MHA Today | May 1, 2020

May 1, 2020
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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May 1, 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 & CEOEarlier this week, Gov. Parson announced that Missouri would move forward with a phased reopening plan, beginning next week. I attended the briefing on Monday and talked about the hospital community’s efforts. The governor indicated it would look more like turning a dial than flipping a switch. That’s good news. Many Missouri communities less affected by COVID-19 will follow the state’s guidance and begin to phase in their reopening effort. Others, especially Missouri’s harder-hit metros, will follow as they continue to bend and flatten the curve.

As part of the effort to move forward, many hospitals are exploring reopening medically necessary, elective services. As this happens, our priority will be to ensure that the state’s testing rate increases, PPE remains adequate and the virus’ trajectory stays flat – taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of patients, visitors, physicians, nurses and all other employees and, of course, our communities. We’ve developed resources to help hospitals in their reopening efforts, including guidance on reestablishing elective procedures, and communication tools to remind the public that hospitals are open, safe for care and available for them 24-7. That includes billboards with messages being rolled out statewide starting yesterday.

Early this week, the Missouri General Assembly returned to Jefferson City. The Missouri House has completed its approval of the budget and the Missouri Senate will debate the budget on Monday. Notable for hospitals, the House removed an outpatient fee-schedule provision that we project would have reduced payments by as much as $100 million.

Missouri House and Senate committees advanced legislation on COVID-19 related liability protections, mid-week. This is an important step. We’re working hard to keep the legislation moving and free of problematic amendments as it moves forward.

Earlier today, the campaign to place Medicaid expansion on the ballot delivered voter signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office. This marks an important milestone in the campaign. More Missourians will need access to coverage as we move forward. Low-income Missourians have been hit hard economically by COVID-19, and Medicaid expansion will help create a bridge to care in the future as we move toward recovery and prosperity.

Next week, we’ll be rolling out several new reports. First, MHA has been analyzing hospital finances to establish what the future might hold. It’s clear that the COVID-19 crisis has hit hospital revenues hard. This data will project expectations for hospital finance throughout 2020.

Second, we’ll be releasing data on how COVID-19 has influenced communities — with a focus on disparities. There has been significant reporting on hard-hit populations. This analysis can help shape Missouri hospitals’ planning and resource allocation in communities they serve.

Finally, National Nurses Week begins next week, and National Hospital Week begins next weekend. There has seldom been a time more necessary and appropriate to recognize the work of our nurses or the importance of our hospitals. MHA will be sharing our resources next week, and where possible we will share your stories as well.

Keep doing what you do. Let me know how MHA can help.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO

Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue
Missouri Secretary Of State Receives Signatures For Medicaid Expansion
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
MHA Statewide PFAC Celebrates Patient Experience Week – Living Out Person-Centered Care

state and federal health policy developments

Missouri Secretary Of State Receives Signatures For Medicaid Expansion

Staff Contact: Mary Becker

Missouri Secretary Of State Receives Signatures For Medicaid Expansion Today, 350,000 signatures — more than twice the required number — on 62,000 petition pages from Missouri registered voters were delivered to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office in Jefferson City to place Medicaid expansion on the ballot in November. This is the culmination of many months of effort by volunteers and others. The campaign to promote expansion now begins in earnest. You can stay up to date on the campaign by following Healthcare for Missouri on Facebook or Twitter.

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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.

  • CMS adds new COVID-19 clinical trials improvement activity to the quality payment program
  • Infection control guidance to home health agencies on COVID-19
  • Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program: become a Medicare enrolled supplier
  • COVID-19 events
    • Lessons from the front-lines calls – May 1 and May 8
    • Home health and hospice call – May 5
    • Office house call – May 5
    • Nursing home call – May 6

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Patient Experience Week – Living Out Person-Centered Care

Staff Contact: Alison Williams

The patient experience throughout the past two months has changed drastically – from visitor policy restrictions and holds on elective procedures, to fear of reporting to the emergency department for critical health issues. However, Missouri health care workers and hospitals have responded – stepping up to provide a safe and clean environment for care, ensuring PPE supplies are used appropriately, and serving as surrogate, supportive “family” to critically ill patients. The concept of person-centered care has never been more courageously demonstrated.

MHA’s Statewide Patient Family Advisory Council recommends the following resources to create stronger systems to support an exceptional patient experience – not only during a pandemic, but every day.

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Consider This ...

"Mayday" the distress call comes from the French term m'aidez, which means "help me" and is unrelated to the May Day holiday celebrated annually on May 1.