IHA Daily Briefing: July 22

Wednesday, July 22, 2020
HHS Releases Details on Provider Relief Fund Reporting
Congressional Committee Leaders Issue Telehealth Proposals
State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
Chicago Campaign to Encourage Young People to Wear Masks
Register for CMS Compliance Webinars: July 23 and 28

HHS Releases Details on Provider Relief Fund Reporting
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) released additional details on reporting requirements for funds received from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). Any provider in receipt of one or more PRF payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate must comply with reporting requirements. HHS will make a reporting system available to providers beginning Oct. 1, and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will release detailed reporting instructions and a data collection template with the necessary data elements by Aug. 17.

PRF recipients must report on funds expended through Dec. 31, 2020 by Feb. 15, 2021. Providers that expend all received PRF funds prior to Dec. 31, 2020 may submit a single final report at any time between Oct. 1, 2020 and Feb. 15, 2021. Providers with funds unexpended after Dec. 31, 2020 must submit a second and final report no later than July 31, 2021. Please see IHA’s summary for more details.


Congressional Committee Leaders Issue Telehealth Proposals
This week, the ranking members of two U.S. Congressional health committees released separate proposals that would make permanent certain telehealth flexibilities used during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) released a discussion draft that would permanently remove restrictions on the location of the patient, expand the types of practitioners eligible to provide services through telehealth, permit rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers to serve as distant sites, allow Medicare beneficiaries to access care from their homes, and allow use of audio-only technology for established patients.

Legislation put forward by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) would expand access to mental health services as well as certain evaluation and management services.

IHA continues to urge policymakers to make statutory and regulatory changes necessary to permanently expand certain telehealth flexibilities used during the pandemic. IHA priorities for the next COVID-19 legislative package include ensuring payment parity for services whether provided through telehealth or in-person.


State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today 1,598 new COVID-19 cases (highest one-day total since June 2) and 23 deaths. The total number of cases in the state is 165,301 in 102 counties, with a total of 7,347 deaths. IDPH says that in the past 24 hours, 39,633 test specimens have been processed, with a positivity rate of 4%. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate from July 15 to July 21 is 3.2%. Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past 24 hours decreased from 1,466 patients to 1,456 patients. Of that figure, 337 patients were in the ICU, with 132 patients on ventilators.

In an afternoon press conference, Governor J.B. Pritzker expressed concern about the state’s rising numbers and said “COVID-19 has not gone away and it remains a serious threat.”

Yesterday, IDPH said the Dept. of Juvenile Justice’s IYC St. Charles facility is reporting 16 new cases of COVID-19 in staff and 3 new cases among the youth prompting increased mitigation and infection control measures. All youth and staff have been tested for COVID-19 and the facility is implementing programming changes to reduce further spread. This week Chester Mental Health Center in Randolph County reported 27 staff and 5 residents with newly confirmed cases of COVID-19. Shapiro Developmental in Kankakee County reported 1 resident and 6 staff of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19. Full infection control measures are in operation at these facilities for both residents and staff.

Today’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures show nearly 3.9 million confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 141,677 deaths.

Today’s WHO Coronavirus Disease Dashboard shows more than 14.7 million COVID-19 cases globally, with more than 612,000 deaths. The Region of the Americas (includes the U.S.) continues to lead the world with more than 7.8 million cases and more than 313,000 deaths.


Chicago Campaign to Encourage Young People to Wear Masks
In partnership with Chicago’s sports teams, the city has launched the “We Are All One Home Team” campaign to encourage the city’s youth and young adults to wear masks, practice social distancing and follow the latest public health guidelines to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.

“If we’re going to win against the greatest public health challenge we’ve ever faced, none of us can afford to sit on the sidelines and warm the benches,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “The ‘We Are All One Home Team’ campaign means that we all have a role to play in keeping each other safe, especially our youngest residents who must continue to follow our public health guidelines. We cannot afford to let our guard down – it’s time to team up with your masks up.”

Teaming up with the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, Fire, Red Stars, Sky, and White Sox – the campaign centers around the influence of sports teams, their players and mascots to unify people across the city and work together as one home team against COVID-19. The initiative will utilize digital and out-of-home billboards and social media channels.


Register for CMS Compliance Webinars: July 23 and 28
Get an expert perspective on the latest changes to the hospital Conditions of Participation (CoPs) manual in two upcoming webinars led by Sue Dill Calloway, RN, MSN, JD.

These essential learning opportunities are available to IHA members through the Georgia Hospital Association:

  • CMS Hospital Surgery, Anesthesia and PACU Requirements: Are You in Compliance? on July 23 examines CoPs for anesthesia—and how to avoid financial loss caused by common surgical delays.
  • Documentation Update 2020: Ensuring Compliance on July 28 focuses on maintaining accurate, concise medical documentation to avoid legal disputes and ensure proper reimbursement. Register today.

Each program takes place from 9 to 11 a.m. and will benefit leaders and staff in clinical care, risk management, patient safety and quality improvement. Registration for each webinar allows for an unlimited number of connections, and the recorded version will be available following the webinar. Claim your spot today.