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November 22, 2013
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Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. Hospitals will be open, and many members of our hospital family will be serving patients rather than turkey and stuffing. That’s what hospitals do. And, as important as this community-supporting role is, I want to talk about another aspect of hospitals’ work in this week’s column — emergency preparedness.
As we visit with family and celebrate the bounty of the season, thousands of our neighbors in Illinois and friends in the Philippines will be working to put their lives back together. Last weekend’s tornado in Illinois and the recent typhoon in the Philippines bring back the terrible images of earlier disasters — in Joplin and in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and superstorm Sandy. They are awesome reminders of the power of nature and the spirit of strong communities to rebuild and define the new normal. Nearly every conceivable disaster has a health component. And, the response to these events is ultimately local and regional. These are the lessons of Joplin, Katrina, Sandy and the disasters since.
Last week, MHA hosted an emergency preparedness tabletop exercise to test Missouri’s capability to coordinate a regional health care response during a winter ice storm — a priority hazard vulnerability identified throughout all regions of Missouri. The participants represented 25 hospitals and their partners from local public health, emergency management, and emergency medical services, and the state Departments of Public Safety and Health and Senior Services. The event was the FEMA Region VII priority exercise for federal fiscal year 2013.
This type of work happens behind the scenes. However, that doesn’t make it any less important. In an emergency, the plans, the equipment and the individuals who know how to put them into action save lives.
Our national framework is designed around “whole community response.” The strategy is that from the household to the national level, we are aware, prepared and resilient.
MHA recently released guidance on building emergency preparedness coalitions in nonurban regions. In these areas, the system is more fragmented, and there’s more need for leadership in bringing together providers, emergency responders and local agencies. It appears to be a first-in-the-nation attempt to provide guidance on this type of effort, and I’m very proud of the work that is being done to bring resources to these areas. We can’t control nature or anticipate when an emergency will occur. We can prepare. Our communities look to us for leadership and care when they confront the unthinkable. Next Thursday, hospitals will be open. That’s something to be thankful for.
Have a great holiday. If you want to share a thought or concern, send me an email.
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Hospitals interested in donations, volunteer assistance and credible organizations supporting international relief efforts in the Philippines, should visit the U.S. Agency for International Development for information. To make a donation for relief efforts for the tornado recovery in Illinois, visit the American Red Cross-Central Illinois Chapter, call 800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
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I would like to congratulate Marcia R. Dial, CEO of Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, for being selected the 2013 Missouri Rural Health Champion by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Her commitment to the hospital, its staff and the Memphis community is unwavering as she works relentlessly to bring high quality health care to Missourians in rural communities.
Congratulations Marcia on this well-deserved honor!
Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO
|Advocate state and federal health policy developments|
Nixon Names Parks As MHD Director
Gov. Jay Nixon today named Joe Parks, M.D., director of the MO HealthNet Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services, effective Dec. 16. Parks, a psychiatrist, currently is the chief medical officer for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Nixon said that Parks’ “experience with public health will be beneficial in helping to ensure that Missouri's Medicaid system is efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of Missourians.” In 2009, Parks received MHA’s Health Policy Leadership Award.
Jennifer Tidball, who has been serving at MHD interim director for the past months, will resume her duties as the director of the Division of Finance and Administrative Services.
Nixon Administration Authorizes Insurers To Restore Cancelled Policies
Gov. Jay Nixon has announced that the Missouri Department of Insurance will allow health insurers to renew policies for 2014 that don’t meet the standards of the federal Affordable Care Act. Responding to a spate of policy cancellations, President Obama recently authorized a “transitional policy” to allow insurers to continue to offer those cancelled plans. States have the option of implementing this policy, and insurers are not obligated to restore cancelled policies. The number of affected policies is speculative; Missouri law does not require insurers to disclose to regulators the number of covered lives affected by cancellation of particular lines of coverage.
|Regulatory News the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care|
CMS Issues New Medicare Rules
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued its final rule governing the Medicare home health PPS for calendar year 2014. CMS also issued a fact sheet on the rule. It also issued a rule on Medicare quality incentives and payments for end-stage renal disease services, durable medical equipment, and prosthetics and orthotics. MHA will provide more details on the rules at a later date.
HSHS Names New Central Illinois Division President
Hospital Sisters Health System in Springfield, Ill., announced that E. J. Kuiper has been named president and CEO of the Central Illinois Division, effective Jan. 6. Kuiper currently is president and CEO of Saint Anthony’s Health System in Alton, Ill., and has served in that role since 2006. St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, Ill., and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, Ill., are part of HSHS.
|Did You Miss An Issue Of MHA Today?|
The following articles were published in this week’s issues of MHA Today and are available online.
November 21, 2013
November 20, 2013
November 19, 2013
November 18, 2013
|Consider This ...|
A very small portion of the U.S. population — just 5 percent — accounts for nearly half of total spending on health care while 20 percent accounts for four-fifths of total spending.
Source: The Commonwealth Fund