APRIL 2013



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MDH and the Department of Human Services (DHS) officially launched the Minnesota Accountable Health Model on April 1. The goal of this initiative, which will be supported in its testing phase by a major federal grant, will be to ensure that every Minnesotan has the option to receive team-based, coordinated, patient-centered care that facilitates access to medical care, behavioral health care, long-term care and other services while reducing costs.

As a first step, MDH and DHS are seeking applicants for two new groups that will help guide the initiative. Learn more and consider applying to the Community Advisory Task Force or the Multi-Payer Alignment Task Force. Applications are due by April 23.

MDH's Oral Health Program has issued the state's first-ever Minnesota Oral Health Plan for 2013-2018. The plan outlines the burden of oral disease in the state and sets four priority areas: oral health infrastructure; prevention and education; health care integration and access to oral health care; and surveillance. The plan is available on the Oral Health Program website.

The MDH Health Economics Program (HEP) issued a report to the Legislature comparing treatment need and capacity for radiation therapy in Minnesota. The report includes estimates of changes in utilization of available treatment capacity in the state for the period 2012 through 2022. The full report is available on the HEP website.

The Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) issued a Progress Brief at its three-year mark. The report outlines the program's history, how SHIP works and wide-ranging efforts - including many in Greater Minnesota - to increase physical activity, improve nutrition and reduce tobacco use and exposure. The full report is available on the SHIP website.


Graph - Average hourly pay of Minnesota dental hygienists by geographic area

Source: 2011-2012 dental hygiene survey conducted jointly by the Office of Rural Health & Primary Care and the Oral Health Program at the Minnesota Department of Health.

A 2011-12 survey of Minnesota dental hygienists found that the average reported hourly rate of pay was higher in the urban and large rural areas of the state than in small rural and isolated areas. Statewide, the average reported pay rate among dental hygienists was $33.14 per hour. (Note: This analysis did not include hygienists who indicated they were salaried instead of paid hourly.) 

For more information and data on Minnesota's health workforce, visit the ORHPC Health Care Workforce Analysis Program site or contact Angie Sechler at or 651-201-3862.


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The Clinical Dental Education Innovations grant program has released its FY2014 Request for Proposals. Grants will be awarded to sponsoring institutions and clinical dental training sites for projects that increase dental access for underserved populations and promote innovative clinical training of dental professionals. Application materials are available on the Clinical Dental Education Innovations grant page. Applications are due May 3.

Be an ORHPC grant reviewer! Please contact Cindy LaMere at or 651-201-3852 with your name, profession, place of employment and contact information.


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The University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) seeks applications to its 2013 Community Health Collaborative Grant program. Pilot research grants will be awarded in the areas of rural health, child health, population health/health equity, and systems for health improvement. Visit the CTSI website for the Request for Proposals. Letters of interest due April 8 and full applications due May 24.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for grants to expand care coordination through the use of technology-assisted care in targeted areas of need (TCE-TAC). The purpose of the TCE-TAC program is to use technology to expand and/or enhance the capacity of substance abuse treatment providers in underserved communities. Applications are due April 10.

The federal Rural Health Information Technology (HIT) Workforce Program seeks applications from rural health networks to provide recruitment, education, training and retention of HIT specialists. The program will also support rural health networks in training current health care staff, local displaced workers, rural residents, veterans and other potential students. Applications are due April 15.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, seeks proposals for health impact assessment (HIA) projects in Minnesota. Each grant will fund an HIA that informs an upcoming decision on a proposed local, tribal or state policy, plan or project. The Request for Proposals is available on the Health Impact Project website. Initial applications due May 15.

The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program (formerly the Nursing Scholarship Program) invites applications from nursing students (in baccalaureate, graduate, associate degree or diploma programs). Scholarships are awarded in exchange for a minimum two-year, full-time service commitment (or part-time equivalent) at an eligible critical shortage facility. Applications due May 2.


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Free exhibit space at the HIT Career Fair is available for health organizations recruiting health informatics professionals. The event is hosted by the University Partnership for Health Informatics (UP-HI) and takes place April 12 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. To request the exhibit space, contact Daniel Chan at by April 3.

