ABISA CEO Nick Hernandez writes that one myth about physician succession planning is that there is plenty of time to begin, when in reality physicians should start early and select a successor. Other common succession myths include the idea that it is easier to sell a practice, that a successor will be ready when a physician wants to retire, and that a plan to transfer ownership can lead to less control and income.
HHS is distributing over 11,000 courses of remdesivir to four states hit hardest by COVID-19 surges -- Arizona, Texas, California and Florida. The department said it expects to have over 94,000 courses for distribution this month.
French researchers found that the antiretroviral drug combo lopinavir and ritonavir was associated with drastically slower heart rates in older, critically ill patients with COVID-19. Details of the research were reported online in the journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.
AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association are urging Congress to include funding in the next COVID-19 relief package that would help people maintain health insurance coverage even if they lose their jobs amid the economic fallout of the pandemic. In a letter to Congressional leaders, the groups recommended raising Affordable Care Act subsidies, giving support to help employers maintain job-based coverage for workers and requiring the federal government to cover COBRA costs for people who lose their jobs.
HHS said it will distribute around $3 billion in COVID-19 relief funds through the Health Resources and Services Administration to 215 acute care safety net facilities and another $1 billion to specialty rural hospitals, hospitals in small metropolitan areas and urban hospitals with certain rural Medicare designations. The funds are part of the $175 billion allocated for health care providers in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
Gilead Sciences announced that new trial results assessing its antiviral drug remdesivir in over 1,100 COVID-19 patients showed the drug was linked to a 62% reduction in mortality risk compared with standard care. Data also showed 74% of patients treated with remdesivir recovered by the 14th day of treatment versus 59% of those given standard care.
A Maryland judge vacated a CMS rule that requires Affordable Care Act insurers to provide separate billing for coverage of abortion services, arguing the rule is "arbitrary and capricious" and violates the health care law. "HHS provides no evidence that issuers are not appropriately segregating funds in accordance with the statute and does not rely on compliance issues as a justification for the rule," Judge Catherine Blake wrote.
The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) is pleased to introduce Elizabeth Y. Rula, PhD, as the new executive director of the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute® (HPI). Dr. Rula will oversee HPI's entire extensive research portfolio and manage relationships with contracted research sites. "I look forward to advancing the Neiman Institute's important work to provide credible, objective and reproducible health care economics research to lawmakers, regulators and payers to help them make informed policy decisions," Dr. Rula said. "We will continue working to improve patient care and bolster efficient, effective use of health care resources." Read more.
Radiology providers can come back stronger after the COVID-19 pandemic by considering post-pandemic changes to patient decision-making, insurance coverage and payment models, according to an opinion article by Dr. Joshua Liao of the University of Washington's Department of Medicine that was published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. "Ultimately, the process of COVID-19 recovery creates both operational challenges and strategic opportunities for radiology practices and other health care providers," Liao wrote.
A study in the American Journal of Roentgenology found that CT scans, even with artificial intelligence assistance, weren't able to differentiate COVID-19 pneumonia from influenza-related pneumonia. Researchers recommended that CT be used in determining lesions in patients with COVID-19 and assessing COVID-19 treatment effects. The ACR and the World Health Organization recommend that diagnostic CT only be used for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who have unexplained hospital deterioration, said Dr. Ella Kazerooni of the University of Michigan, who wasn't involved in the study.