IHA Daily Briefing: March 5

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Governor Announces More Appointments
Nurse Staffing Ratios Hearing Postponed
Survey Shows Looming Illinois RN Shortage
IHA Launches Digital and Social Media Campaign
HCPro Medicare Boot Camp Covers UR, Patient Status
IHA/JCR Class on Infection, Medication Standards
Briefly Noted  
Governor Announces More Appointments
Gov. J.B. Pritzker Monday announced three new appointments in the Departments of Aging, Insurance and Innovation and Technology.
Paula Basta will serve as Director of Dept. of Aging. She currently serves at the director of senior services and health initiatives at the Chicago Housing Authority and teaches at the Loyola University School of Social Work. Basta came to the CHA after over 18 years at the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, where she served as regional director of the Northeast (Levy) Senior Center from 2004 to 2018 and as the director of information and assistance from 2000 to 2004.

Robert Muriel will serve as Director of the Dept. of Insurance. Muriel is a civil and commercial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience representing small businesses and professionals in trials, appeals and arbitrations in state and federal courts. His core practice is civil and commercial litigation, including insurance coverage and bad faith claims, financial fraud claims, legal malpractice cases and consumer class action cases, including actions brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Muriel was formerly President of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and President of the Alumni Board of Governors for Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Ron Guerrier will serve as Chief Information Officer of the Dept. of Innovation and Technology. Guerrier has more than 20 years of experience managing IT in the private sector and has served as chief information officer for multi-billion dollar companies since 2012. He last served as the CIO of Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, and also served the same role at Farmers Insurance Group from 2015 to 2018.
Nurse Staffing Ratios Hearing Postponed
The Illinois House Labor and Commerce Committee hearing on HB 2604, a mandatory nurse staffing ratios bill, has been postponed for a week to Wednesday, March 13.
We thank members for your advocacy on this critical issue – emailing your state legislators and submitting electronic witness slips to oppose HB2604.  
If you have not contacted your legislators to oppose the bill, click here; to fill out an electronic witness slip, click here (in the “Position” section, be sure to check the “Opponent” circle. In the “Testimony” section, check the “Record of Appearance Only” circle).
It is critical that the hospital community continue to strongly voice its opposition to mandatory nurse staffing ratio proposals during the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly.
Survey Shows Looming Illinois RN Shortage
Results from the Illinois Nursing Workforce Center’s Registered Nurse Workforce Survey Report 2018 released in January indicate that nearly one-third of the state’s aging RN workforce will be leaving the field within the next five years. According to the survey of nearly 183,000 registered nurses in Illinois, 27 percent of them plan to retire in one to five years. More than 52 percent of the RNs surveyed are 55 years of age and older.

The survey findings also show a slight increase in cultural diversity of the RN workforce. About 32 percent of survey respondents identifying as Hispanic/Latino are younger than 36 years of age, with 6 percent over 55 years of age. Approximately 27 percent of RNs who identify themselves as multiracial are 35 years of age or younger, while 11 percent are over 65 years of age.

The majority of survey respondents (52 percent) indicated that their primary employment setting was a hospital. The top five nursing specialties represented in the survey were: acute care, family focus, medical, surgical and community health.  

The survey report calls for a continued focus on five major areas:
  • To assure an adequate RN pipeline, there is a need for more nursing faculty in both pre‐licensure nursing education and post‐licensure education, especially graduate nursing education. Incentives for nurses to enter educational programs for nursing faculty are needed, particularly PhD programs. Student loan forgiveness for nursing faculty is another consideration.
  • With the changing focus of where individuals receive health care and health promotion, there is a need for improved competencies in community health, both in the education setting, and in the expanding work areas.
  • Behavioral health demands are great particularly given the move to integrated care and providing behavioral health care in a variety of settings. Programs are needed to incentivize RNs to seek careers in psychiatric mental health (PMH) as well as retraining for the existing acute care PMH RN workforce.
  • Increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of the health care workforce is essential for the adequate provision of culturally competent care.
  • Given the conflicting views on the need for RNs in Illinois in the next decade, and the data indicating the retirements of a large segment of the workforce, there is a need to study demand in Illinois and build supply demand models considering all areas of the state and all RN specialties.

IHA Launches Digital and Social Media Campaign
Across Illinois, IHA members are contributing to their communities and having a substantial, positive impact on individuals and families. This work goes far beyond our members’ essential role as healthcare providers. To highlight the many ways Illinois hospitals are improving lives and communities, we are launching—Illinois Hospitals Are Doing More.

