The United States leads the world in reported coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, with the total as of April 6 at more then 336,000, according to worldometer. A significant percentage of COVID-19 patients require mechanical ventilation in the ICU setting, which is expected to strain critical care resources including staff as coronavirus patients surge in the coming weeks.
PPE is a crucial element of protecting healthcare workers from the virus that causes COVID-19. In China, Italy, and Spain, thousands of healthcare workers have been infected with the coronavirus. One-third of U.S. doctors are at high risk of serious illness from the coronavirus because they are over 60 years old, new research shows.
In announcing the guidance to retired physicians, AMA President Patrice Harris, MD, MA, said in a prepared statement that there are several considerations for these doctors as they weigh returning to medical practice.
The sweeping “Hospitals Without Walls” initiative takes effect immediately, will last through the duration of the pandemic, and allows hospitals to bill Medicare and other government payers for providing these services in unconventional settings, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Monday.
Healthcare facilities and state public health officials must inform emergency responders of potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) after transporting or treating a patient with COVID-19.
Specifically, the task force wants hospitals to report COVID-19 testing data to the Department of Health and Human Services, and provide daily reports on bed capacity and supplies to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Healthcare Safety Network COVID-19 Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity Module.
The reuse of N95 masks is typically prohibited because of potential infection risk, but the global shortage and difficulty in manufacturing them has changed rules and spurred innovation. This method of mask decontamination was developed a few years ago by a different organization, but until COVID-19, it was considered unnecessary.
The emergency provision allows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to waive some requirements in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP that give state Medicaid agencies flexibility and remove red tape that can hamper access to needed services.
On February 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued interim guidance for healthcare facilities that included a recommendation for hospitals to reschedule elective surgery during the pandemic. On March 18, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that all elective surgeries should be delayed during the pandemic.
As the nation grapples with the 2019 novel coronavirus that leads to COVID-19, clinicians and others in facilities—many in areas becoming overwhelmed by the number of patients with COVID-19 experiencing extreme problems breathing—have discussed whether to implement blanket “Do Not Resuscitate” orders for COVID patients, according to news reports.