months to come.

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Quality and Population Health

Trajectories - Social Determinants of Health MHA Highlights SDOH Screening Tools In Recent Report

Staff Contact: Stephen Njenga

Improving the health of individuals and communities at large requires hospitals and health systems to utilize standardized processes for screening, documenting and coding for social determinants of health. Integrating screening tools when treating patients ensures that more holistic care is provided as a first step in identifying nonmedical barriers to a patient’s health, while addressing associated gaps.

Programs like the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program resulted in safety-net providers being subjected to significantly higher financial penalties, driven primarily by patients with higher social complexity. Hospitals treating patients with lower socioeconomic advantage were penalized disproportionately due to a lack of risk adjustment.

The March 2020 issue of Trajectories highlights several commonly used SDOH screening tools and strategies.

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TJC Extends Deadline For 2020 Pioneers In Quality Proven Practices Program

Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost

As mentioned in the March 4 edition of MHA Today, The Joint Commission Pioneers in QualityTM Proven Practices Program is accepting hospital success stories for recognition in the program. The deadline for submitting applications has been extended to Monday, June 1.

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Consider This ...

Missouri has purchased purchased more than 4.2 million N95 respirators to distribute in support of COVID-19 response.

Source: Jefferson City News Tribune