IHA Daily Briefing: May 8

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
HHS: Drug Prices Required on TV Ads
Judge Orders HHS to Develop 340B Remedies
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
IHA Small & Rural Meeting: Get Inspired to Act Globally
Free IHA Webinar on Cybersecurity June 13
Briefly Noted

HHS: Drug Prices Required on TV Ads
Today, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a final rule that requires drug makers to disclose the list price of pharmaceuticals in direct-to-consumer television ads if the drug price is equal to or more than $35 for a month’s supply or course of therapy. Until now, drug companies were only required to disclose the major side effects a drug can have in television ads.

An HHS fact sheet says that the 10 most commonly advertised drugs have list prices ranging from $488 to $16,938 per month or usual course of therapy. The department noted that 47% of Americans have high-deductible health insurance plans, under which they often pay the list price of a drug until they have spent through their deductible. The rule is intended to let patients know in advance the price of a drug and provide an opportunity to discuss their options with their doctors.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin has worked to advance this policy by including a provision in fiscal year 2019 spending legislation and urging the Administration to finalize this rule.

The rule is part of is President Trump’s American Patients First blueprint, released last May, which calls for increasing drug price transparency for patients and bringing down overall drug costs both for patients and for the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Judge Orders HHS to Develop 340B Remedies
On Monday, a federal district court judge ruled that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) would get “first crack” at developing appropriate remedies reversing the reductions applied to Medicare payments for 340B program drugs administered by program-eligible hospitals in calendar years (CY) 2018 and 2109.  Monday’s ruling states that the court “...expects that the agency will act expeditiously to resolve these issues.” The parties are expected to submit a status report on the agency’s progress on or before Aug. 5.

In December, a federal judge decided in favor of a lawsuit brought by the AHA, the Association of American Medical Colleges, America’s Essential Hospitals, and three hospital plaintiffs, which challenged HHS’ implementation of the almost 30% Medicare payment reduction in CY 2018 and 2019 for certain 340B program drugs administered by those hospitals.  The judge’s December ruling declared HHS’ implementation of the payment reduction unlawful.

Consequently, as part of that ruling, both parties were required to submit briefs stating their recommendations for remedies to those hospitals whose payments were reduced during those two years; those briefs were submitted in February. Generally, the plaintiffs’ brief requests full restitution of reduced payments to affected hospitals in a non-budget neutral manner; HHS’ brief favors a more budget neutral approach, but warns against vacating the entire 2018 Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System rule.  
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness month in Illinois. To mark the month, the Illinois Dept. of Human Services (DHS) is partnering with providers and cities across the state for awareness month events.

Events in Illinois include a Children's Mental Health Awareness Day Ceremony at Decatur Public Schools on May 10, where green and white pinwheels will be displayed for each school to commemorate the day. On Trauma-Informed Awareness Day, May 15, Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison, youth from the Mikva Challenge, and DHS will be holding a press conference to raise awareness for trauma-informed care in the Blue Room at the State Capitol.

Other events include, a public presentation for youth, caregivers and adults working with youth from the Lake County Health Department, and a Walk the Block event by the Egyptian Health Department. For more details and a full list of events and activities please visit DHS' Division of Mental Health's events page.

To help raise awareness for Mental Health Awareness Month, cities and towns across the state will also be lighting their buildings and structures green from May 6-13. In Chicago, the Willis Tower and Prudential Plaza will be lit green. The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois was lit green and displayed "Mental Health Month" in their windows on May 6. The Tate & Lyle building in Decatur and the Bayview Bridge in Quincy will also be lit green.
IHA Small & Rural Meeting: Get Inspired to Act Globally
Carrying out an international medical mission is easier than you think—get the details at this year's IHA Small & Rural Hospitals Annual Meeting, June 20-21 at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield.

On June 20, David L. Schreiner, president and CEO of Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital (KSB), will lead “A Playbook for Creating a Medical Mission” alongside KSB's Chief Medical Officer Pratip Nag, MD, PhD.

Schreiner and Dr. Nag will share stories and lessons learned from their team's two trips to the remote villages of Cusco, Peru, the historic capital of the Inca Empire. KSB staff members treated and diagnosed more than 1,150 Peruvians, distributed vitamins and medication, and delivered health and nutritional education.

"It makes you look at healthcare differently," Schreiner said. "Our staff provided a personal touch and a smile, which was just as valuable as the medical care."

In a place where distance and finances are common barriers to healthcare, KSB staff saw how needed and appreciated medical care was among the villagers. Working in Peru also brought KSB staff back to the roots of medicine, as they had to manage without advanced technology or resources.

In an unforgettable session at our Small & Rural Hospitals Annual Meeting, you'll learn how a mission trip can:
  • Enhance the global perspective of medicine;
  • Strengthen bonds within your team;
  • Improve your staff's job satisfaction; and
  • Result in better outcomes for your patients back home.
"Our staff returned happier and more engaged," Schreiner adds. "The trips reaffirm why we're in the medical profession."

This year's meeting, BE HERE: Innovations in Rural Healthcare, also offers sessions on today's pressing issues in rural healthcare, including the opioid crisis, emergency preparedness and consumerism. Register today.
Free IHA Webinar on Cybersecurity June 13
Over 4,000 ransomware attacks occur daily: Make sure your organization has a proactive plan by attending IHA's free June 13 webinar, Is Your Cybersecurity Program "Left of Bang?"

Offered by Atos Digital Health Solutions, this one-hour webinar will begin at 10 a.m. and cover:
  • The evolving healthcare cybersecurity landscape, current threat matrix and how to determine an acceptable level of risk for your organization;
  • The key components of a "prescriptive" cybersecurity program;
  •  The steps required to develop and maintain a "prescriptive" cybersecurity program that balances your investment with the appropriate level of protection;
  • The importance of an enterprise incident response plan as part of your cybersecurity program; and
  • The potential benefits of a collaborative "security as a service" approach.
Dan Stewart, vice president of Atos, will lead this eye-opening webinar, drawing on more than 35 years of experience in the healthcare IT and services sectors. His work contributes to Atos' mission of helping healthcare organizations clarify business objectives while pursuing safer, more effective solutions and managing costs and engagement across the care continuum.

This webinar, limited to IHA members, will benefit:
  • CEOs, COOs and CFOs;
  • Chief Information Officers;
  • Chief Information Security Officers;
  • Chief Technology Officers; and
  • Directors of Information Technology.
The strategies you learn in this webinar will help your organization mitigate risk and prepare for a cybersecurity threat. Register today.
Briefly Noted
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, maternal sepsis is the third leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. On May 15, Sepsis Alliance is launching Maternal Sepsis Day, an annual observance to raise awareness of the unique signs and symptoms of maternal sepsis, bring to life the personal experiences of the women who endured it and remember those who have passed. Additional educational resources are available here. A complimentary maternal sepsis webinar will take place at 1 p.m. on May 15. Register here.

The National Institutes of Mental Health will hold a May 9-10 workshop on “Identifying Research Priorities in Child Suicide Risk” in Bethesda, MD. The in-person meeting will be available via webcast and phone conferencing. The program starts at 8 a.m. CT on both days. Additional details and login information are available here.