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Often serving populations targeted by traffickers, essential hospitals are in a unique position to address this problem. Two association members — Henry Ford Health System and Harris Health System — offer examples of education and best practices for identifying and caring for those affected.

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This State Policy Snapshot summarizes actions states are taking to combat human trafficking through task forces, training programs, and protections for trafficked individuals.

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New York establishes an advisory council on trauma-informed care for workers on the front lines of COVID-19. The advisory group will develop reports on immediate needs for front-line health workers and findings and recommendations on long-term, trauma-informed care for these individuals.

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The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill would ensure essential hospitals receive the same level of Medicaid DSH payments as they would have absent the pandemic. Xavier Becerra's nomination as secretary of health and human services is expected to reach the Senate floor as early as next week.

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FDA granted an emergency use authorization for the one-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and an at-home COVID test; a multi-agency FAQ document addresses COVID-19 health coverage.

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Reconciliation and bipartisanship were vital to the origin story of America’s Essential Hospitals and will play a key role in the association's future.

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A CDC report shows promising COVID-19 vaccine safety profiles; the federal COVID-19 task force expands support for vaccination and testing.

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Congress races to pass COVID-19 relief through the budget reconciliation process before enhanced unemployment benefits expire March 14. Senate committees hold confirmation hearings for Xavier Becerra as secretary of health and human services.

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So far, 26 states and Washington, D.C., publicly report varying data on race and ethnicity for individuals who have received the vaccination. States also have taken different approaches to addressing disparities in vaccine administration and vaccine hesitancy.

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The nominee’s deep policy expertise in Medicaid and Medicare and her role in advancing coverage under the Affordable Care Act would bring valuable skills and leadership to CMS.

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The budget reconciliation package now moving through Congress does not include additional funding for hospitals. Members should contact their senators today and urge them to support essential hospital priorities in COVID-19 relief legislation.

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CDC provides new vaccine demographic data and guidelines for ensuring close-fitting face masks; President Biden appoints two essential hospital leaders to a health equity task force.

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America's Essential Hospitals sent a letter to President Joe Biden and his administration detailing key priorities for essential hospitals, including issues related to structural racism, COVID-19, Medicaid, the 340B Drug Pricing Program, site-neutral payment policies, immigration, and other topics.

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The special enrollment period, intended to ensure access to health coverage amid the the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue through May 15. The enrollment period applies to consumers in the 36 states that use the federal marketplace platform.

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The Joint Commission's latest Quick Safety newsletter offers recommendations to ensure equitable care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The House is expected to vote on a compiled reconciliation bill the week of Feb. 22. The Senate for the second time has acquitted former President Donald Trump of impeachment charges. House members are circulating a bipartisan letter calling for protections to the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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The association today kicked off a celebration of its founding in 1981 as the National Association of Public Hospitals. It will mark the anniversary online with storytelling by people prominent in the association’s history, an interactive timeline, a video tribute, and other activities this year.

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The work, part of a Kresge Foundation–supported project, follows a 2019 climate resiliency report from Essential Hospitals Institute, the association’s research entity.

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Some states are holding back COVID-19 vaccines after receiving fewer than expected doses and grappling with logistical challenges scheduling second shots. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines could be administered up to 42 days apart.

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Janssen applied for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine; a CDC report shows reporting gaps in ethnic and racial data of vaccine recipients.

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House and Senate committees are working on the details of COVID-19 relief under the budget reconciliation process. The impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is underway; members of both parties have indicated they prefer a short and swift trial.

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A new executive order calls on agencies to review public charge rules enacted under the Trump administration. Two other executive orders establish an interagency task force to reunite immigrant families and create a comprehensive regional framework to address the causes of migration.

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We thank President Joe Biden for his compassionate decision to ensure legal immigrants can participate in all the opportunities our country offers, including access to affordable health care for themselves and their families.

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Hospitals have 30 days to review their reports before public reporting to Care Compare.

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A new CDC order requires mask use on public transportation; a PREP Act amendment expands the provider groups authorized to administer vaccines.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency is supporting vaccination sites in 19 states and U.S. territories. States vary in their approaches to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to children; some are prioritizing subpopulations of children while others are involving child health stakeholders in planning.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled a joint budget resolution to advance President Biden's COVID-19 relief priorities through budget reconciliation. Senate leaders have yet to agree on an organizing resolution finalizing operations for the 117th Congress.

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President Biden released an executive order to strengthen Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. The order calls for a special enrollment period on the federally facilitated exchange for uninsured or underinsured individuals — particularly those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In a recent letter to state health officials, CMS outlines opportunities for states to better address social determinants of health. The letter outlines flexibility under current law and includes examples from states already engaging in such initiatives.

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Leaders from University Health, in San Antonio, share how partnerships, preregistration, and constant adaptation shaped their COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued new guidance to states on directed payments in Medicaid managed care programs. In conjunction with the guidance, CMS issued a revised version of the agency’s preprint application for directed payments. 

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In his first week in office, President Biden released multiple executive orders of note to essential hospitals, including those related to COVID-19, health equity and nondiscrimination, and immigration.

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The regulatory freeze could affect rules directing health clinics to pass certain drug discounts on to patients, establishing minimum standards in Medicaid state drug utilization review, and modifying Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy arrangements.

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CDC requires a negative test or travel clearance from a health care professional to enter the country; President Biden issues COVID-19 national strategy and complementary executive orders.

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The document outlines acceptable approaches to calculate and report median payer-specific negotiated charges by Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Group for reporting periods ending on or after Jan. 1, 2021.

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The second Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is expected to begin in early February, with Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) presiding. House committees with jurisdiction over health care issues add new members to their rosters.

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Three new National Governors Association task forces will focus on pandemic and disaster response, economic recovery and revitalization, and community renewal.

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America’s Essential Hospitals applauds President Biden’s swift pledge to fight the COVID-19 pandemic through a national strategy and executive orders.

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The new guidance and deadline apply to all provider relief fund allocations to date except the Health Resources and Services Administration uninsured program, nursing home infection control distribution, and rural health clinic testing distribution.

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As a highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variant spreads across the country, CDC issues two new vaccination toolkits; HHS alters its Provider Relief Fund reporting timeline.

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Virtual Spring Policy Assembly

America’s Essential Hospitals invites you to join us online March 16 for our Spring Policy Assembly. As the 117th Congress takes office, lay the foundation for health care policy priorities for essential hospitals and your patients.

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Virtual VITAL2021

Registration is open for VITAL2021, our virtual annual conference! Join us online, June 22–25, for four days of education and networking to stimulate thinking, inspire action, and energize essential hospital leaders.

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COVID-19 Resources

America’s Essential Hospitals offers a rich and growing collection of general and topical resources for essential hospitals and others with an interest in this pandemic. Visit this library regularly for new and updated information.

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