IHA Daily Briefing: July 28

Thursday, July 28, 2022
Manchin, Schumer Reach Revised Reconciliation Deal
IHA Leadership Summit: A Focus on Health Equity
IHA Strategic Partner: Acquisition Expands Offerings
U.S. House Passes Telehealth Bill
Illinois COVID-19 Update
Briefly Noted

Manchin, Schumer Reach Revised Reconciliation Deal
In a surprise announcement yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said they reached agreement on a budget reconciliation package that adds climate and tax provisions to previously agreed upon healthcare provisions. The new bill, renamed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, would generate an estimated $739 billion in revenue, spend $433 billion and reduce deficits by $300 billion, according to a summary released by Sen. Schumer.

IHA strongly supports key healthcare provisions in the bill, including an extension of enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies for three years. The bill also takes important steps to lower prescription drug prices by imposing rebates on drug manufacturers who increase prices faster than inflation, capping seniors’ out-of-pocket costs at $2,000 under Medicare Part D and requiring the Medicare program to negotiate on a certain high-priced drugs.

Sen. Schumer says the chamber will vote next week on the bill, which requires the support of all 50 Democrats. Although the new package is supported by the White House and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, it could still face potential hurdles, including from Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who has previously opposed tax increases contained in the revised bill. The bill must also pass a review by the Senate parliamentarian to ensure it complies with strict budget reconciliation rules. Presuming the bill clears the Senate next week, it would move to the House for consideration. The House is scheduled to adjourn today for the August recess, but could return to Washington to vote on the bill.

IHA Leadership Summit: A Focus on Health Equity
A trailblazer in health equity, Daniel Dawes, JD, has been at the center of health policy development, from the Affordable Care Act to the Mental Health Parity Act. At the 2022 IHA Leadership Summit Dawes will reframe our understanding of what determines health through his session “Leveraging the New Determinants of Health to Improve Patient Outcomes.”

The Summit, on Sept. 29-30 at The Westin Lombard, will bring together top experts to discuss three key pillars: health equity, future of workforce and digital innovation. The IHA signature event is designed for C-Suite, department, clinical and board leaders.

During his session, Dawes will:

  • Highlight the role of data in identifying and eliminating health disparities, reducing costs, and improving outcomes;
  • Get at the root causes of disparities through a multifaceted view of health determinants; and
  • Show how strategic partnerships can transform healthcare.

Dawes, executive director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, has looked beyond social risk factors to identify the political, behavioral and community-based determinants that lead to poor health outcomes. His 2020 book, The Political Determinants of Health, has been called “groundbreaking” and an “essential text [that] sets a bold new agenda for health justice.”

Dawes also wrote the 2016 book 150 Years of ObamaCare, which documents the health equity movement in the U.S. and the Affordable Care Act’s health equity-focused policies he helped craft.

After his session, Dawes will lead a panel of health equity leaders from Illinois hospitals and health systems. Register today.

IHA Strategic Partner: Acquisition Expands Offerings
Per diem options for contingent staffing and expanded local services are now available through IHA Strategic Partner Medical Solutions with its recent acquisition of technology innovator Matchwell.

Launched in 2019, Matchwell leverages a cloud-based marketplace using artificial intelligence to efficiently match licensed and certified staff with healthcare organizations across clinical settings, including hospitals and clinics.

Medical Solutions—an IHA Strategic Partner since 2018—is a leader in total workforce solutions. The July 5 acquisition of Matchwell broadens the scope of Medical Solutions’ services to meet the evolving needs of its clients and clinicians.

“Matchwell’s long-standing reputation of innovation, providing customers with progressive solutions, and employee-centric culture mirrors what we’ve established at Medical Solutions,” Craig Meier, Medical Solutions CEO, said in a news release.

Medical Solutions can deliver quality candidates in today’s stressed labor market, serving as a single point of contact for hospitals and streamlining contingent workforce processes, such as managing prescreening and interviewing of job candidates, along with compliance and invoicing.

Learn how Medical Solutions can assist with your contingent staffing needs: Contact Mike Daeges at 402-986-5153 or mike.daeges@medicalsolutions.com.

U.S. House Passes Telehealth Bill
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed IHA-supported legislation to extend numerous pandemic telehealth flexibilities through Dec. 31, 2024.

The modified Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2021 (H.R. 4040), which passed by a vote of 416-12, would extend the following telehealth flexibilities in the Medicare program:

  • Geographic and originating site flexibilities;
  • Expanded list of eligible practitioners;
  • Federally Qualified Health Center and rural health clinic telehealth coverage and reimbursement;
  • Delay of the in-person telemental health requirement;
  • Use of audio-only telehealth; and
  • Use of telehealth to satisfy Medicare face-to-face requirements.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Illinois COVID-19 Update
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 7,151 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and nine COVID-19 deaths.

Most recent IDPH hospitalization data show 1,476 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 171 patients were in the ICU and 43 patients were on ventilators.

The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily in Illinois is 12,976 doses. IDPH reported that 78.1% of Illinoisans (18 years and older) have been fully vaccinated, while 86.2% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 12 years and older, 76.9% have been fully vaccinated, while 84.9% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 5 years and older, 73.5% have been fully vaccinated and 81.2% have received at least one dose.

Briefly Noted
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services posted a recording and related transcript of its July 19 National Stakeholder Call, which featured a guest speaker from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) who reviewed SAMHSA’s Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and the new 988 dialing code.

The oldest patient on record has been cured of HIV, according to Reuters. On Wednesday, researchers reported the fourth patient, a 66-year old American man, to be cured after receiving a stem cell transplant for leukemia. The media reported the patient has also lived with HIV the longest, having been diagnosed in 1988.