IHA Daily Briefing: May 16

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Community Mental Health Training Webinars Cancelled
Providers Call for Healthcare in IL Capital Program
Rep. Kelly Testifies at Maternal Mortality Hearing
MBGH Offers Diabetes Workshop June 25
Register: Free IHA Webinar on Staffing Solutions
Briefly Noted

Community Mental Health Training Webinars Cancelled
The Illinois Depts. of Human Services (IDHS) and Children and Family Services (DCFS) will delay training webinars intended to be held later this month on the rule for certification reviews of Community Mental Health Centers under the Medicaid Community Health Services Program. The Dept. of Human Services-Division of Mental Health Director, Diana Knaebe, indicated the training webinars scheduled for May 21 and May 23 will be rescheduled shortly. IHA will update members when more information is shared.

The certification rule (Rule 132), approved by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules on Jan. 1, 2019, applies to entities seeking to maintain certification as a Community Mental Health Center. The webinars will focus on describing how the certifying state agencies will operationalize the rule for certification reviews.  Of special interest will be the areas in which entities may need to identify policies, procedures and practices to be adjusted prior to the certification review.  Excerpts of the rule will be referenced during the training; participants are urged to review the rule and have a hard copy available to follow along.

Providers Call for Healthcare in IL Capital Program
At a State Capitol press conference this morning, healthcare providers called for the enactment of legislation for a capital program that includes funding to support the transformation of the state’s healthcare delivery system to meet the healthcare needs of Illinoisans well into the future.  The providers are members of Build Up Illinois, a coalition advocating for building projects, also known as “vertical construction,” as part of a comprehensive capital plan.

Leaders from hospitals and community health centers said it is critical that the state help providers across the healthcare delivery system, especially providers that serve vulnerable populations who have substantial health disparities.  They said capital investments would be used to upgrade and modernize facilities, equipment and technology, enabling providers to expand access to healthcare in underserved urban and rural communities.

“We are urging the General Assembly and the Governor to invest in healthcare as part of a state capital program, “said Larry McCulley, President and CEO of Touchette Regional Hospital and SIHF Healthcare in Centreville and Chair of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association’s Board of Directors. “Such investments will improve the health of our most vulnerable urban and rural populations, as well as improve the economic health of our low-income communities – creating jobs in the immediate future and a sustainable economic stimulus for the long-term future.”  Touchette is a safety net hospital based in the nation’s poorest city; SIHF Healthcare is one of the nation’s largest federally qualified health centers (FQHC).

Many hospitals in Illinois, including safety net hospitals, face ongoing financial challenges and are not able to access private capital funding to modernize their facilities to meet the needs of their patients and communities.  More than 40% of the state’s hospitals are operating in the red or on very thin margins, many of them predominantly serving Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries. To help hospitals transform their aging facilities to build a coordinated person-centered system of health and human services, IHA is proposing that the state invest $500 million in state capital funds for a Hospital Transformation Capital Program.

“Due to our payer mix and dependence on the Medicaid program for funding, safety net hospitals cannot make capital improvements without help from the state,” said Tim Egan, CEO of Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago.  “It is imperative that any capital funding bill include vitally needed funds for safety net hospitals to ensure that all people in Illinois have access to quality care, regardless of where they reside.

“Saint Anthony Hospital is 120 years old,” said James Sifuentes, Senior Vice President, Mission and Community Development, Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago. “Our hospital has excellent quality scores but bringing its physical structure to 21st century standards would cost almost as much as building a new building.  To continue to provide high quality care at a time when it is most needed, it is time to reinvest in an institution that has stood and cared for generations of people who have been underserved.”

The Illinois Primary Health Care Association, which represents community health centers that operate 380 sites in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, is proposing a $125 million investment in health centers to build new sites, upgrade current facilities and purchase medical equipment to expand access to care in underserved communities.

“Community Health Centers deliver high quality, patient-centered care that improves lives and lowers costs,” said Jordan Powell, President and CEO of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association. “They are also economic engines, generating $2.4 billion in economic activity each year.  An investment in community health centers is an investment in Illinois’ health and financial well- being.”

“With the support of a capital funding bill, ACCESS can continue to meet the complex healthcare needs of our patients and build modern, integrated healthcare practices that incorporate primary care, behavioral health and other specialty services right in our most underserved communities,” said ACCESS Chief Executive Officer Donna Thompson, who oversees one of the largest FQHC networks in the U.S.

