Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » More new laws: Extended/expanded hospital assessment; Child Labor and One Day Rest in Seven changes
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
More new laws: Extended/expanded hospital assessment; Child Labor and One Day Rest in Seven changes

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

* Once again posting these in reverse order of when they were received…

Governor JB Pritzker today signed HB1950, extending and expanding the Hospital Assessment Program through 2026. The legislation helps ensure cash-flow predictability for hospitals, tying greater funding to higher Medicaid utilization to protect safety net hospitals. It also reclassifies certain hospitals to better align with payment and Medicaid needs, as well as offering tax exemptions and waivers to help hospitals recover from the effects of COVID-19.

“The Hospital Assessment program was an important support to hospital’s critically in need of additional funding during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This extension continues to support them on the path to recovery and offers expanded services and Medicaid support to more hospitals to ensure people across the state have access to affordable, high-quality health care.”

“The work that is being done in safety net hospitals and other hospitals that serve high percentages of Medicaid customers is so critical – particularly for historically under-served communities of color,” Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Theresa Eagleson said. “The Hospital Assessment program reinforces a more equitable system of health care in Illinois, and ensures more resources are going to the facilities Medicaid customers choose for their care.”

The renewed Hospital Assessment establishes refined payment structures for each hospital class and maintains the existing assessment tax structure. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) collects a hospital assessment tax, the federal government provides matching funds, and the dollars are redistributed to hospitals based on the volume and acuity of the Medicaid patients they serve, as well as the class of hospital.

HFS worked with the General Assembly and stakeholders to distribute funding to hospitals across the state and prioritize hospitals that serve a high number of Medicaid patients. In order to come into compliance with a recent federal mandate, the Hospital Assessment program will gradually shift payments so that each year a larger share of the payments to hospitals is tied to the volume and acuity of Medicaid patients.

The continuation of the Hospital Assessment program recognizes the challenges faced by hospitals, especially small and rural hospitals, over the last several years.

To support recovery from COVID-19 losses, the renewed Hospital Assessment program waives $240,000,000 in the assessment imposed on hospitals, an amount replaced by General Revenue funds in the budget adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Pritzker.

The current Hospital Assessment program, signed into law in 2020 to run through calendar year 2022, brought additional funding, and improved Medicaid responsiveness in the areas of Illinois affected most by COVID-19.

The amendments to the act recognize outpatient services to determine qualification as a high Medicaid hospital, allowing more hospitals to qualify. The reclassifications also establish a new class of small government hospitals, to better align their payments with their costs and federal limits. This class would consist of seventeen critical access hospitals and three small, rural hospitals. This is another commitment to expanding rural health care following other actions from the Pritzker administration on that front, including the recently signed bills SB3017 and SB1435.

The Hospital Assessment program also provides for more security and reliability to safety-net hospitals, hospitals primarily serving Medicaid patients, by adding a rate floor for safety net and critical access hospitals ensuring higher payments during periods of higher utilization.

“The Hospital Assessment program brings an additional $3.9 billion dollars into Illinois’ Medicaid program,” said House Majority Leader Greg Harris. “In addition to providing stability for our healthcare system during these unstable times, we are using these dollars to support trauma services, access to behavioral healthcare and reducing health disparities.”

“Safety net hospitals have historically provided excellent medical services despite having fewer resources and greater need, especially during this pandemic,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “Health care is a right and not a privilege. By expanding the Hospital Assessment Program, Illinois is creating a broader pathway for better health outcomes by ensuring access to equitable, affordable health care.”

“The access that is being provided by hospitals that serve high percentages of Medicaid customers is so critical – particularly for historically under-served communities of color,” Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Theresa Eagleson said. “The Hospital Assessment program prioritizes Medicaid-serving hospitals, especially safety net and critical access hospitals and also larger hospitals serving significant numbers of our customers, reinforcing a more equitable system of health care in Illinois, and ensuring more resources are going to the facilities which Medicaid customers choose for their care.”

