IHA Daily Briefing: June 5

Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Exclude Chicago Hospitals from Scheduling Ordinance
HFS Expands MLTSS Statewide/Reopens MMAI Enrollment
Congress Sends President Emergency Preparedness Bill
Briefly Noted

Exclude Chicago Hospitals from Scheduling Ordinance
A highly restrictive work scheduling ordinance proposal that includes hospitals (known as the “Fair Workweek” ordinance) will go to a hearing and vote of the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Workforce Development and Audit on Monday, June 10.  SEIU Healthcare and the United Food and Commercial Workers are aggressively pushing the ordinance and refusing to exempt hospitals. The ordinance would apply to Chicago employers, including hospitals, with hourly employees or salaried employees earning less than $50,000 a year – and would apply to all hourly employees.

IHA strongly opposes any scheduling ordinance that includes hospitals because it would be unworkable and costly. Hospitals are exempted from work scheduling ordinances in New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC, and the state of Oregon. Chicago hospital leaders need to let committee members and sponsors of the ordinance know that a work scheduling ordinance would harm hospitals and patients and that hospitals should be excluded from the ordinance.

See IHA’s advocacy alert for more details. Also see IHA's letter to the Committee and a fact sheet.


HFS Expands MLTSS Statewide/Reopens MMAI Enrollment
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) recently announced plans to move forward with statewide implementation of mandatory enrollment in the Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) program for coverage effective dates beginning July 1, 2019.  Currently, enrollment in a managed care organization for MLTSS benefits is only mandatory for eligible Medicaid clients residing in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, Lake, and Will counties. The MLTSS program is designed for beneficiaries who are eligible for full Medicare (Part A and Part B) and Medicaid benefits (full dual-eligibles), have opted out of the Medicaid-Medicare Alignment Initiative (MMAI), and reside in a nursing facility or participate in certain Home and Community-Based Services waiver programs. A related HFS provider notice includes eligibility verification and billing information for MLTSS enrollees.

HFS also announced that it will reopen enrollment in Molina Healthcare’s MMAI in Christian, Logan, Macon, Menard, Piatt, and Sangamon counties for coverage effective dates beginning Sept.1, 2019.


Congress Sends President Emergency Preparedness Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation (PAHPAI) Act (S. 1379) yesterday. The act reauthorizes critical programs that seek to improve public health, medical preparedness and response capabilities, including the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), which is the primary federal funding mechanism for healthcare system emergency preparedness.

The bill provides $385 million annually between fiscal years 2019 and 2023 for HPP. The HPP program enables the healthcare delivery system to save lives during emergencies and disaster events that exceed the day-to-day capacity and capability of existing health and emergency response systems. Through the development of healthcare coalitions (HCCs), this program protects the health and lives of Americans when disaster strikes. A list of regional HCCs can be found here (page 63).

PAHPAI also reauthorizes the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), the Strategic National Stockpile, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, among other provisions.

The bill passed the Senate in May and now heads to the President’s desk.


Briefly Noted
David Schreiner, President and CEO, Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital in Dixon has been appointed to AHA’s Task Force on the Future of Rural Health Care.  Schreiner is currently chair of AHA’s Section for Small or Rural Hospitals Council.