IHA Daily Briefing: Oct. 13

Tuesday, October 13, 2020
National Plan to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
IHA Series on POLST Program: Register for Friday’s Webinar
Funding Opportunity for Suicide Prevention Lifeline Sites
State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
CMS: 171 COVID-19 Testing Labs Not Meeting Standards
Briefly Noted

National Plan to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
The federal government has released “The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB), 2020-2025,” which presents coordinated, strategic actions that the government will take in the next five years to improve the health and well-being of all Americans by changing the course of antibiotic resistance. This plan is based on the 2014 National Strategy for CARB, and builds on the first National Action Plan released in 2015 by expanding evidence-based activities that have already been shown to reduce antibiotic resistance, such as optimizing the use of antibiotics in human and animal health settings.

The plan prioritizes infection prevention and control to slow the spread of resistant infections and reduce the need for antibiotic use. To ensure that patients receive the right antibiotic care, the plan supports innovative approaches to developing and deploying diagnostic tests and treatment strategies. The plan also focuses on collecting and using data to better understand where resistance is occurring, support the development of new diagnostics and treatment options, and advance international coordination.

Antibiotic-resistant infections kill more than 35,000 people in the U.S. each year.


IHA Series on POLST Program: Register for Friday’s Webinar
The Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form can help ensure patients’ end-of-life wishes are fulfilled.

Learn how to facilitate these important conversations at “Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment: A Model for Patient-Centered Care,” IHA’s complimentary three-part webinar series. The next two webinars include:

  • Nooshig Luz Salvador, MD, MSOM, FACP, HMDC, will lead the webinar on Oct. 16, focusing on communication techniques, form use and COVID-19. Salvador is the system associate medical director at Edward-Elmhurst Health in Naperville.   
  • Chelsey Patten, DBe, will lead the final webinar on Oct. 27. Patten, senior ethicist at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, will discuss the role of technology in POLST.

Ellen Byrne, MPP, public policy consultant for the Illinois Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, will facilitate a question-and-answer session in both webinars—which will be held from noon to 1 p.m.

This program is designed for:

  • CMOs;   
  • CNOs;
  • Directors of quality and safety;   
  • Emergency department staff; and         
  • Staff in hospital medicine, palliative/geriatric medicine, care coordination and other related disciplines.

These webinars will provide clarity on a critical program for seriously ill patients. For the full agenda, visit our registration page.


Funding Opportunity for Suicide Prevention Lifeline Sites
The Illinois Dept. of Human Services (DHS) - Division of Mental Health has announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity to provide funding for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Sites in Illinois. The Federal Communications Commission has assigned 988 as the new nationwide, 3-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (the Lifeline). The Lifeline is a network of crisis centers serving the entire country. The Lifeline’s call routing is based on crisis center call capacity and availability. Beginning July 16, 2022, all phone service providers must ensure all 988 calls are routed to the Lifeline.

To support the roll out of 988 and to increase in-state/local capacity to answer calls to the Lifeline, DHS - Division of Mental Health is seeking entities interested in becoming new Lifeline call centers or expanding the services of current call centers. Applications are due by Nov. 9 at 5 p.m. Additional information about this Funding Opportunity can be located at:


State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) announced today 2,851 new COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths. The total number of cases in the state is 324,743 in 102 counties, with a total of 9,026 deaths. IDPH says that in the past 24 hours, 55,993 test specimens have been processed, with a positivity rate of 5.09%. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate from October 6 to October 12 is 4.5%. Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past 24 hours increased from 1,764 patients to 1,848 patients. Of that figure, 406 patients were in the ICU, with 160 patients on ventilators.

“More than 9,000 Illinoisans — our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, family, friends, and neighbors — have had their lives cut short by COVID-19, leaving tens of thousands more to grieve loved ones lost too soon,” said Governor J.B. Pritzker. “As we pause today to mourn these individual and collective losses, may we find strength in the tools we have to protect our communities: wearing a mask, watching our distance, and respecting public health and each other. My heart breaks for all those who have lost a loved one in this battle we never asked to fight — may their memories be for a blessing.”

Today’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures show more than 7.78 million confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 214,446 deaths.

Today’s WHO Coronavirus Disease Dashboard shows more than 37.7 million COVID-19 cases globally, with more than 1.079 million deaths. The Region of the Americas (includes the U.S.) continues to lead the world with more than 18 million cases and more than 592,000 deaths.


CMS: 171 COVID-19 Testing Labs Not Meeting Standards
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says that since Aug. 12 it has issued 171 cease and desist letters to laboratories across the U.S. that were testing for COVID-19 without an appropriate Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificate. Of those 171 letters, 34% went to facilities conducting laboratory testing without a CLIA certificate and 66% were issued to laboratories performing COVID-19 testing outside the scope of the existing CLIA certification.

The letters ordered the laboratories to stop immediately to safeguard the integrity of COVID-19 testing, and protect patients from potential endangerment if provided inaccurate or unreliable test results. Following receipt of the letter, laboratories are required to provide CMS an attestation certifying they have ceased testing.


Briefly Noted
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health will host a COVID-19 Situational Update webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. to provide the latest information on the Coronavirus Disease outbreak and Illinois preparedness efforts. Register here.