MHA Today | March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

linkedin twitter facebook
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 & CEOIf there was ever a week that reinforced the idea that we’re all in this together, it was this week. Unfortunately, we are only at the beginning of this challenge.

Wednesday night, with some very important work for hospitals by Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, a new COVID-19 package was approved. These measures will begin to deliver financial and other support as hospitals try to serve their communities during this public health crisis.

All hospitals are in an era of “new normal” and many smaller hospitals are at significant short-term risk. We’re working on this at the state and federal level, and for the near term and long term. We’re providing updates in our daily, and often twice-daily, updates.

Earlier this week I read a column by Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst. He was commenting on the federal legislative process, and the public dialogue about priorities:

“I'll tell you what I can think about. I can worry about a future in which our local hospital closes. And without some action from Washington, that is very likely to happen. We don’t have much of a local economy. The hospital is the biggest employer in our county, by far. It pays the best wages. It’s a source of pride, and employment, and oh by the way, on the cusp of the greatest health threat we’ve seen around here since 1918, it takes care of sick people as well.

Fear of infection has meant that the main source of cash flow for the hospital, outpatient services, has virtually ended. You can’t blame our mostly elderly populace for staying away when they are told to stay home, to self-quarantine, to protect themselves and others by social distancing. It is likely that they are making the correct decision for their health, and for everyone else’s as well. But hospitals depend on those visits for the majority of their cash flow, and that steady source of business has disappeared overnight. At least 7 other rural hospitals in our area are in the same dire straits. We need help, and we need it now.

It costs thousands for the anesthetic to intubate a victim of COVID-19 who needs a ventilator. Hospitals are being advised to stock personal protective equipment at ten times their normal par levels. Those are costs they didn’t expect in December, inventory that they have never had to have on hand before. What’s the right number of doses to have on hand? How many masks, gowns and respirators will they need? The correct answer, whatever it might be, is costly. I’m sure people in our town expect them not only to be there to treat people who contract the virus, but to have adequate medical supplies.”

The agriculture community, which has already had a very hard year, understands the vital role of hospitals and health care — from an economic perspective and in protecting Missourians’ health.

This wasn’t the only time leaders from other organizations joined with us this week. The Association of Counties, Missouri Bankers Association, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Missouri Farm Bureau, joined health care leaders in encouraging citizens to distance and stay at home. This wasn’t always to the economic advantage of their members. However, it was the right thing to do.

We’re seeing organizations harmed by the growing economic shutdown contribute much-needed supplies and retired members of the workforce rejoin to serve. Again, people are doing the right thing.

I’m reminded of a quote from Winston Churchill, who after a success early in the war reminded his nation of the long struggle ahead. He said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” We’re making important progress. And, that progress will save lives.

Let me know what you’re thinking.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
Congress Completes Enactment Of COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation
CMS Provides CDR For OP-32, OP-35 And OP-36
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available

state and federal health policy developments

Congress Completes Enactment Of COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

The U.S. House of Representatives ratified the Senate version of legislation to address the COVID-19 public health emergency. The President has signed it into law. As reported in previous editions of MHA’s COVID-19 update, there are summaries of the appropriations and statutory components of the full bill and the American Hospital Association published a summary focusing on its more significant health-related aspects.

The bill provides for $100 billion in financial assistance to health care providers “to ensure healthcare providers continue to receive the support they need for COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue,” as well as a temporary suspension of Medicare sequestration. It also would boost Medicare payments for treating COVID-19 patients, 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. Late additions to the bill by Missouri’s U.S. Senators will expedite the flow of funds to hospitals and allow hospitals to receive advance payments based on prior period payments, with a higher payment limit for critical access hospitals.

Back To Top


Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care

CMS Provides CDR For OP-32, OP-35 And OP-36

Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is providing facilities with a Claims Detail Report with information on the following measures for calendar year 2020 payment determination.

  • OP-32: Facility 7-Day Risk-Standardized Hospital Visit Rate after Outpatient Colonoscopy measure
  • OP-35: Admissions and Emergency Department (ED) Visits for Patients Receiving Outpatient Chemotherapy measure
  • OP-36: Hospital Visits after Hospital Outpatient (HOPD) Surgery measure
The CDRs are available for download through the QualityNet secure portal. Additional information is available.

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.

  • Quality reporting program
    - Home Health draft OASIS-E instrument
    - SNF MDS 3.0 v1.18.1 release delayed
  • Medicare diabetes prevention program
    - Become a Medicare enrolled supplier
    - Valid claims

Back To Top


Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?

March 25, 2020
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

Consider This ...

Reseach suggests that 208,307 St. Louis area workers, or 15.6% of the workforce, are in industries that face high risk of job losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch