Over the holidays, an executive with one of the nation’s largest health systems asked [our CEO] about our Farr’s Law posts, wondering whether things had turned out as we anticipated. His question was based in part on the media’s incessant coverage of the number of “positive” cases which has increased in step function with increases in testing, as opposed to the percentage of positive cases, which has ranged between 6-12% per day for months even as daily testing has increased by approximately 2.5X over the same period. So, how did we do?
"A surprise addition to the Emergency COVID Relief Act of 2020, the No Surprises Act (“Act”) was added to the COVID relief bill at the 11th hour. This Act brings home, however short it falls, the intent of ending surprise medical billing, as well as adding transparency provisions. Further rulemaking is still a necessary part of the process as this Act is in the very early stages of the legislative process. The true effect of the Act on OON claims, and the specific administrative requirements for the Act, is yet to be known."
"Researchers found no evidence that reopening schools in-person or in a hybrid form increased COVID hospitalizations in the 75 percent of counties that had low COVID hospitalization rates during the summer, prior to reopening schools. It seems safe to reopen schools when there are no more than 36 to 44 total new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 people per week. If [and when] they do reopen, schools need to be vigilant about mask-wearing and social distancing—and so do their communities."
"In the wake of Covid, doctors and designers are radically adapting their thinking about what a hospital can be and what it should deliver. The pandemic has accelerated some trends, such as the one to a “hospital without walls” – the hospital conceived as a digitally connected community rather than a circumscribed physical space. The twin pillars of digital health are electronic health records (EHRs), which allow patient information to be shared across health systems, and telehealth, which allows patients and physicians to communicate at distance."
"Health care — and how much it costs — is scary. In this episode of "An Arm and a Leg", host Dan Weissmann is interviewed by T.K. Dutes, a former nurse, about what he learned in 2020 and what’s ahead."