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The Trump administration has revealed some of the companies that received Paycheck Protection Program aid intended to help small businesses survive the pandemic and retain jobs.
As nursing homes report coronavirus cases and deaths, a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website is supposed to release the data. But there are gaps in the stats. “The biggest thing that needs to be taken away … is in its current form, it is really leaving consumers in the dark,” Sam Brooks, project manager for Consumer Voice, said of the website.
“We just don’t know,” says an advocate for elder issues. With outside visits prohibited or restricted, concerns center on potential pressure from nursing home facilities or family members to hand over the $1,200 stimulus funds. Other news from nursing home facilities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Montana and Texas is also reported.
The study of 50,000 patients involving more than 3,000 hospitals found a patient’s hospital recommendation had almost no correlation to the quality of medical care received or patient survival rate. Industry news is on limits on drug coupons in 2021 and lower health plan profits in Michigan, as well.
Some citizens continue to view the orders as signs of governmental overreach despite the rapid rise in cases in their states. Other news on masks is on confusion surrounding them, their role in saving lives, problems with makeup, potential health risks for some and mask hostility, as well.
President Donald Trump’s latest comments dismissing the severity of COVID-19 were met with criticism from mayors currently trying to manage outbreak hot spots. On the Sunday shows, FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn declined to confirm the validity of the president’s statement, while fact-checkers lay out the data that show it to be “dangerously” untrue.
In other news: Hospitals using artificial intelligence in end-of-life care; new doctors; and health centers merge in Boston neighborhood.
The publicly available tool, funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, may help companies trying to set their premiums for 2021. In other news, insurers offer new options for COVID-19 testing.
Even in the midst of the challenges of the coronavirus era, public health officers face a public backlash as they attempt to impose restrictions designed to curb the illness’s spread. State legislation has been introduced in California to provide protections. Meanwhile, as states prepare for the virus’s next wave, groups representing health workers are pushing government officials to plan ahead to make sure these professionals have access to adequate PPE.
The measure must still be approved by the House. With just hours left to go before the program was slated to end, senators agreed to give the Small Business Administration the ability to keep approving Paycheck Protection Program loans until Aug. 8. News outlets also detail the economic chaos caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
The FDA released guidance Tuesday on the criteria it will use to approve any coronavirus vaccine. Any candidates must prevent or decrease disease severity in at least 50% of the people inoculated. Temporary authorizations may be considered on a “case-by-case basis,” the agency said.
The pandemic has revealed many realities of nursing homes, including the vital role family still plays in a resident’s care and well-being. As facilities attempt to reopen to visitors, the industry faces calls for major changes as well as legal action.
The pharmaceutical giant says the regulations keep Pfizer from helping seniors to pay for an expensive heart condition drug. In other pharmaceutical news, drugmakers are teaming up in a new $1 billion for-profit venture to invest in small antibiotic companies.
Republican lawmakers said they wished that in some instances President Donald Trump would wear a mask so that the general public would follow his example. Meanwhile, Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas — a state where cases are skyrocketing — say they don’t understand the administration’s decision to cut federal support of drive-thru testing sites.
If the Supreme Court invalidated the health law, more than 20 million Americans could lose their coverage and protections for pre-existing conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Democrats seized on the Trump administration’s move, calling it an “unfathomable cruelty.”
By CDC Director Robert Redfield’s estimate, that means that up to 24 million Americans may have been infected by the virus. “Our best estimate right now is for every case reported there were actually 10 other infections,” Redfield said.
The federal government plans to withdraw support for COVID-19 testing sites located in five states by the end of this month. Trump administration officials say that operations of facilities still open will be transferred to state or local governments. Seven of those sites are in Texas, where a record number of confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are being reported.
The ruling said that “motivated by profits, defendants disregarded the safety of consumers despite their knowledge the talc in their products caused ovarian cancer.” More than 19,000 plaintiffs had talcum-powder lawsuits pending against J&J in U.S. courts as of March 29.
“You need these H-1B physicians who are willing to go to Alabama, Georgia, you know, parts of the beltway that just don’t have enough doctors,” said Mahsa Khanbabai, an attorney with the American Immigration Lawyers Association. The health care worker exemption in the order only applies to people who are caring for COVID patients or doing research on the coronavirus.
The American Hospital Association argued that the administration did not have the legal authority to force facilities to reveal prices that were negotiated with insurers. The outcome of the negotiations have long been closely guarded by both sides, but the Trump administration sees transparency as a way to force down health care costs.