[Blog] The Law of Holes, PCR Cycle Thresholds, and the Hotel California

(Trilliant Health, December 2, 2020)

Hindsight is 20/15, and in hindsight America’s response to the pandemic could have been better. What matters now is what we can change for the better moving forward. There are many, many reasons that America is in a hole today, and it is high time we stop digging. PCR testing is the gold standard in some cases, but in the pandemic, PCR testing has become a hammer and every American a nail. Or, even worse, a shovel being used as a hammer. America cannot get out of the hole without addressing the long tail from the long-known issue with PCR Ct values.

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[Article] Thousands of Doctors’ Offices Buckle Under Financial Stress of COVID

(KHN, November 30, 2020)

"Although no one tracks medical closures, recent research suggests they number in the thousands. A survey by the Physicians Foundation estimated that 8% of all physician practices nationally — around 16,000 — have closed under the stress of the pandemic. That survey didn’t break them down by type, but another from the Virginia-based Larry A. Green Center and the Primary Care Collaborative found in late September that 7% of primary care practices were unsure they could stay open past December without financial assistance."

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[Article] Strong initial immune response could produce worst COVID outcome

(Tulane News, December 1, 2020)

"While having a robust immune response to coronavirus infection may sound helpful, the opposite may actually be true. To better understand how variations in early host immune responses affect disease outcomes, researchers at the Tulane National Primate Research Center followed the course of disease in the four weeks following COVID-19 infection in non-human primates. They discovered robust early immune responses to the virus and a recruitment of immune cells from the blood to the lungs. These results suggest that in these early weeks post-infection, the stronger the initial host immune response, the worse the disease outcome."

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[Article] CMS rolls out geographic direct contracting model aimed at improving regional health outcomes

(Fierce Healthcare, December 3, 2020)

"The Geographic Direct Contracting model released Thursday by CMS is a bid to test whether direct contracting entities can improve quality and lower costs for beneficiaries across an entire region. Providers in the region can enter into value-based care payment arrangements. CMS has identified 15 regional candidates that could serve as initial regions. These include the metropolitan areas of major cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles."

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[Article] CMS looks to permanently expand telehealth services

(Fierce Healthcare, December 2, 2020)

"The Trump administration added more than 60 telehealth services that will be reimbursable during the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those changes to telehealth coverage will also be allowed permanently in rural areas. But a permanent expansion of coverage across the country will require an act of Congress. Only certain areas will continue to get the telehealth services after the public health emergency ends. Currently the public health emergency is set to expire in January but could be postponed. " 

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