IHA Daily Briefing: Sept. 4

Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Senate President Cullerton to Speak at IHA’s Summit
More Money to Fight Opioid Addiction
SAMHSA Proposes New Rules on 42 CFR Part 2
IPPS Impact Sheets Available; Webinar Sept. 10

Senate President Cullerton to Speak at IHA’s Summit
John Cullerton, Illinois Senate President for the past 10 years, will address hospital leaders at the 2019 IHA Leadership Summit on Sept. 26 in Lombard.  IHA President and CEO A.J. Wilhelmi urges all hospital and health system CEOs to attend this year’s Summit, The Intersection of Policy, Politics and Leadership, to hear from the Senate President as he helps kick off the two-day conference with a look at key healthcare policies and issues in Illinois.

Cullerton began his legislative career focused on public health and traffic safety, and has been an essential partner in advancing Illinois healthcare over his legislative career. Known for calm leadership and bipartisan consensus building, Cullerton collaborated with then-Republican Leader Christine Radogno to pave the way for a solution that ended the state’s two-year budget impasse in 2017. As Senate President, Cullerton has worked to achieve bipartisan support to enact marriage equality, abolish the State’s death penalty system, overhaul public education funding and implement Medicaid reforms.

The Summit will also feature Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who will examine the role and impact of American presidents, while political journalist Mara Liasson of National Public Radio and FOX News will highlight Washington politics.

The Summit, on Sept. 26-27 at The Westin Lombard, is designed for C-suite leaders, hospital board members, leaders across departments and emerging leaders. Register today.

More Money to Fight Opioid Addiction
As part of President Trump’s efforts to address the opioid crisis across the nation, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $1.8 billion in funding to expand access to opioid abuse treatment and expedite data mining on drug overdoses to move closer to “near real-time data.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) granted more than $900 million in new funding for a three-year cooperative agreement with states, territories, and localities to advance the understanding of the opioid overdose epidemic and to scale up prevention and response activities, releasing $301 million for the first year. The CDC granted the Illinois Dept. of Public Health more than $5.6 million and the Chicago Dept. of Public Health more than $3.3 million for overdose data to action efforts.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded approximately $932 million to all 50 states as part of its State Opioid Response grants. Funding will be provided over the course of two years, with a supplemental award in-between years. Illinois will receive a total of more than $73 million from SAMHSA to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services statewide.

By the end of 2019, HHS says that it will have awarded more than $9 billion in grants to states and local communities to help increase access to treatment and prevention services since the start of the Trump administration.

HHS data shows that from 2017 to 2018, provisional counts of drug overdose deaths dropped by 5%, and overdose deaths from opioids went down 2.8% from 2017 to 2018. The number of individuals reporting pain reliever misuse decreased from 2017 to 2018 by 11%, with fewer than 10 million Americans now reporting misuse. Heroin-related opioid use disorder also decreased significantly among young adults.

SAMHSA Proposes New Rules on 42 CFR Part 2
The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) are taking comments on a proposed rule that would amend the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records section of the Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR Part 2). The proposed changes attempt to clarify Part 2 requirements and ease administrative and clinical burdens that apply to both Part 2 and non-Part 2 providers. However, Congressional action would be required to further align Part 2 regulations with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as previously recommended by IHA.

Proposed changes to 42 CFR Part 2 include:

  • Clarifies treatment records created by non-Part 2 providers are not always subject to Part 2 restrictions. For example, a record created by a non-Part 2 provider treating a patient who volunteers information about their SUD treatment may record this information in the patient record, covered by HIPAA. If the provider had received this treatment information via records from a Part 2 provider, it would still be subject to Part 2 restrictions;
  • Allows opioid treatment programs (OTPs) to enroll in and submit data to prescription drug monitoring programs with the patient’s written consent, and allows non-OTP providers to query central registries to determine whether specific patients are receiving opioid use disorder treatment;
  • Allows patients to consent to disclosure of treatment records to an entity without naming a specific person as a recipient, which is currently required;
  • Adds declared major and natural disasters to the list of exceptions when it is permitted to disclose patient records without consent, which are currently limited to certain “bona fide medical emergencies;” and
  • Further clarifies disclosure for research, court-authorized disclosure and accessing patient records during an audit.

As background, the objective of Part 2 is to provide protection to individuals undergoing treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) by preventing the disclosure of information that will identify the individuals as receiving those services, implemented prior to the existence of HIPAA. Part 2 providers or programs are federally-funded (i.e., Medicare funding, Medicaid funding or tax exempt status) and purport to or actually provide alcohol or drug abuse diagnosis, treatment or treatment referral. A unit of a hospital may be a Part 2 provider, but hospitals and clinicians that do not “hold themselves out” as providing SUD treatment would be a non-Part 2 provider.

An HHS fact sheet has more information.

Comments will be accepted on the proposed rules until Friday, Oct. 25 at 4 p.m. IHA will be taking member comments until Oct. 16, if there is interest in a statewide hospital response.

IPPS Impact Sheets Available; Webinar Sept. 10
On Tuesday, IHA made available to its member hospital CEOs, CFOs, and other finance staff, updated Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Final Rule reports via the C-Suite on the IHA website. The hospital-specific reports compare estimated inpatient payment changes under the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020 final rule to the payments made under the FFY 2019 final rule.

DataGen has scheduled a complimentary national webinar on Sept. 10 from 2-3 p.m. that will provide hospitals with additional information on the FFY 2020 IPPS final rule changes; registration is required.