IHA Daily Briefing: June 6

Wednesday, June 6, 2019
Gov. Pritzker Signs Budget, Fair Tax Bills
Task Force Releases Pain Management Report
Local Celebrity Will Inspire at IHA Small & Rural Meeting
Register for IHA's Two October HCPro Boot Camps
Briefly Noted

Gov. Pritzker Signs Budget, Fair Tax Bills
Yesterday, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bipartisan, $40 billion balanced budget that is “designed to pay down Illinois' debt and return the state to fiscal stability.” The budget, which goes into effect on July 1, 2019, the beginning of the state's 2020 fiscal year (FY), is expected to generate $150 million in surplus that will be targeted to pay down a portion of the state's multi-billion dollar backlog of unpaid bills. For the hospital community, it is also important to note what the new state budget includes and does not include:   

  • No Medicaid cuts;
  • $1.2 billion in bonding authority to further reduce the backlog of unpaid bills;
  • An increase in the hospital assessment tax that had been scheduled to take effect this July 1 to cover increased state costs related to declining Affordable Care Act federal matching rates has been delayed by one year, saving hospitals $12.5 million;
  • No reductions in the prompt pay interest rate. IHA defeated proposals to significantly decrease the prompt pay interest penalty that the state pays to providers, including hospitals; and
  • $500,000 is appropriated for the Medical Licensing Division of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to hire additional staff for more timely processing of licenses for physicians and other healthcare professionals, which IHA advocated for.

According to a press release from the Governor’s Office, the major components of the budget invest in the Governor's key priorities of education, healthcare, public safety, vital human services and criminal justice reform, while fully funding the state's pension contributions and making progress on the state's bill backlog. The budget also includes business-friendly efforts such as phasing out the corporate franchise tax.

The Governor also signed legislation concerning a graduated income tax, Senate Bill 0687, which would go into effect if voters approve a constitutional amendment ballot question in the November 2020 election.

See a press release for more details. Highlights of the new budget can be found here.

Task Force Releases Pain Management Report
Recently the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, a federal advisory committee established by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, released its final report on acute and chronic pain management best practices, calling for a balanced, individualized, patient-centered approach.

The final report underscores the need to address stigma, risk assessment, access to care and education. It also highlights five broad categories for pain treatment: medications, interventional procedures, restorative therapies, behavioral health, and complementary and integrative health approaches.

The report includes a section highlighting disparities and unique challenges faced by special populations, including veterans, active military, women, youth, older adults, American Indians and Alaska Natives, cancer patients and those in palliative care, and patients with sickle cell disease and other chronic, relapsing painful conditions.

Last year, IHA and the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians released Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Patients in the Emergency Department and Immediate Care Centers. An executive summary is also available.

Local Celebrity Will Inspire at IHA Small & Rural Meeting
After a lifetime of being uncomfortable with her weight, central Illinois native Sonya Jones decided to make a drastic change. She applied for NBC's The Biggest Loser in 2014—and ended up as the closest runner-up in the show's history.

Jones' positivity and fearless attitude struck a note with America—that's why she is delivering the closing session on June 21 at IHA's Small & Rural Hospitals Annual Meeting in Springfield.

In her session, All In, Jones will explore how caring for yourself is a prerequisite to caring for to your patients. "It's not a lecture on diet and exercise," she promises. "It's about how leaders and people of influence work so hard caring for others that they often forget to take care of themselves."

Jones is now an Outreach Representative for HSHS Medical Group. She was a two-time Collegiate All-American in fastpitch softball, and earned her master's degree from the University of Illinois Springfield.
If you're ready to become a better version of yourself, don't miss this powerful session. Jones will challenge you to push yourself—and those around you—to live a healthier, braver life.

Register today.

Register for IHA's Two October HCPro Boot Camps
If you struggle with Medicare denials, improving clean claim rates and obtaining correct reimbursement, you aren't alone—these are common challenges facing hospitals across Illinois.

For practical solutions to dealing with these Medicare challenges, attend one or both of the HCPro Boot Camps held at the IHA Naperville office this October:

On October 1-4, Valerie A. Rinkle, MPA, will lead HCPro Revenue Integrity and Chargemaster Boot Camp®. As a lead regulatory specialist with HCPro, Rinkle is well suited to provide comprehensive information on your revenue cycle, cost reporting and other key operations. Visit IHA's event page for information about payment and registration. Register today.

On October 29-30, Gina M. Reese, Esq., RN, will lead HCPro Medicare Boot Camp®—Utilization Review Version. Drawing on her years of experience in healthcare law, Reese will help you define billing, coding and payment rules, explain the two-midnight rule benchmark, and more. Visit IHA's event page for information about payment and registration. Register today.

In a post-course survey, 100% of previous attendees rated the program materials and course as excellent. Attendees at both courses will receive a large program book rich with information. Past attendees have noted they rely on the book as a valuable resource months after the course ends. Continuing education credits are also available for both courses.

Both of these nationally recognized boot camps will benefit:

  • Revenue integrity staff;
  • Patient financial services management; and
  • Compliance office management and staff.

Medicare rules can be complex—make sure your staff is prepared by sending them to one or both of these boot camps.

Briefly Noted
IHA has updated its advocacy alert on the Chicago “Fair Workweek” ordinance proposal with the latest list of 30 sponsors of the ordinance and members of the City Council’s Committee on Workforce Development. Chicago hospital leaders are urged to contact these Aldermen to urge them to exclude hospitals from the ordinance. The Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the ordinance proposal on Monday, June 10.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported yesterday 1,001 measles cases nationwide thus far in 2019. The CDC is urging healthcare providers to stress the importance of measles vaccinations to all their patients as this resurgence of the disease is largely due to unvaccinated communities. Illinois is one of 26 states with confirmed cases. More resources for pediatricians and parents can be found here.