Health, Medicine & Nutrition
AD RescueWear Has Received the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Anne Fairchild McVey   
Monday, 26 November 2012 15:37
AD RescueWear is proud to announce they have received the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.

Products eligible for the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance are those that have been created or intended for use by persons with eczema or severe sensitive skin conditions and that have satisfied the NEA Seal of Acceptance Criteria. The following product categories are included: Personal Care Products, Household Products, Fabrics, and Devices. The Seal of Acceptance criteria includes a list of ingredients and contents that should be avoided because they contain known irritants. Depending on the product, the NEA Seal of Acceptance Review Panel considers testing data on sensitivity, safety, and toxicity, as well as the ingredients, content, and formulation data. Acceptance of a product means that the product has been evaluated to determine that it does not contain ingredients or contents that are known to be unsuitable for use by persons with eczema or sensitive skin conditions. For more information on the National Eczema Association and its Seal of Acceptance please visit www.nationaleczema.org.

AD RescueWear is the first U.S. Company to manufacture and sell ready-made, wet wrap therapy products for the treatment of childhood Atopic Dermatitis/Eczema. The product line includes the Wrap-E-SootheTM Suit for full body treatment and Wrap-E-SootheTM Sleeves for treating arms and legs. The Wrap-E-SootheTM products were developed by AD RescueWear in consultation with leading allergists. The Wrap-E-SootheTM products are made with eco-friendly MicroTENCEL®/lyocell fabric which is proven through verifiable testing to be superior for Atopic Dermatitis/Eczema and sensitive skin. TENCEL® fabric is Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified (tested for harmful substances and free of hazardous chemicals).

These new garments are a breakthrough for parents, doctors and nurses who struggle with wet wrapping children with Atopic Dermatitis/Eczema. The revolutionary design simplifies the full body and spot treatment of Atopic Dermatitis/Eczema. The Wrap-E-SootheTM Suit and Sleeves replace the traditional treatment of using wetted gauze, shirts, pants, multiple pairs of socks and duct tape for fastening. Instead of the traditional time consuming and sometimes confusing process, the caregiver just wets the suit or sleeves and slips them onto the child.

The Wrap-E-SootheTM products can also be worn dry to protect irritated or healing skin. The ultra soft and smooth fabric is a great protection layer under clothing or as clothing. These products are reusable and machine washable.

If you would like more information about this topic please call 303-953-4137.

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Lt. Governor Simon, EMS Task Force make recommendations to improve emergency medical services PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kara Beach   
Monday, 26 November 2012 14:20

Increased access to education would improve provider training

 

SPRINGFIELD – November 20, 2012. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon joined state Rep. Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) and state Rep. Lisa Dugan (D-Bradley) today to issue recommendations that will help improve rural emergency medical services. The recommendations were generated after 17 hearings of the Illinois House of Representatives’ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Task Force were held last year.

“During an emergency, every second counts,” Simon said. “Rural Illinois residents may travel up to 30 miles or more to reach the appropriate hospital. It is important that emergency medical technicians and paramedics who are treating patients during long transports are well-trained and have access to the best technology. I would like to thank the Task Force members for their hard work as we move forward with implementing some of these recommendations.”

Lt. Governor Simon testified in Galesburg in favor of increasing the availability of high-quality online training for EMTs and paramedics to improve employee and volunteer retention. Emergency medical service providers are required to complete 120 hours of continuing education every four years to renew their license. Currently, only 25 percent of that can be completed online, but the Task Force agreed with Simon that the offering should be increased. The Task Force also recommended that evaluation of that training should be based on performance, rather than only the hours completed.

“While the work of this current Task Force has been completed, the job is not finished. As our communities continue to grow and change and technology continues to advance we must continue to reach out to local emergency responders to make sure they have the tools they need to keep local families safe,” Moffitt said.

“It was an enlightening and enjoyable experience working with EMS personnel throughout the state of Illinois and Rep. Moffitt. I look with anticipation to the state moving forward to recognize and address the EMS needs throughout this state, so they can continue to provide a valuable service for the people of the state of Illinois,” Dugan said.

The Task Force also discussed the implementation of new federal EMS educational standards so that emergency medical technicians who have obtained licenses in Illinois are able to use them in other states. Additionally, the recommendations included a proposal to simplify licensing for ambulances. Rather than renewing licenses annually, if implemented, providers could obtain licenses lasting two to four years contingent on annual state inspections.

