In The News

Despite Vaccines, Omicron Variant Puts Older Adults at Risk

Last winter's COVID-19 wave, driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant, killed almost as many Americans ages 65 and older as last summer's Delta variant wave, despite high vaccination rates among older people. Health experts cited the ability of the Omicron variant and its mutations to get around immune defenses and lackluster efforts to get booster shots to older adults as reasons for the elevated risk.

Read Full Story: The New York Times 


ACOs Consider Adding Palliative Care to New Care Models

Palliative care providers have opportunities to partner with accountable care organizations as they look for the best strategies to care for an aging population with chronic illnesses. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is considering new payment models and ways to incorporate palliative care into those models, says Allison Silvers, chief of health care transformation at the Center to Advance Palliative Care.

Read Full Story: Hospice News 


White House: 1st Shots for Kids Under 5 Possible by June 21

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration said Thursday that children under 5 may be able to get their first COVID-19 vaccination doses as soon as June 21, if federal regulators authorize shots for the age group, as expected.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Aashish Jha outlined the administration's planning for the last remaining ineligible age group to get shots. He said the Food and Drug Administration's outside panel of advisers will meet on June 14-15 to evaluate the Pfizer and Moderna shots for younger kids. Shipments to doctors' offices and pediatric care facilities would begin soon after FDA authorization, with the first shots possible the following week.

Jha said states can begin placing orders for pediatric vaccines on Friday, and said the administration has an initial supply of 10 million doses available. He said it may take a few days for the vaccines to arrive across the country and vaccine appointments to be widespread.

"Our expectation is that within weeks every parent who wants their child to get vaccinated will be able to get an appointment," Jha said.

Read Full Article


The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) has been Reintroduced in the Senate!

[PCHETA was reintroduced in the Senate late last month.] Thank you to Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) for their tireless work and continued championing of this important bill.

As you're all too well-aware, hospice and palliative care providers have been facing a long-term staffing crisis that got dramatically worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the time for Congress to make urgently needed investments to alleviate the pervasive workforce shortages and ensure that a more robust workforce is available to provide high quality care in the years to come.

The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (S. 4260) would do just that. It would improve training and education for doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals in palliative care and hospice, enhance public awareness and disseminate information to patients, families, and health professionals about the benefits of palliative care for those with serious or life-threatening illness, and expand research on palliative care.

PCHETA passed the House during the last two Congresses but stalled in the Senate. To pass it this year, we need your help.

Click to ask our Senators to cosponsor PCHETA


Retail Overstaffing, Rising Inflation and Disappearing Mandates: What’s Improving the Labor Crisis in Home-Based Care

Home Health Care News / By Andrew Donlan

In mid-May, I stumbled upon a story

I had been talking to providers for other assignments when I heard a few of them mention off hand that the staffing situation for their companies had gotten better.

Some had reasons why they believed that was turning, while others didn’t offer anything but gratitude that it was. Once I had one or two of those testimonials, I went back to more providers, and then I went to staffing companies as well. 

What I ended up with was this: For one reason or another, the staffing situation – both in home care and home health care – has generally improved over the last four months or so. Specifically, providers were referring to the previous 90-day period as to when things began to turn. 

I wrote about the tailwinds in May I’m now digging in further to find out if those tailwinds are here to stay – at least for the near-term future.

In this week’s exclusive, members-only HHCN+ Update, I dive into what I’ve found and explore what could be contributing to a better staffing situation for home-based care providers of late. 

Read Full Article

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