IHA Daily Briefing: Jan. 12

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Competing Versions of Black Caucus Healthcare Bill
Urge Your State Rep to Oppose HB3360/SA1
Updated 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
Medicare Cost Report Filing Extension-19
IDPH Posts COVID-19 Vaccination Data
State, National, Global COVID Updates

Competing Versions of Black Caucus Healthcare Bill
Over the past several days, IHA has been engaged in intense discussions, meetings and legislative hearings to address the hospital community’s deep concerns about certain provisions in the General Assembly Black Caucus’ Health Care Pillar Legislation (“Illinois Health Care and Human Service Reform Act”).

We are pleased to report that the Senate version of the legislation – House Bill 3840 – has been substantially revised to address our concerns, thanks in large part to Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago). We are urging a Yes vote on HB3840.

However, the House version – Senate Bill 558 – House Amendment 4 – still includes language related to a three-year moratorium on hospital and service line closures, which is unworkable and unreasonable. We are urging a No or Present vote on SB558.

Both bills are expected to be voted on later today. Members are urged to:

  • Call your state Representative now and urge him/her to Vote No or Present on Senate Bill 558 – House Amendment 4 and to ask the bill sponsors to work with IHA to address concerns about the proposed moratorium on hospital and service line closures.   
  • Call your state Senator and urge him/her to vote Yes on House Bill 3840.

To look up your state legislators and their Springfield office contact information, click here, go to the “Find Officials” section, and fill in your local address information. To send separate emails to your Representative and Senator on this issue, click here.

See IHA’s advocacy alert, a fact sheet on SB558, and a fact sheet on HB3840.


Urge Your State Rep to Oppose HB3360/SA1
As the Daily Briefing was going the press this afternoon, the Illinois House was expected to vote later today on House Bill 3360/Senate Amendment 1, a bill strongly opposed by IHA.

This bill, which is being pushed by trial lawyers and passed the Senate Monday night, would require payment of prejudgment interest (at a rate of 9% a year) in civil cases, including medical malpractice cases. Such a punitive measure would drive up healthcare costs, compel physicians, including specialists, to leave the state, and jeopardize access to care.

We have one opportunity to stop this bill when it comes up for a vote in the House today. Contact your state Representative NOW and urge him/her to oppose and vote NO on Senate Amendment 1 to HB3360. To look up your state Representative and his/her Springfield office contact information, click here, go to the “Find Officials” section, and fill in your local address information. To send an email to your Representative on this issue, click here.


Updated 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recalculated calendar year (CY) 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule payment rates to reflect the 3.75% increase passed under the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) (H.R. 133). Updated payment information is available on the CMS CY 2021 MPFS final rule website under Downloads. See an IHA memo for more information.


Medicare Cost Report Filing Extension
Providers with Medicare cost reporting periods that ended March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 have an additional 60 days from the initial due date to file their Medicare cost reports. See CMS’ COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Billing guidance, last updated January 7, 2021, for more information.


IDPH Posts COVID-19 Vaccination Data
Beginning today, the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting COVID-19 vaccination data on its website at www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccinedata, with data to be updated daily and additional data to be provided as available. IDPH says that vaccine distribution figures are reported in real time, while vaccine administration figures are reported with as much as a 72-hour lag.

As of Monday night, 638,150 doses of vaccine were delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago. In addition, approximately 231,475 doses have been allocated to the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership Program for long-term care facilities. This brings the total Illinois doses to 869,625. IDPH is currently reporting a total of 353,791 vaccines administered, including 41,075 for long-term care facilities.

“Throughout the pandemic we have used data to guide our decisions and actions and we will continue to do so for vaccine administration,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Illinois is a very diverse state, geographically and in the make-up of its population. It is important to track where we are seeing both high and low vaccination rates. These data will help us understand what actions we can take to end this pandemic as quickly as possible.”

Data on the IDPH website include the number of doses administered, the vaccination rate per population, and what percent of the population is fully vaccinated. These data are broken down by county.


State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) announced today 6,642 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 117 deaths.

The total number of cases in the state is 1,040,168 with a total of 17,743 deaths. IDPH says that in the past 24 hours, 93,491 test specimens have been processed, with a positivity rate of 7.1%. The preliminary 7-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percent of total tests from Jan. 5-11 is 7.5%, and the seven-day test positivity rate is 8.6%.

Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past 24 hours increased from 3,540 patients to 3,553 patients. Of that figure, 757 patients were in the ICU, with 409 patients on ventilators.

Today’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures showed more than 22.5 million confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. (a daily increase of more than 199,000 cases), with 375,124 deaths.

Today’s WHO Coronavirus Disease Dashboard showed more than 89.7 million COVID-19 cases globally (a daily increase of more than 566,000 cases), with more than 1.94 million deaths. The Region of the Americas (includes the U.S.) continues to lead the world with more than 39.5 million cases and more than 921,000 deaths.