IHA Daily Briefing: Jan. 19

Thursday, January 19, 2023
IHA Webinars on Diabetes Program Reimbursement
HC3: Two Ransomware Groups Targeting Healthcare
CDC Dashboards: COVID-19, Flu and RSV Hospitalizations
TJC Issues Two Alerts on Maternal Health Disparities
Illinois COVID-19 Data
Briefly Noted


IHA Webinars on Diabetes Program Reimbursement
Registration is open for a complimentary IHA webinar series, “Medicaid Reimbursement for Diabetes Programs,” to ensure proper Medicaid Reimbursement for providers of a Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Services (DSMES).

As of Aug. 1, 2022, DPP and DSMES providers can now bill the Illinois Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) for diabetes services Medicaid beneficiaries receive. The webinars—from noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 14 and Feb. 28—will walk you through the claims submission process and identify common billing errors.

The program is designed for:

  • Nurses, physicians and pharmacists;

  • Health educations and billers; and

  • Others interested in diabetes program reimbursement.

Former IlliniCare Health executive Lindsey Artola will lead both webinars. With over 25 years of healthcare experience, Artola is currently the president and owner of Sage Health Strategy, a firm providing strategic guidance to payors, providers, and associations to drive growth and retention.

During the webinars, Artola will also cover how to enroll as a DPP/DSMES Provider in the HFS IMPACT credentialing system and explain how to complete the MCO universal roster as a DPP/DSMES Provider.

Register today.

Contact us with questions.


HC3: Two Ransomware Groups Targeting Healthcare
The Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) recently issued a warning to the healthcare sector to raise awareness about the tactics and exploitation techniques two ransomware groups that have used to aggressively target the U.S. healthcare sector. Royal ransomware and BlackCat ransomware have been identified by HC3 as two of the more recent sophisticated ransomware threats.

The groups have been known to use a variety of tactics such as phishing emails, unpatched software, and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) exploitation. The report urges healthcare organizations to take steps to protect themselves from these threats, including implementing robust cybersecurity measures, software patching, and RDP security and having an incident response plan in place.


CDC Dashboards: COVID-19, Flu and RSV Hospitalizations
Seeking to provide healthcare professionals and other decisions makers with real-time data needed to identify virus circulation trends, estimate disease burden and take action when necessary, two new, interactive dashboards offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide an integrated view of hospitalizations caused by COVID-19, flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

Based on data from counties in 13 states, the Respiratory Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network dashboard tracks respiratory hospitalizations across 13 states by age group, sex, race/ethnicity, state and season. Using data from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program, another informational dashboard tracks emergency department visit data provided by federal, state and local authorities and private sector collaborations, to provide early warning alerts to help identify or monitor unusual levels of certain illnesses or outbreaks.


TJC Issues Two Alerts on Maternal Health Disparities
The Joint Commission (TJC) this week published two alerts targeting maternal health disparities. A Sentinel Alert was issued by TJC to address morbidity and mortality in pregnant and postpartum patients through the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities. TJC also released a Quick Safety advisory on maternal mortality and morbidity, citing a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evaluating causes for maternal death related to mental health, including depression, anxiety, death by suicide and substance use disorders as the most frequent underlying cause, followed by clinical conditions.


Illinois COVID-19 Data
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) recently announced that it will follow the lead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and shift from daily reporting of new COVID-19 cases and deaths to weekly reporting. As of Jan. 1, daily case and death data are no longer being reported. IDPH will reports weekly data on Wednesday of each week for the previous week ending Sunday. IDPH will continue daily reporting of ICU bed availability and hospital admission data.


Briefly Noted
In a statement this week, Walgreen’s announced it has removed previous limitations on the online purchase of pediatric fever-reducing medications. According to Walgreen’s, the limit was initially put in place last month “to prevent excess purchasing behavior,” but has been rolled back due to “improved in-stock conditions” of these products.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), between 2018 and 2020, “the overall rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids increased from 14.6 per 100,000 population to 21.4.” Click here to access the AHRQ 2022 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report for detailed information on drug overdose deaths involving opioids by racial/ethnic and income groups.