IHA Daily Briefing: Feb. 11

Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Coronavirus Disease Has a Name: COVID-19
Register: Small & Rural Hospitals Medicaid MCO Forum
CMS Releases Latest Medicaid Report
CMS Issues Revised Timeline for 340B Survey

Coronavirus Disease Has a Name: COVID-19
Today in a press briefing, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, M.D., announced COVID-19 as the official disease name for those infected with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov). He also provided a situation update, noting 42,708 confirmed cases reported in China, of which 1,017 have resulted in death. Outside China, there are 393 confirmed cases in 24 countries, including the U.S., with one death reported.

According to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health, Illinois has two confirmed cases, with three persons under investigation pending results and 44 negative test results. As of Feb. 10, the U.S. has 12 positive cases of COVID-19 in six states, with 68 pending results and 318 negative results.

Also, the WHO has activated a United Nations Crisis Management Team to “focus on the health response while the other agencies can bring their expertise to bear on the wider social, economic and developmental implications of the outbreak.”

Dr. Ghebreyesus said that while the first coronavirus vaccine could be ready in 18 months, there are “many basic public health interventions that are available to us now, and which can prevent infections now.” These include:

  • Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
  • Washing hands frequently, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment;
  • Avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals;
  • Practicing cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands); and
  • Enhancing standard infection prevention and control practices in healthcare facilities and hospitals, especially in emergency departments.

Additional resources are available on IHA’s special novel coronavirus webpage.

Register: Small & Rural Hospitals Medicaid MCO Forum
Medicaid payments account for a significant portion of total revenues at many small and rural hospitals. With the recent expansion of mandatory Medicaid managed care in Illinois, challenges associated with managed care organization (MCO) payment denials and administrative burden increased exponentially.

For the purpose of continuing the dialogue on this critical issue—and to ensure IHA is best positioned to advocate on your behalf—IHA is hosting a Small & Rural Hospital Leaders Medicaid MCO Forum on March 16.

Held from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Convention Center in Springfield, this interactive discussion will include:

  • An update on the Medicaid managed care reform legislation (SB1321) and IHA’s efforts to work with the Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to fully implement its key provisions;
  • An overview of IHA’s ongoing efforts to work with hospital members and HFS to resolve problems and to raise awareness with policymakers about the significant problems that still exist within the State’s Medicaid managed care system; and
  • An opportunity for small and rural hospital leaders to share your Medicaid managed care experiences and possible solutions with IHA and each other.

This forum is designed for:

  • CEOs;
  • CFOs;
  • COOs;
  • Government Relations leaders; and
  • Revenue/Reimbursement leaders.

We encourage all small and rural hospitals to participate. By working together we can generate new ways for IHA and the hospital community to continue to advocate on this critical issue.

Register today.

CMS Releases Latest Medicaid Report
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its November 2019 Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) report showing more than 71.2 million people enrolled in both programs for the month. Nearly 64.5 million people were enrolled in Medicaid and more than 6.7 million people were enrolled in CHIP.

In Illinois, total Medicaid and CHIP enrollment in November was more than 2.8 million people. More than 2.5 million people were enrolled in Medicaid and more than 278,000 people enrolled in CHIP for the month.

CMS Revises Timeline for 340B Survey
On Feb. 7, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the “Hospital Survey for Specified Covered Outpatient Drugs (SCODs)” is finalized with a proposed revised timeline for data collection. Hospitals participating in the 340B drug pricing program are required to submit the net acquisition cost for each SCOD acquired under the program during the fourth quarter of calendar year (CY) 2018 and the first quarter of CY 2019. The survey will be open from March 23 through April 10.

Last November, IHA joined the American Hospital Association and individual 340B hospitals across the country in sharing significant concerns about the survey, including its methodology and the burden compliance would place on participating hospitals. Additionally, CMS now states that survey responses will be used to help ensure that the Medicare program pays for SCODs at amounts that approximate what hospitals actually pay to acquire the drugs, resulting in significant payment reductions for 340B hospitals.

The proposed survey is currently with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB is accepting public comments until March 9. Submitted comments should be emailed to OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov and include the OMB control number: 0938 – New.