“The renewed assessment program will provide greater certainty for hospitals as to the amount of the payment they will receive when they serve a Medicaid customer,” said Sen. Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights.) “The assessment program will support continued viability for safety-net hospitals and hospitals serving high percentages of Medicaid patients so they can continue their vital work in the communities they serve for the long term.”

“As a safety net hospital, we serve as frontline healthcare providers to some of the most vulnerable populations in Illinois, who often have no other place to turn for their care,” said Larry McCulley, CEO of Touchette Regional Hospital. “This legislation provides an increased investment in safety net hospitals, increasing their ability to provide the desperately needed mental and behavioral services in underserved communities. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, safety net hospitals have seen a massive increase in the need for behavioral health services, one that is difficult for providers to sustain. Through this larger investment by the state, safety-net hospitals will be able to deliver greater access to the behavioral and mental health services that our communities critically need.”

“Communities we serve on the Northwest side of Chicago are in desperate need of expanded behavioral health services, with at least ten to fifteen patients present every day in the emergency department in need of behavioral health services,” said Edward Green, Chairman of the Board at Community First Medical Center. “The legislation signed today will allow our medical center to immediately establish a 24-bed inpatient behavioral health unit to help address the increased need for behavioral and mental health services we are seeing across the city. We want to extend our gratitude to the House and Senate leaders that worked to pass this legislation and to the Governor for his continued prioritization of expanding mental health across the state.”

“The hospital funding included in HB 1950 will go a long way to stabilizing hospitals so they can continue to fulfill their mission of caring for their communities. The reauthorization of the hospital assessment program, coupled with pandemic-related financial relief and the Safety Net HEAL program, will preserve access to healthcare and advance health equity in communities across the state,” said A.J. Wilhelmi, President & CEO of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association. “I’d like to thank Gov. Pritzker and Illinois lawmakers for their support of Illinois hospitals, ensuring all Illinoisans—and particularly our most vulnerable populations—continue to receive quality, affordable care.”

“The updated hospital assessment, in combination with increased investments in safety net hospitals in the recently signed budget, provide a strong step forward in ensuring that community safety net hospitals have the resources necessary to provide essential care,” said Anne Igoe, Vice President, Health Systems, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana.

* CMS…

A bill strengthening the Child Labor Law passed by the General Assembly was signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker.

Senate Bill 3161 enhances the Child Labor Law and is the result of negotiations among the Illinois Department of Labor, the business community, worker advocacy groups and unions.

“Protecting the youngest and most vulnerable workers is critical to preventing exploitation. This bill gives the Illinois Department of Labor additional tools to ensure that child workers in the entertainment industry are safe on the job,” said Illinois Department of Labor Acting Director Jane Flanagan.

The Child Labor Law regulates terms and conditions in which children can work. The changes enacted as part of SB 3161 provide IDOL with more discretion when it comes to protecting children in the entertainment industry from working through the overnight hours.

In fiscal year 2021, IDOL received 14,846 child employment certificates. During the same timeframe, IDOL received 488 requests for night waivers for minors working in motion picture or entertainment productions. Last year, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said there were more than 80 television and film productions in Illinois.

Employers will be required to provide additional justification for child performers expected to work between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. The waiver request must be made 72 hours prior to the work.

The amendment also allows child performers to work until 10 p.m. without a permit.

These changes will take effect January 1, 2023.

* Another one…

A bill strengthening the One Day Rest in Seven Act has been signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker.

Senate Bill 3146 is the result of negotiations among the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL), the business community, community groups and unions.

“The changes will strengthen the One Day Rest in Seven Act and reflect the ongoing mission of the Illinois Department of Labor to protect the rights, wages and working conditions for people in Illinois,” said Illinois Department of Labor Acting Director Jane Flanagan.

The One Day Rest in Seven Act gives workers the right to a day of rest every workweek and meal or rest breaks during daily work shifts. The changes enacted as part of SB 3146 are intended to clarify the day of rest requirements for workers whose schedules don’t align with a Sunday to Saturday calendar week, and apply to any consecutive seven-day work period. The amendments also require an additional 20-minute break for workers during a 12-hour shift and clarify penalties for bad actors.

