IHA Daily Briefing: Jan. 11

Tuesday, January 11, 2022
IHA Hosts Virtual Congressional Briefing
Oral Antiviral Medications 1/12 Webinar
AHA, CDC TAP Strategy 1/27 Webinar
Illinois COVID-19 Update
Briefly Noted

IHA Hosts Virtual Congressional Briefing
On Monday, IHA hosted a virtual briefing for the Illinois Congressional delegation to share the latest on the Omicron surge and challenges facing hospitals and health systems.

IHA President & CEO A.J. Wilhelmi was joined by Ted Rogalski, IHA Board Chair and CEO of Genesis Medical Center, Rashard Johnson, President of Advocate South Suburban and Advocate Trinity Hospitals, and Tom Shanley, M.D., President & CEO of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital.

Wilhelmi noted record hospitalizations over the weekend and said that while hospitals are capable of managing the ongoing pandemic, additional federal resources are needed to address the costs and challenges of recent surges, including recruiting and retaining staff and higher rates charged by nurse staffing agencies.

Also joining the the briefing were Pat Schou, Executive Director of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) and representatives of the American Hospital Association (AHA).

In advance of yesterday’s briefing, IHA 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 workforce investment, preventing hospital cuts, extending connected care flexibilities and supporting behavioral health.

Oral Antiviral Medications Webinar
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hosting a Jan. 12 webinar from 1-2 p.m. CT highlighting what clinicians need to know about the new oral antiviral medications, molnupiravir and Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir), used to reduce hospitalizations and prevent serious COVID-19 illness and death.

Join the webinar by clicking the Zoom link. The passcode is 180866 and the webinar ID is 161 297 4214. Or you can join by telephone at 1-669-254-5252.

During the call, presenters from the CDC, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will describe the recent emergency use authorizations (EUAs) and NIH treatment guidelines, patient prioritization, and resources for healthcare providers. Subject matter experts will provide guidance on prescribing antiviral medications, including patient assessment, how to have a risk-benefit discussion to address patient questions and concerns, and how to prioritize patients if medications are in short supply.

The slide set will be available on the day of the call under "Call Materials" on the COCA Call webpage.

AHA, CDC TAP Strategy Webinar
In response to the national increase of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) during the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Hospital Association (AHA), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will host a virtual information session on how to use the Targeted Assessment for Prevention (TAP) Strategy to prevent healthcare-associated infections.

Register here for the webinar, which is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 27 from 1:30-2 p.m. CT.

Katie White, CDC epidemiologist, will share new tools, including the TAP Strategy Learning Series videos, the TAP Facility Assessment Deployment Packet, and the TAP Strategy Gap Prioritization Worksheet. These new tools complement the full suite of TAP resources used by hospitals, health systems and other health care partners across the field to guide the identification and prioritization of infection prevention gaps and inform prevention efforts for catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), and Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI).

Illinois COVID-19 Updates The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 28,110 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, including 92 additional deaths. The U.S. reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, according to Reuters—the highest daily total for any country in the world.

As of Jan. 11, 7,353 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 1,152 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 12%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity is 16.9%.

The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily in Illinois is 52,187 doses. IDPH reports that 74.8% of adults (18 years and older) have been fully vaccinated, while 83.9% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 12 years and older, 73.4% have been fully vaccinated, while 82.4% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 5 years and older, 68.9% have been fully vaccinated and 78% have received at least one dose.

Briefly Noted
The Biden administration on Monday announced rules requiring private health insurers to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests starting Jan. 15.

Health and Human Service (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra instructed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reassess its recommendation for an increase to 2022 Medicare Part B premiums, given the dramatic price change of the Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm. Secretary Becerra said that with respect to a 50% price drop in the drug on Jan. 1, there is a compelling basis for CMS to reexamine the previous recommendation.