New COVID-19 cases drop as testing declines | Pediatric COVID-19 increased by 90% over the past month | Hospital CEOs join effort to boost minority hiring
August 13, 2020
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The US has posted an average of 52,875 new COVID-19 cases per day over the last seven days, a 19% decline compared with average daily cases on July 28, but the country's testing rate has dropped as well, putting the accuracy of the data into question and raising doubts about whether the outbreak is really slowing. Figures from the COVID Tracking Project showed COVID-19 fatalities climbed to 1,300 on Tuesday after averaging around 500 over the last two days, bringing the total number of deaths to 164,500 since the pandemic started.
Full Story: CNBC (8/12),  United Press International (8/12) 
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Pediatric COVID-19 cases in the US increased by 90% between early July and early August, with nearly 180,000 new cases, according to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association. The researchers said youths make up 9% of COVID-19 cases and 0.4% of virus-related deaths in the US.
Full Story: WTVC-TV (Chattanooga, Tenn.) (8/11),  KDKA-TV (Pittsburgh) (8/11) 
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Mind Over Matter: Developing cost-effective mental health strategies for 2021
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Providers & Suppliers
Executives at NewYork-Presbyterian, Mount Sinai Health System, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Montefiore Medicine are among the 27 CEOs who have partnered to create the New York Jobs CEO Council, which seeks to provide job opportunities for 100,000 low-income Asian, Black and Latino people within the next 10 years. "We know that economic stability is a key part of caring for one's health, and the NY Jobs CEO Council will play an essential role in ensuring New Yorkers are prepared to thrive in the workplace of the future," NewYork-Presbyterian CEO Steven Corwin said.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (8/12),  CNBC (8/11),  Axios (8/11) 
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A new value-based payment model has been launched by the CMS to address health care disparities and provide support for rural providers through innovative payment structures, seed funding, regulatory and operational flexibilities, and learning and technical support. Providers can participate in the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation Model through the accountable care organization transformation track or the community transformation track.
Full Story: Healthcare Finance (8/11),  FierceHealthcare (8/11) 
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Value-Based Contracts: A Win-Win for All
When managing value-based contracts, shared analytics not only help facilitate better relationships between payers & providers, but also promote success for both parties. Read our latest blog to learn why a single source of truth is a win-win for all.
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Medical Update
Researchers examined 1990 to 1997 UK Breast Screening Age Trial data involving over 160,000 women and found that mammogram screening between ages 40 to 49 correlated with a 25% reduction in breast cancer mortality over the next decade, compared with screening beginning at age 50. The findings are published in The Lancet Oncology.
Full Story: HealthDay News (8/12) 
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People with a history of periodontal disease were 17% more likely than those with healthy gums to have a serrated polyp and 11% more likely to have a conventional adenoma found during colonoscopy, according to the results of a study published in Cancer Prevention Research. Further studies are needed to determine how the oral and gut microbiomes interact to affect cancer risk, said senior author Mingyang Song.
Full Story: The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/12) 
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Navigating COVID-19 from a health plan perspective
Sponsored content from EmblemHealth
Boosting resiliency in a pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a variety of challenges for payers. Jennifer Truscott, chief of operations for the EmblemHealth family of companies, discusses how EmblemHealth increased telehealth services in response to the pandemic and became more resilient. Read the Q&A here.
 
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Emerging Trends: Social Determinants of Health
CareSource, an Ohio-based Medicaid managed care provider, said it will invest $50 million in affordable housing projects across the US, including its existing markets in Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, West Virginia and Kentucky. The company will focus on locations with high numbers of CareSource members, underserved populations or difficult-to-serve geographies.
Full Story: The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Dayton, Ohio (8/11) 
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A survey from the American Heart Association found reluctance to go to the hospital for symptoms of a heart attack among Americans, and the concern was greater among Blacks and Hispanics than whites. The group has begun a campaign -- "Don't Die of Doubt" -- to reinforce the idea that hospitals are the safest place to be when experiencing symptoms of heart attack or stroke.
Full Story: HealthDay News (8/10) 
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Study: Grieving families become victims of COVID-19
(Bryan R. Smith/Getty Images)
A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimates that for each person who dies of COVID-19 there are nine close family members who are affected. Co-author Ashton Verdery at Pennsylvania State University said there is a narrative that COVID-19 affects mainly older adults, so the study suggests that these people are not socially isolated, but are "integrally connected with their families, and their deaths will have a broad reach."
Full Story: Kaiser Health News (8/12) 
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A Smarter Approach to Healthcare with AI
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Health Insurance Provider Company News
One platform. One partner. One purpose.
The Sunrise single patient record helps organizations improve patient outcomes, while driving operational and financial efficiencies. In times of crisis and beyond, Allscripts helps deliver smarter, more connected care that is alive with possibilities. Learn more.
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Solutions Provider News
Staying consumer focused during tough times
AHIP's Consumer Experience & Digital Health Forum delivers solutions to improve access, outcomes, and affordability - even during the toughest times. Learn from experts, innovators, and visionaries transforming health care. Learn more.
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Pharma News
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, speaking at the Reagan-Udall Foundation's virtual meeting, reassured participants that approval decisions for a COVID-19 vaccine "will continue to be based on good science and the same careful, deliberative processes which we have always used when reviewing medical products." The FDA chief also unveiled a new initiative, dubbed the Pandemic Recovery and Preparedness Plan, or PREPP, designed to "help systematically review FDA's actions to date and identify lessons learned."
Full Story: Regulatory Focus (8/11) 
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Sales of the 10 best-selling drugs in the US last year approached $50 billion after rebates and discounts in sales. Rebates were higher on drugs with multiple competitors than on drugs with few or no competitors.
Full Story: Axios (8/12) 
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Policy Watch
Former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's choice to be his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., struggled during her own bid for the presidential nomination to clarify her stance on universal health care. Generally considered a moderate, Harris released her own health care plan, which included Medicare for all Americans but allowed people to choose private plans modeled on Medicare Advantage.
Full Story: The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/11) 
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AHIP News
Every state has its own priorities, but more than ever, they all share this common goal: to help more people enjoy healthier lives. At AHIP's State Issues Retreat ONLINE (Sept. 17 and 18), get the answers you need to do your job even better. In a vibrant, virtual setting, engage with experts across the nation. No travel required. Register today.
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Join us on Aug. 26 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET for "Mind Over Matter: Developing Cost-Effective Mental Health Strategies for 2021" as HDMS discusses some startling statistics about the impact of mental health conditions on the total cost of care. Learn how to design a custom strategy to create opportunities in support of your members' mental health.
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Social distancing associated with the COVID-19 crisis has significantly increased the number of hours we spend on computers and digital devices. If you stare at a computer or digital device for more than a few hours a day, you are more susceptible to digital eyestrain and long-term vision problems. Read on for four tips to prevent digital eyestrain.
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