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  • 18 Nov 2022 9:20 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The Children's Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics are calling on federal officials to declare a national and public health emergency to free up resources and give hospitals more flexibility to respond to an "alarming surge of pediatric hospitalizations" from respiratory syncytial virus and flu. [Becker's Hospital Review]

    In a Nov. 14 letter sent to President Joe Biden and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, the pediatric groups said the confluence of capacity issues from respiratory viruses and ongoing children's mental health needs "requires nimbleness and flexibility that can only be provided through a presidential declaration of an emergency under the Stafford Act or National Emergencies Act and a public health emergency declaration."

    Such declarations would allow a waiver of certain Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program requirements, according to the groups. For example, waivers may alleviate hospitals from Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act requirements "that may impede transferring patients and creating off-site triage to manage capacity challenges."

    Full article here>


  • 17 Nov 2022 8:31 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The byproducts of the COVID-19 pandemic remain morbid, with 12 percent of healthcare C-suite executives saying they think the delayed care access common during the worst of the outbreak will result in higher mortality rates, according to new research from Sage Growth Partners.

    Healthcare organizations will need to combat this prediction by continuing their work to close care gaps and improve patient re-engagement and access to preventive screenings.

    Nearly two-thirds of those executives said they think patient health is worse off than before the pandemic, with staffing shortages and lapses in health equity being part of the problem.

    “Our new report uncovers alarming data about the state of overall health in America, with 67% of our survey respondents indicating that they believe the health of Americans is worse now than it was before the pandemic,” Dan D’Orazio, Sage Growth Partners CEO, said in a press release.

    “Key factors contributing to this health decline are the high rate of cancelled and delayed care appointments as well as the tremendous impact that clinical staffing shortages and a lack of health equity are having across the industry. To address challenges such as these, it will take the full cooperation of the entire healthcare ecosystem to solve.”

    Full article here>


  • 17 Nov 2022 2:46 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Addressing maternal health disparities will be a key priority as federal lawmakers return for their final session of the year, two Illinois Congress members said Tuesday. [Health News Illinois]

    U.S. Reps. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, and Robin Kelly, D-Matteson, told reporters during a virtual event held Tuesday by the advocacy group Protect Our Care that they have spoken to Democratic leadership in the House and Senate about taking up several proposals related to maternal health in its end-of-the-year agenda, including extending postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days to one year in all states.

    “Now that the election is behind us, it is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on passing these important priorities in the end-of-the-year package,” Kelly said.

    Underwood also renewed calls to pass her maternal health omnibus, which includes investments for community-based organizations, perinatal workforce, improving data collection processes and addressing the social determinants of health.

    Tuesday’s press conference comes as the future makeup of the House remains uncertain, with election results continuing to come in. Analysts expect Republicans to retake control of the chamber.

    Both Kelly and Underwood said they understood there will be many legislative priorities pushed by their colleagues in the coming weeks, but added that maternal health cannot wait any longer.

    A recent report from the Government Accountability Office, requested last year by Underwood, Kelly, and five other representatives, found the maternal death rate for Black women was 68.9 per 100,000 live births in 2021, compared to 44 in 2019. White women saw their death rates rise from 17.9 to 26.1 during that time, while Latinx women’s death rates went from 12.6 to 27.5.

     “These statistics are tragic and unacceptable,” Underwood said Tuesday. “They are an urgent call to action that we have a responsibility to answer.”


  • 16 Nov 2022 2:18 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    NIH has released Advancing Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Research for All Populations: Prevent. Diagnose. Treat. Care. This scientific progress report gives a comprehensive overview of advances made in the past year to address the enormous challenges of Alzheimer's and related dementias.
    The report highlights NIH-funded progress as we work to achieve optimal prevention, diagnostic, treatment, and care options. 

    Download the full 55-page report here>


  • 15 Nov 2022 5:22 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Much has changed in healthcare since the 1990s: HIV infection is no longer a presumptive death sentence, minimally invasive and robotic techniques have redefined a variety of surgeries, and telemedicine has greatly expanded access to care. Why then, in the face of such remarkable advancement and change, has the number of doctors the U.S. produces each year not changed enough to meet the evolving needs of our population? The answer is Congress.

    Full article here> 


  • 14 Nov 2022 5:26 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    WHAT’S KNOWN ON THIS SUBJECT: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among children and adolescents.

    Mental health related emergency department visits were increasing nationally before the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

    WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS: We show that there was a continuous increase in emergency department visits coded for suicidal ideation for youth in Illinois, with a spike in visits in 2019 before the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and a subsequent surge in hospitalizations through 2021.

