Mental Health Issues, Delayed Surgery Stressing Hospitals Alongside Covid
Roll Call reports on how rising hospitalizations are not being driven by covid infections alone — side effects of the pandemic's impact on society are also driving the surge. Also among other news, reports note insurers have stopped waiving costs for preventable covid care.
Rising Hospitalizations Aren't Only About COVID-19 Cases
Hospitals across the country are reaching capacity, the result not only of increasing COVID-19 cases, but also side effects of the pandemic, from delayed surgeries that are now urgent to mental health problems among children. Exacerbating the problem, hospitals are facing new staffing challenges as doctors, nurses and other support staff buckle under the pressures. (Raman, 8/24)
In news on health care insurers —
Insurers Have Stopped Waiving Costs For Preventable COVID-19 Care
Most private insurers are no longer waiving cost sharing for COVID-19 treatment due to the widespread availability of vaccines rendering the illness largely preventable. While federal law requires private insurance plans to cover COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, there are no national regulations regarding out-of-pocket costs for treatments. (Devereaux, 8/24)
Insurers To Get A Break On Price Transparency, Surprise Billing
Health plans will have more time to get ready for several requirements under the insurer price transparency rule and the ban on surprise billing, according to federal guidance published last week. The Biden administration won't crack down on insurers for failing to publish machine-readable files of provider rates until July 1, even though the requirement takes effect at the start of next year. But that doesn't mean they're going away. (Brady, 8/24)
The Boston Globe:
Moderna Is Now The Third Largest Biotech Employer Based In Mass.
Moderna, the Cambridge drug maker few outside the world of biotechnology had heard of before it developed a COVID-19 vaccine, is now the third-biggest biopharma employer based in Massachusetts, behind Biogen and Vertex, according to a report by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. Overall, Moderna is the seventh-largest employer in the state’s booming biopharma hub, trailing multinational giants with corporate headquarters outside Massachusetts such as Takeda, Sanofi, Novartis, and Pfizer, according to the 2021 “industry snapshot” released Wednesday by the trade group. (Saltzman, 8/25)
Hospital Operating Margins Lower In High Delta Areas
A new report finds hospital operating margins hovered around 4% in July, with those in regions with high rates of the delta variant coming in lower. Kaufman Hall's National Hospital Flash Report shows the median hospital margin index was 4.1% in July including CARES Act stimulus funding distributed by the federal government, which the report noted is close to June levels. Without CARES Act funding, that was 3.2%. (Bannow, 8/24)