Summary of 2007 HHS Omnibus Bill

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Budget changes for the 2008 – 2009 biennium for MDH

Governor Pawlenty signed the Health and Human Services Omnibus Budget Bill on May 25, 2007. The bill makes the following adjustments to the MDH budget in the next biennium:

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness: ($4.085 million in the first biennium, $200,000 for the second biennium). This includes $3.97 million of one-time funding to improve the state's preparedness for pandemic influenza through the purchase of antivirals and the stockpiling of medical and health care supplies. The balance of the funding is for other preparedness activities.

e-Health Grants and Revolving Loan Fund: ($14 million from the Health Care Access fund in the first biennium). This one-time funding is for investments in health information technology to improve patient safety, interconnect clinicians and communities and strengthen and improve public health in Minnesota. Funding is for grants and loans (a revolving loan fund is established to help providers finance electronic health record systems). In addition, all hospitals and health care providers are required to implement interoperable electronic health records by January 1, 2015. MDH will develop the statewide plan for meeting the 2015 mandate.

Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange: ($500,000 in the first biennium from the Department of Human Services). This is one-time funding to study how a health insurance exchange would operate. The Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange is intended to be a single place where Minnesotans shopping for individual insurance coverage can go to easily and comparatively shop for coverage.

Governor’s Health Care Transformation Task Force: ($170,000 from the Health Care Access fund in the first biennium). Governor Pawlenty will convene a 17-member panel of health care experts to develop a plan to transform the health care system to improve affordability, quality, access and health status.

MERC (medical education): ($12.5 million in the first biennium and $4 million in the second biennium). This is one-time transition funding for Mayo Clinic to support the clinical training of physicians while a new MERC distribution formula is implemented. Changes are made to the MERC distribution formula so that it is solely based on each facility’s Medicaid volume.

Disease Surveillance: ($2 million in the first biennium). This one-time funding is to begin modernizing our infectious disease reporting system, and to include occupational and residential histories in our cancer surveillance database.

Laboratory Operations: ($1.239 million in the first biennium; $1.362 million in the second biennium). This funding will support the lease and operating costs at the lab building.

Tuberculosis: ($400,000 in the first biennium). This funding is to respond to the increased incidence of TB in the state, specifically multi-drug resistant TB.

Home Visiting: ($8.8 million of TANF funds in the first biennium; $9.154 million in the second biennium). This appropriation will increase funding available to Community Health Boards and Tribal Governments for home visiting services to $16.8 million. The Family Home Visiting Program is designed to foster healthy beginnings, improve pregnancy outcomes, promote school readiness, prevent child abuse and neglect, reduce juvenile delinquency, promote positive parenting and resiliency in children, and promote family health and economic self-sufficiency for children and families.

Health Care Access Survey: ($600,000 from the Health Care Access fund in each biennium). This funding will allow MDH to conduct a health insurance survey of Minnesota households, in partnership with the University of Minnesota.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: ($1 million in each biennium). This appropriation will increase funding for the prevention of, and intervention for, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders to $1.6 million annually.

Loan Forgiveness: ($800,000 from the SGSR fund in the next biennium). This funding is to continue, for two more years, a loan repayment program that was set to expire at the end of the next biennium.

MN ENABL (teen pregnancy prevention) Funding for MN ENABL was reduced by $440,000 for the biennium.

Family Planning Grants: ($2.312 million each biennium). This funding restores the family planning grants to fiscal year 2003 levels.

Hearing Aid and Instrument Loan Bank: ($140,000 each biennium). This funding is for a grant to support the administrative costs associated with a statewide hearing aid and instrument loan bank to families with children (aged birth to 10) who are newly diagnosed with hearing loss.

Deaf and Heard of Hearing Loss Support: ($199,000 in the first biennium only). This one-time funding is to provide family support and assistance to families with children who are deaf or have a hearing loss.

Suicide Prevention: ($480,000 in the first biennium, $290,000 in the second biennium). This funding is for a suicide prevention program.

Federally Qualified Health Centers: ($3 million from the Health Care Access fund each biennium). This funding is to support federally qualified health centers to offset uncompensated care costs.

Uniform Administrative Health Care Transactions: ($292,000 from the Health Care Access fund in the first biennium; $292,000 from the General Fund in the second biennium). This funding provides resources to support administrative simplification and to establish and implement uniform electronic transaction standards for health plans and providers. All health care payers and providers doing business in Minnesota are required to use electronic methods for all claims and eligibility transactions. Paper claims and eligibility transactions can no longer be exchanged in Minnesota after January 15, 2009.
 
Community Initiative to Cover the Uninsured: ($300,000 in the first biennium). This one-time funding is for planning grants to community collaboratives for comprehensive proposals to provide affordable health care to uninsured and underinsured individuals with chronic health conditions.

Pediatric Medical Home Project: ($1 million from the Health Care Access fund in the first biennium). This one-time funding is to expand the medical home learning collaborative initiative for children with special health needs. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the Department of Human Services, and a report to the legislature is due 1/15/10.
 
AIDS Prevention Initiative: ($250,000 in the first biennium). This one-time funding is for a grant to a nonprofit to augment prevention strategies for foreign-born residents.

Lead Abatement: ($776,000 in the first biennium; $450,000 in the second biennium). CLEARCorps is designated in law as the recipient of lead abatement funds for lead hazard reduction projects and to train workers to provide swab team services for residential property.

Water Standards: ($200,000 in the first biennium). This funding is to establish, by rule, health risk limits for the 10 most commonly detected contaminants in residential water supplies.

PFC Water Treatment Point of Use Evaluation: ($40,000 in the first biennium from the HHS omnibus bill, and up to $600,000 in the first biennium in the Environment omnibus bill). This funding is for a study of point-of-use water filters for eliminating PFC contaminants from drinking water.

