IHA Daily Briefing: Oct. 12

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 
IHA Submits Comments on NSA Enforcement  
Updated Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives FAQs 
Maternal Health Bill Certified 
State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates 
Briefly Noted

IHA Submits Comments on NSA Enforcement
Today, IHA submitted comments to the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury, as well as the Office of Personnel Management and Internal Revenue Service (the departments) on the No Surprises Act (NSA) enforcement proposed rule,  Requirements Related to Air Ambulance Services, Agent and Broker Disclosures, and Provider Enforcement (CMS-9907-P). IHA strongly urged the departments to defer enforcement of the NSA until providers and payers have had sufficient opportunity to implement, evaluate, and revise NSA-related processes and documents.

Further, IHA asked the departments to establish appropriate oversight of payers to ensure they communicate accurate plan information to providers in a uniform and timely manner, and to increase transparency around the calculation of qualifying payment amounts which impact both consumer cost-sharing and the independent dispute resolution process. Comments on this proposed rule are due Oct. 18.


Updated Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives FAQs
The Illinois Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) has updated questions and answers about Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives (HTC) on its HTC FAQs webpage. Questions are being submitted throughout the program’s current Q&A period, which ends Oct. 15, and were collected during the Department’s recent HTC webinar. Additional FAQ updates are scheduled to be posted on Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.

HFS is accepting applications for FY2022 Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives funding until Nov. 19, 2021. To apply for funding, interested entities should follow the Department’s 3-Step Application Process.


Maternal Health Bill Certified
A technical amendatory veto of Senate Bill 967, comprehensive legislation seeking to address many of the facets impacting overall maternal health, maternal mortality, and maternal morbidity, has been certified and is now in effect as Public Act 102-0665.

Under this new law (“Improving Health Care for Pregnant and Postpartum Individuals Act”), a birthing facility, defined as a hospital with licensed obstetric beds or a neonatal intensive care unit or a hospital operated by a State university, shall have a written policy in place in addition to the continuing education and training for obstetric hemorrhage and hypertension. The written policy, education, and training under this section has also been extended to include other leading causes of maternal mortality. Further, birthing facilities shall incorporate into these policies best practices for identification and assessment for common pregnancy or postpartum complications throughout the pregnancy and postpartum period, defined as 12-months post-delivery. These best practices include offering coordination of a post-delivery early postpartum visit. The best practices are to be developed by the Illinois Dept. of Public Health with collaboration from the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative.

Through IHA’s advocacy efforts, more onerous and confusing requirements for hospitals in earlier versions of the bill were replaced with the more streamlined approach that will allow for greater consistency and continuity for implementation. See IHA’s summary memo for more details.


State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 1,927 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, including 12 additional deaths.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,657,970 cases, including 25,288 deaths. In the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 96,693 specimens for a total of 33,337,826. As of last night, 1,646 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 394 patients were in the ICU and 213 patients were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests is 2%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity is 2.6%. The latest daily case positivity rate is 1.99%.

The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily in Illinois is 27,307 doses, with 70,363 doses administered since Friday (Oct. 8). IDPH reports 64.8% of adult Illinoisans (18 years and older) have been fully vaccinated, while 82.3% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 12 years and older, 63.2% have been fully vaccinated, while 80.7% have received at least one vaccination dose.

Saturday’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures showed more than 44.2 million confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. (a daily increase of more than 106,000 cases; seven-day moving average of more than 96,000 cases), with 711,020 deaths (a daily increase of 2,196).

Today’s WHO Coronavirus Disease Dashboard showed more than 237.6 million COVID-19 cases globally (a daily increase of more than 257,000 cases), with more than 4.84 million deaths. The Region of the Americas (includes the U.S.) continues to lead the world with more than 91 million cases and more than 2.23 million deaths.


Briefly Noted
This is Emergency Nurses Week, with a special focus on Wednesday (Oct. 13) for Emergency Nurses Day, celebrating the grit, determination, and willingness of emergency nurses to do whatever it takes to provide patients the best care possible no matter the circumstances, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 18 months. Join the celebration on social media on social media by using #ENWeek and tagging @ENAorg.