IHA Daily Briefing: May 16

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

IHA Advocacy Alert-Telehealth Legislation SB 3049
IHA Continues to Raise Concerns on SANEs Bill
IL Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment Exceeds 2.2M
Wage Index Reports Final Corrections Due May 30
Death from Falls on the Rise

IHA Advocacy Alert-Telehealth Legislation SB 3049
Senate Bill (SB) 3049, sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar (D-48, Bunker Hill) and Rep. Sue Scherer (D-96, Decatur), passed the Senate 49-0 on May 1 and is scheduled to be considered by the House Mental Health Committee this Friday (May 18). This legislation, strongly supported by IHA, would expand Medicaid telehealth reimbursement.

Contact your State Representative now and urge her/him to support and vote Yes on SB 3049. To send an email message to your Representative, click here. See IHA's fact sheet. We also encourage you to support Senate Bill 3049 via witness slip before Friday's hearing.

See IHA’s alert for background and talking points.


IHA Continues to Raise Concerns on SANEs Bill
A new amendment to House Bill 5245 – Senate Amendment 1 – would impose an implementation deadline of Jan. 1, 2022 for requirements on hospitals concerning Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs), a year later than the House-passed version of the bill. However, IHA continues to raise concerns about the new proposed timeline.

At a hearing of the Senate Human Services Committee Tuesday evening, David Gross, IHA Senior Vice President, Government Relations, said that there would not be enough time to train the estimated 650 nurses needed to meet the deadline.

“Over the last few weeks, IHA, [Committee] Chairperson [Julie] Morrison [D-29] and the Office of the Attorney General’s team have had productive discussions, and some of our concerns have been addressed in Senate Amendment 1,” said Gross. “However, our main concern continues to be centered primarily on how to increase the pool of qualified providers that will be needed to comply with this mandate by 2022.”

Gross urged lawmakers to move the implementation timeframe back to 2023 as proposed in the originally introduced bill.

Several committee members – Sens. Omar Aquino (D-2), Mattie Hunter (D-3), Jim Oberweis (R-25), Dale Righter (R-55), and Dave Syverson (R-35) – all voiced concerns about the aggressive timeline, particularly for Safety Net and Critical Access Hospitals. They received a commitment from Morrison, the bill sponsor, to revisit the timeline later in the implementation process, if the bill is enacted into law. The committee voted 9-0-1 to approve Senate Amendment 1 to HB5245 and send it to the Senate floor.


IL Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment Exceeds 2.2M
As of April 1, more than 2.2 million people were enrolled in HealthChoice Illinois, the state’s Medicaid managed care program, according to a report from the Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services. The state had expanded the program statewide at the beginning of April.

Meridian Health Plan has the most enrollees at 546,663, followed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois with 469,384, IlliniCare Health Plan with 341,300 and CountyCare Health Plan with 332,243.

The enrollment report is included on HFS’ revamped Care Coordination webpage.

Last week, HFS announced a new implementation date concerning the Medicaid managed care expansion for Special Needs Children. The anticipated enrollment expansion effective date for this population is revised from July 1, 2018 to Oct. 1, 2018. Enrollment packets will be mailed in Aug. 2018, for the Oct. 1, 2018 enrollment effective date.


Wage Index Reports Final Corrections Due May 30
Yesterday, IHA made available to its member hospital CFOs and other finance staff, via the IHA C-Suite on the IHA website, revised hospital-specific wage index and occupational mix reports. These reports, based on the Public Use Files that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published on April 27, will be used in the calculation of the final Medicare wage index values calculations for federal fiscal year 2019.

IHA strongly encourages its members to review the information as soon as possible. Members must notify their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) of any corrections no later than Wed., May 30. Only corrections that were due to omissions or errors by the MAC can be submitted.

Since Critical Access Hospitals are not paid by Medicare under the Prospective Payment System, they will not have any reports prepared for them.


Death from Falls on the Rise
The latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report finds that the rate of death from falls among those aged 65 years or older increased 31 percent from 2007 to 2016. The fastest-growing rate was among those aged 85 years or older, at 3.9 percent per year. Between 2007 and 2016, the rate of death from falls increased across 30 states, including Illinois. In 2016, rates ranged from 24.4 per 100,000 in Alabama to 142.7 in Wisconsin. In Illinois, the rate was 47.9 per 100,000, lower than the national rate of 61.6.

The report also highlights the age-adjusted death rate for unintentional falls by race and ethnicity between 2001 and 2016. For that period, the rate for non-Hispanic white adults aged 65 years or older approximately doubled, increasing from 34.9 deaths per 100,000 to 68.7. In addition, the death rate for Hispanic adults increased from 21.9 to 35.7, and the rate for non-Hispanic black adults rose from 16.8 to 27.1. Throughout the period, the death rate from falls for non-Hispanic white adults was 1.4 to 1.9 times the rate for Hispanic adults and 2.1 to 2.8 times the rate for non-Hispanic black adults.