Lt. Governor Simon is the chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. Enhancing EMS is a part of the council’s strategic plan for rural Illinois.

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Residents and businesses invited to learn more during November, American Diabetes Month PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Brandi Welvaert   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:06

DAVENPORT, IA—Waste Commission of Scott County (Commission) provides free sharps containers and disposal to residents of Scott and Rock Island counties.

Residents may pick up new sharps containers from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following locations: Scott Area Landfill, County Road Y-48, Buffalo (11555 110th Ave., Davenport); and Scott Area Recycling Center, 5640 Carey Ave., Davenport. Appointments are not necessary. Sharps containers also may be picked up at the Scott County Health Department, 600 W. 4th St., 4th Floor, Davenport.

Full sharps containers may be dropped off at Waste Commission of Scott County’s Household Hazardous Material (HHM) facilities.  Residents should call (563) 381-1300 for drop-off hours.

The Commission also provides sharps containers and disposal to small businesses for minimal fees, ranging from $6 to $80. Details about packages and pricing are online at www.wastecom.com.


Residents and businesses are invited to learn more about the sharps program throughout November, American Diabetes Month, by visiting www.wastecom.com or calling (563) 381-1300.

Eight percent of Americans have diabetes, and many people with diabetes use medical sharps—lancets, needles and syringes—to help them manage the disease on a daily basis. Many used sharps end up in trash cans or flushed down toilets. These improper disposal methods create a risk for stick injuries and serious infection for people such as sanitation workers, sewage treatment workers, janitors, housekeepers, family members and children. To help keep community members safe and healthy, the Commission provides simple, responsible disposal for sharps.

Waste Commission of Scott County is an inter-governmental agency that provides environmentally sound and economically feasible solid waste management. For more information about the Commission, please call (563) 386-9575 or visit www.wastecom.com.

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Branstad submits letter of intent on PPACA on time PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Friday, 16 November 2012 11:21

Outlines significant, unanswered questions looming over implementation

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad this morning submitted the below letter of intent on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to Sec. Sebelius, meeting the deadline previously set forth by the Health and Human Services director.

However, late yesterday, Sec. Sebelius pushed back the deadline to December 14. In response to the new, arbitrary deadline set forth by the federal government, despite all the work states like Iowa have already accomplished, Communications Director Tim Albrecht said the following:

“Make no mistake, this deadline was extended because the federal government does not have the answers or capability to administer the Obamacare program,” said Albrecht. “This deadline was not pushed back to give the governors more time, rather it was a lifeline to help save themselves.”

The text of Gov. Branstad’s letter is as follows, with 50 remaining questions the federal government has yet to answer that underscore the information the state needs to make an informed decision:

 

November 16, 2012

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

US Department of Health & Human Services

200 Independence Avenue Southwest

Washington, DC 20201

 

Dear Secretary Sebelius:

 

My top priorities as governor are to protect the health, safety and welfare of Iowans, promote our State’s fiscal well-being and ensure our State remains a leader in job creation and income growth. I write you today to inform you that Iowa will continue on its path to creating an Iowa-based exchange that is intended to protect the health of Iowans, ensure the integrity of our health insurance markets and safe-guard our State budget from unnecessary turbulence. I continue to have concerns that an intrusive Federal exchange would raise costs on individuals and businesses, making it harder for them to create jobs and raise family incomes in Iowa. In fact, I have even greater concern that the health benefit exchanges proposed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) do nothing to address the quality of care or make our population healthier.

 

However, I cannot provide you with a set of timelines or complete details about the exchange until our State receives clear, binding rules from your Department. Forcing an exchange decision on states based on an arbitrary timetable, would be like forcing a consumer to buy a car without knowing the vehicle’s price tag or fuel economy. If forced to make a decision with incomplete information, then I have no choice but to default on some level to a Federal exchange. That is not my preferred path forward. Recently, I recommitted to my long-time pledge to work in a bipartisan fashion with Iowa legislative leaders and that pledge applies to our Federal partners as well. We have not abandoned our legal responsibility to create an exchange; however, the path towards consensus rests with you and Health and Human Services leadership. Our intention is not to default to a Federal exchange, but the road blocks and impediments in front of us may leave us no choice.

