IHA Daily Briefing: April 1

In Today’s Issue
HHS: New Guidance on Consent for Teaching Hospitals, Medical Schools
HNI to Host Session on Maternal Health on April 16
Join ISHMPR for Spring Healthcare Marketing Workshop on May 2
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month 
COVID-19 Information 
Briefly Noted
Leading the News


HHS: New Guidance on Consent for Teaching Hospitals, Medical Schools
Today, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), released new guidance to reiterate and provide clarity regarding hospital requirements for informed consent from patients related to medical professionals performing sensitive examinations, particularly on patients under anesthesia.

A letter sent by the HHS Secretary, along with top officials from CMS and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) states, “The Department is aware of media reports as well as medical and scientific literature highlighting instances where, as part of medical students’ courses of study and training, patients have been subjected to sensitive and intimate examinations – including pelvic, breast, prostate, or rectal examinations – while under anesthesia without proper informed consent being obtained prior to the examination.”

It adds, “It is critically important that hospitals set clear guidelines to ensure providers and trainees performing these examinations first obtain and document informed consent from patients before performing sensitive examinations in all circumstances. The letter also reiterates that OCR “investigates complaints alleging that patients’ protected health information was used or disclosed to medical trainees in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule.” OCR recently issued a Frequently Asked Questions document explaining patients’ rights to limit disclosures under HIPAA. 

“While we recognize that medical training on patients is an important aspect of medical education, this guidance aligns with the standard of care of many major medical organizations, as well as state laws that have enacted explicit protections as well. Informed consent is the law and essential to maintaining trust in the patient-provider relationship and respecting patients’ autonomy,” the letter continues.

According to HHS, a webinar regarding this requirement will be forthcoming. 


HNI to Host Session on Maternal Health on April 16
On April 16 from 8:30-10 a.m., Health News Illinois (HNI) will host a panel discussion on maternal health at MATTER in Chicago. According to HNI, Illinois is facing a maternal health crisis and the number of residents dying from pregnancy is on the rise, citing most deaths among Black women.

HNI reports policymakers have responded by boosting funding and expanding Medicaid access to doulas and midwives. Gov. JB Pritzker is proposing another $23 million in his upcoming budget for home visits for new parents, grants for community-based reproductive health providers and diapers for low-income moms, according to HNI. During the event, panelists will discuss if these efforts are enough to address and make progress on the systemic racism driving health disparities. 

The panelists include: 

  • Matt Wolf, President, Molina Healthcare of Illinois
  • Dr. Sameer Vohra, Director, Illinois Dept. of Public Health
  • Dr. Ngozi Ezike, CEO, Sinai Chicago
  • Jeanine Valrie Logan, Founder, Chicago South Side Birth Center
  • Dr. Tracy Irwin, Medical Director of Reproductive Health, Erie Family Health Centers

For more information and to get tickets, click here


Join ISHMPR for Spring Healthcare Marketing Workshop on May 2
The Illinois Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations (ISHMPR) will host a one-day educational workshop on May 2, from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Erin’s Pavilion, 4965 S. 2nd Street in Springfield.

The event, which is geared toward ISHMPR’s Rural and Critical Access Hospital membership, will provide an opportunity to network, learn and share ideas.

The event will cover the following topics: 

  • Progress Over Perfection – Evolve, Change, and Grow; Emily Reuschel, Keynote Speaker; Overcome your constant desire for perfection and focus on progressing to successfully lead in today’s healthcare market.

  • Employee Incentive Trends; Craig Stewart, Source 309

  • Brand Messaging – Make Your Message Count; Emily Hartzog, Chartwell Agency

  • On-The-Go Video Production and Editing; Cody Pope, Director of the Office of Electronic Media, University of Illinois Springfield

  • Best Marketing Tactics with A Limited Budget; Sue Webb, Cork Tree Creative

The cost for ISHMPR members to attend is $75. To register, click here. For more information about ISHMPR, click here.


April is Child Abuse Prevention Month 
Join the Illinois Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, Hospital Sisters Health System, Poshard Foundation for Abused Children, child welfare stakeholders and others for a month-long observance to share child abuse and neglect prevention awareness messages and promote prevention efforts during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

This year’s theme, Building Together, Prevention in Partnership, is a call to action to recognize that everyone in the community has a role to play in ensuring children grow up safe and loved, and families have the resources they need to thrive.

To heighten awareness, DCFS will host events across the state in observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month. All Illinoisans can get involved and show their commitment to ending child abuse by wearing blue on April 5, posting pictures on social media, tagging DCFS in their posts and using the hashtags #GreatChildhoods and #GoBlueIllinois.

For a full calendar of Child Abuse Prevention Month awareness activities occurring statewide throughout April, click here.


COVID-19 Information
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) has launched a weekly Infectious Respiratory Disease Surveillance Dashboard that will be updated weekly on Friday. This report provides the public with the latest data on hospital visits, seasonal trends, lab test positivity and demographic data. 

Click here to visit the IDPH COVID-19 resources webpage. IDPH will continue to report the weekly number of people with COVID-19 admitted to hospitals from emergency departments, deaths and vaccinations, with COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus information also reported through the dashboard of the Illinois Wastewater Surveillance System.


Briefly Noted
This April, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will celebrate 30 Days of Public Health, an extended observance of National Public Health Week that also coincides with National Minority Health Month. The month-long slate of activities is intended to engage Illinoisans and raise awareness about all that public health does to keep individuals healthy and safe. According to IDPH, the activities will highlight the purpose of public health departments and their connection to the health care system, the profession in general and the career options it provides, and also spotlight those who dedicate their time and energy to serving the people of Illinois. For more information, click here


Leading the News

Banning teens from social media won’t help their mental health
Stat reported (4/1) “since the U.S. surgeon general’s 2023 advisory on social media and teen mental health, public concern has skyrocketed around adolescents’ digital lives. Major news organizations and even state governments have pinned social media apps as addictive, dangerous, and the cause of the youth mental health crisis.” 

10 drugs now in shortage
Becker’s Hospital Review reported (3/29) “since March 20, 10 more drugs are either in short supply or discontinued — and the healthcare supply chain industry is watching whether the collapse of a Baltimore bridge might cause disruptions.” 

24 statistics on hospital profitability
Becker’s Hospital Review reported (3/29) “while operating margins for nonprofit hospitals dropped slightly nationwide from January to February, their financial performance has made great strides year over year, according to the Kaufman Hall National Hospital Flash Report, released March 27.”