In The News

Monkeypox Virus Infection in the United States and Other Non-endemic Countries—2022

Cases of monkeypox have previously been identified in travelers from, or residents of, West African or Central African countries where monkeypox is considered to be endemic. CDC is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to ask clinicians in the United States to be vigilant to the characteristic rash associated with monkeypox. Suspicion for monkeypox should be heightened if the rash occurs in people who 1) traveled to countries with recently confirmed cases of monkeypox, 2) report having had contact with a person or people who have a similar appearing rash or received a diagnosis of confirmed or suspected monkeypox, or 3) is a man who regularly has close or intimate in-person contact with other men, including those met through an online website, digital application (“app”), or at a bar or party. Lesions may be disseminated or located on the genital or perianal area alone. Some patients may present with proctitis, and their illness could be clinically confused with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) like syphilis or herpes, or with varicella zoster virus infection. Read the full report at Monkeypox Virus Infection in the United States

Additional information on Monkeypox can be found here: Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC 


COVID-19 Booster Now Available for Children Aged 5-11 Years

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently authorized and endorsed a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 years at least five months after completion of a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine primary series. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will continue to ensure that coverage is available for this critical protection from the virus that causes COVID-19, including this new booster dose, without cost sharing.

The best way to protect yourself and your children from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Parents, if you have not gotten vaccinated, or have not taken your children to get vaccinated, now is the time. Continued safety monitoring shows that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for children and teens. In addition, they are effective at preventing severe illness from infection with the virus.

CMS is helping to ensure that cost is not a barrier to access, including for boosters. The federal government is providing vaccines free of charge to everyone 5 years and older living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status. People can visit (English) or (Spanish) to search for vaccines nearby.

CMS continues to explore ways to ensure maximum access to COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. There are numerous resources available. Organizations can use the free, customizable materials from the web available through this web page CMS COVID-19 web page. This important information can be utilized in their outreach efforts year-round, including digital videos, palm cards, posters, infographics, social media messages, graphics, and more.

Please share these materials, bookmark these pages, and check back often for the most up-to-date information. It is important to us that we help encourage our beneficiaries and consumers –especially those with chronic conditions – to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19.


National Healthcare at Home Best Practices and Future Insights Study

The Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado (HHAC) is pleased to share the results of the National Healthcare at Home Best Practices and Future Insights Study.

With over 1,000 agency sites represented, we ended up with the largest and most comprehensive study in the history of home care and hospice to date.  And now members can access the complimentary study report.

Download the report to gain perspective on best practices for:

  • Operational, clinical, and financial processes
  • Staffing recruitment and retention
  • Technology
  • Palliative Care
  • And much more!

The National Healthcare at Home Best Practices Study is sponsored by the Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC),  National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), NAHC Forum of State Associations, LeadingAge, Home Care Association of America (HCAOA), and Council of State Home Care Associations.   The study was conducted by BerryDunn, a national healthcare at home consulting, research, and audit firm with over 25 year experience in home health and hospice.


Surgeon General Issues Landmark Report with New Solutions to Combat Crippling Worker Burnout Issue

Fierce Healthcare | By Robert King
Healthcare worker burnout was a staggering issue for systems across the country even before the pandemic, and, now, a new report from the U.S. surgeon general hopes to help by boosting benefits and reducing administrative burdens. 

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., released a general advisory Monday surrounding worker burnout, an issue that was present before the pandemic but only worsened as COVID-19 has impacted systems. Murthy is pressing for collaboration among regulators, health systems, communities and other key stakeholders to take a “whole-of-society” approach to the problem.

“COVID-19 has been a uniquely traumatic experience for the healthcare workforce and for their families, pushing them past their breaking point,” Murthy said in a statement. “Now, we owe them a debt of gratitude and action. And if we fail to act, we will place our nation’s health at risk.”

Murthy’s advisory lays out a series of recommendations to combat burnout, which is likely to get worse with more than half a million registered nurses retiring by the end of the year and a shortage of more than 3 million low-wage health workers projected over the next five years. The Association of American Medical Colleges has also projected a shortage of 139,000 physicians by 2033.

[Click to read the recommendations], which come roughly a month after a new survey from the union National Nurses United showed major spikes in workplace violence at systems across the country.

The surgeon general advisories do not have any binding actions but are an attempt to call attention to a public health issue. 


New Wage and Hour Division Resources for FMLA

At the Wage and Hour Division, we enforce the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which enables eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of protected leave for mental health treatment for themselves or the care of qualifying family members (26 weeks to care for covered service members and certain veterans).

We are committed to supporting the mental health of workers and ensuring equitable access to job-protected leave through outreach and enforcement of the FMLA. New resources have been developed to assist in the compliance and implementation of FMLA provisions, and I encourage you to review those here: 

For more information about the Family and Medical Leave Act, please visit our website. If you are interested in scheduling an outreach event or training webinar, please feel free to contact me so we can coordinate that together.

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