IHA Daily Briefing: Aug. 7

Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Tell Congress to Reject Setting Rates for Hospitals
Kent Slater Appointed to Illinois HFSRB
New Law: Justice-Involved Access to Healthcare Jobs
careLearning: e-Learning. Real-World Advantages.

Tell Congress to Reject Setting Rates for Hospitals
Members of Congress are in their home districts for the annual August recess, and it is important they hear from IHA hospitals and health systems about how rate-setting provisions included in surprise billing legislation would tip the scales for insurance companies, reduce critical hospital resources and lead to more narrow coverage networks for patients. While IHA supports patient protections included in the current proposals, we believe that once patients are protected from surprise medical bills by a ban on balance billing, providers and health plans should be permitted to negotiate payment rates for services.

IHA members are asked to meet with their Representatives and Senators to explain why a government-mandated rate, which would become a default rate for additional services, could threaten already-limited hospital resources and create a disincentive for health plans to establish adequate coverage networks, (To look up contact information for your U.S. Representative and Senators, click here and fill in your local address in the “Find Politicians” box.)  Other options include calling, emailing and/or sending them a letter.

See IHA’s advocacy alert for additional background information and suggested talking points.


Kent Slater Appointed to Illinois HFSRB
Gov. Pritzker this week appointed Kent Slater, a former chair and member of the Board of Directors of McDonough District Hospital in Macomb, to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.  His term will run through July 1, 2020.  Slater is also a former state representative, circuit court judge and judge on the Illinois Appellate Court.


New Law: Justice-Involved Access to Healthcare Jobs
On July 31, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1965 that expands access for Illinoisans involved in the criminal justice system to gain employment in the healthcare industry by creating a more efficient healthcare waiver application process. Effective immediately, Public Act 101-0176 (sponsored by Sen. Elgie Sims and Rep. Justin Slaughter) expands the list of eligible organizations that can initiate a fingerprint-based background check and a waiver of the prohibition against employment to include workforce intermediaries or organizations that provide pro bono legal services. These organizations are also provided the flexibility to initiate a background check prior to a conditional offer of employment being made.

Prior to the passage of SB1965, only healthcare employers who extended a conditional offer to an applicant could begin a fingerprint-based background check. This flexibility may support healthcare employers by avoiding background check wait periods that can take 30 to 90 days following conditional offers, expediting the application process and increasing potential employment opportunities for Illinoisans with criminal records. At the same time, a healthcare employer is not obligated to offer employment to an applicant, or to retain an employee who is granted a waiver under this new law.

The law amends the Health Care Worker Background Check Act, which in a hospital setting applies to unlicensed direct care workers. This would include technicians (patient care, orthopedic, mental health), certified nursing assistants, phlebotomists and transport personnel, as examples. The law also applies to individuals enrolling in a training program (e.g., a certified nursing assistant). The law does not apply to licensed healthcare professionals or access workers in an Illinois hospital.

See the Governor’s press release.


careLearning: e-Learning. Real-World Advantages.
careLearning is an online education company designed to help healthcare organizations by providing reliable, trusted, and easily-accessible talent management solutions. With careLearning, organizations can gain access to the Learning Management System (LMS), Competency and Performance Management Solution, a full course catalog, and much more.

The careSkills Competency Management System comes populated with skills required for successful performance by clinical and non-clinical employees and they are easy to customize. Once organizations have defined what is expected, the system can be used to create automated assessments. This makes it easy to collect and track employee competence and eliminate misplaced documents. The best part is at the end of this process; meaningful real-time data reports will be available to help:

  • Hire and retain the right employees;
  • Plan education curriculum with more precision;
  • Help employees develop their careers with focused attention; and
  • Effectively manage succession planning, low-volume and high-risk skills, clinical ladders.

The careSkills Performance Management System assists organizations in each step of the performance appraisal process from setting goals to feedback and review so that the appraisal reflects what happens throughout an entire year.