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Experts Convene on Panel to Discuss Future of Pandemic-Driven Telehealth Flexibilities

On June 4, 2020, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) convened a virtual discussion to explore the effect of pandemic-related expansions to telehealth on rural health in the United States. The conversation touched on several important themes surrounding the issue of telehealth, namely: it’s importance in facilitating social distancing during the pandemic; discussions around the quality of care through the telehealth… (LaRosa, June 4, 2020) #COVID-19, #Rural Health, #Telehealth

CDC Director Testifies Before House Appropriations Subcommittee on COVID-19 Response; Health Disparities, Reopening, and Testing Benchmarks Discussed

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies convened a hearing to discuss the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield testified about the agency’s efforts to support state, local, and tribal health departments through expanded testing and infrastructure support, and the importance… (Slifer, June 4, 2020) #COVID-19, #Health Equity, #Health Information Technology

Proposed Updates to HHS’ ACA Risk Adjustment Data Validation Program; Comments Due July 2

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule to amend the Department of Health and Human Services’ ACA risk adjustment data validation (HHS-RADV) program (fact sheet). What it is. The proposed rule would make technical changes to the HHS-RADV program, which validates the accuracy of data submitted by issuers to calculate the adjustment to issuers’ risk… (Llamas, May 29, 2020) #Risk Adjustment

Members Pass Reforms to the Paycheck Protection Program

On May 28, the House passed the TRUTH Act (H.R. 6782) (269-147) and the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (H.R. 7010) (417-1). The TRUTH Act would  require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to publicly disclose details on recipients of small business loans that exceed $2 million. It includes other reporting requirements intended to shine light on the Paycheck… (Llamas, May 29, 2020) #COVID-19, #Hospitals, #Physicians

Committee Discusses the Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color

The House Ways and Means Committee convened its first ever virtual hearing to discuss the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. Overall, members vocalized support for the need to address the underlying reasons behind why minority communities have experienced higher rates of infection and mortality linked to COVID-19. Specifically, members discussed the need for more granular data on… (LaRosa, May 28, 2020) #COVID-19, #Public Health, #Social Determinants of Health

National COVID-19 Strategic Testing Plan

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted its COVID-19 Strategic Testing Plan to Congress, as required by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPHCEA) (Public Law No: 116-139). The report supports the implementation of the eight-part plan as outlined in the Opening Up American Again Guidelines: Testing Overview by providing additional guidance and information about… (Llamas, May 26, 2020) #COVID-19, #Hospitals, #Public Health

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