A cyber conference titled Community Services Initiatives: Seniors Aging at Home will take place April 12 from noon to 1:00 p.m. Email at the Minnesota Rural Health Association to register.

The Minnesota Hospice and Palliative Care Conference will be held April 14-16 in Bloomington.

The Regional Telehealth Forum, hosted by the Great Plains Telehealth Resource & Assistance Center (gpTRAC), will be held April 15-16 in Minneapolis. A post-forum workshop, "Developing Winning Proposals that Support Telehealth and Telemedicine Projects," will take place from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Registration for the workshop is required: call 888-239-7092.

The Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs seeks presentation proposals for the 2013 Community Mental Health Conference, which will be held September 25-27 in Duluth. Submit your proposed abstract online by April 15.

A free webinar, "Pharmacist Relevance in Small and Rural Hospitals Under Healthcare Reform: An Executive Overview," will be presented April 18 at 1:00 p.m. by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Register online on the ASHP website.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will host a free provider call on preparing for the transition to ICD-10 on April 18 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. Find out more and register on the CMS website.

The 2013 Spring Refresher (link no longer available), sponsored by the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, will be held April 18-19 in St. Paul.

A Northeast Minnesota Health Care Forum hosted by the Iron Range Resource & Rehabilitation Board and facilitated by the National Rural Health Resource Center will take place April 23 in Mountain Iron. The forum will include a panel discussion on changes in health professions educational curricula and presentations on provider recruitment and retention. RSVP to Kim Nordin at or 218-727-9390, ext. 237 by April 12.

The Minnesota Stroke Registry Program is offering regional workshops in 2013 to help hospital-based providers build stroke programs and become stroke ready. An upcoming workshop will be held in Fergus Falls on April 23. More information and registration is available on the Minnesota Stroke Registry website.

The 2013 Teaching and Learning Conference for Minnesota EMS Educators takes place April 25-26 in Minneapolis.

The Connecting to Transform Communities: Stakeholders in Health and Wellness conference will be held April 25-26 in Minneapolis.

The second CALS (Comprehensive Advanced Life Support) hospital conference, "Rural Emergency Care: Stepping Up to the Challenge," will be held April 26 in Minneapolis.

The Fifth Annual Rural Behavioral Health Conference seeks proposals for presentations on recent rural health and practice research, as well as posters on rural research. This year's conference takes place October 11 with the theme "Advances in Rural Practice." Send submissions or questions to Willie Garrett at or 651-646-8594. Presentation proposals due by April 30 and poster submissions by September 1.

The Rural Palliative Care Networking Group will feature a special presentation, "Bridging the Gap Toward Smoother Care Transitions," on May 2 from 10:00-noon at PrimeWest Health in Alexandria. To register for in-person attendance or conference call, contact Matt Ellis by April 25 at or 952-853-8539.

The Health Care Homes Learning Collaborative is hosting a Spring 2013 Health Care Homes Learning Days event May 1-2 at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest.

The 10th Annual South Central Minnesota Emergency Preparedness Conference will take place on May 8 in North Mankato. For more information, contact Lavida Gingrich at or 507-434-1525.


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From the CMS: Mandatory payment reductions in Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS)
As part of "sequestration," the mandatory across-the-board reductions in Federal spending required under the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been ordered to reduce Medicare outlays for 2013. Medicare FFS claims with dates-of-service or dates-of-discharge on or after April 1, 2013 will incur a 2 percent reduction in Medicare payment. More information, including details regarding claims for durable medical equipment (DME), prosthetics, orthotics and supplies, and beneficiary payments for deductibles and coinsurance, is available in a CMS Medicare FFS Provider e-News bulletin.

The 2013 Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) list from iVantage Health Analytics includes nine Minnesota CAHs: New Ulm Medical Center, Riverwood Healthcare Center (Aitkin), Springfield Medical Center - Mayo Health System, Queen of Peace Hospital (New Prague), Redwood Area Hospital, United Hospital District (Blue Earth), St. Joseph's Area Health Services (Park Rapids), Stevens Community Medical Center (Morris) and Essentia Health - Fosston.