    Visits to an emergency department (ED) for suicidal ideation have spiked in recent years among children and teens in Illinois, a new study found. [American Academy of Pediatrics]

    “Rapidly rising hospital use may reflect worsening mental illness and continued difficulty in accessing low cost, high-quality outpatient mental health services,” authors from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine wrote in “Trends in Suicidal Ideation-Related Emergency Department Visits for Youth in Illinois: 2016 — 2021” (Brewer AG, et al. Pediatrics. Nov. 14, 2022).

    Full article here> 

    Download PDF here> 


  • 11 Nov 2022 4:01 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    A new initiative launched Wednesday by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation will provide grants and look for solutions to eliminate systemic barriers to equitable healthcare for Black communities across Illinois. [Health News Illinois]

    The effort will include a grant program and a "series of policy think tanks" with public health experts, medical professionals and elected officials, per a statement from the caucus.

    It will build off of the caucus’ healthcare omnibus approved last year and look at further steps policymakers can do to address disparities, said Sen. Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat and one of three legislative and community chairs overseeing the plan.

    Other members include Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Chicago, and Dr. Anthony Williams, a staff scientist at the University of Chicago and co-founder and chief scientific officer of Circulogix, a liquid biopsy company.

    The foundation plans to offer $5,000 grants to 11 Black students in Illinois who have completed a medical degree and are working as medical providers or practicing in a medical residency program.

    “The (foundation), through this … programming, aims to position itself as a thoughtful leader to achieve inclusive solutions for the concerns that are plaguing Black Illinoisans culminating in synergistic policy development that will improve the quality of life for all,” said Tiffany Hightower, executive director of the foundation.

    Note: Ms. Hightower is a Fellow of IOMC. 


  • 10 Nov 2022 6:21 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    -Medicare solvency, price transparency, telehealth could all be on the agenda, observers say

    Challenges ahead for healthcare regardless of who is elected

    ... Although health policy wasn't a major issue leading up to Tuesday's midterms, "given the fact that the healthcare sector consumes almost 20% of America's [gross domestic product], regardless of whether [Congress wants] to deal with it or not, [they] have to," Robert Moffit, PhD, senior research fellow at the Center for Health and Welfare Policy of the Heritage Foundation, a right-leaning think tank here, said in a phone call Tuesday night. "There are certain issues that are not a matter of choice, but of public necessity, that they have to address." [MedPage Today]

    Full article here> https://lnkd.in/gpc9Y92T


  • 9 Nov 2022 12:29 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

     How do we compare? Arizona was the first state to establish a managed care model that was mandatory across nearly the entire Medicaid population

    In September 2022, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)—Arizona’s Medicaid program—received the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 2022 Medicaid Innovation Award in “Initiatives to Address Social Determinants of Health” for its Whole Person Care Initiative.

    Arizona's Medicaid program took on an innovative role in addressing social determinants of health, particularly in housing.

    The Medicaid program’s Whole Person Care Initiative launched in November 2019 in order to address social determinants of health needs among Arizona Medicaid beneficiaries. However, the underlying AHCCCS principles that carried this initiative forward had started years before the initiative’s launch.

    “Over the course of the last decade, we have been engaged in a very deliberative effort to integrate care—and when I talk about integrated care in this context, it's really the integration of acute care and behavioral health services,” Jami Snyder, director of AHCCCS, explained to HealthPayerIntelligence.

    “We now have a number of providers in our delivery system that offer the full range of physical acute care services and behavioral health services. But as we started to think about what's next on this integration journey, it really became clear to us that if we were going to take sort of a comprehensive approach to integrated care, that we needed to broaden our perspective to include connecting individuals that we serve to needed social services and support. So really taking that whole person care perspective on our integration journey.”

    The Whole Person Care Initiative was born out of this effort.


    The Whole Person Care Initiative focuses on addressing four social determinants of health: providing transitional housing support, offering non-medical transportation support, reducing social isolation through the long-term care system, and creating a statewide closed-loop referral system that enables providers to connect members to social services.

    Full article here>


  • 8 Nov 2022 5:49 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    On Jan. 26, 2021, the Biden Administration launched it Advancing Environmental Justice efforts. It included initiatives on protecting communities from toxic pollution. There are many ideas and efforts - more needs to be done. On Oct. 25, 2022, Amy Lavelley of the Chicago Tribune highlighted in her article 'Feds focus on pollution in the under-resourced communities," and the  USS Lead contamination of soil in East Chicago and the forced evacuation of the West Calumet Housing Complex with more than 1000 people at one time. At this time, the successful resolution is being wrapped up. It involved a low-income population of people of color. 

    For more details and to register, visit this page. 


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