The ever-flowing healthcare bailouts edition | The Healthy Muse
This week’s top healthcare news.
- As of this writing: 784,201 infected and 41,837 deaths in the U.S. (Live Tracker)
- We’re re-opening the economy — slowly — and states will get to choose how and when that’s done. They’ll use the White House’s 3-phase approach as a guide.
- Antibody and other lab testing availability will be key. If you read anything healthcare related this week, read this piece from Stat. They’ve been at the forefront of reporting re: everything coronavirus. Second, read this piece from the WSJ.
- More bailout $$$ is on the way for small businesses and hospitals.
- The CDC is releasing a clinical reporting tool in May.
- Gilead’s antiviral drug treatment Remdesivir is showing cautiously optimistic results.
- Trump halted funding for the World Health Organization pending investigation.
- New projected COVID-19 peaks by state.
- Contamination at the main CDC lab in Atlanta delayed tests for weeks, according to the NY Times.
Non-COVID Things to know.
- CMS proposed boosting inpatient rehabilitation payments by 2.9% in 2021.
- Health insurers are on the hook for big Obamacare rebates — in the tune of $2.7 billion.
Phase II of the Coronavirus Crisis begins.
Economies are looking to open back up, but around 60% of Americans are wondering whether we’re opening up too soon.
At any rate, the U.S. will need to rely on more testing until a vaccine gets here.
- Prior to any sort of re-opening, New York is planning to ‘aggressively’ roll out an antibody test, which will let people know whether they have immunity / the ability to fight off COVID-19.
Stimulus, Part IV; Scene 1
More bailout cash is coming for small businesses — $450 billion in total, $300 billion of which is slated for the paycheck protection program.
Notably for healthcare, another $75 billion in bailout $$$ is coming to hospitals on top of the $100 billion fund already approved in the CARES Act.
- The news comes days after the American Hospital Association asked Congress — specifically the House — for more hospital funding.
About that CARES Act money… CMS is distributing another round of $30 billion to hospitals.
- $20 billion will be based on each hospitals’ proportion of total revenue received from private insurers and Medicaid.
- Then, the remaining $10 billion will be dispersed based on coronavirus need — i.e., addressing “hot spots,” or hospitals with large numbers of coronavirus patients.
In an interesting twist, private equity owned physician practices were shut out of the CARES Act bailout funds.
- Remember: The first round of funding was distributed based on hospitals’ historical shares of Medicare revenue, which drew some backlash.
Other ‘Rona Reads.
- We might have to sacrifice some temporary privacy and personal freedom in order to track infections. Here’s one way to balance the two.
- CMS just provided guidance for resuming elective procedures. It’ll depend on the availability of personal protective equipment and declines in COVID cases.
- Antibody treatments may be the best hope against the virus until a vaccine.
- Americans rally to protest social distancing
- Telehealth startups are having no trouble raising funds during the pandemic.
- Big Tech: Facebook launching its symptom tracker map. Microsoft launching Plasmabot. And everything else the nation’s largest companies are contributing to the coronavirus crisis.
- UnitedHealthcare is considering jumping back into the ACA exchanges.
- Prescriptions for anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications have risen 21% post-COVID.
- Where have all the other hospital patients gone? Heart attacks, appendicitis, and strokes have vanished. (WaPo)
- How much more does private insurance pay over Medicare? TL;DR — about 200%. (KFF)
- A 2020 business outlook for physical therapy.
- Withholding funding from the WHO is dangerous and must be reversed. (Nature)
- Sending hospitals into bankruptcy. (WSJ)
- The COVID-19 crisis is giving states that haven’t expanded Medicaid a chance to reconsider (TCF)
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