Employers with fewer than 25 employees that violate the act can face a penalty of $250 per offense and damages up to $250 per offense. Employers with 25 or more employees that violate the act can face a penalty of $500 per offense and damages up to $500 per offense.

Every employer covered by the Act must post a notice at the workplace to notify employees of their rights under this Act. IDOL will provide this notice on its website for employers to download and post.

The changes will take effect January 1, 2023, giving employers time to update meal and rest break policies and remain in compliance with the law.

…Adding… Another one…

State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) championed a new law to bring awareness to child care assistance opportunities for college students with dependents.

“A lack of resources and support systems can shut out parents from pursuing higher education,” Villanueva said. “Education is a fundamental right, and our state’s student-parent population should not be barred from exercising their right to building a better life for themselves and their children.”

The new law, previously Senate Bill 3149, enhances the effectiveness of assistance programs for students with dependents. It requires that students with dependents be notified of resources that aid them with parenthood, higher education and balancing the two. Senator Villanueva sponsored the measure in the state legislature to bring equity to students whose parenthood might put them at a financial and social disadvantage in higher education institutions.

“This law will help these students focus on their education by helping them achieve independence and stability,” Villanueva said. “Setting them up for success at home increases their chances at succeeding in school and beyond.”

This measure was signed into law Friday.

…Adding… Another…

Governor JB Pritzker today signed two bills designed to provide better access to healthcare for rural Illinoisans. SB3017 amends the Loan Repayment Assistance for Physicians Act to address the shortage of healthcare providers, particularly for obstetrical services, in rural committees. SB1435 amends hospital licensing procedures to clear the way for health center mergers and increased healthcare coordination in rural districts.

“From our telehealth expansions to our Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives, we’re shaping Illinois into a leader in tackling systemic inequities in our rural healthcare systems,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I want to thank Senator Turner and Representatives Yednock and Rezin for bringing us closer to a world where all Illinoisans have the easy and affordable healthcare access they deserve.”

The amended Loan Repayment Assistance Act expands the definition of a “designated shortage area” to include any Medicaid-accepting health provider and expands the eligibility for loan repayment to more physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, and physicians’ assistants. These expansions are targeted towards attracting more qualified health care professionals to work in rural areas lacking adequate access to care.

SB1425 allows any hospital in a county of fewer than 125,000 inhabitants to apply to the Illinois Department of Public Health to conduct operations from multiple locations within contiguous counties under one license. As a result of the bill, St. Margaret’s Health- Spring Valley will have a path to merge with St. Margaret’s Health- Peru. This will increase healthcare coordination across rural counties and improve quality of care for patients in these systems.

According to a University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center study, rural populations are typically older and have more health needs than those living in urban areas despite facing transportation and coverage shortages. These disparities are particularly acute for patients using Medicare. Rural residents need accessible health care options without the long delays and financial burden of extended travel.

Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation in 2021 that established the Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives program, which encourages healthcare providers to partner together to develop innovative solutions for meeting healthcare needs in their communities and closing gaps that exist in healthcare delivery across the state. In July, the administration announced roughly $94 million in funding to eight innovative collaborations.

SB3107 and SB1435 target these underserved areas to improve healthcare for rural Illinoisans. Both bills are effective immediately.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

2 Comments
  1. - Techie - Tuesday, May 17, 22 @ 2:08 pm:

    I’m glad to see clarifications/enhanced protections for workers around work/life balance.


  2. - Proud Papa Bear - Tuesday, May 17, 22 @ 7:19 pm:

    I could’ve used this 25 years ago. My boss once worked me 18 days in a row, gave me a three-day weekend (and acted like she gave me a month off,) then worked me another 11 straight days.


TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* A quick note from Isabel Miller
* Campaign notebook
* AFSCME forces Pritzker administration to back down on Vandalia prison consolidation
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Update to today's edition
* Annual Redneck Fishing Tournament reels in 20,000 pounds of invasive species
* Bally’s files application with state to open first Chicago casino
* Caption contest!
* Pritzker unveils six-year transportation plan
* Labor-backed group's report claims Workers’ Rights Amendment would boost incomes and improve working conditions
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller