[ArticleBipartisan Surprise Billing Legislation Gets Conditional Support from AHA

(HealthLeaders Media, December 14, 2020)

"House and Senate leaders announced that an agreement had been reached on the ‘No Surprises Act,’ which establishes a mediation framework for providers and payers to resolve payment disputes. The bill holds hospitals responsible for physician claims, even if the physician is not employed at the hospital, however, hospitals would not be privy to the proprietary billing rates of providers and payers."

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[Article] 7 mistakes hospitals make when converting an HOPD to an ASC

(Becker's Hospital Review, December 15, 2020)

"A survey of senior healthcare executives on ASC joint ventures reveals that as consumer- and payer-driven trends favor ASCs, hospitals are recognizing they need at least one ASC in their portfolio to accommodate patients and payers looking for a lower acuity, less expensive site for outpatient surgery. On the surface, this may seem like an easy approach, yet it rife with risk if those involved in the project do not understand or fully appreciate the dynamics of such a conversion. Even small oversights have the potential to derail a project or cause the new surgery center to underperform."

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[Article] WHO Information Notice for IVD Users

(World Health Organization, December 14, 2020)

"As with any diagnostic procedure, the positive and negative predictive values for the product in a given testing population are important to note. Users of RT-PCR reagents should read the instructions for use carefully to determine if manual adjustment of the PCR positivity threshold is necessary to account for any background noise which may lead to a specimen with a high cycle threshold (Ct) value result being interpreted as a positive result.  The design principle of RT-PCR means that for patients with high levels of circulating virus (viral load), relatively few cycles will be needed to detect virus and so the Ct value will be low."

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[Article] KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: December 2020

(Kaiser Family Foundation, December 15, 2020)

"A new KFF survey finds an increase from 63% in September to 71% of the public saying they would definitely or probably get a vaccine for COVID-19 if it was determined to be safe by scientists and available for free to everyone who wanted it. Among those who are hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the main reasons are worries about possible side effects (59%), lack of trust in the government to ensure the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness (55%), concerns that the vaccine is too new (53%), and concerns over the role of politics in the development process (51%)."

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[Article] Genetic mechanisms of critical illness in Covid-19

(Nature, December 2, 2020)

"Host-mediated lung inflammation is present, and drives mortality, in critical illness caused by Covid-19. Our results identify robust genetic signals relating to key host antiviral defense mechanisms, and mediators of inflammatory organ damage in Covid-19. Both mechanisms may be amenable to targeted treatment with existing drugs. Large-scale randomized clinical trials will be essential before any change to clinical practice." 

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