IHA Daily Briefing: Feb. 14

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Governor Delivers Budget Address
IHA Reception Brings Together Hospital Leaders, Legislators
CMS Releases Additional MIPS Information
Did You Know?

Governor Delivers Budget Address
This afternoon, Governor Bruce Rauner gave his Illinois Budget Address for fiscal year 2019. Early in his remarks, Rauner outlined the priorities his budget covers—state pensions, healthcare costs, taxes, education, human services, public safety and infrastructure.

“Our FY19 budget sets out to make the structural reforms that will get us moving in the right direction,” said Rauner. “It reduces government expense but not customer service. It shifts responsibility for the cost of services to the people who buy those services. And it recognizes that we will never have balanced budgets if government grows faster than our economy.

“These are the priorities we’ve set for the next fiscal year and beyond. They put a stop to the unsustainable growth in our pension and healthcare costs, halt and reverse the advance in taxes, and restore emphasis on investments in education, human services, public safety and infrastructure.”

Rauner stressed fiscal responsibility and accountability. Highlights of his proposal included:

  • Having school districts and universities share the cost of their own pensions, phased in over four years;
  • “Right-sizing” state employee health insurance plans to get government healthcare costs under control;
  • Reducing workers’ compensation insurance rates, which the Governor said were the highest in the Midwest;
  • Investing in education, including state universities; and
  • Addressing the opioid epidemic.

While the Governor did note savings achieved from managed care organizations and Medicaid fraud detection and prevention, he did not outline any specific proposals impacting these programs in his address.

IHA will be sending members its summary of the Governor’s budget proposal in the coming days.

IHA Reception Brings Together Hospital Leaders, Legislators
On the eve of the Governor’s state budget address to the General Assembly, more than 150 people – legislators, including seven members of the Legislative Medicaid Work Group, administration officials and hospital leaders turned out for IHA’s Legislative Reception at Arlington’s in Springfield Tuesday evening.

In brief remarks, IHA Board Chair William Santulli, EVP and Chief Operating Officer, Advocate Health Care, and IHA President and CEO A.J. Wilhelmi thanked the Legislative Medicaid Work Group for their efforts and months of hard work on redesigning the Hospital Assessment Program. Wilhelmi noted that the assessment redesign is incredibly important in preserving access to quality health care for “our families, neighbors and communities,” including vulnerable populations. “This is about the partnership between IHA, the hospital community, the General Assembly and the Administration on key healthcare issues,” said Wilhelmi. “A lot is at stake for healthcare in Illinois.”

On display at the reception was a series of posters focusing on key issues, including Medicaid and the critical role of hospitals and health systems as healthcare providers and economic anchors. Also, see photos from last night’s reception on Twitter at #IHA2018Reception.

Mark your calendars for two important upcoming advocacy events in Springfield: IHA Quality Advocacy Showcase on April 12 and IHA Hospital Advocacy Day on April 18.

CMS Releases Additional MIPS Information
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced two deadlines for eligible clinicians planning to submit data for the 2017 Merit-Based, Incentive Payment System (MIPS):

Eligible clinicians who have submitted 2017 quality performance data for MIPS via claims can now view their scores through the MIPS data submission feature. Clinicians must submit 2017 claims no later than March 1. Eligible clinicians who are not sure if they have to report can enter their National Provider Identifier Number in the MIPS Lookup Tool to find out. Those who are members of an accountable care organization or an alternate payment model should work with their organizations to ensure that they have the patient information they need to report.

CMS is offering two “Office Hours” sessions to help clinicians prepare for submission and answer questions:

Registration is required for both sessions.

Did You Know?
Modern medicine wouldn't be where it is today without visionaries who saw beyond what was possible in their time and took advantage of cutting-edge science to push the field forward. However, history shows that not every "explosive" idea leads to a medical breakthrough.

Starting in 1967 and continuing for the next decade, two federally funded programs sought to create a device right out of the novel Frankenstein: an artificial heart powered by plutonium-238. While the effort proved unsuccessful, the development of the atomic heart is as much a story about American society and government as it is about medicine and technology. Read more in a 2013 Technology and Culture article and a summary from The Atlantic.

February marks American Heart Month. Because atomic heart transplants are not an option, learn how to take control of your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease.