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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Medicare Data Offers Public Incomplete Count Of Nursing Homes That Experienced COVID-19 Cases, Deaths

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

At Risk: The Coronavirus Relief Money Belonging To Vulnerable Nursing Home Residents?

KHN Morning Briefing

“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.

New CDC Data Reinforces Evidence That Black, Latino Americans Disproportionately Hit By Pandemic

KHN Morning Briefing

The New York Times sued for access to the numbers that confirm drastic disparities in the impact of COVID-19 on African-American, Latino and Native American communities, while The Associated Press interviews doctors who say the inequalities and poor health outcomes are nothing new. Unemployment and mental health challenges based on race are also reported.

Texas Academic Medical Center Links Many Health Workers’ Illnesses To Community Contact, Not Workplace

KHN Morning Briefing

“When you’re engaging in all the correct practices, you stay safe,” said Dr. Seth Toomay, chief medical officer for UT Southwestern Health System. “Most of us [at UTSW] feel safer when we’re at work than when we’re out in the community.” News on health workers is on other essential hospital workers at hospitals and nurses face lawsuits, as well.

Study: Patients Often Rank Hospitality At Hospitals Ahead Of Health Care

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Study Finds Positive Results For Hydroxychloroquine

KHN Morning Briefing

Whether or not the anti-malarial drug is effective has been a controversial question since President Donald Trump began hyping it in March. Now, Henry Ford Hospital researchers report a “significant reduction” in mortality rates with patients who were hospitalized between March 10 and May 2 and treated with it. But, adding to the debate around the drug’s power against the virus, the World Health Organization halts a trial using hydroxychloroquine and HIV treatment lopinavir-ritonavir in hospitalized COVID patients after interim results showed the drugs did not reduce mortality rates.

‘I Was Absolutely Terrified’: Young Health Aide Fights To Cope With Inability To Social Distance At Work

KHN Morning Briefing

COVID cases now are being reported among a younger population. This new mother turned to anti-anxiety medicine, The Wall Street Journal reports, because she couldn’t always wear a mask. Her patients didn’t recognize her when she wore it. Other public health news is also on pregnancy, lung impairments, a survey of teens on social distancing, one elderly couple’s final hours, health services cuts, quarantine at Fort Bragg, health care system mistakes, athletes and more.

Once Politically Polarizing, Agreement About Masks Now Crossing Party Lines

KHN Morning Briefing

News outlets report that the emerging GOP embrace of mask-wearing still has an important holdout: President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, reports detail masks’ potential to boost the economy and curb the spread of COVID-19. In the background, there is also advice on what masks may be most effective.

U.S. Public Health System Confronts COVID-19 Crisis With Scant Resources

KHN Morning Briefing

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.