September 17, 2020

COVID and the SDoH

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New study reinforces SDoH impact Focus on the social determinants of health (SDoH) continues to intensify nationwide, and that means potentially higher costs of care for healthcare organizations. The recent study by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health has the…
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Hospital medical records are under scrutiny by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  Via two unrelated changes, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is targeting the hospital medical record for added scrutiny. It is clear that caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic costs more than during…
September 10, 2020

COVID-19 déjà vu

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This has been a humbling six months to be an American and an emergency physician. It seems like we have gone from one crisis to the next, with COVID-19 persistently in the background, ready to ignite when too many people ignore it or get sloppy about prevention because of fatigue.…
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By now we’ve all heard the words “anyone who wants a COVID test can have one.” Occasionally, that claim is followed by the word “free,” or “no copay or deductible.” Such statements make great news and sound bites, but it leaves people like me wondering: where’s the catch? Accepting a…
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During this week’s Monitor Mondays broadcast, Ronald Hirsch, MD, vice president at R1 RCM, reminded listeners how confusing all the waivers and flexibilities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have been, while noting that what is more amazing is that the confusion hasn’t stopped. The latest confusion, Hirsch said, relates to…
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This article will explore Medicaid expansion during COVID-19. We all know that COVID has uprooted our lives. Telehealth is the new post-COVID norm, whereas it was in infancy pre-COVID. Perhaps the pandemic has spurred on Medicaid expansion as well. I would be remiss if I did not mention that increased…
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Over the course of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, one topic has mysteriously fallen under the radar. It’s something that greatly impacts health outcomes, and especially virus transmission rates. The Joint Commission identified this issue in 2008 as among the most important factors to impact population health. Any ideas? One final…
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article, originally published on RACmonitor and ICD10monitor, has been updated to alert facilities that COVID-19 testing inclusions will have a fiscal impact starting Sept. 1, 2020. Effective Sept. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has enlisted a mandate requiring hospitals to have positive COVID-19…
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As scary as it seems, COVID-19 continues to exacerbate the stark realities imposed by the social determinants of health (SDoH), racism, and health disparities. The story I’m reporting on this week is about as hard to fathom as the pandemic itself. Hospitals across the country are reporting that ICU beds…
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The CARES Act included provisions mandating reporting of test results. Federal officials announced a set of sweeping regulatory changes for nursing homes nationwide this week, an expected move considering the disproportionate impact the continuing COVID-19 pandemic has had on such facilities since its onset earlier this year. The Centers for…