IHA Daily Briefing: May 7

Tuesday, May 7, 2019
IHA Backs Cigarette Tax Increase for Health
Nurse Staffing Ratios Bill Deadline Extended
CMS Issues Shared Hospital Resources Draft Guidance
May 9 Deadline for DPP Lifestyle Coach Training Session
Briefly Noted

IHA Backs Cigarette Tax Increase for Health
IHA this morning joined several other healthcare advocacy organizations, Illinois Dept. of Public Health Acting Director Ngozi Ezike, M.D. and Senate President John Cullerton in calling for a $1-per-pack increase in the state’s cigarette tax and higher taxes on other tobacco products (e.g., cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff). The tax is expected to generate nearly $160 million in new annual revenue that could be put toward public health programs and help the state pay down its backlog of unpaid bills. Cullerton indicated that he will be filing a bill on the tobacco tax increases within the next few weeks before the General Assembly adjourns.

At a state capitol press conference, IHA President and CEO A.J. Wilhelmi pointed to the harms caused by tobacco: “The mission of hospitals and health systems is to ensure the health and well-being of all Illinoisans. Every day we see firsthand the devastating health impacts of tobacco and nicotine products on our patients – including cancer, heart disease, asthma and other major illnesses and conditions – ultimately leading to premature deaths in communities across the state. In 2018, Illinois hospitals had nearly 215,000 patient admissions with tobacco use identified in the medical record – that is, inpatients who are currently using tobacco products or have a history of tobacco use.

“While Illinois’ hospitals are primarily focused on the benefits of a tobacco tax increase on the physical health of Illinoisans, we are also concerned about the fiscal health of the state, including its Medicaid Program and the state employee group health insurance program,” Wilhelmi added. “With the state facing a $6 billion backlog of unpaid bills – many of which are for services provided under Medicaid and the state employee group health insurance program – IHA supports additional revenues that will help pay down this significant and troubling backlog.”

According to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase would prevent nearly 29,000 Illinois youth from becoming adults who smoke, help nearly 49,000 adult smokers quit and save more than $1.5 billion in long term healthcare costs from adult and youth smoking declines. Every year, more than 18,000 deaths in Illinois are caused by smoking, and 4,800 kids under age 18 become new daily smokers.

Poll results were released at the press conference, showing widespread support across the state for raising the cigarette tax by $1-per-pack – 66% statewide and ranging from 60% to 70% in every region of the state.

Organizations supporting the cigarette tax increase include IHA, the Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, Respiratory Health Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Academy of Family Physicians, Illinois Public Health Association and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

See press release.


Nurse Staffing Ratios Bill Deadline Extended
The deadline for final legislative action on House Bill (HB) 2604, a mandatory nurse staffing ratios bill strongly opposed by IHA, has been extended to May 31.  That means, the bill can still be voted on through the end of the month when the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn.

Members are urged to continue contacting their state legislators to oppose HB 2604.  To send email messages to your legislators, click here.


CMS Issues Shared Hospital Resources Draft Guidance
On May 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued draft guidance to State Survey Agency Directors addressing situations in which hospitals share space, staff or services with another hospital or healthcare entity.  The guidance explains how CMS will evaluate these arrangements for compliance with Medicare Conditions of Participation.  
Topic areas included within the guidance are:

  • Distinct space and shared space;
  • Contracted services;
  • Staffing contracts; and
  • Emergency Services.

Comments are due to CMS no later than July 2.


May 9 Deadline for DPP Lifestyle Coach Training Session
Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Lifestyle Coach Training will be held June 25-26 in Edwardsville and June 27-28 in Carterville. This training is based on the PreventT2 curriculum developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additional insights are from the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Diabetes Prevention Program, which guides diabetes education sites to effectively deliver the national DPP program.

Expert DPP Master Trainers will lead the training using the recognized PreventT2 curriculum. Participants can expect:

  • An interactive classroom setting in a small-group format;
  • Insight from lifestyle coaches on best practices and real-life examples; and
  • Continuing education credits for nurses, dietitians and pharmacists.

Learning objectives include:

  • Understanding the national DPP curriculum and evidence-based program;
  • Developing a goal-oriented plan by using motivational interviewing skills for behavior change
  • Encouraging group participation and interaction, and facilitate commitment to activities and participant retention;
  • Learning the principles of behavior change, including motivational interviewing and facilitation techniques; and
  • Building skills that support the ability to guide behavior change efforts in others without prescribing personal actions or solutions.

Registration is limited to 18 people per session, with two individuals per organization. Priority will be given to facilities that are in the Edwardsville and Marion Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) regions and currently trained in diabetes self-management.

Pre-registration is needed by May 9. Once accepted, participants will be sent a link to formally register. There is no fee for the training, but there will be a $60 charge to cover the cost of food for both days. In addition, a condition of participation document will need to be signed prior to the training. This document will include information on sharing data and completing surveys for IDPH and IHA.

Funding for this program is provided by the IDPH Improving the Health of Illinoisans through Chronic Disease Prevention (CDC-DP18-1815).


Briefly Noted
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is withdrawing his nominations of Michael Gelder and Julie Hamos to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, "in order to appoint members who more closely share the governor's vision for hospitals around the state," according to a spokesperson for the Governor.