MAY 2014



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Logo for the MN Rural Health Conference
Registration now open

for the 2014 Minnesota Rural Health Conference coming up June 23-24 in Duluth.

This year's conference will include sessions on partnerships, operational effectiveness, patient engagement, and tools and resources across an array of rural health care topics.

Nominations for the Rural Health Awards also open:
Submit a nomination by May 7.

MDH released its fourth update to the Minnesota Quality Incentive Payment System. The update includes the system's latest quality measures and performance thresholds for clinics and hospitals. The incentive payment system, sometimes called pay for performance, is part of Minnesota's 2008 health care reform law and was implemented in 2010. It is currently being used for participants in the state employee health plan and enrollees in state public insurance programs, and private health care purchasers are also encouraged to use it (though are not legally required to do so).

MDH invites stakeholders to submit recommendations on the addition, removal or modification of standardized quality measures. The Commissioner will take these recommendations into consideration in determining what, if any, changes should be made to the Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System (SQRMS). The criteria for recommendations is available at Health Care Quality Measures - Recommendations. Recommendations must be submitted to by June 1.

MDH released STD Surveillance Statistics for 2013. Chlamydia continues to be the number one reported infectious disease in the state and reached a new high of 18,724 cases in 2013, an increase of 4 percent from 2012. Nearly one in three cases occurred in Greater Minnesota. The state's overall STD rate increased 10 percent, with increases much higher for syphilis (up 64 percent) and gonorrhea (up 26 percent).

ORHPC released a new fact sheet: Minnesota’s Registered Nurse Workforce, 2011-2012. The report provides summary statistics regarding current demographics, geographic location, work settings and activities of registered nurses (RNs) licensed in Minnesota as of January 2012. More information about the Health Workforce Planning & Analysis Program, as well as additional publications and workforce data, are available on the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care website.  


Graph - Rural-Urban Distribution of Minnesota RNs by Primary Practice Setting, 2011-2012 (n=35,932).

Source: MDH RN workforce survey, 2011-2012.

Among registered nurses (RNs) licensed in Minnesota who responded to a workforce survey, hospital employment ranked highest for RNs in both urban and rural areas of the state. Clinic/provider offices were the second-most frequent practice setting for RNs in urban and large rural areas, while long-term care facilities were second among RNs in small and isolated rural areas. Registered nurses in small and isolated rural areas of Minnesota were also more likely to work in home health and/or public health agencies compared to RNs working in urban and large rural areas.

Note: These rural-urban categories are based on Rural-Urban Commuting Areas (RUCAs). For more information on this methodology, see Defining Rural, Urban and Underserved Areas in Minnesota.

From a new fact sheet: Minnesota's Registered Nurse Workforce, 2011-2012. 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 is accepting applications from sponsoring institutions and clinical dental training sites for projects that increase dental access for underserved populations and promote innovative clinical training of dental professionals. Applications are due May 2.

The new Emerging Professions Integration Grant Program is accepting applications to support the integration of Community Health Workers, Community Paramedics and Dental Therapists into the workforce in roles that support the broad goals of the Minnesota Accountable Health Model. An informational call will be held May 1 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. (call-in number: 1-888-742-5095, passcode: 6353794742). Applications due June 5.


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MDH has issued a Request for Proposals to develop and disseminate Minnesota e-Health Roadmaps to Advance the Minnesota Accountable Health Model (e-Health Roadmaps) for the settings of long-term and post-acute care, local public health, behavioral health and social services. Each e-Health Roadmap will describe a path forward and a framework for effective use of e-health in the Minnesota Accountable Health Model. Letters of Intent due May 16. Proposals due June 19.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) requests proposals for delivering health care services to Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare enrollees under alternative payment arrangements through the Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP - formerly known as Health Care Delivery Systems or HCDS) Demonstration. Proposals due June 2.

