Week 23 Newsletter

9/10-9/14 Updates


Experts continue to weigh in on ways to improve utilization of telehealth services within clinical settings, as well as accessibility and equity in access to telehealth.

Telehealth Resources

(09/10/20) Beyond COVID-19: Making Telehealth More Accessible and Equitable
An article from Sarah Krevans, the President and CEO of Sutter Health, discussing the ability for telehealth expansion to enable health care providers to reach traditionally underserved communities like never before. Sutter Health is based in Sacramento, California, serving a geographically and demographically diverse population and forming partnerships with local organizations and creating “telehealth champions” to help with adoption of services in diverse areas.

(09/09/20) Five Ways—Beyond Current Policy—to Truly Integrate Telehealth Into Primary Care Practices
This blog post featured on Health Affairs discusses opportunities for better integration of telehealth technology and services into primary care practice. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly expanded the use of telehealth, with many eyeing possibilities for further utilization.

Long-term Care

A recently published commentary describes strategies developed by a nursing home to manage COVID-19, including how to work with local and regional officials in the deployment of a rapid response team.

Long-term Care Resources

(09/08/20) COVID-19 Management: An Executive’s Firsthand Experience
An expert opinion piece coming from a post-acute care executive, detailing some strategies to manage COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. Some strategies suggested include developing and deploying a COVID-19 rapid response team, working with the local and regional community, and maintaining strong communication throughout the organization.

Health Workforce Safety

New research published in Health Affairs found significantly lower rates of mortality in nursing homes with a health care worker union compared to those without.

Some hospitals have struggled to protect their health workforce due to issues isolating COVID-19 patients and shortages of personal protective equipment. 

The health and wellbeing of clinicians continues to be a priority, as many have been working through the pandemic for nearly half a year.

A partnership between Kaiser Health News and The Guardian has released a new, interactive database of health care workers who lost their lives to COVID-19.

Health Work Safety Resources

(09/10/20) Mortality Rates From COVID-19 Are Lower in Unionized Nursing Homes
A new research article published in the Health Affairs journal which found that nursing homes in New York State with health care worker unions present had significantly reduced mortality from COVID-19 compared to those without union presence. Union presence was also related to increased access to personal protective equipment, which may be connected to the decrease in mortality.

(09/10/20) Some Hospitals Fail to Set COVID-19 Patients Apart, Putting Others at Risk
This story from NPR highlights some of the struggles hospitals are experiencing in protecting the health workforce from COVID-19 infection. Inadequate personal protective equipment and preparations to maintain patient separation are compounding an already difficult situation.

(09/10/20) How to Create Clinician Resilience: 3 Experts Weigh in
An interview with three experts from Becker’s Clinical Leadership Virtual Forum addressing employee stress, fatigue, and exhaustion from the COVID-19 pandemic. Treating physician well being as important, allowing clinicians to fail and helping them back up, and allowing employees to lead mindfulness programs are all suggestions for creating clinician resilience.

(09/10/20) Best Practices for Handling Staff Emotional Health During the Pandemic: 3 Healthcare Leaders Weigh in
An interview with three experts from Becker’s Clinical Leadership Virtual Forum describing best practices for addressing the emotional health of the health care workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Communication and providing resiliency programs are both major suggestions to maintain morale amongst staff.

(09/09/20) Lost on the Frontline: US Healthcare Workers Who Died Fighting COVID-19
A partnership between Kaiser Health News and The Guardian has released a new, interactive database of health care workers verified to have died of COVID-19.

Maintaining the Educational Pipeline

There are calls for more support for medical residents, both financially and emotionally, for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical students are adapting to many COVID-19-related changes to medical education, with some opportunities and drawbacks.

Maintaining the Educational Pipeline Resources

(09/09/20) How Black Doctors Are Answering the Call to Reform Medical Education — and Bringing COVID-19 Vaccine Trials to Communities of Color
An article discussing the way the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Black communities and patients, and how Black doctors and medical students are increasingly calling for reforms to improve the quality of medical education regarding both Black patients and physicians.

(09/08/20) COVID-19 Forces Medical School Students to Learn New Era of Medicine
This local news story covers how medical students at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health have adapted their medical education, with increased consideration for public health being necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Workforce Strategies

Recently released issue briefs detail many of the COVID-19-related changes to Medicaid reimbursement and permissible visits for providers, on a state-by-state basis.

State Workforce Strategies Resources

(09/14/20) Medicaid Emergency Authority Tracker: Approved State Actions to Address COVID-19
An aggregate, frequently updated page issue brief covering the changes in Medicaid Emergency actions approved by states in response to COVID-19.

(09/09/20) Medicaid Managed Care Rates and Flexibilities: State Options to Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic
This issue brief released from the Kaiser Family Foundation describes many of the flexibilities and other changes states have implemented to their Medicaid programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reimbursement changes seeking to increase access and coverage for COVID-19 related visits are common themes.