 

As a former governor, I trust you know the challenges states face when trying to navigate the murky waters of implementing a Federal mandate without clear guidance. In Iowa, formal rulemaking not only binds both the State and stakeholder to a clear set of expectations, it also allows for predictable and formal opportunities for stakeholder input that citizens deserve.

 

Iowa, like many states, has worked diligently, and met all deadlines for health benefit exchanges. We are updating vital systems and technology within our State, officials have met with critical stakeholders for input on exchanges and we have a solid framework for how an exchange could operate in Iowa. However, we continue to struggle with too many unanswered questions on topics critically important to the final development of an exchange that meets the needs of Iowans, including the cost of building and operating an exchange. Practical considerations will be guiding all states with the looming deadlines set by PPACA.

 

It is my hope that you will work with my State, and others, to address our questions and give us the flexibility and information we need to address the real challenges we face when trying to make decisions with incomplete guidance. Enclosed please find a list of issues and questions on which we seek specific guidance. Building a state-based exchange at all costs is not an option for any state. If Iowa must have an exchange, the exchange must provide solutions to the unique health care problems Iowa faces at an affordable and sustainable cost.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Terry E. Branstad

Governor

 


Exchange-Related Questions for US HHS

 

1)     Please provide a complete list of regulations that will have to be reviewed, revised and re-opened for public comment prior to implementation as a result of the Supreme Court ruling (e.g., the Medicaid eligibility regulations, exchange regulations related to interface with Medicaid). What is the schedule for re-issuing these regulations?

 

2)     When will final rules be issued on essential health benefits, actuarial value and rating areas?

 

3)     The federal government has already extended deadlines for applying for Level 1 and Level 2 Exchange Establishment funding into 2014. Can we expect extensions of the deadlines for other areas of implementation given the uncertainty caused by the Supreme Court ruling and the linkage between Medicaid expansion and exchange eligibility and enrollment functions? In addition, will the deadlines change for states implementing a partnership exchange? Will the deadlines be extended for states implementing a federal exchange? Can you confirm that states will be able to switch from a federal model to a partnership or state model until 2019 and that funding will be available to enable that transition?

 

4)     When will the details of the federal partnership options be available? These cannot be considered as an option without details including cost estimates and how state and federal systems are expected to link. How will the long term funding of the federally-facilitated healthcare exchanges be sustained?

 

5)     States considering a state-based exchange need to know whether there will be a charge to use the federal data hub, advance premium tax credit/cost-sharing reduction service, risk adjustment and transitional reinsurance programs. Will there be a charge? And, if so, how much will it be?

 

6)     When will states learn the details of the operational systems for a federal exchange? The procedural, technical, and architectural requirements for linking to the federal exchange have not been released. It is not feasible to know if a state-based exchange is better for our citizens until we know what the contents of a federal exchange will be.

 

7)     When will information from the establishment of a federal exchange be available for states to use if a state opts to build its own exchange? It is costly for each state to have to start from scratch and still not know how interfaces will work.

 

8)     If states choose to build a state-based exchange, what dollars will the federal government contribute now and in the future? For the federal exchange states, when will the regulations regarding the imposition of taxes on a state’s insurers be released?

 

9)     It has been widely reported that Congressional leaders who have to appropriate money will seek to defund exchanges. Can you explain how the enactment provisions of the law allow the Executive Branch to continue to fund exchanges without Congressional action to appropriate money?

 

10)  What happens to a state that has taken exchange planning and implementation grants if their exchange is not financially viable after 2015? Can a state refuse to increase taxes on either its residents or insurers, thus putting the financial underpinning of an exchange at risk? What penalties does the federal government envision in this case?

 

11)  What happens if a state accepts grant money now to begin to build a state exchange, and subsequently determines that a federal exchange may be better? Will the federal government claw back these grant dollars from the states?

 

12)  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has pointed out a provision in the law that reduces exchange subsidies after 2018, which means fewer and fewer people will qualify for subsidies, and the people who do qualify will get a smaller and smaller subsidy. Does the Administration support that change, and if so, how would you pay for it? If you do not, why do you think people should be forced to buy insurance if federal subsidies are shrinking?

