October 14, 2021
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On the Provider Front
Cedars-Sinai Health System held on to employees and paid them during the pandemic despite the cancellation of surgical procedures, retrained physicians and nurses to care for COVID-19 patients, and reimbursed employees for dependent care expenses, says Andy Ortiz, senior vice president and chief HR officer. "We provided administrative paid leave for our employees with [COVID-19] symptoms so that they did not have to use up their sick days," Ortiz says.
Full Story: Los Angeles Business Journal (free registration) (10/11) 
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20% of physicians have considered nonclinical work
(Pixabay)
About 20% of US physicians have thought about leaving their current positions for nonclinical work, according to the Medscape Physician Nonclinical Careers Report 2021. More than 2,500 physicians took part in the survey, and 34% said general burnout was the main reason behind their consideration of other careers.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (10/11) 
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On the Payer Front
The CMS released quality rankings for 2022 Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans in advance of Medicare open enrollment, which starts Friday. About 68% of MA plans that include prescription drug coverage will have at least four stars, an increase from 49% this year, and the agency said about 90% of current enrollees in MA plans with prescription drug benefits are enrolled in coverage that earned four stars for the coming plan year.
Full Story: Axios (10/11),  Healthcare Dive (10/11) 
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Humana plans to expand its presence in Tennessee by launching new preferred provider organization and Dual Eligible Special Needs Medicare Advantage plans in the state, while improving its Humana Honor plan with two plan options. Individuals eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare can sign up in the new D-SNP plan, which offers a $100 over-the-counter allowance per quarter and a $75 Healthy Foods Card per month.
Full Story: Becker's Payer Issues (10/12) 
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HIT Developments
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, together with the CMS and the CDC, unveiled USCDI+, a new service of the US Core Data for Interoperability initiative aimed at bolstering dataset interoperability. The new initiative will work with federal partners, hospitals and health IT companies for the implementation of rollout standards, certification criteria and priority use cases of datasets; use agency need, objective criteria and level of standards in assessing data classes; and identify principles for the implementation and development of datasets.
Full Story: EHR Intelligence (10/11),  Becker's Hospital Review (10/8) 
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Trends in Healthcare
CDC director appeals to public to get flu vaccines
(Pixabay)
A National Foundation for Infectious Diseases poll found that 61% of more than 1,110 people said a flu shot was the best protection against influenza, although 44% of respondents said they were undecided about getting a flu shot or did not plan to do so. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky urged Americans to get vaccinated against the flu, noting that outbreaks will add to strain on the hospitals and healthcare professionals as they fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Full Story: The New York Times (10/9) 
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When there's an uncharted course, you have to figure out how to get through it.
Harry Connick Jr.,
singer, pianist, composer, actor, TV personality
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