IHA Daily Briefing: Sept. 15

Wednesday, September 15, 2021
IDPH Clarifies COVID-19 Mandatory Testing Issue
IHA Leadership Summit: Health Equity Panel Discussion
HHS Releases Second Set of No Surprises Regulations
State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
Briefly Noted

IDPH Clarifies COVID-19 Mandatory Testing Issue
IHA continues to work closely with the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) and the Governor’s Office to address members’ questions and concerns about the state’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for healthcare workers. The implementation deadline, which was extended at IHA’s request, is Sunday, Sept. 19.

One question IHA has received from members is how to handle testing for an employee who has been infected with COVID-19 and comes back to work after they recover, given that an individual can continue to test positive for COVID-19 for up to 90 days. How does this work with the weekly testing requirement for healthcare workers who are not fully vaccinated?

IHA has received the following clarification from IDPH:

“If you have a confirmed timeline of a recent infection in the past 90 days then there is no need to retest within that period. However, if they were COVID infected greater than 90 days prior then they would need to be tested [weekly] if they are not fully vaccinated.”

For more information on the state’s requirements, see the FAQ on Face Covering, Vaccination and Testing Requirements, the Governor’s Executive Order 2021-22 and IHA’s Sept. 3 memo on the deadline extension.

IHA Leadership Summit: Health Equity Panel Discussion
With healthy equity a central issue in healthcare, the 2021 IHA Leadership Summit will shine the spotlight on effective strategies and best practices during a special panel discussion, “Health Equity in Action," on Sept. 23. The one-and-a-half-day Summit will be held virtually next week.

During the panel discussion, IHA members and national leaders will highlight their successes tackling health disparities, covering topics including board and governance diversity, racism as a public health crisis, and the use of data to initiate and drive change.

From 2:15 to 3:30 p.m., you'll hear from:

  • Omar Lateef, DO, President and CEO of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago (moderator);
  • Christopher Harris, Sr., Pastor, Bright Star Church in Chicago;
  • Joy Lewis, MSW, MPH, Senior Vice President, Health Equity Strategies, and Executive Director, Institute for Diversity and Health Equity, American Hospital Association;
  • Karthik Sivashanker, MD, MPH, CPPS, Vice President, Equitable Health Systems and Innovation, American Medical Association;
  • Airica Steed, EdD, MBA, RN, CSSMBB, FACHE, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Sinai Chicago, and Interim President, Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago; and
  • Jeffry Tillery, MD, President, OSF HealthCare Multi-Specialty Group and Chair, Health Equity Action Council, OSF HealthCare in Peoria.

C-Suite and department leaders are encouraged to attend this year's Summit—EMERGE—to continue the work of advancing health equity, as well as plan for the post-pandemic recovery organization-wide. Register today.

HHS Releases Second Set of No Surprises Regulations
On Sept. 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the second set of regulations implementing the No Surprises Act. This proposed rule establishes new reporting requirements for air ambulance services, new disclosure and reporting requirements for payers regarding agent and broker compensation, and new and revised enforcement procedures specific to Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) provisions against providers, facilities, and providers of air ambulance services (providers).

PHS Act enforcement proposals include:

  • Extending existing state enforcement authority to be over providers practicing in their state (including out-of-state telehealth providers);
  • Creating a process for initiating investigations and determining that a provider is in violation of No Surprises Act requirements;
  • Codifying the PHS Act process for imposing civil monetary penalties (CMPs) of up to $10,000 per violation on providers for violations of the PHS Act, as well as CMPs of up to $10,000 per violation for air ambulance providers that fail to submit required data; and
  • Updating existing PHS Act enforcement procedures to better align plans and issuers with industry practice.

Comments on this proposed rule are due by Oct. 18. At least one additional interim final rule implementing the independent dispute resolution process and additional patient protections, including the patient-provider dispute resolution process, is expected before the end of the calendar year.

State, National, Global COVID-19 Updates
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 4,194 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, including 44 additional deaths.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,582,392 cases, including 24,451 deaths. In the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 93,865 specimens for a total of 30,193,211. As of last night, 2,229 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 537 patients were in the ICU and 305 patients were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests is 4.4%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity is 4.8%. The latest daily case positivity rate is 4.47%.

The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily in Illinois is 21,255 doses, with 22,812 doses administered in the past 24 hours. IDPH reports 62.6% of adult Illinoisans (18 years and older) have been fully vaccinated, while 80% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 12 years and older, 61% have been fully vaccinated, while 78.4% have received at least one vaccination dose.

Tuesday’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures showed more than 41.2 million confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. (a daily increase of more than 126,000 cases; seven-day moving average of more than 139,000 cases), with 660,380 deaths (a daily increase of 989).

Today’s WHO Coronavirus Disease Dashboard showed more than 225.6 million COVID-19 cases globally (a daily increase of more than 501,000 cases), with more than 4.64 million deaths. The Region of the Americas (includes the U.S.) continues to lead the world with more than 86.9 million cases and more than 2.15 million deaths.

Briefly Noted
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chicago parents and other adults identified drug use and mental health as the most prominent health issues for Chicago’s children and adolescents, according to results from a new survey developed by Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Chicago Dept. of Public Health. The study found that drugs, tobacco and e-cigarette use ranked as the top concerns; stress, depression and suicide were also major concerns; and women were more likely to be concerned about each issue than men.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced yesterday that the percentage of people with health insurance coverage for all or part of 2020 was 91.4%. An estimated 8.6% of people, or 28 million, did not have health insurance at any point during 2020, according to the 2021 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Median household income was $67,521 in 2020, a decrease of 2.9% from the 2019 median of $69,560. This is the first statistically significant decline in median household income since 2011.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure will hold a national stakeholders call to provide key updates from her first 100 days in office on Thursday, Sept 17 at 11:30 a.m. CDT. Click here to join the Zoom call. Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing Partnership@cms.hhs.gov.