 

13)  Alongside the considerable challenge of greatly expanding the Medicaid program, states are charged by the PPACA with creating a single, seamless point of entry for all of the insurance affordability programs affected by the Act--Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Basic Health Plan (where offered), advance tax credits for individual and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange enrollees. This leaves another major question on the table. What about all of the other social service programs?

 

14)  In order to minimize disruptions to a state’s insurance market, The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required to certify multi-state plans that must be included in every exchange. When will the rules be released detailing the requirements and timeline for multi-state plans? How OPM structures these rules can be very disruptive to a state’s insurance market.

 

15)  Does the federal government intend to maintain high risk pools and how will they be financed? What actions will they take in a state that has opted not to operate a high risk pool or an exchange?

 

16)  How do states with a federal exchange ensure that Web Based Entities (WBE) are an option in their state?

 

17)  Will HHS and the United States Department of the Treasury offset the advance payments of premium assistance tax credits to issuers for an applicant’s outstanding tax, alimony, and/or child support debts?

 

18)  Will state-based exchanges have the flexibility to retroactively adjust past due premium amounts for interim changes in income?

 

19)  How will the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIO) handle Qualifed Health Plans (QHP) to Medicare transitions to prevent enrollee confusion and the potential for unpaid QHP premiums due to the enrollee not terminating the QHP timely?

 

20)  How will CCIIO minimize the adverse impact of its overly-broad employer notice requirement?

 

21)  What is the process/timeline for the approval of a state-specific single streamlined application (SSA)?

 

22)  Must Iowa have a Medicaid Portal or can it use the federal portal? If the answer is that it has to use a federal portal, how does it incorporate state-specific programs (SNAP, TANF, etc.?)

 

23)  What is the role/scope of a verification plan in a state partnership exchange? Does it require federal approval? How and when should a verification plan be submitted for federal review?

 

24)  What will the federal government require of all the states in terms of specifications for account information/record layout/package of data elements?

 

25)  When and how should the implementation review be submitted?

 

26)  What are the HBE reporting requirements (HHS format? ACA 1313A?)

 

27)  Has the Plan Management Forum been rescheduled?

 

28)  Iowa would like to verify that the ACA will only allow “Indian status” for members of federally recognized tribes.

 

29)  Does this flow account for the possibility that some individuals may not be eligible for the exchange (because the individual has employer sponsored insurance), but person’s income could still qualify them to be eligible for Medicaid?

 

30)  With individuals coming into the system through the FFE, what implications are there for Iowa’s existing online application for SNAP and TANF?

 

31)  As an individual begins the application through the federal portal, what data elements will the FFE use to identify that the applicant lives in Iowa (attestation, zip code of mailing address, zip phone of residence, etc.)?

 

32)  At the "Transmit Account to State" point in the diagram, what are the gaps between the information that the federal hub gives Iowa and the information that Iowa needs to determine Medicaid MAGI eligibility?

 

33)  What data will be included in the account at the "Transmit Account to State" point? If this data set has not yet been determined, when will it be determined?

 

34)  Will the single streamlined application ask about health status (pregnancy, etc.)?

 

35)  In the Medicaid Agency swim lane, should CHIP Eligibility be moved before "Assess for Other IAP Eligibility" step? If so, this may be useful information for CCIIO to share with other states.

 

36)  What exactly happens at the "Assess for Other IAP Eligibility" point in the diagram?

 

37)  What is the communication back to consumers if it appears they are not eligible for anything (insurance affordability in addition to Medicaid and CHIP)?

38)  Can Iowa receive the application electronically (and thus meet the regulation that requires states to do so) through the FFE (instead of having a separate state-supported Medicaid portal)? Would using the FFE that meets the intent of the law which says that the states’ Medicaid must have the capability to accept Medicaid applications electronically?

 

39)  Will the paper application have to reflect the data elements in the single streamlined application and then have a number of supplemental data elements that are required by Iowa, or can the state continue using the current Iowa paper joint application?

 

40)  Iowa would like to verify that the entry point for the select group of people who are categorically eligible for Medicaid (babies born to Medicaid mothers, SSI, etc.) will remain subject to current business rules.

 

41)  How will the business rules for Medicaid presumptive eligibility change?

 

42)  From an education and outreach perspective, how will hospital staff get trained on the presumptive eligibility process?

