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March 2021

Study: Impact of COVID-19 on pediatric mental health

Editor's Note This study by FAIR Health on mental health claims for individuals aged 13 to 18 years in March and April 2020 finds: Mental health claims doubled, compared to the year before, while medical claims decreased by half, and this continued through November 2020. In the Northeast region, there…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 3, 2021
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FDA: Class I recall of Medtronic's HVAD Pump Implant Kits

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 1 identified the recall by Medtronic of its HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device (HVAD) Pump Implant Kits as Class I, the most serious. The kit is part of the HeartWare HVAD System, which is used to help the heart pump blood…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 3, 2021
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Bundled payments with copay waivers reduce surgery costs for patients, payers

Editor's Note A RAND Corporation study published in the March Health Affairs finds that health insurers and patients can achieve significant savings when they participate in a bundled payment program that waives cost-sharing for patients. Researchers examined a bundled payment program developed by a private insurer that ran from 2016…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 2, 2021
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Hospital groups ask US Senate for $35B in COVID-19 relief funds

Editor's Note Nine hospital groups have asked the US Senate to add $35 billion to COVID-19 relief legislation to help them deal with financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the February 25 Fierce Healthcare reports. The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed by the House does not include a provider…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 2, 2021
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Nurse staffing expert, Linda Aiken, PhD, testifies on her research at NYS hospitals

Editor's Note Nurse staffing expert Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, testified at the New York State (NYS) Health Committee budget hearing on February 25 about her research on staffing levels in New York State. Among her research findings: Each patient reduction in nurses’ workloads was associated with a 13% decrease…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 1, 2021
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FDA issues EUA for J&J’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on February 27 issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, making it the third coronavirus vaccine approved for use in the US. The vaccine can be administered to people ages 18 and older. Vaccinations will begin…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 1, 2021
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Association of COVID-19 positive antibody test with future risk of infection

Editor's Note This study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, finds that individuals who are antibody positive for COVID-19 based on commercial assays, versus those who are antibody negative, are at decreased risk of future COVID-19 infection. In this analysis of 3,257,478 patients with…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 25, 2021
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Nearly 4M J&J vaccine doses to be delivered next week, if EUA granted

Editor's Note Up to 4 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single-dose COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered to states, community health centers, and pharmacies next week, if the vaccine receives Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the February 24 The Hill reports. An…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 25, 2021
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Significant proportion of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic

Editor's Note This study from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, shows that the proportion of asymptomatic patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 is significant, and why universal testing is important to prevent hospital-acquired infection. Of 2,882 patients admitted to the hospital, 103 were COVID-19 positive.…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 25, 2021
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Joint Commission offers Advanced Certification for Spine Surgery

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on February 24 announced that it will be offering an Advanced Certification for Spine Surgery (ACSS) in collaboration with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). The new program will be available in July to hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulatory surgery centers that perform…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 25, 2021
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