IHA Daily Briefing: May 5

Thursday, May 5, 2022
HAVE YOU REGISTERED? Health Equity Action Day May 13
APPLY: Grants to Expand Sexual Assault Exam Programs
Register: IHA Webinar on Medicare VBP Program
New Test Permitted to Improve Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease
Illinois COVID-19 Update
Briefly Noted

HAVE YOU REGISTERED? Health Equity Action Day May 13
As a hospital community, we play a key role in addressing health disparities and moving the needle towards true health equity. While our commitment to health equity is not new, the events of 2020 underscored the deep need to overcome systemic barriers, challenge the effectiveness of current interventions and policies, and promote quality patient care for all Illinoisans.

To support this ongoing effort, you are encouraged to attend the Illinois Health and Hospital Association’s (IHA) second annual Health Equity Action Day—Accelerating Health Equity Across Illinois—on Friday, May 13 from 9-11:30 a.m. You can register for the virtual event using this registration link. Click here to access a Health Equity Action Day flyer, which we encourage you to share with your colleagues, staff and professional network.

This year, as we explore the meaning of health equity and our collective efforts to eliminate disparities and improve health outcomes, our keynote speaker, bestselling author and policy expert Heather McGhee, will speak to these very issues.

McGhee’s keynote address, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, is also the title of her bestselling book, which was heralded as a 2021 must-read book and “required reading to move the country forward.” McGhee regularly appears on NBC’s Meet the Press and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Her TED talk, “Racism Has a Cost for Everyone,” has 2.4 million views.

During the event, IHA member hospitals will also offer their insights through hospital stories highlighting best practices for improving health equity, followed by a panel discussion with leaders of each initiative. We will hear from:

  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago;
  • Edward-Elmhurst Health;
  • OSF HealthCare Saint Luke Medical Center, in coordination with OSF OnCall; and
  • Memorial Health, in partnership with SIU School of Medicine and Hospital Sisters Health System.

Additionally, results of the 2021 Racial Equity in Healthcare Progress Report (Progress Report) completed by hospitals will be announced, featuring information on the common strengths and areas of opportunity among participating hospitals. We will also launch the 2022 Progress Report with two more learning collaboratives, consisting of eight-week sessions from June 15 to Aug. 15 and Sept. 15 to Nov. 15.

APPLY: Grants to Expand Sexual Assault Exam Programs
The U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) recently opened the application process for grants intended to establish or expand sexual assault examination programs, including sexual assault nurse examiner programs (SANE) and sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) programs focused on:

  • Increasing the number and availability of SANEs/SAFEs;
  • Expanding access to sexual assault forensic examinations; and
  • Improving the quality of post-sexual assault care using a hospital-based or community-based approach.

The OVC will make awards under two program purpose areas:

Program Purpose Area 1: Establishing and/or expanding hospital- or community-based SANE/SAFE programs that offer sexual assault medical forensic exams and sexual assault victim services using coordinated community response strategies. OVC expects to make up to six awards of up to $500,000 each for a 36-month period of performance to begin on October 1, 2022.

Program Purpose Area 2: Funding for a technical assistance provider that is proactive, action-driven, flexible, and ensures ongoing communication and collaboration with the selected Purpose Area 1 awardees, OVC, and other relevant federal agencies and partners. OVC expects to make one award of up to $1 million for a 36-month period of performance to begin on October 1, 2022.

OVC will conduct one pre-application webinar on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 from 12:00–1:00 p.m. central time. Participation in the webinar is optional. OVC staff will review the solicitation requirements and conduct a question and answer session with interested potential applicants. Click here to register for the webinar.

Click here for more information about the grant.

Register: IHA Webinar on Medicare VBP Program
IHA is collaborating with our analytic partner, DataGen, to offer IHA members a complimentary webinar on the Medicare VBP program. The webinar, from 2 - 3 p.m. on May 16, will provide members with an overview of the VBP program and information on how to read and utilize hospital-specific VBP analyses located in the IHA C-Suite. The program will benefit CFOs, VPs of Finance, CQOs and other finance and quality professionals. Register today.

New Test Permitted to Improve Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has permitted marketing for the first in vitro diagnostic test for early detection of amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a news release issued yesterday.

The Lumipulse G β-Amyloid Ratio (1-42/1-40) test is intended to be used in adult patients, aged 55 years and older, presenting with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of cognitive decline.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than six million Americans, most age 65 or older, may have dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease, a brain disorder known to slowly destroy memory and thinking skills, and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s disease, clinical symptoms first appear later in life.

The Lumipulse G β-amyloid Ratio (1-42/1-40) was granted Breakthrough Device designation, a process designed to expedite the development and review of devices that may provide for more effective treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating diseases or conditions.

Illinois COVID-19 Update
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 4,148 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, and 10 COVID-19 deaths.

Most recent IDPH hospitalization data show 799 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 81 patients were in the ICU and 18 patients were on ventilators.

The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily in Illinois is 14,050 doses. IDPH reported that 77.8% of Illinoisans (18 years and older) have been fully vaccinated, while 86.8% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 12 years and older, 76.6% have been fully vaccinated, while 85.3% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 5 years and older, 73.1% have been fully vaccinated and 81.5% have received at least one dose.

Briefly Noted
Deaths where alcohol use disorder (AUD) was listed among multiple causes were 22% higher than projected for the second year in a row, and 28.8% higher than projected in cases where AUD was listed as an underlying cause. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that those 25-44 years, the youngest age group surveyed, demonstrated the largest increase in AUD mortality (40.47% in 2020 vs 33.95% in 2021) across all age groups. Study authors noted that the findings “suggest that the pandemic may have had a disproportionate association with AUD-related deaths and subgroups with high vulnerability and that tailored strategies are needed for AUD prevention and intervention to combat this public health crisis.”

Only 18% of parents with children under age 5 intend to give their child a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the most recent KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor survey. According to the survey, a larger percentage (38%) plan to hold off on the vaccine to see how it impacts others, while about four in ten parents of children under 5 said they would “definitely not” get their child vaccinated and 11% responded that they would only do so if required.

A national survey of LGBTQ youth found that while 82% of respondents wanted access to mental health care, 60% of those who wanted that care in the past year were unable to get it. The top three reason cited for being unable to secure care included the fear of discussing mental health concerns (48%); concerns with obtaining parent/caregiver permission (45%); and fear of not being taken seriously (43%). The survey also noted that of LGBTQ youth who did not feel care providers would understand their race/ethnicity, Middle Eastern/North African respondents (21%) and Asian American/Pacific Islander (18%) respondents were more likely to raise this concern, compared to white respondents (2%).