Week 52 Newsletter

03/30-04/05 Updates

Vaccine Information

Vaccine hesitancy continues to be an issue with health care workers and the general population. Experts offer suggestions on how to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with those hesitant to take it.

Primary care providers want to be more involved in providing vaccines for their patients.

The Medical Reserve Corps, a national network of volunteer health professionals, will be receiving $100 million additional funding to aid in vaccine distribution.

Vaccine Information

(03/29/21) Survey Shows Patients and Clinicians Want Primary Care More Involved in Mass Vaccination Efforts
The 27th round of primary care surveys from the Primary Care Collaborative and the Larry A. Green Center finds that nearly half of clinicians reported their patients are seeking vaccination from their primary care provider, and nearly three-quarters of providers are seeking to provide the vaccine to aid mass vaccination efforts.

(03/29/21) COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Is Still a Major Issue Concerning Health Care Providers
Although the COVID-19 vaccination rates are increasing in North Carolina, a large portion of the population is struggling with vaccine hesitancy. Local health experts and providers are working to address vaccine hesitancy by dispelling COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and improving COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

(03/26/21) A User’s Guide: How to Talk to Those Hesitant About the COVID-19 Vaccine
In this piece published by STAT, expert vaccine scholars and physicians discuss effective methods fir addressing vaccine hesitancy among many populations. One key takeaway includes avoiding allowing emotion and fear to guide the conversation, and instead focusing on facts.

(03/25/21) Biden to Direct $100M to Boost Network of Volunteer Health Professionals
This article from Becker’s Hospital Review announces President Biden’s plan to distribute $100 million of the COVID-19 relief package to the Medical Reserve Corps in hopes of improving COVID-19 vaccination rates. The Medical Reserve Corps. is a national network of approximately 200,000 volunteer health professionals that can assist with providing administrative support and running vaccination clinics.

Surge Capacity Issues

Discussions continue around extending telehealth coverage for Medicare beneficiaries as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down.

Surge Capacity Issues

(03/30/21) Rethinking ICU Allocation in Times of Crisis
This blog post from Health Affairs highlights the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on intensive care units across the United States, arguing that self-regulation by health care systems for allocation of intensive care unit resources leads to issues with access, equity, and value, while adding suggestions for improving cooperation and utilization of resources in systems across a region or state.


State-level medical licensing rules can act as a barrier to wider adoption of telehealth use following the rapid implementation during the COIVD-19 pandemic.

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to launch a second round of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which aims to correct issues from the first plan and focus on equitable distribution of telehealth funding across the US.


(03/31/21) To Improve Telemedicine, Reform Outdated State Medical Licensing Rules
The successful rapid adoption of telehealth has garnered much attention to the need for telehealth reform as states plan to guide wider adoption of telehealth. This article highlights the need to address outdated state medical licensing rules to improve the adoption of and access to telehealth services.

(03/30/21) FCC Approves Plan to Relaunch COVID-19 Telehealth Program
The Federal Communications Commission has voted to adopt a new plan to begin a second round of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. This program seeks to correct issues with the first round, including establishing a system to rate telehealth applications and a focus on equitable distribution of funding across the United States.

Long-term Care

COVID-19 outbreaks among nursing home staff that declined the vaccine are preventing visitors to long-term care facilities.

A recent web event focused on the crucial and difficult roles played by home care workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Long-term Care

(03/31/21) Federal Program to Bring Vaccine to Nursing Homes Missed Around Half of Staff
This article from NPR covers the issue of vaccine hesitancy and refusal in nursing homes. Across the United States, staff at long-term care facilities are refusing to be vaccinated for COVID-19, concerning health experts due to the outsized number of deaths and severe illness among long-term care residents from COVID-19.

(03/30/21) March 30 Web Event: Unsung Heroes: The Crucial Role – and Tenuous Circumstances – of Home Care Workers During the Pandemic
An interactive web event held by Kaiser Health News and The John A. Hartford Foundation assessed the critical roles of home care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the economic challenges of the industry for both providers and patients. Elisabeth Rosenthal, Kaiser Health News’ Editor-in-Chief, moderated the event. The panelists included Joanne Taylor, Owner of Senior Helpers Westchester, Clare McHugh, home health care client and novelist, Karen Gilmore, home care worker for McHugh, and Robert Espinoza, Vice President of Policy at PHI.