Biomonitoring and Environmental Health Tracking: ($1.8 million in the first biennium; up to $1 million in the second biennium; from the Environment omnibus bill). This funding is to implement three biomonitoring pilot projects and an environmental health tracking database, in cooperation with the MPCA and MDA, that will integrate environmental monitoring with chronic disease surveillance data.

Minority and Multicultural Health: (50,000 in the first biennium). This one-time funding is for the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health.

Compensation Adjustment: ($3.04 million in the first biennium; $4.074 million in the second biennium). This funding is to support the salary-related cost increases for MDH employees.

Fee Supported Activity

Long Term Care and Alternatives:  ($822,000 from the SGSR fund in each biennium). This increased appropriation will support improved consumer information and strategic planning in the home care industry; and will help reduce the backlog in the background check review process.

Housing with Services: ($268,000 from the SGSR fund in each biennium). This increased appropriation is to provide improved consumer information.

Mortuary Science: ($122,000 from the SGSR fund in each biennium; and a corresponding revenue increase). This increased appropriation is to maintain current services in the regulation of funeral establishments.

Occupational Therapy: Fees are reduced to bring revenues in line with expenditures.

State Well Program: Fees are increased to maintain current regulatory activities.

Newborn Screening (current program):  ($4.240 million from the SGSR fund in the first biennium; $4.7 million in the second biennium; and a corresponding fee increase). This increased appropriation is to maintain the current newborn metabolic screening program.

Newborn Hearing Screening (new program):  ($2.799 million from the SGSR fund in the first biennium; $2.818 million in the second biennium; and a corresponding fee increase). This appropriation is to establish a mandatory hearing screening and reporting system for newborns and a follow-up intervention program for newborns diagnosed with a hearing loss.  In addition, the commissioner will establish a Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Committee.

Laboratory Specimen Handling: ($102,000 from the SGSR fund each biennium; and a corresponding fee increase). This increased appropriation is to support the processing of specific samples in the public health laboratory.

Doula Registry: ($23,000 from the SGSR fund each biennium). This funding is to implement a new state-wide doula registry.

State Government Special Revenue Fund Transfer: ($7.2 million in the first biennium). This transfer moves non-dedicated and unallocated fee revenue from the State Government Special Revenue Fund into the General Fund to support specified and unspecified General Fund appropriations. MDH will work with the Department of Finance to determine how this transfer affects MDH fee programs.

Summary of policy changes

Capital Expenditure Reporting 62J.17:  Current capital expenditure reporting requirements are streamlined and an annual informational report is added to the law. These new requirements will be incorporated into existing annual data collection. Relevant information about medical facilities’ investment can be tracked in a much more efficient, uniform, and ultimately useful manner.

Hospital Public Interest Review 144.552:  This change adds criteria to the hospital moratorium exception process. The commissioner must consider applicants’ ability to maintain current level of community benefit at existing facility and impact on workforce.

Diagnostic Imaging Facilities 144.565: This change clarifies the requirements for a diagnostic imaging facility to report utilization information, services data, and financial interests.

MRSA Infection Control Program 144.585:  This addition to law requires each hospital to establish a methicillin-resistant
staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection control program.

Hospital-Acquired Infection Reporting 62J.82:
This addition to law requires the Minnesota Hospital Association to publish information about hospital-acquired infections (according to criteria from the National Quality Forum) on the Minnesota Hospital Quality Report Web site (www.mnhospitalquality.org). The MDH Web site must then link to that site.

Hospital Community Benefit Reporting 144.699: MDH is required to collect data and report on hospitals’ community benefit and community care as part of the health care cost information system.

Minnesota Health Records Act 144.291-.298: These modifications update the Minnesota Health Records Act and Minnesota’s patient consent requirements to help facilitate providers’ electronic exchange of health information, while maintaining current privacy protections.

Health Promotion Program: This new statutory language requires the commissioner, in consultation with State Community Health Services Advisory Committee, to develop a comprehensive health promotion program to effect change at a community level. The focus will be on childhood and adult obesity, tobacco and substance abuse, improved activity levels among seniors, and other lifestyle issues that affect health and health care costs.  

Cervical Cancer Prevention and HPV Vaccine Study: This new statutory language requires the commissioner to reconvene the cervical cancer task force and study and make recommendations on the human papilloma virus vaccine.

Radiation Therapy Facility Construction Moratorium 144.5509: A two-year moratorium is required on construction of new radiation therapy facilities located in the metro, St. Cloud or Duluth.

Interpreter Services Work Group: The Commissioner is required to convene a work group to report on interpreter services for patients in medical and dental settings.

Health Plan Purchasing Pool Study Group: MDH is required to staff a health plan purchasing pool study group to make recommendations on creating a voluntary, statewide, health plan purchasing pool.

Study of Blood Lead Testing Methods: This new statutory language requires the commissioner to study blood lead testing methods used to confirm elevated blood lead status.

Window Safety Education: The commissioner is required to provide information to parents on precautions to prevent children from falling through open windows; and to report on the effectiveness of the window safety program.

Funding for Environmental Justice Mapping: The commissioner shall apply for federal funding to renew and expand Minnesota’s environmental justice mapping capacity to promote public health tracking.

Fragrance-Free Schools Education Pilot Project: This new statutory language requires the commissioner to convene a meeting to recommend an education campaign to inform students about the effects of fragrance in their schools.

For more information:

Contact Kristin Loncorich, Director of Legislative Relations, at 651-201-4849 or kristin.loncorich@health.state.mn.us.


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Updated Tuesday, 16-Nov-2010 12:27:52 CST