The Bush Foundation has opened applications for the 2014 Bush Prize for Community Innovation. The prize honors and supports organizations with a track record of innovation, collaboration and inclusivity, providing creative capital for the organizations to use however they choose. Open to public charities and government entities in Minnesota, North and South Dakota and 23 Native nations. Applications due June 5.



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The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) is accepting submissions for presentations at the 2014 Rural Health Clinic Conference to be held September 30-October 1 and the 2014 Critical Access Hospital Conference to be held October 1-3, both in Kansas City. Proposals due May 9.

MDH and the Department of Human Services (DHS) will present a webinar, "Understanding ACOs in Minnesota," on May 9 at 12:00 p.m. The presentation will include an introduction to Medicaid ACO models in Minnesota and how ACOs link to the Minnesota Accountable Health Model, a joint effort between DHS and MDH to drive health care reform and test new ways of delivering and paying for health care. Learn more and register on the SIM-Minnesota website.

The U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) invites rural communities to apply to participate in the National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center (NTC) pilot. The NTC will use telemedicine technology to provide 24/7 remote clinician-to-clinician assistance from the Massachusetts Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) to support quality care for adult and adolescent SA patients. Applications due May 20.

The 2014 Community Health Conference has issued a Call for Proposals for session presentations. The conference will be held September 17-19 in Brainerd with a theme of "Public Health on the Horizon." Proposals are due May 21.


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Stratis Health has released Health Information Technology toolkits for local public health, social service, home health and behavioral health settings to help providers select, implement and use electronic health record systems (EHRs) and other health information technology solutions.

REACH, the Regional Extension and Assistance Center for Health Information Technology (HIT) in Minnesota and North Dakota, has launched a web-based Healthcare Data Analytics Portal to help clinics, community health centers and small rural hospitals better understand and apply data analytics, including data acquisition, extraction, aggregation, analysis and interpretation.

Terry Hill, senior advisor at the National Rural Health Resource Center in Duluth, received the 2014 President's Award from the National Rural Health Association. A video from the awards ceremony captures the many reasons he was nominated by Dr. Ray Christensen. Congratulations, Terry!

A video and accompanying discussion guide, "The value transformation of rural health care," is available from Rural Health Value, a collaboration between the Office of Rural Health Policy, the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis, and Stratis Health. The 10-minute video describes the shift to value-based purchasing of health care, and is intended in part to stimulate discussion among key stakeholders, clinicians and staff.

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A new report from the Commonwealth Fund, Aiming higher: Results from a scorecard on state health system performance, 2014, ranks Minnesota first overall among states nationwide. State-specific information is included across a variety of dimensions and indicators, including access; prevention and treatment; avoidable hospital use and costs; healthy lives; and equity.

Health reform
In new health care era, blessings and hurdles (New York Times).
Rowing together: How public health supports the "upstream" doctor (Huff Post Healthy Living).
Primary care access for new patients on the eve of health care reform
(JAMA Internal Medicine).
Small-town practice embraces health reform, transforms into patient-centered medical home (Rural Roads).
The role of Medicaid managed care in health delivery system innovation (The Commonwealth Fund).
How do providers respond to public health insurance expansions? Evidence from adult Medicaid dental benefits (National Bureau of Economic Research).

Health disparities
• What to do when healthcare isn't enough (
• CDC reports on effective strategies for reducing health disparities(CDC Online Newsroom).

• The 10 building blocks of high-performing primary care (Annals of Family Medicine).
• Video: Why is primary care in need of transformation? (Institute for Healthcare Improvement).
• The availability of new patient appointments for primary care at Federally Qualified Health Centers: Findings from an audit study (Urban Institute).
• New resource examines the impact of capital projects on Health Center operations and financial performance (Capital Link).
• At some Minnesota clinics, a simple prescription for patient health needs: food (Minnesota Public Radio News).
• A case study of a team-based, quality-focused compensation model for primary care providers (The Commonwealth Fund profiles Fairview Health Services model).
• Community Health Centers may provide services for those who remain uninsured (Kaiser Health News).

