2018 Illinois End of Session Report

This year was the second year of a two year session for the State of Illinois. Aligning Presence Health priorities with our values and KRAs, the system was able to have an impact on key healthcare policy that developed over this session.

  • Presence Health Sponsors Legislation.  Rainbow Hospice Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tim McCurry identified a loophole in the law governing pharmaceutical disposal of liquid medications. Together, we were able to allow nurses and law enforcement to properly dispose of these dangerous drugs. This law will support families dealing with recent losses, and protect our communities from dangerous drugs that might be left at a patient’s home without proper disposal. Presence Health continued to lead on telehealth introducing two bills to expand providers who can use telehealth, and include licensed dietician nutritionists and certified diabetic educators under existing telehealth insurance coverage for seniors in their homes. We expect Governor Rauner to all three measures in the coming months.
  • Hospital Assessment Program. Presence Health was active with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) effort to re-design the $3.5 billion hospital assessment program. The program is set to sunset on June 30, 2018. Federal CMS would not extend the current payment system so the hospital assessment program needed to be re-negotiated. The state expects to receive approval for the new assessment program to be able to implement it as of July 1, 2018 or shortly thereafter.
  • Full Budget Approved. The General Assembly overwhelmingly approved an FY19 budget bringing to an end to several years of partisanship related to the State’s finances. The Governor announced he would quickly sign the $38.5 billion budget and implementation bills. This budget does not include the Governor’s proposed 4% across-the-board cut to Medicaid.
  • Omnibus Medicaid Legislation. The General Assembly approved omnibus legislation that addressed a wide variety of Medicaid issues that arose over the last year. Specific to hospitals, the legislation guarantees funding for safety-net hospitals in the event that neither the new assessment, nor the bridge, are approved by July 1.
  • Workplace Safety. Presence Health was able to provide expert insights on legislation that requires additional training for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and increased requirements for the transport of justice-involved persons to healthcare facilities. There were implementation concerns around both of these bills as they were introduced; however, we were able to mitigate the impacts while still improving the quality of treatment for our patients and a safe work environment for our employees.

Additional Legislative Action.  Our advocacy initiatives stem from our Values: Honesty, Oneness, People and Excellence. The following report highlights forty-nine other bills Presence Health supported to advance policies that align with our values and mission to provide high-quality, compassionate care.

Presence Health has supported various bills in the following four categories:

Honesty, Oneness, People and Common Good

Honesty: Fiscal

The value of honesty is reflected in the stewardship of our ministries, as well as conducting business with integrity and accountability. Fiscal policies are aligned with stewardship to ensure that we can continue providing health care for everyone in the communities we serve.

Presence Health has weighed in on bills regarding appropriations and budget implementation, and played a critical role in helping the Illinois Health and Hospital Association redesign the hospital assessment program.

For more information, click here.

Oneness: Transformation

The value of oneness is related to growth and evolving emerging technological capabilities and advanced standards of care. Transformation policies help us achieve the goal of collaboration in providing effective holistic care to our patients.

Presence Health has sponsored two bills to broaden the definition of providers who can deliver telehealth, and expand insurance coverage for telehealth to help seniors living with diabetes.

For more information, click here.

People: Common Good

The value of people is expressed through the Presence experience, working with others in our communities to make life better for all. Policies that address the common good are vital to help our communities be healthier and more vibrant. Our efforts complement the community health priorities and focus for the system.

Presence Health has weighed in on bills that would improve social, economic and structural determinants of health, mental and behavioral health, and prevent and reduce chronic disease.

For more information, click here.

Excellence: Quality and Safety

The value of excellence depends on policies that increase quality and safety in the delivery of exceptional health care. Policies related to excellence are critical to delivering health care that is advanced, safe and cost-efficient.

Presence Health sponsored legislation to allow for the safe disposal of liquid, dangerous drugs including opioids and supported the creation of a sepsis review task force.

For more information, click here.