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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Update

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10/27/2020

HBMA COVID-19 Federal Response Update

Congress

  • House Democrats are continuing to negotiate a bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill with the White House. At this point it does not appear there is any chance that Congress will be able to pass a bill before Election Day. It is also not clear if an agreement in principle can be reached before the election – assuming one is reached at all.
    • The results of the election could dictate if a deal is reached before the end of the year.

White House and Federal Agencies

  • HHS updated the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting requirements to allow PRF funding that is leftover after covering pandemic-related expenses to be used to offset lost patient revenue as well. HHS also expanded the types of providers that can apply for Phase Three funding.
  • HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Surgeon General Jerome Adams and White House Coronavirus Advisor Dr. Deborah Birx gave an interview about the importance of preventative measures and the dangers of asymptomatic spread.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Updates  

Economy, Vaccine, Testing and Treatment

  • The FDA has allowed AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson to resume their U.S. COVID-19 vaccine trials. The two trials were paused due to potential adverse reactions reported by one participant in each trial.
  • The FDA and CDC provided information about how they will monitor the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in real-time after they are approved and distributed.
  • A new study published in the British Medical Journal shows that blood plasma treatments had no benefit over other treatments for COVID-19.
  • New research reinforces other studies and polling that show people of color do not trust the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A new modeling study shows that universal mask-wearing can prevent 130,000 deaths between now and the end of February.
  • NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins released a blogpost on a study that highlights the need for continued care of COVID-19 survivors. The researchers tracked the patients after discharge for about 80 days. About a third of patients left the hospital for a post-acute care facility to continue their rehabilitation. After discharge, many required supplemental oxygen (15 percent), tube feeding (9 percent), or treatment with medications including antipsychotics and prescription painkillers (16 percent). About 10 percent were readmitted to the hospital within weeks or months of their initial discharge.
  • Weekly jobless claims have continued declining.