IHA Daily Briefing: May 15

In Today’s Issue
IHA Webinar Series on Hospital Health Equity Initiatives Starts May 20
CDPH Monitoring Local Increase in Invasive Meningococcal Disease
Providing Comprehensive Services in Low-Income Communities
Webinar: Healthcare Facility Extreme Weather Resilience and Mitigation
COVID-19 Information 
Briefly Noted
Leading the News


IHA Webinar Series on Hospital Health Equity Initiatives Starts May 20
Learn about the successful health equity initiatives of Illinois hospitals and health systems in a complimentary IHA webinar series, “Health Equity in Action: Practical Strategies & Shared Learnings,” with sessions on May 20, June 6 and June 24 from noon-1 p.m. CT.

The webinars will feature projects of Cook County Health and Riverside Healthcare on May 20; Carle Health and UChicago Medicine on June 6; and Alton Memorial Hospital on June 24. There will be time during each webinar for participants to ask questions of presenters, who will explain how they developed and implemented their initiative as well as challenges they overcame.

In the final session, IHA quality improvement (QI) experts will present a QI framework and approach for adopting the initiatives in any hospital or health system, regardless of size or location.

There is no fee to attend. After registering, you’ll receive login information for all three webinars. IHA will provide follow-up materials after each session. Member participation is essential to continuing our collective efforts to advance health equity across the state. Register today.

Contact HealthEquity@team-iha.org with questions. 


CDPH Monitoring Local Increase in Invasive Meningococcal Disease
The Chicago Dept. of Public Health (CDPH) issued a statement yesterday saying it is monitoring a local uptick in cases of invasive meningococcal disease. CDPH said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting a nationwide increase in meningococcal disease, a rare but serious bacterial infection associated with infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and bloodstream. Similar to national trends, CDPH reported that since January 2023 there have been seven cases in 2023 and eight cases in 2024, to date. All of these individuals have had bloodstream infections, and four have died.


Providing Comprehensive Services in Low-Income Communities
Requirements by pharmaceutical companies are making it hard for hospitals like Franciscan Health Olympia Fields to turn savings on drug costs into services for patients. The hospital has put those savings toward services, including its:

  • Outpatient Infusion Center that provides comprehensive cancer care, chemotherapy and non-oncology infusion services;

  • Medication to Bedside program that bridges the gap from inpatient to community and ensures medication access to all patients prior to discharge; and

  • Pharmacist-managed Anticoagulation Clinics and Pharmacotherapy Clinics that improve medication outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions.

Franciscan Health Olympia Fields joined the federal 340B drug discount program “to help serve the uninsured and under-insured community residents in Olympia Fields and Chicago Heights.” Both Chicago suburbs have poverty rates higher than the 11.9% state average. The rate is 12.6% in Olympia Fields and 23.3% in Chicago Heights.

Created in 1992, the 340B program requires drugmakers that participate in Medicaid to sell certain outpatient drugs to safety-net healthcare providers, including hospitals, at a discount. Yet, in 2020, pharmaceutical companies began imposing restrictions on 340B providers, such as limiting contract pharmacies to a single pharmacy and requiring the contract pharmacy be within a defined mileage radius.

“The 340B program serves as a vital lifeline for safety-net providers to support critical health services in low-income or isolated rural communities, which are typically operated at a loss,” Franciscan Health said.

“Significantly more 340B hospitals provide money-losing vital health services than non-340B hospitals, which include trauma centers, labor and delivery services, HIV-AIDS services, and immunizations.”

IHA is advocating for Senate Bill 3727 to prohibit drugmakers from interfering with hospital pharmacy contracts. See our 340B landing page, “Increasing Access to Affordable Drugs," for more hospital stories, and an infographic and fact sheet on the impact of drugmaker restrictions.

Contact us with questions.


Webinar: Healthcare Facility Extreme Weather Resilience and Mitigation
The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) in conjunction with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) are hosting a free Healthcare Facility Extreme Weather Resilience and Mitigation webinar on June 5, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. CT. 

Speakers from New York University Langone Health and Mass General Brigham will discuss the resilient and sustainable building designs they have used to ensure their facilities can effectively withstand unexpected and severe weather events. Additionally, OCCHE staff will highlight related efforts and priorities in building climate-resilient healthcare facilities. 

Click here to register for the free webinar. Early registration is encouraged, as space is limited to the first 1,000 participants. ASPR TRACIE noted that each registrant will receive a unique link needed to access the webinar. The link will only be able to be used on one computer; registrants should not forward their registration confirmation emails to others. When possible, it’s recommended you register once per office/organization and view the webinar as a group to allow the maximum number of participants.


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
A recent online post from Kenneth Kaufman, managing director and chair of Kaufman Hall, highlighted the positive financial impact of lowering the average length of stay. A recent analysis of Kaufman Hall’s National Hospital Flash Report numbers identified lower-than-average length of stay as one of the top characteristics of hospitals that perform at a higher financial level than others. 


Leading the News

Illinois Supreme Court considers expectation of privacy in hospitals
WGLT reported (5/14) that, “While Cortez Turner was in a hospital room being treated for a gunshot wound to his leg in 2016, police took his clothes. Now, the Illinois Supreme Court is weighing whether that action violated Turner’s expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment.”

From good to great, how to strengthen the CEO-CFO relationship
Becker’s Hospital Review reported (5/14) that, “Even when the going gets tough, Dixon, Ill.-based Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital CEO David Schreiner, PhD, and CFO Austin B. Frazier Jr. have successfully collaborated to evolve and develop strategies, with a little bit of laughter, to strengthen their working relationship.”

Ferrell Hospital CEO says it could take up to six weeks before hospital re-opens
WSIL reported (5/14) that, “Parts of our region are still cleaning up after severe weather hit our area last week, bringing with it... tornadoes and flooding. One of the places impacted the most – was Ferrell Hospital in Eldorado. Ferrell Hospital in Eldorado remains closed days after heavy rains caused the drainage system to overflow and flood major parts of the hospital.”