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MHA Today | November 20, 2020



MHA Today

MHA Today is provided as a service to members of the Missouri Hospital Association.

Past issues are available in the Media Library.


Every day this week, we’ve featured a spotlight in our daily publications exemplifying the good work going on at Missouri’s rural hospitals. This week is National Rural Hospital Week. It’s clear — now more than ever — rural hospital are essential institutions.

Rural hospitals and rural health care providers have distinct differences from their urban and suburban counterparts. However, their goals are similar — provide high-quality care, close to home, while improving the health of the communities they serve.

During the COVID-19 crisis, many rural hospitals experienced the first wave much later than metro hospitals. And, fewer rural communities had restrictions. As COVID-19 reached rural Missouri, the transmission rate exploded, creating a significant surge for rural hospitals throughout the past two months. However, it is important to note that Missouri’s rural hospitals have been in the fight since the beginning — they eliminated electives at the same time as other hospitals and have been facing similar supply and workforce challenges.

Coalition for Healthy Missouri CommunitiesBeginning Tuesday, MHA and a coalition of stakeholders will be rolling out a campaign to help take the pressure off all hospitals. You can preview the campaign, including the first of two TV ads, at www.healthymocommunities.com. It encourages Missourians to view the recommended public health measures as tools in the fight against the virus, and reminds them that wearing a mask, social distancing and practicing hand hygiene are acts that not only protect them individually, but also protect their community. Every Missourian must be part of the solution. The challenges in the clinical space relate to the infection rate. As a result, every Missourian is on the front line of the crisis.

The next several weeks will be very difficult. Hospitals throughout the state already are at the bursting point. Since hospitalization is a lagging indicator, we can expect the current surge to continue into December. The arrival of fall and colder weather, flu season, and the holidays — where despite recommendations for caution, many will gather in small groups — may extend the surge into the new year.

Our hope is that reframing the debate about masking and other precautions will help increase participation in our collective goal of reducing the infection rate. The coalition’s partnership is diverse and includes the Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, MU Extension, and the Missouri Retailers Association, among others. Missouri’s health care and long-term care associations are participating as well.

What COVID-19 has taught us is that we’re stronger together. Our hospitals and health systems are working collaboratively in ways that would have been hard to envision last year. And, our partners in other sectors and industries are standing beside us in efforts to reduce infection rates.

The Missouri State Flag says, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” Hospitals increasingly realize this — rural or urban, system or independent, small or large — we’re in this together. Next week, our campaign will share why it’s true for all Missourian as we head into the winter months.

Let me know what you’re thinking.

Herb Kuhn, MHA President & CEO



Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO

In This Issue

Coalition For Healthy Missouri Communities To Launch COVID-19 Public Awareness Campaign
Pfizer And BioNTech To Submit EUA Request Today
CMS Issues Most Favored Nation Model Interim Final Rule To Reduce Drug Cost
CMS Finalizes Stark Law Reforms
CMS Price Transparency Resources And Webcast Available
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available

COVID-19 Updates
Regulatory News
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