IHA Daily Briefing: Sept. 22

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022
Nurse Agency Licensing Act Webinar Resources
Draft Mental Health Legislation to Increase GME Slots
Innovating Illinois Rural Health Summit
Training for COVID-19 Data NHSN Bulk Uploads
HC3 Warns of Monkeypox Phishing Scheme
Illinois COVID-19 Update
Briefly Noted


Nurse Agency Licensing Act Webinar Resources
The skyrocketing demand for clinicians during COVID-19 exacerbated the longstanding imbalance between the demand for nurses and the supply to fill desperately needed open positions.

A Sept. 12 webinar presented by IHA Strategic Partner Medical Solutions outlined how this perfect storm impacting hospitals nationwide led to an unprecedented spike in nurse wages—compounding the financial challenges hospitals experienced—and ultimate leading to the expansion of the Nurse Agency Licensing Act in Illinois.

A recording to the Medical Solutions webinar and accompanying slides are now available to assist IHA members in understanding how the law will impact Illinois hospitals that utilize contingent nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).

The webinar covers:

  • Contracts with hospitals;

  • Agency operation, obligations and prohibitions;

  • Agency reporting to the Illinois Dept. of Labor (DOL);

  • Application and renewal; and

  • Investigation and enforcement.

While hospitals have no obligations under the new law (HB 4666), they will benefit from greater transparency from staffing agencies; less friction in permanently hiring temporary staff; a more fully vetted temporary nurse and CNA workforce; and a direct line to the DOL for suspected violations.

To learn more about Medical Solutions, an IHA Strategic Partner since 2018, contact Mike Daeges at 402-986-5153 or mdaeges@medicalsolutions.com.

Contact us with questions.


Draft Mental Health Legislation to Increase GME Slots
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee released draft legislation to improve the nation’s mental health system by, among other provisions, adding 400 new Medicare-funded positions annually in psychiatric medicine (accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (GME) and expanding bonus payments for mental health practitioners serving underserved communities. The draft bill would also allow clinical social workers to bill Medicare for health behavior assessment and intervention services.

The draft legislation is part of a broader effort by the Senate Finance Committee to reform the mental health system. Committees in both chambers of Congress have been working on mental health legislation, with the hope of advancing a broader package as soon as this year.

Earlier this week, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee advanced numerous mental health bills that, among other actions, would direct the administration to revise the Medicare payment system for inpatient psychiatric facilities, add mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists as Medicare providers, and require health plans to provide more data on their mental health benefits.

Contact us with questions.


Innovating Illinois Rural Health Summit
Rural communities have faced significant hardships over the last few years. In many instances these challenges have initiated the development of innovative and effective programs and policies to improve the health and quality of life for rural residents.

Join SIU Medicine Department of Population Science and Policy, SIU School of Law and Southern Illinois Healthcare for the 2022 Innovating Illinois Rural Health Summit: Addressing Rural Needs in Programs and Policies to hear from local, state and national leaders discuss how policy, project design and law are working together to improve rural communities.

This event, presented both in person and virtually on Oct. 27, will provide learning opportunities to individuals in healthcare, law and social service fields.

Topics will include:

  • The landscape of rural health;

  • Addressing maternal and infant health disparities;

  • Mental health and wellness in communities;

  • How hospitals impact community health;

  • The future of the healthcare workforce; and

  • Rural opioid use.

 For more information, including associated costs, objectives and a program overview, click here. To register, click here.


Training for COVID-19 Data NHSN Bulk Uploads
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) will assume the responsibility of collecting hospital COVID-19 data, beginning in mid-December.

In preparation for this transition, NHSN is hosting a training session on Tuesday, from 1:30-2:30 p.m., specifically for hospitals and health systems reporting on behalf of multiple hospitals.

Hospitals planning to report via hospital bulk uploads can register for the training on the transition website. For those unable to attend, replays of the training will soon be added to the transition website.


HC3 Warns of Monkeypox Phishing Scheme
A monkeypox-themed phishing scheme is circulating that targets healthcare providers, cautioned the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) in recent Sector Alert.

HC3 said that the campaign has a subject of “Data from (Victim Organization Abbreviation): Important read about -Monkey Pox– (Victim Organization) (Reference Number)” and utilizes an “Important read about monkeypox” theme. The email contains a PDF with a link that takes recipients to a Lark Docs site. The site contains a monkeypox PDF download. Once recipients interact with the download link, it attempts to hijack Outlook, O365 or other mail credentials.

Click here to view the alert, which offers detailed information and visual examples of the malware spam campaign, as well as recommendations to protect against similar phishing schemes.


Illinois COVID-19 Update
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 5,277 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 11 COVID-19 deaths.

Most recent IDPH hospitalization data show 1,177 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 167 patients were in the ICU and 54 patients were on ventilators.

The most recent update on the seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily in Illinois is 24,839 doses. IDPH reported that 78.4% of Illinoisans (18 years and older) have been fully vaccinated, while 86.6% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 12 years and older, 77.3% have been fully vaccinated, while 85.3% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 5 years and older, 73.9% have been fully vaccinated and 81.6% have received at least one dose.


Briefly Noted
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week released an internal agency review of the agency’s actions related to multiple reports of Cronobacter illness in infants, the Abbott’s infant formula manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Mich., and confounding issues that led to a shortage of infant formulas. According to a statement from the FDA, “the report identifies a confluence of systemic vulnerabilities that demonstrate the need to focus on continued modernization and investment in the expertise and tools needed to better anticipate and address future public health challenges in this area.”