Regulations/Legal

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August 2020
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Automated monitoring tool facilitates contact tracing of COVID-19 patients

Editor's Note The use of an automated web-based symptom monitoring tool as part of Maine's COVID-19 contact tracing program made the state's contact tracing and monitoring faster and more efficient. The tool was well received, with the majority of monitored contacts (96.4%) agreeing to the automated system. Contacts automatically received…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 4, 2020
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FDA authorizes first COVID-19 diagnostic test for screening asymptomatic people

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 24 reissued its emergency use authorization (EUA) for LabCorp’s COVID-19 RT-PCR Test to include two new indications for use: Testing for individuals who do not have COVID-19 symptoms or who have no reason to suspect COVID-19 infection. Allowing for pooled…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 28, 2020
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Mask-wearing mistakes to avoid

Editor's Note The protective value of masks depends on how they are used. If people are reckless about masking up or clumsy when handling or removing masks, they can put themselves and others at risk, the July 21 Livestrong reports. To get the most out of wearing face-coverings, it’s important…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 27, 2020
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Joint Commission recognizes Eisenberg Award winners

Editor's Note The Joint Commission announced on July 22 that the 2019 Eisenberg Award winners were recognized in a virtual ceremony on July 16. The award is given each year by the National Quality Forum and Joint Commission in recognition of the best examples of individual, local, and national efforts…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 23, 2020
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Effectiveness of government actions, country preparedness, socioeconomic factors on COVID-19 mortality, health outcomes

Editor's Note:  Rapid border closures, full lockdowns, and wide-spread testing were not associated with statistically significant reductions in number of critical cases or overall COVID-19 mortality; however, they were significantly associated with increased patient recovery rates, this study of 50 countries finds. Increasing COVID-19 caseloads were associated with countries with…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 23, 2020
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HHS taps Pfizer for large-scale COVID-19 vaccine production

Editor's Note The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense on July 22 announced an agreement with Pfizer to produce and deliver 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in the US, following manufacture and approval. Pfizer will deliver the doses, once the vaccine receives emergency…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 23, 2020
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Study: Seroprevalence of antibodies to COVID-19 in US

Editor's Note This study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the estimated number of COVID-19 infections was more than 10 times higher than the number reported from March 23 to May 12. Serum samples from 16,025 individuals at 10 US sites were tested for antibodies. Six…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 22, 2020
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Preoperative protocols enhance outpatient total joint outcomes

On January 1, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began reimbursing healthcare providers for total hip arthroplasty performed in outpatient hospital settings and total knee arthroplasty in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), thereby opening the floodgates for explosive growth in outpatient total joint arthroplasty (TJA). About a million…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
July 22, 2020
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HHS opens new COVID-19 hospitalization data portal

Editor's Note The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on July 20 launched a new Data Hub for COVID-19 hospitalization data that officials say provides a more comprehensive view of the pandemic than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Healthcare Safety Network, where the information…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 21, 2020
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US House of Representatives moves to expand the use of telehealth beyond COVID-19

Editor's Note Leaders of the US House of Representatives telehealth caucus introduced legislation on July 16 to permanently open up access to telehealth services for Medicare patients, the July 16 Fierce Healthcare reports. The bipartisan bill will eliminate restrictions on use in Medicare patients, and it will provide a bridge…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 20, 2020
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