IHA Daily Briefing: Oct. 15

Thursday, October 15, 2020
CDC Adds Vaccine Info to COVID-19 Webpage
CMS Expands Telehealth during Health Emergency
Resources for Rural Healthcare to Prepare for COVID-19 Surge
MAPS Workshop: Emotional Support for Staff amid COVID-19
State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
AHA, AMA, ANA Urge President to Rescind Executive Order
Final 2020 Adult/Adolescent SANE Trainings Announced
Cook County President Issues FY2021 Budget Plan

CDC Adds Vaccine Info to COVID-19 Webpage
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage with new information about vaccines. The information includes:

The CDC notes that “clinical trials are evaluating investigational COVID-19 vaccines in many thousands of study participants to generate scientific data and other information for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine their safety and effectiveness. These clinical trials are being conducted according to the rigorous standards set forth by FDA in their June 2020 guidance document, Development and Licensure of Vaccines to Prevent COVID-19. If FDA determines that a vaccine meets its safety and effectiveness standards, it can make these vaccines available for use in the United States by approval or emergency use authorization.”

CMS Expands Telehealth during Health Emergency
On Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded the list of telehealth services that Medicare Fee-for-Service will pay for during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). CMS is also providing additional support to state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies in their efforts to expand access to telehealth.

“Responding to President Trump’s Executive Order, CMS is taking action to increase telehealth adoption across the country,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Medicaid patients should not be forgotten, and today’s announcement promotes telehealth for them as well. This revolutionary method of improving access to care is transforming health care delivery in America. President Trump will not let the genie go back into the bottle.”

For the first time using a new expedited process, CMS added 11 new services to the Medicare telehealth services list since the publication of the May 1 COVID-19 Interim Final Rule with comment period. Medicare will begin paying eligible practitioners who furnish these newly added telehealth services effective immediately and for the duration of the PHE. These new telehealth services include certain neurostimulator analysis and programming services, and cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services.

The list of these newly added services is available on the List of Telehealth Services webpage.

CMS has also released a preliminary Medicaid and CHIP data snapshot on telehealth utilization during the PHE. The snapshot shows that there have been more than 34.5 million services delivered via telehealth to Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries between March and June of this year, representing an increase of more than 2,600% when compared to the same period from the prior year.

Resources for Rural Healthcare to Prepare for COVID-19 Surge
The COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group, a partnership with the U.S. Depts. of Health & Human Services and Homeland Security and other federal agencies has developed a Rural Surge Readiness Web Portal, a collection of the most up-to-date and critical resources for rural healthcare systems preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 surge.

The resources span a wide range of healthcare settings (EMS, inpatient and hospital care, ambulatory care, and long-term care) and cover a broad array of topics ranging from behavioral health to healthcare operations to telehealth.

MAPS Workshop: Emotional Support for Staff amid COVID-19
High stress in healthcare settings—the kind caused by COVID-19 surges—can lead to poor outcomes, low morale and staff burnout.

Find out what makes a successful peer-to-peer support program at the 2020 MAPS PSO Annual Culture of Safety Workshop. This virtual event from the Midwest Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS) Patient Safety Organization (PSO) will be on Oct. 29-30.

A pandemic-focused session, “Sustained Support and Wellness During COVID-19," will take place from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on Day 1 of the event—open to all patient safety professionals.

The session will be led by:

  • Susan Scott, PhD, RN, CPPS, FAAN, Nurse Scientist at the University of Missouri Health Care; and   
  • Kelly Ryan, PsyD, Director of Social Services and Doctoral Training at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health in Naperville.

Scott and Ryan will explore methods to support staff's psychological well-being during normal times and COVID-19. They'll also share a real-world case study from Edward-Elmhurst Health in Naperville.

MAPS' annual workshop will benefit clinicians in quality improvement, patient safety, risk management, social work and hospital operations. Day 2 of the event, “Integrating Your PSO into Daily Operations,” is exclusively for MAPS PSO members.

For the full agenda and information on continuing education and registration, visit our event page. MAPS PSO members can register at no cost.

Register today.

State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) announced today 4,015 new COVID-19 cases (a new one-day record and highest level since May 12) and 53 deaths (highest level since June 24). The total number of cases in the state is 331,620 in 102 counties, with a total of 9,127 deaths. IDPH says that in the past 24 hours, 67,086 test specimens have been processed, with a positivity rate of 5.98%. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate from October 9 to October 15 is 4.9%. Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past 24 hours decreased from 1,974 patients to 1,932 patients. Of that figure, 388 patients were in the ICU, with 147 patients on ventilators.

