IHA Board Meets on Key Hospital Community Issues

May 8, 2020

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the IHA Board of Trustees is meeting via teleconference to focus on issues of critical concern to the hospital community.

At a meeting this morning, the Board had extensive discussions concerning the Hospital Assessment Program; health disparities in communities of color; COVID-19; and IHA’s advocacy to hold the managed care organizations (MCOs) accountable.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) is proceeding with its efforts to gain federal approval of a state plan amendment for Phase 2 of the assessment program to go into effect July 1.  At the same time, IHA is working with HFS and the Legislative Medicaid Work Group on legislation authorizing the program that will be enacted when the General Assembly reconvenes sometime this spring.  IHA is working to ensure that the legislation includes protections for hospitals and health systems on various payments and taxes in the program as well as preserving maintenance of effort by the state. 

IHA President & CEO A.J. Wilhelmi and several board members discussed the critical need for IHA to develop concrete plans, including the possibility of establishing a permanent standing committee on the IHA Board or a member task force, to address long-standing health and healthcare disparities and inequities in communities of color in Illinois that have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The IHA Board will further discuss this issue at its July meeting. 

The Board also reviewed the latest COVID-19 developments affecting the hospital community, including challenges with testing and testing supplies, resumption of non-urgent elective surgeries and procedures, liability protection, and funding relief and support at the state and federal levels.  IHA continues to advocate for additional federal funding for hospitals with the Illinois Congressional Delegation, and will be seeking help for hospitals from the General Assembly.

IHA is also continuing to press for Medicaid managed care accountability and transparency on claims and payments, and to push HFS to implement key provisions of managed care reform legislation enacted last August that have been delayed, such as reimbursement for inpatient stays beyond medical necessity and a claims submission pipeline to strengthen HFS’ oversight of MCOs and its ability to resolve disputes.