Politics As COVID-19 ravages the country, insurers and employers need to step up for patients with debilitating diseases

01:06  05 august  2020
01:06  05 august  2020 Source:   thehill.com

Internal FEMA memo reveals Arizona coronavirus patients taken to New Mexico over staffing shortages: report

  Internal FEMA memo reveals Arizona coronavirus patients taken to New Mexico over staffing shortages: report An internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) showed coronavirus patients in Arizona were taken to New Mexico because of staffing shortages and a lack of hospital beds. The memo, obtained by ABC News, did not specify how many patients were moved across the state border. Arizona is among the states in the South and western U.S. currently experiencing a record surge in coronavirus cases. According to the Arizona Department of Health, 86 percent of hospital beds are currently in-use in the state, down from 91 percent earlier this month.

COVID - 19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The outbreak first started in Employers should follow the White House Guidelines for Opening Up America Againexternal icon, a All employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of COVID - 19 and lower the impact

Check the AMA COVID - 19 resource center to stay up to date and for additional resources. You may need to notify professional liability carriers in the event practice providers are called upon to The AMA has a COVID - 19 FAQ which answers key questions on the virus for patients and physicians

As the United States faces the challenge of combating the coronavirus pandemic, the American Behcet's Disease Association, for which I serve as executive director, is working tirelessly to ensure the needs of those patients and families struggling with this chronic illness are not overlooked. COVID-19 has proved to be an additional threat to people already suffering from chronic and preexisting conditions; these patients cannot be overlooked.

Senegal: the coronavirus complicates prevention campaigns against malaria

 Senegal: the coronavirus complicates prevention campaigns against malaria © iStock / RolfAasa Malaria is a potentially fatal disease, which caused 405,000 deaths in 2018, 94% of which in Africa. If in 2019 the disease affected 350,000 people and killed 260 in the country, the figures are down in 2020. If this decrease in cases can be linked to the campaigns carried out each year, it also hides another phenomenon. In fact, since the appearance of the Coronavirus, populations have been more reluctant to be tested, fearing to expose themselves to Covid-19.

For Hospitalized Patients , see (Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions and Disposition of Patients with COVID - 19 in Healthcare Settings (Interim Guidance). For patients with severe illness, duration of isolation for up to 20 days after symptom onset may be warranted.

California Department of Industrial Relations: COVID - 19 Infection Prevention for Agricultural Employers and Employees available in English, and Spanish. Firefighters: From the Pennsylvania Department of Health, What Firefighters Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 ( COVID - 19 ).

a woman sitting at a table using a laptop computer: As COVID-19 ravages the country, insurers and employers need to step up for patients with debilitating diseases © istock As COVID-19 ravages the country, insurers and employers need to step up for patients with debilitating diseases

Behcet's Disease is a debilitating disease that can involve all organ systems and requires ongoing care. It is, therefore, critical that patients have access to necessary medication and essential treatments. However, rising out-of-pocket costs for drugs continue to prove burdensome for individuals to get the help they need.

Currently, many vulnerable Americans rely on cost-sharing assistance in order to counter increasing out-of-pocket costs and to afford their medications. Numerous patients on private and employer provided insurance have increasingly relied on this assistance, but the annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) will now permit health plans to exclude cost-sharing assistance from counting towards spending limits and deductibles. Under this recently finalized policy, insurers can expand the use of accumulator adjustment programs, meaning patients could face thousands of dollars in unexpected costs at the pharmacy counter as they are forced to spend more to reach their out-of-pocket maximums.

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  Miami medical teams feel helpless as COVID-19 devastates South Florida Miami medical teams feel helpless as COVID-19 devastates South FloridaMIAMI (Reuters) - As the coronavirus ravages Florida, healthcare workers in Miami hospitals are struggling to cope with the emotional and physical impact of treating a crushing wave of COVID-19 patients.

In other words, COVID - 19 spreads in a similar way to flu. Most persons infected with COVID - 19 experience mild Why do employers and organizers need to think about COVID - 19 ? • While COVID - 19 is a mild disease for most people, it can make some very ill. Around 1 in every 5 people

For known or suspected patients with COVID - 19 , physicians and other health professionals should restrict visitors from entering the room. Alternative options for interactions between patient and visitor include video-call applications on mobile devices or tablet computers. Implement engineering controls.

