IHA Daily Briefing: Jan. 10

Monday, January 10, 2022
IHA to Delegation: Invest in Healthcare Workforce
Illinois Courts Tackle Ivermectin Lawsuits
Upcoming PRF Reporting Webinars
Long COVID and Fatiguing Illness Recovery Webinars
Illinois COVID-19 Update
Briefly Noted

IHA to Delegation: Invest in Healthcare Workforce
Today, IHA President and CEO A.J. Wilhelmi sent a letter to the Congressional delegation urging critical hospital and health system priorities to be included in legislation Congress considers in the coming weeks.

Among the issues highlighted in the letter are:

  • Investing in the healthcare workforce
  • Preventing cuts to hospitals
  • Permanently extending connected care flexibilities
  • Supporting behavioral health

“Illinois hospitals are grateful for the federal support provided to date; however, the financial toll the pandemic has had on hospitals far outpaces the lifeline of resources provided in previous legislation,” wrote Wilhelmi. “Most recently, increased workforce costs combined with the Omicron surge have deepened losses, and are especially concerning for Illinois hospitals, given that more than 40 percent operated at negative or very slim margins (2 percent or less) prior to the pandemic.”

IHA is working with our national partner, the American Hospital Association (AHA), to advance hospital and health system priorities in legislation in Congress.

Illinois Courts Tackle Ivermectin Lawsuits
Nine recent Illinois court decisions have decided emergency motions seeking to require hospitals to administer Ivermectin to patients who are in the ICU, typically on a ventilator, and suffering from COVID-19 or the after-effects of COVID-19. After some initial rulings in favor of the plaintiff, recent trial and appellate court decisions have sided with the hospital.

IHA has posted a summary of each case here, which includes links to applicable court documents, trial court decisions in Sangamon and Madison County, and notable Appellate Court decisions in Michigan and Texas.

Upcoming PRF Reporting Webinars
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is hosting two webinars on Jan. 12 and 13 from 2-3 pm CT to assist providers with Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting. The PRF reporting portal is open for Reporting Period 2 until March 31, 2022. Providers who received aggregate PRF payments exceeding $10,000 from July 1 – Dec. 31, 2020 must report on their use of funds.

The Jan. 12 webinar is for providers new to the reporting process, and the Jan. 13 webinar is for providers that participated in Reporting Period 1. Registration is required: Jan. 12 participants may register here, and Jan. 13 participants may register here. Additional reporting resources are on HRSA’s PRF reporting website.

Long COVID and Fatiguing Illness Recovery Webinars
Family Health Centers of San Diego, the ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Institute, University of Washington, and University of Colorado have collaborated to provide a CDC-funded monthly ECHO webinar series program is to rapidly disseminate post-acute Sequelae of COVID-19 and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome findings and emerging best practices.

This series will begin at 1 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 13, and continue on the second Thursday of each month through June 9, 2022. This series will offer presentations by subject matter experts, examples of emerging best practices and models of care, and a facilitated question-and-answer session. Continuing education credits will be available to participants.

Questions can be directed to LCecho@salud.unm.edu.

Illinois COVID-19 Updates
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 19,237 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, including 34 additional deaths.

As of Jan. 10, 7,114 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 1,139 patients were in the ICU and 644 patients were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests is 13.4%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity is 17.3%.

The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily in Illinois is 54,224 doses. IDPH reports that 74.8% of adults (18 years and older) have been fully vaccinated, while 83.8% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 12 years and older, 73.3% have been fully vaccinated, while 82.2% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 5 years and older, 68.8% have been fully vaccinated and 77.9% have received at least one dose.

Briefly Noted
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agreed with a new decision issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reducing to five months (previously six) the time people who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine have to wait for a booster. This brings the Moderna guidance, which applies to those 18 and older, into line with recommendations for the Pfizer booster, for those 12 and older.