The Citizen Solutions project issued Health and Health Care in Minnesota, A Public Opinion Poll in February. The statewide survey was conducted by Wilder Research for the Bush Foundation.

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, released the 2013 County Health Rankings.

New Health Information Technology (HIT) resources for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and other small rural hospitals are now available from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

The Rural Health Resource Center of the Veterans Administration (VA) has issued the "Co-Managed Toolkit" to assist non-VA providers with care coordination of veterans who use both VA and non-VA health care providers (also known as "dual use" veterans).

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• Deaths and births in Minnesota. Where are they? (link no longer available) (Minnesota Public Radio).
New Ulm wellness project already shows healthy results (Star Tribune).
Agricultural health training for rural America (link no longer available) (Rural Health Research & Policy Centers).
Looking back, looking ahead: Major changes in rural health and human services (Rural Monitor).
• Teen childbearing in rural America
(link no longer available) (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy).

Health reform
Early adopters of the accountable care model: A field report on improvements in health care delivery (Commonwealth Fund).
The radical rethinking of primary care starts now
(California Healthline).
Care coordination keeps patients, providers in the loop (Rural Monitor).
Aligning incentives in Medicaid: How Colorado, Minnesota and Vermont are reforming care delivery and payment to improve health and lower costs (Commonwealth Fund).
Re-engineering health care (New York Times).
• Rural Medicare Advantage enrollment and premium update (link no longer available) (RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis).

Clinics & hospitals
Toolkit: Engaging patients in improving ambulatory care (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).
Group appointments with doctors: When three isn't a crowd (Kaiser Health News).
Hospital ratings are in the eye of the beholder (Kaiser Health News).

Oral health
Report: Dentists underpaid by state for low-income patient care (Minnesota Public Radio).
Minnesota dental therapy model goes nationwide (Star Tribune).

Osteopathic doctors may help alleviate a shortage of medical care in rural areas (Washington Post).
Commentary: Rural health care workforce shortages defy easy solutions (HealthLeaders Media).
Effort to increase rural doctors failed (
Panel on health care workforce, lacking a budget, is left waiting (New York Times).
The trouble with nurse practitioners (HealthLeaders Media).

Health information technology
St. Peter hospital joins telehealth network (St. Peter Herald).

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Congratulations to Paul Jansen (and woe to us) on his move to a new position at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Paul served as the very able Research Analyst for both the Rural Health Advisory Committee (RHAC) and the statewide trauma system, and will be much missed. Kristen Tharaldson along with other ORHPC staff will fill in until his position is filled.

Judy Bergh visited with St. Joseph's Area Health Services/Hubbard County Public Health and North Memorial Ambulance in Park Rapids on March 21 to discuss the development of a Community Paramedic program.


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The national Annual Rural Health Conference will be held May 7-10 in Louisville, Kentucky.

The 2013 Minnesota e-Health Summit will be held June 12-13 in Bloomington.

The 2013 Age and Disabilities Odyssey Conference will take place June 17-18 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC). Registration is now open, with reduced rates available for registration before May 1.

The 2013 Cancer Disparities Summit (link no longer available) will be held June 19-20 in Minnetonka.

The 2013 Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 24-25, 2013 in Duluth.

Rural Wisconsin Health Careers (RWHC) will hold two educational sessions in St. Croix Falls in July: Pediatric assessment/emergencies on July 10 and Lateral violence: Empowering staff to stop bad behaviors on July 11.

The 2013 Community Mental Health Conference will take place September 25-27 in Duluth.

The Fifth Annual Rural Behavioral Health Conference will be held October 11 at the University of Minnesota-Morris and group webcast sites. Email for more information.


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Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
P. O. Box 64882
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0882
Phone 651-201-3838
Toll free in Minnesota 800-366-5424
Fax: 651-201-3830

Our mission
to promote access to quality health care for rural and underserved urban Minnesotans. From our unique position within state government, we work as partners with communities, providers, policymakers and other organizations. Together, we develop innovative approaches and tailor our tools and resources to the diverse populations we serve.