Policy Agenda 2013
Click here to download a pdf version.
Educate. Implement. Improve.
The Affordable Care Act (federal health reform) is now a reality. While many private insurance reforms and expansions of public programs are not set to begin until 2014, it is critical that Illinois is actively planning for required eligibility and system changes, as well as offering information to residents about the changes in store.
- Make certain that everyone newly eligible for Medicaid is able to get coverage.
- Support state legislation that authorizes a Health Insurance Exchange that best meets the needs of those who are un- and underinsured in Illinois.
- Provide education to IMCHC stakeholders, members, and the general public about the law.
- Ensure that a comprehensive range of benefits for women, including the full range of reproductive health services, are included in insurance products offered both inside and outside of the Exchange marketplace.
- Promote coordinated outreach and enrollment efforts that build upon best practices and existing networks, such as All Kids Application Agents, to ensure that the newly eligible are connected with appropriate coverage options.
Expand access to care through School Health Centers.
- Protect existing state funding for school health centers and explore new opportunities for sustainable funds.
- Advocate for new funding to support existing school health centers and fund new school health centers.
- Monitor the RFP process for the $3 million in the state capital plan to support new and existing centers.
- Work with new and existing school health centers to maximize their opportunities to access federal funding.
- Ensure that Licensed Clinical Social Workers in school health centers are eligible to reimburse for services under new legislation.
- Advocate for relevant and helpful adolescent health legislation.
- Support implementation of recommendations from the School Health Taskforce.
- Ensure that comprehensive sexual health education is offered in K-12 schools.
- Support policies and
Reduce racial health disparities in maternal and infant mortality.
In order to reduce health disparities, IMCHC will work to implement recommendations from our “Emma Report”.
- Engage in activities of the Illinois Asset Building Group to strengthen the financial stability of families through asset ownership and development.
- Mobilize community members to support efforts for comprehensive sexual health education.
- Work with the Commission to End Disparities Facing African American Communities to promote solutions from the Campaign to Save Our Mothers and Babies meetings, summits, and reports.
- Work with hospitals to reduce the rate of medically unnecessary elective cesarean sections before 39 weeks.
- Ensure parity in coverage and cost-sharing for preventive services between Medicaid and new private insurance plans.
Reduce the number of premature births, while supporting caregivers of premature infants and ensuring that premature infants receive high-quality, continuous care.
- Work with IDPH to implement Public Act 96-1117 (SB3273), which requires the posting of educational information about the risks and special needs of premature infants, as well as the collection of hospital discharge data to analyze readmission rates of premature infants.
- Investigate the addition of a newborn screening tool for heart defects.
Access to immunizations
Immunization rates for children and adults have reached an all time high, yet there is still much work to be done to reach the Healthy People 2020 Goal of 90%. IMCHC will:
- Work to fully implement the ICARE (online immunization registry) system.
- Work with IDPH to ensure that review process for vaccine exemptions are legitimate and valid.
- Protect federal 317 funding, emergency preparedness funding, and the Prevention and Public Health Fund, all of which provide support towards immunization services and education.
- Ensure that hospitals meet the requirements set forth in HB4968, the Hospital Infant Feeding Act, which requires all birthing hospitals to adopt a policy that promotes breastfeeding and to train neonatal staff on this policy on a regular basis.
- Encourage birthing hospitals to adopt “Baby-Friendly” (breastfeeding-friendly) steps and policies.
- Increase the hospital response rate to the Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) survey.
- Monitor the implementation of state Medicaid reform measures and ensure that no further cuts to eligibility or additional documentation requirements take place for Medicaid, FamilyCare, or All Kids.
- Restore dental coverage for pregnant women on Medicaid AND advocate for the coverage of one preventive visit per year.
- Support the oversight of Maternal and Child Health Programs into a single state agency.
- Support debt restructuring policies that will reduce the financial burden placed on health care and social service providers resulting from delayed payments by state agencies.
- Promote a fair tax structure that helps raise adequate revenue to support health care, human services, education, public safety, and other vital needs and includes a graduated income tax to reduce the financial burden currently borne by low- and middle-income families.