Week 51 Newsletter
A new survey finds more than half of frontline health care workers have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with nearly 30% unsure if they will take the vaccine.
Two recent studies find that in both the US and the UK, overcrowding of hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs) led to increased chance of patient death compared to less-full ICUs
(03/19/21) KFF/Post Survey of Frontline Health Care Workers Finds Nearly Half Remain Unvaccinated
A new survey from KFF/The Washington Post finds that just over half of all frontline health care workers in the United States have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Another key finding of this survey is 30% of unvaccinated frontline health care workers have either not decided to be vaccinated or decided not to be vaccinated as of yet.
(03/18/21) Lessons From the COVID-19 Crisis: Overcrowding Hospitals Cost Lives
A recent study that was published on the JAMA Network and conducted by researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs found that the mortality rate of patients admitted to the ICU increased as ICU demand increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another study conducted by researchers in the U.K. found similar findings during both the first wave of COVID-19 patients and the fall surge of patients. Both studies are unsure of additional factors that may have caused the increased mortality rate, but the studies illustrate the consequences of hospitals operating at maximum capacity.
Discussions continue around extending telehealth coverage for Medicare beneficiaries as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down.
(03/20/21) A Post-COVID Reimagining of Telehealth in Medicare
This opinion piece from The Hill discusses the need for lawmakers to expand telehealth coverage for Medicare patients beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the proposed expansions include extending the list of conditions to be treated, relaxing geographic restrictions, and improving reimbursement rates for telehealth services.
With vaccination rates among staff at many long-term care facilities remaining low, some facilities are mandating the vaccine for their workers.
(03/23/21) Assisted Living Center Company Requiring Employees to be Vaccinated by May 1
Civitas Living Center is a senior living facility with over 2,600 employees across multiple locations. The company is also a certified COVID-19 vaccination site and is now requiring that their employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, 2021.
The Wisconsin Hospital Association has released a report evaluating how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed health care delivery in Wisconsin.
State Workforce Strategies
(03/18/21) Report: Pandemic Accelerated Health Care Workforce Challenges
The Wisconsin Hospital Association has released a report evaluating how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed health care delivery in Wisconsin, as well as what improvements can be made in the future.
More attention is being drawn to the mental health of providers one year into the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Workforce Safety
(03/22/21) Time to Prioritize the Mental Health of Our Frontline Health Care Heroes
Frontline health care workers have endured a significant amount of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health officials and lawmakers are prioritizing the mental health of health care professionals in a new bill that provides strategies for reducing the stigma of seeking mental health care and reducing burnout. The bill also proposes to provide support for employers to effectively address the mental health needs of frontline workers.
Dialysis patients are at high risk for severe illness or death from COVID-19, leading to calls from dialysis providers to be able to vaccinate these high-risk patients.
(03/19/21) Dialysis Clinics Should Be Able to Vaccinate Their Patients on Site
This opinion piece published in STAT calls for health care providers at kidney dialysis centers to be allowed to provide vaccinations to their patients. Patients needing kidney dialysis are at high risk for severe illness or death from COVID-19 infection.