Healthcare and Insurance News Headline Updated on 20 Apr 2020

The headline on 20 Apr 2020

Quil Health, a joint venture between Independence Blue Cross and Comcast, continues to innovate with technology in people’s living rooms to support health and wellness.

The headline on 17 Apr 2020

The FDA has eased compounding rules on hospitals. Find out more on that and other top headlines in our tracker. Officials with the White House Coronavirus Task Force announced Wednesday that COVID-19 cases are declining across the country. Find out more on this and other top headlines in our tracker.

A new report from Express Scripts found a significant increase in filled prescriptions for behavioral health drugs in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Source: AMERICA’S STATE OF MIND: USE OF MENTAL HEALTH MEDICATIONS INCREASING WITH SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS

Chronically ill patients are struggling to manage their conditions, which could lead to a health crisis of its own in the future, as Heather Landi reports. A recent survey from InCrowd found 69% of chronic disease patients said the COVID-19 pandemic is hampering their ability to manage high-risk conditions, which could indicate a looming health crisis.

The headline on 16 Apr 2020

A new analysis finds that the uncertainty around costs related to the pandemic could be a major hurdle for health plans when it comes to setting premiums for 2021.

Massachusetts is searching for 1,000 volunteers to help contact tracing of COVID-19 patients to stop spread of the virus. Source: KHN > Massachusetts Recruits 1,000 ‘Contact Tracers’ To Battle COVID-19

A greater reliance on technology during the outbreak has led to a greater threat for cyberattacks so the AHA and AMA teamed up to develop new guidance for providers. With an increased threat of cyberattacks during COVID-19, experts offer smaller hospitals and physician practices new advice to defend themselves while AHA and AMA teamed up to offer new guidance for providers. As hackers ramp up attacks against smaller hospitals, here are 6 tips to protect against them.

The headline on 14 Apr 2020

For weeks, hospitals have been calling on Congress to offer more cash as they get pummeled by COVID-19, but this week they got more specific. Here’s the financial help they say they urgently need.

Stanford Medicine scientists are using data from a voluntary health survey to develop an early warning system that will flag communities at risk for a surge in COVID-19 cases. Source: Stanford Medicine > National Daily Health Survey For Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci’s media tour continued on Snapchat where he spoke with Peter Hamby on the new rules of living with coronavirus and how we could have sports back this fall. Vanity Fair published the full Q&A. Source: Baseball? Coachella? Handshakes? Tinder? Anthony Fauci on the New Rules of Living With Coronavirus

Hotels have been among the options floated for expanding hospital capacity — but what would it really take to convert those spaces? Source: HKS > COVID-19 Conversions: How to Turn Hotels into Hospitals

As patient volumes plummet amid the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly half of independent medical practices report they have had to furlough or lay off staff. With drops in volume and revenue, nearly half of medical practices said they’d been forced to temporarily furlough staff and a surprising number of practices have permanently laid off staff, a MGMA survey found. Source: MGMA > COVID-19 Financial Impact on Medical Practices

UnitedHealth Group has agreed to help HHS to more quickly allocate $30 billion in COVID-19 funding to providers, starting last Friday.

Primary care provider Sanitas USA tapped Silicon Valley startup Innovaccer to help its physicians provide virtual care during the COVID outbreak. Source: Innovaccer > Caring as One to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cigna has launched a new program to connect with lonely seniors stuck at home. Read about that and more of the latest headlines in our tracker. Source: National Daily Health Survey For Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Federation of American Hospitals issued a new plea for cash and warned that hospitals are at high risk of closure due to the staggering cost of COVID-19. HHS is taking heat from providers and state officials for its decision to use Medicare reimbursements as the basis for distributing $30 billion in grants to cash-strapped facilities. The Federation of American Hospital’s issued a new plea for cash for health systems as controversy brews over just how the Trump administration is distributing currently available funding. Source: COVID-19 Alert: U.S. Hospital Finances in Critical Condition

A majority of ACOs warn they may drop out of the program as the COVID-19 response puts the squeeze on their finances. A survey of risk-based ACOs found most are likely to leave the program due to concerns about having to repay losses stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. Source: More than Half of Participants Likely to Leave Cost-Saving Medicare Program: NAACOS Poll Asked About Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

The headline on 13 Apr 2020

In an unprecedented move to collaborate, Google and Apple are working to create contact tracing technology to notify people via smartphone if they’ve come into contact with someone with the coronavirus. Source: The Verge > Apple and Google are building a coronavirus tracking system into iOS and Android

Public health officials are quickly weighing options to prepare multiple building types for conversion into temporary patient care facilities, including hotels. Architects outline how that could work. Source: HKS > COVID-19 Conversions: How to Turn Hotels into Hospitals

The headline on 10 Apr 2020

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will pay the salaries and benefits for its medical professionals that volunteer to join the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. Source: Blue Cross is Taking Action to Support Members and Hospitals Amid the Pandemic

Presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has released a plan to lower the Medicare enrollment age to 60. Source: Joe Biden Outlines New Steps to Ease Economic Burden on Working People