• Rural and urban hospitals’ role in providing inpatient care, 2010 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
• CAH financial indicators report: Quartiles of financial indicators by state and peer group (Flex Monitoring Team).

Mental health
• How physicians can help ease mental health provider shortages (HealthLeaders Media).


• Burnt out primary care docs are voting with their feet (Kaiser Health News).
Local high schools host medical residencies (The Minnesota Daily).
Commentary: We're all about to feel the pain of the primary-care shortage (MinnPost).
Not enough doctors? How the medical education system is contributing to the shortage (North Carolina Public Radio).
• Demands of rural nursing daunting yet inspiring (South Dakota State University via Newswire).
• Developing new models for clinical education (Josiah Macy Foundation).

Health Information Technology
• Nursing homes demonstrate health information exchange, Minnesota style (McKnight's Long-Term Care News).
•Doctors are drowning in data (InformationWeek).
• Rural hospitals weigh independence against need for computer help (National Public Radio).
• Extent of telehealth use in rural and urban hospitals (RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis).

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ORHPC welcomes two new staffers this month. Darwin Flores Trujillo joins us as Workforce Grants Administrator on May 5, coming from the MDH Office of Minority and Multicultural Health. On May 12, Teri Fritsma joins ORHPC's Health Workforce Planning & Analysis unit as a workforce research analyst. Darwin can be reached at and 651-201-3850 and Teri at and 651-201-4004.

Will Wilson participated in a community discussion on mental health needs in Cambridge on March 31 in the wake of the closure of Riverwood Centers' five offices in east central Minnesota. Nearly 100 mental health providers, health system representatives, state and county officials, patients and local advocates for mental health met to discuss needs and potential next steps in the Riverwood service area, which includes Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine counties.

Will and Judy Bergh went to Sioux Falls for a tour sponsored by the Helmsley Trust, to learn about telemedicine services operated by the Avera Health System. They visited a Critical Access Hospital and the Avera eHelm telemedicine hub in Sioux Falls, to see how both sides of the interaction function. Judy also conducted a series of additional site visits in April, heading to District One Hospital in Faribault, Sanford Luverne Medical Center, Tyler Healthcare Center/Avera, Pipestone County Medical Center, Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center, Sleepy Eye Medical Center, and Bigfork Valley Hospital.

Tammy Peterson conducted Level 4 Trauma Designation site visits to St. Joseph's Area Health Services in Park Rapids on April 7, and Tyler Healthcare Center/Avera on April 17, Madelia Hospital on April 24, Meeker Memorial Medical Center on April 28, Madison Hospital on April 29, and Hendricks Hospital on April 30. She also conducted Level 3 designation site visits to Sanford Worthington Medical Center on April 11 and St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee on April 15. Chris Ballard conducted a Level 4 Trauma Designation visit to RC Hospital in Olivia on April 11.


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The 2014 Minnesota Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Health in All Policies: Actions Toward Health Equity, will take place June 4-5 in Minneapolis. The Minnesota CHW Alliance Conference, Partnering for Health Equity: Progress, Practice and Policy, will be held in conjunction with the MPHA conference.

The Annual Meeting and Health IT Forum of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved will take place June 25-27 in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Minnesota Partnership for Adolescent Health will hold a southwest regional community meeting on August 14 in Madison, MN to provide feedback on the state’s vision for adolescent health and to identify barriers and actions needed.

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA)'s 2014 Rural Health Clinic Conference will be held September 30-October 1 and the 2014 Critical Access Hospital Conference will be held October 1-3, both in Kansas City.

The 2014 Many Faces of Community Health Conference: Community Centered Care and the People We Serve, will be held October 23-24 in Minnetonka.


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View online all previous issues of the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care publications.

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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 all Minnesotans. We work as partners with policymakers, providers, and rural and underserved urban communities to ensure a continuum of core health services throughout the state.