Shortly before Thanksgiving, Governor-elect Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor-elect Peggy Flanagan made multiple announcements regarding their transition efforts and leadership team. First is the One Minnesota Transition Advisory Board that will advise the administration on a number of things, including filling roles in the administration and putting together the state budget. Lieutenant Governor-elect Flanagan will lead this 30-person board, which includes people from many different racial, geographic, and industrial backgrounds. The full release can be found here.
The incoming Walz/Flanagan administration also announced a team that will lead the process of appointing Commissioners and other leaders of the various state agencies. The Executive Director of this team is Kristen Beckman; she will lead a group of eight others in this effort. You can read the announcement here. Additionally, Governor-elect Walz announced that Chris Schmitter would be his incoming Chief of Staff and also helping with the transition.
The new majority in the House of Representatives unveiled its committee structure and chairs shortly before Thanksgiving as well. Speaker Melissa Hortman announced the House will have 34 committees, subcommittees, or divisions in the 2019-2020 legislative session, up from 29 in the previous biennium. Additionally, all finance committees are structured as divisions of the Ways and Means committee, rather than stand-alone committees. Chairs of note include:
View the full list here.
Vice-chairs and full committee assignments will be announced at a later date.
As part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) effort to increase the use of value-based care arrangements, it solicited comments on new safe harbors and other reforms to the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). The AKS is one of the primary obstacles to the development and use of value-based arrangements (VBAs). HHS was specifically looking for ways the current statutory regime inhibits the development of these arrangements and what changes or additions need to be made to make them easier to enter into.
Medical Alley Association submitted a comment in response to this request, the full text of which can be found here. Our comment focused on three things: First, eliminating barriers to care coordination and VBAs; second, increasing the use of remote patient monitoring through the modification of current, or the creation of new, safe harbors in the AKS; and third, ensuring safe harbors exist for the proper adoption of necessary cybersecurity upgrades.
Medical Alley Association members have always been at the forefront of healthcare delivery and the movement to value-based care is no different. We look forward to continuing to work with HHS, CMS, and other state and federal agencies, bringing the expertise of our members to the development of policy that improves quality of care and outcomes while reducing costs for patients.
Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), requested feedback on their idea to put together a working group designed to improve communication between HHS and the health innovation and investing communities (see Medical Alley Association’s comment here. In late September, HHS announced the formation of the Deputy Secretary’s Innovation and Investment Summit (DSIIS). This Summit will focus on emerging innovation opportunities and whether public policy is accelerating or hindering this innovation during their quarterly meetings.
This past Wednesday, ahead of the DSIIS’ first meeting on December 18, HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan announced who had been chosen to be core participants of the DSIIS. Jim Rogers, Chair of the Department of Business Development at Mayo Clinic and Medical Alley Association Board Member, was among those chosen for the Summit (you can find the full list of contributors here. Medical Alley Association is proud to have recommended Jim for this role and are excited to have his expertise on this important group in Washington, D.C. Congratulations to Jim; we look forward to working with you in this endeavor!