 

43)  The Blueprint roadmap lists “Navigator” under 2.6, but does not indicate it is something that could be in a state partnership model (the partnership columns are not checked). In the same roadmap, 13.3 mentions Consumer assistance and indicates it can be part of a partnership model.  The draft “Design Review Modules – State Partnership Exchanges” under consumer assistance partnership shows Navigator as part of the module.  It seems like there is a conflict that may need to be clarified.

 

44)  Provide an overview of the federal Navigator program – are these actual people who will be stationed in the SPE/FFE states?  Will Iowa have Navigators physically in our state?

 

45)  Describe the role/responsibility for the federal Navigators (who are the Navigators and what will their responsibilities be).

 

46)  How will the federal Navigators integrate with state specific in-person consumer assistors?

 

47)  What is CMS’s/CCIIO’s vision/description of what the state must do to fulfill their obligations regarding in-person assistance?

 

48)  In the blueprint section 4.0 (Plan Management), there are sub-sections identified as 4.5 and 4.6. However, in the guidance on what states need to prepare for in the design review for SPE, these two sub-sections are not listed. Can you clarify what the state’s responsibilities are for these two sub-sections?

 

49)  Is there a CMS’s/CCIIO’s plan for integration between the HBE implementation and the BIP implementation?

 

50)  Describe the role federal call centers play with regard to helping a caller obtain Medicaid (will the caller be switched to the Iowa Medicaid call center based on the area code of their call?) Describe the federal plan for education and outreach? Will marketing materials be tailored to the state? Will the state have input to the marketing materials?

 

 

 

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Governor Quinn and Leader Tom Cross Mark Diabetes Awareness Day in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ryan C. Woods   
Friday, 16 November 2012 09:37

Free Diabetes Screenings Available Across Illinois

 

CHICAGO – November 14, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and House Minority Leader Tom Cross today joined advocates from the Illinois Diabetes Policy Coalition (IDPC) to mark the first Diabetes Awareness Day in Illinois. Illinois residents can take advantage of free diabetes screenings available across the state today, and a list of locations can be viewed at www.ildpc.org. Diabetes Awareness Day in Illinois is the result of a new law signed this summer by the governor to increase public awareness of diabetes.

 

“Knowledge is power and being proactive about diabetes can save lives and help so many people who don’t know about all the treatment options they have,” Governor Quinn said. “By working together to raise awareness and strengthen our healthcare system, we can improve the health of the people of Illinois.”

 

“You or someone you know may have diabetes and not even be aware of it,” said Leader Cross. “While Type 1 Diabetes cannot be prevented, Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder than can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle.  Early detection and treatment are key to preventing the side effects of diabetes such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke, which is why we are using Diabetes Day to raise awareness about the disease and to encourage everyone to get their blood sugar screened.”

 

In July, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 5003, sponsored by House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) to officially designate November 14th as Diabetes Awareness Day in Illinois. November is American Diabetes Month, and more than 800,000 Illinois residents are living with the disease, double the number 20 years ago. In partnership with the IDPC, almost two dozen locations throughout Illinois will offer free diabetes screenings. The screenings were set up by the Illinois Hospital Association, Novo Nordisk and the Illinois Legislative Diabetes Caucus.

 

“The members of the IDPC are thrilled to be partnering with Governor Quinn, Leader Cross and the members of the Illinois Diabetes Legislative Caucus to mark an annual day dedicated to the awareness, education and prevention of diabetes. With nearly 900,000 people in Illinois living with diabetes and many more at-risk, this disease remains an important and critical public health issue that requires collaboration between public and private entities to provide on-going support and education,” said Kate O’Connor, co-chair of the Illinois Diabetes Policy Coalition.

 

In Illinois, diabetes remains the leading cause of chronic kidney disease, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, heart disease, stroke and new cases of blindness among adults in the U.S. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the number of Illinois residents who have diabetes has more than doubled over the past 20 years, reaching approximately 800,000 in 2011. The department also estimates that an additional 500,000 people are unaware they have the disease. Of Illinois adults with diabetes, 18.6 percent are 65 years of age or older. Diabetes-related care in Illinois costs around $7.3 billion each year.

 

For more information please visit: www.idph.state.il.us or www.ildpc.org.

 

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