This new rule would also put more power in the hands of insurers and Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) middlemen, as the entities that will be relied on to judge whether patient assistance programs are used within their plans. Unfortunately, both entities have garnered the reputation of bad actors due to their lackluster efforts to curb skyrocketing out-of-pocket spending, providing little semblance of relief to patients. Not to mention the fact that PBMs are known to keep savings garnered from manufacturing discounts rather than sharing it with patients in the form of lower drug prices. While a handful of states have taken action against accumulator adjustment programs, more lawmakers must speak up for their constituents in 2021, before this new rule is implemented.

To compound matters, CMS recently put forth a new Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Medicaid (comment period closed on July 20) aiming to address accumulators, but the rule is contradictory to the NBPP change. Should the proposed rule go into effect, it would require drug manufacturers to include the value of patient assistance programs in their "best price" calculations unless the manufacturer is able to ensure 100 percent of the assistance benefit goes to the patient. This is of course impossible for manufacturers to guarantee, especially when the 2021 NBPP grants insurers and PBMs the flexibility to expand the use of accumulator adjustment programs. This requirement ties the hands of manufactures and could inadvertently create disincentives for future offerings of cost-sharing assistance, particularly for new, innovative drugs and therapies in both Medicaid and the larger commercial market.

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The measurement of antibodies specific to COVID - 19 . The development of immunity to a pathogen These tests also need to accurately distinguish between past infections from SARS-CoV-2 and Many countries are now testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies at the population level or in specific groups Neutralizing antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in a COVID - 19 recovered patient cohort and their

COVID - 19 is the name given to the disease associated with the virus. patients with acute respiratory infections or influenza-like illness in certain outpatient clinics or hospitals If they develop symptoms compatible with COVID - 19 , they will need to self-isolate, inform their doctor and monitor

If individual plans move forward with enforcing these rules, patients' out-of-pocket costs will significantly increase and their access to medication will be limited. These changes will result in exactly the problems that cost-sharing assistance was designed to resolve and will cause significant harm to patients, deter physicians' clinical treatment decisions and impede efforts to address the negative impact of chronic diseases.

In the midst of a global health crisis, all patients, especially those living with a chronic illnesses or debilitating diseases, should never worry about whether they will be able to access and afford the care they need. To counter the gross impact this pandemic has already afflicted on our nation, insurers and PBMs must refrain from implementing programs that would only further restrict access and put burdensome pressure on the entire healthcare system.

Additionally, short-sighted changes like those included in the recent Medicaid proposal must be reconsidered. We urge policymakers, insurers, states and employers to join us in prioritizing patients' needs when considering these policies and support patients by ensuring cost-sharing assistance is counted towards patients' annual limitation to help ease the burden of drug costs.

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COVID - 19 is a new disease . and CDC is learning more about it and how it affects people every day. Patients with Asthma If I have patients with asthma, do I need to make any changes to their daily asthma preventive management regimens to reduce their risk of getting sick with COVID - 19 ?

The coronavirus disease 2019 ( COVID - 19 ) pandemic has changed how health care is delivered in Healthcare facilities need to provide care for all patients in the safest way possible for patients and healthcare personnel (HCP) and at the appropriate level, whether patients need home-based care

Mirta Avila Santos, MD, serves as executive director and patient advocate at the American Behcet's Disease Association (ABDA). She works with the rare disease communities and believes that the patient's voice has to be included and amplified throughout the continuum of care.

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Short-term health plans are a threat, not a victory, for sick patients .
Banning junk insurance isn't "Stripping coverage from the sick" any more than banning snake oil is "stripping medicine from the sick."For more than two years, ACAP has been sounding the alarm about junk health insurance - "short-term, limited-duration" insurance plans. These STLDI plans were originally intended to cover temporary gaps in coverage of up to 90 days. Then the Trump administration changed the regulatory definition of "short-term" from 90 days to 364 days-making short-term insurance a lower-cost alternative to plans available under the Affordable Care Act.

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