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Abigail Painchaud

Policy Associate Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

In this second report on the topic, the agency describes three findings: there is no systematic or standard collection of social risk data; dual enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid remains a predictor of poor outcomes; and there are limited efforts to identify effective and scalable interventions.

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Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott issues a proclamation to suspend elective surgeries in four counties, making room for another surge in COVID-19. Maine Gov. Janet Mills announces the state approved nearly $9 million in grant funding to support local COVID-19 public health, education, and prevention efforts.

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The proclamation pauses the issuance of new non-immigrant employment-based visas until Dec. 31, 2020. The suspension excludes individuals whose entry is deemed in the national interest, including those providing care to hospitalized COVID-19 patients or conducting research on the pandemic.

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New York will require the state health department to conduct a study on the health impact of COVID-19 on minority populations. A new data and visualization tool released by John Hopkins University provides insight on the effect of state stay-at-home and recovery policies across the U.S.

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The annual 340B Drug Pricing Program recertification period for hospitals will run from Aug. 17 to Sept. 14. Covered entities that fail to recertify will be removed from the program.

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced the state will distribute $40 million to hospitals to address lost revenue and expenses as a result of COVID-19. The money comes from the tranche the state received under the the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

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Under the Federal Reserve Board proposal, certain hospitals and other nonprofits "of sound financial condition" prior to the public health emergency could be eligible to receive loans to help alleviate financial burden due to COVID-19.

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The Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule overhauling parts of the Affordable Care Act to remove nondiscrimination protections for transgender individuals and certain language access requirements for providing health care services to people with limited English proficiency.

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Illinois is the first state to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income residents ages 65 and older, regardless of immigration status, due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania heightened security measures to protect staff and providers against the spread of COVID-19.

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New CDC guidance offers best practices to safely venture outside and begin to resume daily activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as information on using telehealth to expand access. CMS releases recommendations for non-emergent care in areas that are in Phase II of recovery.

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The Arkansas governor appointed a steering committee to recommend distribution methods for federal COVID-19 funds across the states. A new National Governors Association memorandum offers planning recommendations for concurrent emergencies during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

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The report, requested by Republican representatives, details challenges states face in administering Medicaid programs, including with coverage exclusions and care coordination, coverage benefits and eligibility, and Medicare and Medicaid alignment.

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Several states, including Missouri and Oklahoma, will vote this year on whether to expand Medicaid. However, the topic of expansion will remain unaddressed in several states this year; for example, plans to include expansion on the 2020 ballot in Florida now have been pushed to 2022.

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The Department of Health and Human Services announced two distributions from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, known as the Provider Relief Fund: $4.9 billion for skilled nursing facilities and $500 million for Indian Health Service providers.

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Several states have created task forces to examine racial disparities related to COVID-19. A new tracker shows which states have stay-at-home orders or plans to resume elective procedures. States have authority to allocate CARES Act funding how they see fit, and several states have begun to do so.

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The president encouraged agency leaders to rescind, modify, waive, or provide exemptions from regulations and other requirements that could inhibit economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

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Early survey results from the Kaiser Family Foundation show implications of the unexpected pandemic upended previous budget projections as Medicaid enrollment is shown to grow rapidly during economic downturns and uncertainty.

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This State Policy Snapshot summarizes how states are turning to emergency Medicaid authority to provide coverage of COVID-19 services for specific populations, such as individuals who would qualify for public assistance if not for their immigration status.

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HHS has left it up to the states' discretion on how to distribute the investigational antiviral drug. Several states — including Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas — are beginning to release plans on the distribution of the drug.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its proposed fiscal year 2021 Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule, which includes payment and quality reporting provisions.

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Hospitals interested in administering the donated experimental drug should contact their state health department.

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As the public health emergency continues, states make unexpected budgetary decisions that could significantly affect health care. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released an executive order stating hospitals are not allowed to discharge patients to nursing homes unless they test negative for COVID-19.

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America's Essential Hospitals expressed deep concern with the agency's ill-timed launch of the 340B Drug Pricing Program acquisition cost survey during this public health emergency.

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America's Essential Hospitals in a May 5 letter urged the Department of Health and Human Services to allocate $20 billion specifically to essential hospitals that serve large Medicaid and low-income patient populations, to ensure the stability of the nation’s health care safety net.

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America's Essential Hospitals calls on the Health Resources and Services Administration to allow newly eligible entities and sites to immediately register and begin purchasing 340B drugs, suspend program audits, and disregard DSH payment adjustment percentage changes during the COVID-19 emergency.

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Many states are beginning to lift restrictions put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including resuming elective surgeries in hospitals. Meanwhile, the National Association of Medicaid Directors urges the administration work with Medicaid directors to distribute needed funds to providers.

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Virginia and Washington have paused proposals to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage for low-income women, due to budget constraints resulting from the pandemic. States are engaged in contact tracing to curb the spread of COVID-19, and 24 states enacted budgetary measures related to the emergency.

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States are exploring a variety of COVID-19 recovery plans to meet their local economic and health care needs. While some states opt to follow guidance from the Trump administration and national groups, others are taking individualized approaches focused on testing and social distancing.

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Some states are using their own means to assist hospitals on the front lines of this public health emergency. Massachusetts' state Medicaid agency will infuse $800 million in stabilization funding, while Pennsylvania launched a loan program to help hospitals adversely affected by the pandemic.

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Attorneys general from three states ask the U.S. Supreme Court to pause the administration's public charge rule as the nation grapples with COVID-19. A study identifies which states are tracking race and ethnicity data amid the pandemic. CMS approves new time-limited disaster state plan amendments.

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In addition to efforts targeting surprise medical bills, governors are asking the administration to allow Medicaid retainer payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the administration has approved Section 1135 waivers for 47 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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