Today’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures show more than 7.89 million confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 216,025 deaths.

Today’s WHO Coronavirus Disease Dashboard shows more than 38.3 million COVID-19 cases globally, with more than 1.089 million deaths. The Region of the Americas (includes the U.S.) continues to lead the world with more than 18.1 million cases and more than 596,000 deaths.

AHA, AMA, ANA Urge President to Rescind Executive Order
The American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and American Nurses Association on Wednesday sent a letter to President Trump urging him to rescind Executive Order 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. The organizations say that failing to do so “would effectively reverse decades of progress in combating racial inequality.”

The letter states: “On the front lines of health care every day, our members strive to provide the highest quality care to all patients and improve the overall health of the communities we serve. We embrace diversity, inclusion and equity in our workplaces and believe that these values make our organizations stronger and better equipped to provide optimal, culturally sensitive care to every patient. We recognize that myriad factors influence patients’ health status and health outcomes, including the social determinants of health, implicit bias, and historical systems that have led to unequal access to care. To further the goal of health equity, we must fully understand and address these factors.

“We are, therefore, dismayed by EO 13950, which would stifle attempts at open, honest discussion of these issues in the public and private sectors. Prohibiting federal agencies from conducting and funding trainings that promote racial reconciliation is counterproductive to addressing racism.”

The letter also points out that EO 13950 represents an “unprecedented attack on scientific freedom,” by threatening federal efforts to comprehend the effects of structural racism and implicit bias on health care and health outcomes.

Final 2020 Adult/Adolescent SANE Trainings Announced
The Office of the Illinois Attorney General (OAG) will hold two free, virtual Adult/Adolescent Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE AA) training programs Dec. 1-4 and Dec. 14-17, both from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. These are the final OAG SANE AA training programs that will be offered in 2020.

The application deadline for the Dec. 1-4 training is Nov. 10, and the application deadline for the Dec. 14-17 training is Nov. 25.

The 40-hour training is designed to fulfill the state’s 40-hour didactic course requirement and educate registered nurses, mid-level providers and physicians performing sexual assault medical forensic examinations, and will be comprised of a combination of pre-work and live online training.

Applicants must complete this application and return it by the appropriate deadline, along with their resume, to sane@atg.state.il.us. Qualified applicants will have a license in good standing, have a minimum of one year of clinical experience, and complete the required pre-work. Applicants who do not currently work in a direct patient care capacity should have a plan identified before attending this course as to how they will complete the clinical training requirements.

For additional information, contact Jaclyn Rodriguez, BSN, BS, RN, SANE-A, SANE Coordinator, Office of the Illinois Attorney General, at sane@atg.state.il.us..

Cook County President Issues FY2021 Budget Plan
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today presented a proposed $6.9 billion Executive Budget Recommendation for Fiscal Year 2021 that she says equitably addresses the fallout of the pandemic without increasing taxes or cutting critical services.

“This 2021 budget is balanced with no tax increases or the need for immediate federal help. This has been in part possible because we have avoided quick fixes and one-time solutions,” said President Preckwinkle. “We’ve done the hard work and heavy lifting. We’ve instilled sound fiscal discipline since taking office. We were not immune to the financial pressures of the pandemic but we did the hard work to avoid the need to raise taxes.”

Preckwinkle says her budget plan is driven by several policy goals to enhance Cook County’s services to ensure vital healthcare access for vulnerable residents, foster a fair justice system aimed at violence prevention and reducing recidivism, provide economic development to under-resourced communities, and invest in infrastructure while promoting long-term fiscal stability.

To close a $222.2 million gap in the general fund without new revenues, Preckwinkle pointed to the use of rainy day savings, expenditure holdbacks, federal relief, higher than previously forecasted revenue, and vacancy reductions. Also, a $187 million gap at Cook County Health was closed through expenditure reductions, a $30 million dollar additional tax allocation from the County, revenue from increased CountyCare membership, renegotiated reimbursement rates and modified direct payments from the state.
A new interactive budget website provides historic data and detailed budget information. Starting today, Cook County residents can submit budget questions here.