IHA Daily Briefing: May 13

In Today’s Issue
Recognizing IL Hospitals During National Hospital Week
State Releases COVID-19 After-Action Report, Future PHE Playbook
Advisory: Black Basta Ransomware Accelerates Attacks on Healthcare
Recall: Diabetes App Linked to 200+ Injuries
COVID-19 Information 
Briefly Noted
Leading the News


Recognizing IL Hospitals During National Hospital Week
During National Hospital Week (May 12-18), IHA recognizes our hospitals and the healthcare workers who provide life-saving and life-changing care for patients in their communities. IHA is proud to work in partnership with the state’s more than 200 hospitals and nearly 40 health systems, who provide this essential care to every person who walks through their doors regardless of their ability to pay, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Thank you to all Illinois hospitals and health systems for all you do to support the health of individuals and communities in Illinois, as part of your mission to provide equitable, accessible and quality healthcare to all!


State Releases COVID-19 After-Action Report, Future PHE Playbook
The State of Illinois has released a playbook detailing measures the state should take to prepare for future public health emergencies as well as recommendations for future administrations that may have to navigate public health crises. 

The review produced an after-action report and a playbook intended to guide an all-of-government response to potential future public health emergencies. While the report indicated that Illinois demonstrated clear strengths in the COVID-19 response, it also identified lessons learned that can improve future responses to infectious disease public health emergencies. The report recommended action in three key areas to improve future pandemic response, including improving preparedness response plans, modernizing data systems and infrastructure, and investing in efforts to build communication between the state and local public health departments and community-based organizations. 

In 2023, IHA completed a lookback and review of the COVID-19 pandemic response from the perspective of Illinois hospitals. The COVID-19 Insights Report can be found here. The report was compiled with the input of hospital leaders through surveys, focus groups and individual interviews. A video that accompanies the Insights Report can be found by clicking here.  


Advisory: Black Basta Ransomware Accelerates Attacks on Healthcare
The FBI, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center released a joint cybersecurity advisory on Friday to provide information on Black Basta. Black Basta is a ransomware variant whose actors have encrypted and stolen data from at least 12 out of 16 critical infrastructure sectors, including the healthcare and public health sector.

The cybersecurity advisory provides tactics, techniques and procedures, as well as indicators of compromise, that have been obtained through FBI investigations and third-party reporting. The agencies emphasized that healthcare organizations are attractive targets for cybercrime actors due to their size, technological dependence, access to personal health information and unique impacts from patient care disruptions. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are encouraged to apply the recommendations in the mitigations section of the advisory (p. 15) to reduce the likelihood of compromise from Black Basta and other ransomware attacks. It is recommended this information is shared with your IT and cyber infrastructure teams. 

The Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center also issued a bulletin to healthcare organizations, warning of significant acceleration in cyberattacks by Black Basta. 


Recall: Diabetes App Linked to 200+ Injuries 
Tandem Diabetes Care has recalled a mobile app that works with its t:slim X2 insulin pump, according to the Food and Drug Administration. An issue with the software may cause the mobile app to crash and be automatically relaunched by the iOS operating system. This cycle intermittently repeats, which leads to excessive Bluetooth communication that may result in pump battery drain and may lead to the pump shutting down sooner than typically expected. Pump shutdown will cause insulin delivery to suspend, which could lead to an under-delivery of insulin and may result in hyperglycemia or even diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be a life-threatening condition due to high blood sugar and lack of insulin. There have been 224 reported injuries as of April 15 and no reports of death.


COVID-19 Information
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) has launched a weekly Infectious Respiratory Disease Surveillance Dashboard that will be updated weekly on Friday. This report provides the public with the latest data on hospital visits, seasonal trends, lab test positivity and demographic data. 

Click here to visit the IDPH COVID-19 resources webpage. IDPH will continue to report the weekly number of people with COVID-19 admitted to hospitals from emergency departments, deaths and vaccinations, with COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus information also reported through the dashboard of the Illinois Wastewater Surveillance System.


Briefly Noted
With the end of the General Assembly’s spring session quickly approaching, Illinois legislators continue to push bills through committees and debate legislation on the floor. While May 24 is currently the last scheduled day of session, both chambers have contingent day “holds” in place until May 31. With budget discussions ramping up and a lot of legislation remaining for consideration, the General Assembly could extend the May 24 adjournment date through the end of the month.


Leading the News

Hospital prices paid by private insurers vary widely, report finds
AXIOS reported (5/13) that, “Private health insurance on average pays hospitals 2.5 times what Medicare does for the same services, with some states seeing relative prices of more than 3 times greater, according to a new RAND report.”

231 Black healthcare leaders to know | 2024
Becker’s Hospital Review reported (5/13) that, “Diversity in healthcare leadership results in a more well-rounded experience for patients and providers. Becker's is thrilled to honor these Black healthcare leaders. The leaders featured on this list are shaping the patient experience, educating and training the next generation of healthcare providers, and furthering equity and inclusion.”

Illinois hospital, OSF HealthCare enter into merger negotiations
Becker’s Hospital Review reported (5/10) that, “Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare and Dixon, Ill.-based Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital have shared plans to merge after entering into exclusive negotiations.”