This digital campaign focuses on the following key areas:
  • Improving health and community well-being
  • Addressing community needs
  • Prioritizing patients and workers
  • Advancing quality care
  • Growing local economies
  • Doing more with less
As part of this campaign, members are encouraged to submit positive stories from your organization to be featured on the IHA website, and engage with IHA on social media by retweeting and reposting items using #ILHospitalsDoMore.

Make sure to follow IHA on Twitter, like us on Facebook and connect with our company page on LinkedIn to fully participate in our efforts.
HCPro Medicare Boot Camp Covers UR, Patient Status
Dive into the complex world of Medicare regulations at HCPro Medicare Boot Camp®—Utilization Review Version. On April 24-25 at IHA's Springfield office, Medicare expert Kimberly A. H. Baker, JD, CPC, will guide you through intricate federal rules regarding utilization review (UR). Take advantage of this opportunity to improve your organization's claims processing by advancing your UR and compliance efforts.

Through a combination of lectures, class discussions and hands-on exercises, you will learn how to manage patient status, obtain correct Medicare reimbursement and maintain regulatory compliance. Baker, a former hospital compliance officer, will cover specific topics such as:
  • Observation coverage, billing, coding and payment rules;
  • Appropriate application of Advance Beneficiary Notices for observation patients;
  • The two-midnight rule benchmark; and
  • The differences between condition codes 44 and W2.
This course offers valuable knowledge for hospital staff from multiple departments, including:
  • UR coordinators, managers, directors, committee members and physician advisors;
  • Case managers, care coordinators and nurse managers;
  • Compliance officers, auditors and staff;
  • Revenue cycle staff; and
  • Chief nursing officers.
On Oct. 29-30, IHA will offer the same course in our Naperville office led by HCPro Instructor Gina M. Reese, Esq., RN.

Space is limited—don't wait to reserve your spot. A registration discount is offered for two or more attendees from the same organization. Register today for either course location.
IHA/JCR Class on Infection, Medication Standards
No matter the size of your hospital, maintaining continuous compliance with changing regulations can be arduous. Some hospitals may struggle with limited resources, while others struggle with consistency across departments.

As part of the Continuous Service Readiness® (CSR®) program, IHA and Joint Commission Resources (JCR) are hosting CSR Workshop: Infection Control and Medication Management Standards on April 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees may participate at either IHA's Naperville or Springfield offices—which will be connected via videoconference.

Expert presenters Sylvia Garcia-Houchins, MBA, RN, CIC, JCR director of infection prevention and control, and Don R. Janczak, PharmD, MS, RPh, BCPS, CJCP, CPHQ, JCR consultant, will explain the standardized processes that protect your patients and organization from risk. Topics include:
  • Recent changes to the infection control survey process and key requirements for the infection control plan;
  • Infection control in dialysis units;
  • Five new medication-related standard changes surveyed as of Jan. 1; and
  • Current Joint Commission accreditation standards and survey areas of focus for sterile compounding.
This workshop will benefit managers, directors and executives in:
  • Compliance;
  • Risk management;
  • Infection prevention and control;
  • Pharmacy;
  • Quality improvement;
  • Patient safety;
  • Nursing; and
  • Other clinical care areas.
Don't miss this opportunity to work through your toughest accreditation challenges. Visit our event webpage for registration costs, continuing education information and a detailed agenda. Register today.
Briefly Noted
The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) is now accepting applications for its 2019 Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program. The program, open to registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses and nurse faculty, pays 60 percent of their unpaid nursing debt in exchange for a two-year  commitment to serving in a critical shortage area across the country. A third-year extension is available and would pay an additional 25 percent of the nursing debt. Applications will be accepted until March 28. Application technical assistance calls take place March 7 and March 21. Full details are available in the Nurse Corps guidance.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has officially opened the data submission period for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians who participated in Year 2 (2018) of the Quality Payment Program. Data can be submitted and updated any time until 7 p.m. (CT) on Tuesday, April 2. CMS Web Interface users need to report their quality performance category data by 7 p.m. CT on March 22. Clinicians who reported Quality measures via Medicare Part B claims can sign in to their account to view current performance based on claims that have been processed by your Medicare Administrative Contractor.

The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) is alerting people who were at Midway Airport on Feb. 22 between 9 p.m. and midnight that they may have been exposed to the measles. An unvaccinated passenger from a flight that arrived in Concourse B on Feb. 22 was later treated for the measles on Feb. 24 at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital. IDPH says that people who become infected can develop symptoms as late as March 20.  Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.  IDPH recommends that anyone experiencing symptoms should call or email a healthcare provider before going to a medical office or emergency department.