Trump announces guidelines to slow coronavirus spread | Johns Hopkins: US case count passes 4,600 | FDA will allow states to approve coronavirus test kits
March 17, 2020
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President Donald Trump urged Americans to dramatically curtail their interactions with others over the next 15 days as the number of coronavirus cases in the country and abroad continues to rise. Americans are advised to avoid social gatherings involving more than 10 people, avoid food courts, restaurants and bars, and avoid discretionary travel, social visits and shopping trips, while leaders in parts of China, Spain, the Philippines, Italy and elsewhere imposed partial or total lockdowns to contain the disease.
Full Story: CNN (3/17),  National Public Radio (3/16),  CNBC (3/16) 
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The FDA said it will give states the regulatory power to approve coronavirus test kits developed by their laboratories as part of the administration's efforts to improve testing capacity across the country. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, encouraged states to attempt to secure protective masks and ventilators directly from suppliers rather than asking the federal government.
Full Story: Reuters (3/16),  The Hill (3/16) 
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Providers & Suppliers
A mathematical model was created to help hospital leaders understand the degree to which their capacity could be tested by novel coronavirus infections. The tool was created for use by the University of Pennsylvania, but it could be used by any hospital.
Full Story: STAT (tiered subscription model) (3/16) 
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Medical Update
A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found 41% of American adults -- over 105 million individuals -- are at risk of severe illness if they develop COVID-19 because of their age or underlying medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Of those at heightened risk, approximately 6 million don't have health insurance.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (3/16) 
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Nearly 5.8 million US adults ages 65 and older are estimated to have Alzheimer's disease, and 13.8 million individuals are poised to have Alzheimer's by 2050, with about half over the age of 85, according to an Alzheimer's Association report. The growing burden of Alzheimer's in the US stems from an aging population, and the Southeast and West are expected to see the greatest increases in cases over the next five years.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/16) 
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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
People are hard-wired for social interaction and cooperation, but the pandemic situation will put that to the test, according to experts, and seniors, people with chronic diseases or sensory impairments, and those who have lost family members are especially at risk. Experts say technology might help, and research on altruism suggests reaching out to help others is good both for the person in need and the person offering support.
Full Story: Science (tiered subscription model) (3/16) 
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Medicare Advantage plans are ramping up coverage of benefits that address social determinants of health this year, experts say, and many of their projects involve collaborations with communities and other organizations. Humana's Bold Goal program, for instance, aims to improve social health and clinical outcomes by focusing on community and business integration, while CVS Health's five-year, $100 million Building Healthier Communities initiative supports programs and partnerships with nonprofit organizations.
Full Story: Managed Healthcare Executive (3/12) 
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CVS Health said it will team up with Unite Us to expand and improve its Guardian Angel program, created to help people who have suffered from opioid overdoses. The combined efforts will be initially launched in North Carolina, and it will allow the program's case managers to use the Unite Us platform to connect people to housing, food, financial and other social services.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (3/16),  MobiHealthNews (3/16) 
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Health Insurance Provider Company News
Solutions Provider News
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Pharma News
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said he is preparing an executive order for President Donald Trump aimed at relocating medical supply chains from overseas to the US. Navarro said 70% of the ingredients in advanced pharmaceuticals "comes from abroad."
Full Story: CNBC (3/16) 
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Policy Watch
Trump, FCC work to bolster telehealth to combat virus
(Pixabay)
The Trump administration will waive federal rules to allow doctors to take part in interstate telehealth programs, although governors still need to permit physicians to practice across state lines. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is pushing the FCC to approve rules aimed at freeing up telehealth funds for Rural Health Care Program services.
Full Story: CNN (3/14),  Multichannel News (3/13) 
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AHIP News
AHIP's Executive Leadership Program and Executive Leadership Program for Medical Directors are year-long Fellowship programs designed exclusively for seasoned health insurance plan professionals who are dedicated and passionate about the future of health care. Applications due March 20. Learn more.
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Medicaid managed care plans meet and exceed the high standards set by state and federal regulators. New research shows increasing numbers of Medicaid managed care plans are being accredited by independent organizations for their strong quality performance. Check out the report.
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Boost your professional expertise with AHIP's long-term care (LTCI) online courses. Delve into LTCI, products, marketing, financing, and more! Created by industry experts, courses are available 24/7 so you can learn at your pace, any time, any place. Take a single course or build on what you learn to earn a professional designation. Learn more and enroll today.
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