As school leaders and parents grapple with questions about school reopening this fall, a key measure to consider is the community transmission rate of COVID-19, say two educators and an infectious disease specialist.
When states and cities are reporting that more than 5% of COVID-19 tests are positive, the transmission rate is high enough that schools could become hot spots for community outbreaks, they said. Continue reading
A little-reported side effect of surging COVID-19 cases is the likelihood that there will be an increasing number of people exposed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
At least 15 percent to 20 percent of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, develop a secondary bacterial infection, requiring the use of antibiotics. As a result, most hospitals are prescribing antibiotics pre-emptively to hospitalized COVID-19 patients, heightening the likelihood that more bacteria are adapting and developing resistance to these antibiotics. Continue reading
Image courtesy John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur FoundationJeffrey C. Brenner, M.D.
One of the nation’s most innovative physicians is leaving UnitedHealth Group to start a primary care practice in New Jersey. Jeffrey Brenner, M.D, is returning to primary care after more than three years as a senior vice president at the nation’s largest health insurer, where he launched programs in some 14 cities to provide housing and other services for UHC’s neediest members.
Many of us have covered the work Brenner has done in pioneering new models of care for patients known as high utilizers, super users or frequent fliers. They are the 5 percent of patients who account for at least 50 percent or more of all health care spending. Included in this cohort was the top 1 percent of Americans whose health care costs accounted for about 22 percent of total health care spending nationwide. Continue reading
The Association of Health Care Journalists has secured two recent successes in its ongoing effort to persuade medical societies to allow freelance journalists to use membership in AHCJ as a credential to attend meetings and media briefings.
The Gerontological Society of America and the American Gastroenterological Association have joined the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other organizations that have agreed to recognize professional-category membership in AHCJ as sufficient credential for admission to their meetings. Continue reading
Lily Eskelsen García
Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, will join AHCJ’s webcast, “Reporting on school reopenings in the time of COVID-19,” scheduled for Thursday.
She will join Enriqueta Bond, Ph.D., chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine advisory committee on Reopening K-12 Schools in the Time of COVID-19; and Tina Q. Tan, M.D., professor of pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases attending physician at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. The webcast will be moderated by Bara Vaida, AHCJ’s core topic leader on infectious diseases. Continue reading
U.S. nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid will be getting a $5 billion infusion of “provider relief funds” from the Department of Health and Human Services, President Trump announced on July 22. The funds are meant to help with testing, purchasing personal protective equipment and hiring additional staff.
Nursing homes in “hot spots” like Florida, Texas, and California will be at the top of the list, according to The Seattle Times. The funding package also includes the distribution of additional rapid point-of-care diagnostic testing devices. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services also will begin requiring, rather than just recommending, that all nursing homes in states with a 5% positivity rate or higher test all nursing home staff each week. This new staff testing requirement is designed to better keep the virus from entering and spreading through nursing homes by identifying asymptomatic carriers. Continue reading