IHA Daily Briefing: Sept. 11

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
FDA Working on Stronger E-Cigarette Regulations
Data Shows Rise in Uninsured Rate
Preview Period Open for CMS Quality Reports
Register: IHA/JCR Course on Environment of Care
Briefly Noted

FDA Working on Stronger E-Cigarette Regulations
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it intends to finalize a compliance policy in the coming weeks that would prioritize the agency’s enforcement of the premarket authorization requirements for non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, clearing the market of unauthorized, non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products.

The announcement comes as preliminary numbers from the National Youth Tobacco Survey show a continued rise in the disturbing rates of youth e-cigarette use, especially through the use of non-tobacco flavors that appeal to kids. In particular, the preliminary data show that more than a quarter of high school students were current (past 30 day) e-cigarette users in 2019 and the overwhelming majority of youth e-cigarette users cited the use of popular fruit and menthol or mint flavors.

“Once finalized, this compliance policy will serve as a powerful tool that the FDA can use to combat the troubling trend of youth e-cigarette use,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. “We must act swiftly against flavored e-cigarette products that are especially attractive to children. Moreover, if we see a migration to tobacco-flavored products by kids, we will take additional steps to address youth use of these products.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued the following statement today after the FDA’s announcement: “Vaping targets kids, and these flavors—mint, menthol, gummy bear, Unicorn Milk, lung candy—have been essential to the industry luring children into this new addiction.  I will closely review FDA’s guidance.  Finally, the FDA is doing its job.”


Data Shows Rise in Uninsured Rate
Finding from a U.S. Census Bureau report released yesterday showed that health insurance coverage decreased from 2017 to 2018, the first time since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014.

In 2017, 7.9% or 25.6 million people nationwide were uninsured. That figure grew to 8.5% of people nationwide, or 27.5 million in 2018. The percentage of people covered by Medicaid decreased by 0.7% during that same timeframe. However, Medicare coverage increased by 0.4% between 2017 and 2018. In 2018, 5.5% of children under the age of 19 did not have health insurance coverage, a 0.6 percentage point increase from 2017.

Illinois data shows a 0.2% increase in people without health insurance coverage from 2017 to 2018, from 6.8% or 859,000 people to 7% or 875,000 people.


Preview Period Open for CMS Quality Reports
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made post-acute care quality reporting program provider preview reports available for inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals (LTHC) and hospice providers. Providers have until Oct. 11, 2019 (30 days) to review their performance data.

While corrections to the underlying data will not be permitted during this time, providers can request that CMS review their data during the preview period if they believe the quality measure scores that are displayed within their preview reports are inaccurate. For more information, please see the following websites:


Register: IHA/JCR Course on Environment of Care
Environment of Care (EC), Life Safety (LS) and Emergency Management (EM) accreditation standards touch virtually every part of your organization.

To help your team navigate these challenging chapters, IHA and the Joint Commission Resources (JCR) are co-hosting CSR Workshop: Environment of Care, Life Safety and Emergency Management. This workshop—part of the JCR's Continuous Service Readiness® (CSR®) program—will be videoconferenced between IHA's Naperville and Springfield offices on Sept. 18.

JCR consultant Kenneth R. Haber, MPA, CHSP-FSM, FACHE, will provide insight into:

  • Changes to the EC, LS and EM chapters;
  • Strategies to remain in compliance with the most frequently cited EC, LC and EM standards; and
  • Key elements of the EM chapter and available tools to achieve continuous survey readiness.

Haber has extensive experience in developing and leading successful programs in safety, facilities, security, medical equipment management, fire safety, food services, environmental services and hazardous waste management.

This workshop will benefit hospital managers, directors and executives in:

  • Compliance;
  • Facility managers and plant operations;
  • Emergency preparedness and risk management;
  • Quality improvement and patient safety; and
  • Nursing and other clinical care areas.

Hospital and health system subscribers of the CSR program can send up to three staff members at no charge. The CSR program is a separate subscription from your IHA membership. Staff from hospitals that do not currently subscribe to CSR can attend for a fee.

Don't miss this chance to develop strategies to avoid citations for the most frequently cited standards for EC, LC and EM. For information on registration and continuing education credits, please visit our event page. Register today.


Briefly Noted
IHA Strategic Partner FocusOne Solutions is hosting a masquerade ball Friday, Sept. 20, from 6:30-10 p.m. at theWit Hotel, 201 N. State St., Chicago, in conjunction with the American Society for Health Care Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) annual conference (Sept. 21-24). There is no fee to attend and ASHHRA conference attendance is not required. Please register for the ball by Tuesday, Sept. 17. ASHHRA is part of AHA.