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Weekender 4/3/20

April 3, 2020 Weekender 1 Comment

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Weekly News Recap

  • HHS and CMS issue a long list of waivers and rules that relax limitations on telehealth billing, off-premise hospital services, PA/NP/CRNA supervision, COVID-19 testing, and sharing of patient information by business associates.
  • Microsoft warns hospitals about VPN vulnerabilities that may attract ransomware hackers.
  • FCC allocates $200 million to help providers buy telehealth equipment and services.
  • CereCore lays off employees as its parent, HCA Healthcare, implements COVID-related expense cuts.
  • The Department of Defense pauses its MHS Genesis Cerner implementation to focus on COVID-19.
  • HHS asks hospitals to share COVID-19 testing data and to send bed capacity and supply inventory information to CDC via emailed worksheets.
  • Apple develops a COVID-19 screening website and app in partnership with the federal government.

Best Reader Comments

10+ years after the HITECH act, countless billions of dollars being invested into EHRs, and endless hype about information exchanges, the government solution right now is to have everyone send VPOTUS a spreadsheet. (Low-Tech Act)

The dysfunction and regulatory ridiculousness of our health care system is laid out in perfect form when you look at all of the items CMS must DEREGULATE in an health care emergency — with the only interpretation being that more are completely unnecessary burdens on the physicians and other health professionals working day in and day out to treat patients. Absolute absurdity all around. (Regulatory Overreach)

If even a small portion of these comments [from HIMSS20 exhibitors] are true and come to fruition – and I agree overall – HIMSS will be greatly diminished. I wonder how many people HIMSS have laid off? And whether leaders are taking a haircut? Or will they cut and run? Sorta sucks that many of us – myself sort of included, but here I am – hesitate to share our true feelings for fear of being blacklisted, lose points, have the powers that be think poorly on our comments, etc. HLTH Forum in October WILL BE the canary in the coal mine for healthcare events in 2020. (ShimCode)

I think the way to be prepared for a once-every-100-year event is not by maintaining a large, expensive, and underutilized permanent bed capacity, but having detailed plans and the necessary supplies/materials to expand temporarily in an emergency. In spite of clear history and warnings from epidemiologists, we don’t seem to have done a very good job preparing for this eventuality at the organization, state, or national level. I’m not saying the challenges aren’t herculean, just that they should not have come as a surprise. (Surprised surprised)


Watercooler Talk Tidbits

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Readers funded the Donors Choose teach grant request of Ms. H in Maryland, who asked for STEAM lab equipment for her class. She reported a few weeks ago, “The additions to our classroom were a surprise to our students. I waited until it was time to go home to display them. The looks on their faces were PRICELESS! I told them to write their questions on paper and being them to me the next day. I allowed students in groups of four to demonstrate how to use each activity in front of the rest of their peers. Each one of these have become a regular part of our day. For example, during our past Fun Friday Lab, I constructed an obstacle course for students to build and navigate the robot through. There were three rules to this Lab. 1) you must work with a partner, 2) you cannot use your hands or feet at any time while operating the Robot, and 3) When assisting with navigation, you must use directional words (left, right, forward, backward etc.). As you can see in the pictures, this is their favorite activity. This week we are adding the robot with the Twister mat to practice coding algorithms.”

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The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum is accepting $25 pre-orders for a version featuring the federal government’s Anthony Fauci, MD, with $5 of each sale being donated to the American Hospital Association.

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The $3.5 million Philadelphia home of private equity tycoon Joel Freedman, owner of shuttered Hahnemann Hospital, is vandalized after the city’s mayor accused him of demanding an excessive price to reopen the facility to increase COVID-19 patient capacity. Freedman bought the money-losing, safety net hospital for $170 million in early 2018, then closed it and filed bankruptcy for the hospital business while splitting off the land to develop condos.

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Montefiore Medical Center (NY) insists that the New York Yankees ponchos it included in bags of personal protective equipment for clinical staff were gifts, disputing the statements of employees who said they were told to wear them as PPE.

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FDNY thanks employees of hard-hit Elmhurst Hospital during shift change. BBC News profiled “the young doctors being asked to play God” at the hospital, which called nine codes in a single 12-hour shift on Wednesday, of which none of the COVID-19 patients survived.

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Meanwhile, zealots are using #filmyourhospital to offer video proof that the lack of ambulances and foot traffic outside hospitals means that coronavirus is a media hoax, a psychological operation, an excuse to implement martial law, or the first step toward imposition of digital currency to create “one world order.” Some of the filmers chased hospital and ambulance employees down the street to demand an explanation for the scam.

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A good Samaritan in Detroit uses $900 of his savings to offer free gas for nurses at Detroit Medical Center.


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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. “The dysfunction and regulatory ridiculousness of our health care system is laid out in perfect form when you look at all of the items CMS must DEREGULATE in an health care emergency — with the only interpretation being that more are completely unnecessary burdens on the physicians and other health professionals working day in and day out to treat patients. Absolute absurdity all around.”

    Well, the risk-reward ratio in the regulatory environment has obviously changed… Won’t argue that the system is dysfunctional and ridiculous, but it’s not clear to me that this pandemic has provided any clear path to a solution.







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