In The News

Against All Odds, Home Health Care Helped Bend 2020’s Cost Curve

Home Health Care News, By Robert Holly | February 18, 2021

"For the first time in decades, U.S. health care spending may have actually decreased in 2020, new data suggests.

Several factors likely contributed to the potential decrease, according to nonprofit research and consulting firm Altarum, which released a preliminary analysis of last year’s national health spending on Tuesday. Such factors include year-over-year declines in hospital and nursing home care, along with an increase in home health care..."

Click here to read more. 

 

Updates on COVID-19 Vaccines

Posted: February 26, 2021

New Data Calls for Single COVID-19 Vaccine Dose
Based on new data submitted by researchers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine offers 92.6% efficacy. "Deferral of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will enable more individuals within our high-risk and health care worker priority groups to receive a single dose," Danuta M. Skowronski, MD, told Medscape Medical News. "Since a single dose provides swift and substantial protection exceeding 90%, and a second dose provides little added benefit in the short term, second dose deferral will maximize the benefits of scarce vaccine supply while the pandemic risk remains elevated." Read more on the Medscape website.

Pfizer Vaccine No Longer Requires Ultra-Freezing Storage Temperatures
Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech, reported that their COVID-19 vaccine no longer needs to be kept at ultra-freezing temperatures (-112°F to -76°F) as previously thought, and can be safely stored inside normal medical freezers at between -13°F to 5°F for a total of two weeks. The new “stability data” has been submitted to the FDA for review. If approved, the welcome news would make distribution and distribution of the vaccine through additional channels much easier.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Doses May Be Needed Annually for Several Years
The Hill reports, “Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said people may be getting COVID-19 vaccines annually for the next several years. Gorsky made the comment at a CNBC event on Tuesday after he was asked if he felt that post-pandemic vaccines would be needed, specifically if people would require updated COVID-19 vaccines every year, similar to the flu.

 

FDA Warns of Pulse Oximeter Inaccuracies

Posted: Feb. 24, 2021

From NAHC: Pulse oximeters, which measure blood oxygen levels, have been widely used during the COVID-19 public health emergency to track a patient’s oxygen saturation, but they may not always be accurate, according to new guidance released by the Food and Drug Administration last Friday.

Full story

 

HHAC Backs 'Welcome Home Veterans' Legislation

Posted: Feb. 24, 2021

HHAC voiced support Tuesday for SB21-024, which establishes March 30 as "Welcome Home Veterans Day" and allows for appropriate observance by the public and in all public schools in tribute to the service and sacrifice of Vietnam veterans.

The Colorado Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs later Tuesday voted to move the bill to the entire Senate. Trysten Garcia of HHAC member Sangre de Cristo Community Care testified in favor of the bill.

Many Colorado hospices participate in NHPCO's "We Honor Veterans" program, which recognizes the unique needs of veterans and their families. Members: Click on the HHAC bill tracker to see the legislation we’re following.

 

Colorado Hospice & Palliative Care License Plate Bill Introduced

Posted: Feb. 23, 2021

Colorado legislators on Monday introduced a bill, HB21-1128, that would create a special license plate for end-of life care.

The Home Care & Hospice Association of Colorado has worked over the past several years to win passage of a hospice and palliative care license plate, including leading a signature-gathering campaign. Similar legislation was introduced last year but postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sponsors and cosponsors of the bill are Reps. Michaelson Jenet, Bird, Esgar, Hooton, Kipp and Young and Sens. Hansen and Story.

 
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