Several legislators – Representatives LaToya Greenwood (D-114, East St. Louis) and Justin Slaughter (D-27, Chicago) and Senator Emil Jones III (D-14, Chicago) – joined the healthcare leaders in calling for capital funding for hospitals to be included in a state capital program.

Illinois’ last major infrastructure program passed in 2009, a $31 billion plan called Illinois Jobs Now.

Rep. Kelly Testifies at Maternal Mortality Hearing
The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing today—Overcoming Racial Disparities and Social Determinants in the Maternal Mortality Crisis—where Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-2) testified.

“Our laws can change how care is delivered within our hospitals by equipping our providers with standardized emergency obstetrical protocols. Our laws can support providers across their training continuum with tools that help them become more reflective about how their own biases play out in the care they provide to women of color. Our laws can extend care to mothers who are Medicaid beneficiaries throughout the entire post-partum period. Our laws can support full collection of consistent data about who dies on the way to motherhood and why,” said Rep. Kelly, referring to the the Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness (MOMMA) Act (H.R. 1897/S. 916), which she introduced with support from Reps. Janice Schakowsky (IL-9), Danny Davis (IL-7), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Mike Quigley (IL-5), and Bobby Rush (IL-1).

The MOMMA Act would expand access to Medicaid for one year post delivery, standardize data collection on maternal mortality, and enhance training to promote culturally-competent care, among other provisions. Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

During the hearing, Rep. Danny Davis (IL-7), who serves on the Committee, highlighted maternal mortality rates in his district and the need for more research to improve understanding of why there are higher rates of mortality among minorities. Others who testified at the hearing were U.S. Track and Field Olympian Allyson Felix, representatives from the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, among others.

MBGH Offers Diabetes Workshop June 25
The Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH) is offering a Pre-Diabetes & Diabetes Management Workshop on June 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Carterville at John A. Logan College. This complimentary onsite educational program will focus on resources employers can use to:

  • Better understand diabetes risk within your covered population;
  • Learn effective pre-diabetes and diabetes management strategies;
  • Understand the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Diabetes Prevention Program and implementation options; and
  • Access the Diabetes Management in the Workplace Toolkit, which contains free resources, best practices and more.

Who should attend?        

  • Human Resources & Benefits Professionals;
  • Wellness Program Managers;
  • Occupational Health Nurses; and
  • Health Professionals or Program Administrators.                      

Register today.

Register: Free IHA Webinar on Staffing Solutions
The healthcare industry has the second highest turnover rate, second only to hospitality. To assist organizations in addressing this issue, IHA is partnering with FocusOne Solutions to host a complimentary webinar on July 16.

Solutions for Today's Healthcare Staffing Challenges, held from 10 to 11 a.m., will be led by FocusOne business development executives Courtney Dobernecker and Dan Nordstrom. Attendees will learn how managed services, or outsourcing to agency staff, can increase efficiencies and control labor spend.

Dobernecker and Nordstrom will discuss how you can:

  • Use supplemental staff to fill permanent needs within your organization; and
  • Benefit from your supplemental staff's outside perspective on best practices and methods.

With nearly 30 years of combined experience, Dobernecker and Nordstrom are experts in building and maintaining strong partnerships in healthcare settings. They will guide you through the process of working with a MSP and explain how it can relieve your human resources staff of tedious staffing duties to free up their time for more strategic work.

This program is limited to IHA members and is designed for the following:

  • CEOs, CFO and CNOs;
  • Vice Presidents and Directors of Human Resources; and
  • Vice Presidents of Patient Care Services.

FocusOne, an IHA Strategic Partner, is an MSP with a proven track record of helping hospitals in Illinois, as well as nationwide, streamline their staffing process and improve performance.

Take advantage of this opportunity to hear firsthand what an MSP can do to resolve your staffing challenges. Register today.

Briefly Noted
The Illinois Society of Healthcare Risk Management (ISHRM) is holding its 31st annual meeting and conference—The Changing Climate of Healthcare Risk Management—on June 7, from 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Marriott Bloomington-Normal Hotel & Conference Center in Normal. Keynote speaker and comedian Jan McInnis kicks off the event with “Finding the Funny in a Challenging Situation.” Continuing education credits are available. For more information on the program and to register, click here.

The Illinois Primary Health Care Association will hold a training session on “Essentials of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment,” on May 31 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Springfield. This training will focus on five main topics that are essential when implementing SUD treatment. Topics include motivational interviewing, a look at the American Society of Addiction Medicine level of care criteria, provider roles in Medication Assisted Treatment and individual and group therapy approaches. Continuing education credits are available. To register, click here.