IHA Daily Briefing: April 30

Friday, April 30, 2021
HFS Notice on Healthcare Transformation Letters of Intent 
X-Waiver Requirement for Eligible Practitioners Eliminated 
CDC Funding Opportunity: Responding to HAIs, AR 
State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates 
Now Is the Time to Meet Virtually with Your State Legislators 
IONL Town Hall: The Nurse Licensure Compact in Illinois 
AHA Seeks Feedback for Hospital Week Song, Video 
Briefly Noted

HFS Notice on Healthcare Transformation Letters of Intent 
The Illinois Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) has issued a notice that entities planning to apply for upcoming Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives funding may now formally notify the Department by filing a Letter of Intent. Letters for those seeking funding in this fall’s cycle are to be received by HFS no later than June 15, 2021. Instructions and the form to complete a Letter of Intent may be found at the Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives webpage under “Applications and Tools.”

The Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives program makes available as much as $150 million per fiscal year beginning in State Fiscal Year 2021. This funding is available to collaborations between care providers, including preventative care, primary care, specialty care, hospital services, mental health and substance abuse services, and community-based entities that address the social determinants of health. Priority will be given to collaborations that include safety net hospitals or critical access hospitals. The application period for the first round of awards has closed; however, a second round of applications will be available for the fall.

See HFS’ Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives webpage for more information.


X-Waiver Requirement for Eligible Practitioners Eliminated 
On Wednesday, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) published Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder.

The guidelines exempt eligible physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified nurse midwives from certification requirements including training, counseling, and other ancillary services (i.e., psychosocial services) under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to treat up to 30 patients with buprenorphine.

For additional details, see IHA’s memo.


CDC Funding Opportunity: Responding to HAIs, AR 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week announced an international, five-year funding opportunity for partners with experience in healthcare infection detection and response, and/or antibiotic and antifungal resistance across the One Health spectrum. This funding opportunity will support efforts to establish two new CDC networks that, together, will provide critical systems to detect emerging and existing antimicrobial resistance threats in health care, the community, and the environment (e.g., water, soil), as well as COVID-19. The deadline to submit proposals is June 28, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Read the Request For Proposal to apply.

Awardees will contribute to one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Improve detection and containment in healthcare settings for emerging threats, including antimicrobial resistance, COVID-19, and healthcare-associated infections.   
  • Detect, assess, and respond to antimicrobial resistance in healthcare settings, the community, and the environment, including enteric pathogens; fungal pathogens; invasive bacterial and respiratory pathogens; and N. gonorrhoeae.   
  • Surge capacity for responses to outbreaks in healthcare.

Recipients are encouraged to collaborate on the application with other organizations, including those funded and not funded by CDC.

IHA will be following this CDC grant opportunity and would appreciate hearing from hospitals that plan on responding to the Request for Proposal. Please contact Helga Brake, IHA Vice President, Quality, Safety, and Health Policy, at hbrake@team-iha.org.


State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates 
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) announced today 3,207 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths.

The total number of cases in the state is 1,335,055 with a total of 21,960 deaths. IDPH says that in the past 24 hours, 108,063 test specimens have been processed, with a positivity rate of 2.9%. The preliminary 7-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percent of total tests from April 23-29 is 3.4%, and the seven-day test positivity rate is 4.0%.

Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past 24 hours decreased from 2,115 patients to 2,024 patients. Of that figure, 475 were in the ICU, with 235 patients on ventilators.

The total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses for Illinois is 11,687,325. A total of 9,259,706 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of last midnight. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 92,747 doses. Yesterday, 103,717 doses were reported administered in Illinois.

Today’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures showed more than 32 million confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. (a daily increase of more than 60,000 cases), with 572,190 deaths (a daily increase of 812).

Today’s WHO Coronavirus Disease Dashboard showed more than 150.1 million COVID-19 cases globally (a daily increase of more than 878,000 cases), with more than 3.1 million deaths. The Region of the Americas (includes the U.S.) continues to lead the world with more than 61.8 million cases and more than 1.5 million deaths.


Now Is the Time to Meet Virtually with Your State Legislators 
The Illinois General Assembly is in the final, critical weeks of its Spring session, with adjournment (May 31) rapidly approaching. With several major issues still to be addressed, including telehealth, Medicaid funding, nurse staffing, MCO accountability and prior authorization reform, it has never been more critical for legislators to hear from their local hospital leaders.

We encourage members to reach out to their legislators now to schedule a time to discuss the hospital community’s key priorities in more detail. To assist in planning virtual visits with your legislators, see IHA’s Legislative Outreach Guide: The Cornerstone of Effective Advocacy.


IONL Town Hall: The Nurse Licensure Compact in Illinois 
The Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders (IONL) will hold a town hall, “The Nurse Licensure Compact in Illinois: Ensuring Quality Healthcare”, on Thursday, May 6 at 5 p.m. This presentation will discuss the Nurse Licensure Compact, its necessity for Illinois nurses, healthcare facilities and patients, and how it will provide a more nimble licensing system for the growth and advancement of patient care in Illinois.

Two experts from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing will be presenting: Maryann Alexander, PhD, RN, FAAN and Chief Officer, Nursing Regulation; and Rebecca Fotsch, JD, NCSBN.

Register here. The Town Hall is free for IONL members, and $25 for non-members. CE credit may be awarded.


AHA Seeks Feedback for Hospital Week Song, Video
As National Hospital Week (May 9-15) approaches with the theme “Inspiring Hope through Healing,” the American Hospital Association (AHA) would like to honor the entire community of hospital and health system team members for all of their work. To say thank you, AHA is collaborating with Musicians on Call to produce an original song and video inspired by the words of health care workers.

To contribute to these and other efforts during National Hospital Week, AHA invites healthcare workers to share their feedback online or via social media with the tag #hospitalweek of what has inspired them throughout the pandemic. AHA will share these responses both through the song, video, and other activities during National Hospital week. Click here to find out more about getting involved.

Click here to find out more about National Hospital Week.


Briefly Noted
The Cook County Dept. of Public Health has issued revised COVID-19 Phase 4 reopening guidance, which continues to ease some mitigation measures but takes a cautious approach to reopening suburban Cook County. This revised guidance is effective today. The eased mitigations include: increased indoor restaurant capacity to 50% capacity or 100 individuals, whichever is smaller; and outdoor social events, such as weddings, proms and potlucks increase to lesser of 50% capacity or 100 people.

Earlier this week, Modern Healthcare hosted a webinar on operational and business responses to ensure compliance with new federal information-blocking rules. The slide deck from the webinar is available here, and the recording of the webinar is available here.