In The News

Reactions to CDC Recommendation for N95 and KN95 Use

The CDC now recommends that people in the US upgrade from cloth masks to N95 and KN95s. We are seeing several reactions to this recommendation.

  • 3M now requires distributors to verify bulk sales go to businesses and healthcare providers to prevent unsavory characters from hoarding masks and price-gouging customers. 
  • The federal government will offer individual households up to three N95 masks per month through local pharmacies and community health centers. Distribution methods are still being finalized
  • We anticipate this will impact the supply chain and manufacturers' work to fulfill increased demand. Get ahead of the supply crunch.

To give you even five minutes back in your day, HHAC’s community partner, bttn, has put together COVID-19 bundles to help you save time and money on the products you need to follow a multi-layered approach to keeping your staff, patients, and communities safe. Bundle any product in the catalog with their COVID-19 tests and receive 10% off their tests (no minimum order).

Visit www.bttnusa.com

 

Here's How to Get Free N95 Masks From Pharmacies or Community Health Centers

Redacted from CNN By Jacqueline Howard

The rollout of free N95 masks for the public began this week across the United States, with some pharmacies already handing out the masks and others expecting to do so in the coming days.

The program is part of the Biden administration's effort to distribute 400 million free N95 masks from the Strategic National Stockpile via pharmacies and community health centers. The program is expected to be fully up and running by early February. The masks are arriving at their destinations with accompanying flyers and signage from the US Department of Health and Human Services, which paid for the masks.

Here's what you need to know about getting a free N95 mask through this program:

Where can I find free N95 masks?

The masks will be available at a number of local pharmacies and community health centers, a White House official told CNN.

Participating pharmacies include Hy-Vee, Meijer, CVS, Walgreens and Kroger...

How many masks can I get?

The HHS flyer distributed with the free masks notes that up to three masks are "available to every person in the U.S."

Pharmacies plan to monitor how many masks people are taking at a time to make sure they don't take extra...

If the masks are at no cost to me, who paid for them?

The masks come from the United States' Strategic National Stockpile, maintained by HHS, which means the federal government paid for them.

"This effort represents the largest deployment by the Strategic National Stockpile to date and it's also the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history," Dawn O'Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS, wrote in a blog post Friday.

The 400 million N95 masks amount to more than half of the 750 million stored in the Strategic National Stockpile, a figure that tripled over the past year as the White House sought to boost reserves.

Does this mean I should no longer wear other types of masks?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes that "any mask is better than no mask."

The CDC recommends that Americans wear "the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently," and it notes that different types of masks can offer different levels of protection.

"Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, layered finely woven products offer more protection, well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection, and well-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators (including N95s) offer the highest level of protection," according to the CDC.

Read Full Article

 

HHS Distributing $2 Billion More in Provider Relief Fund Payments to Health Care Providers Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

U.S.Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making more than $2 billion in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 General Distribution

payment to more than 7,600 providers across the country this week. These payments come on the heels of the nearly $9 billion in funding that was already released by HHS in December 2021. With today’s announcement, a total of nearly $11 billion in PRF Phase 4 payments has now been distributed to more than 74,000 providers in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and five territories. This is in addition to HRSA’s distribution of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments totaling nearly $7.5 billion in funding to more than 43,000 providers in December 2021.
 
“Provider Relief Fund payments have served as a lifeline for our nation’s heroic health care providers throughout the pandemic, helping them to continue to recruit and retain staff and deliver care to their communities,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “This funding is just the latest example of the Biden-Harris administration’s dedication to ensuring that providers continue to have the resources they need to meet the evolving challenges presented by COVID-19 and keep providing critical services to the American people.”

For more information, please see the materials below:

NBC Story

Lily Griego
Regional Director
U.S. Department of Human Services

 

Top Home Health Predictions for 2022

Redacted version of an article published by Home Health Care News, By Robert Holly, on January 26, 2022.
 
The ongoing public health emergency is sure to bring more staffing turmoil this year, along with additional regulatory and policy updates. The year ahead is also likely to bring more leadership turnover at the very top of home health organizations.
 
Beyond the pandemic, private equity dollars will keep flowing into home-based care, leading to an uptick in home health M&A activity. Meanwhile, home health agencies will continue to see changes to their “typical payer mix,” though each operator will navigate that shift in different ways.
 
To stay ahead of the curve in 2022 and beyond, home health executives must identify the key factors shaping the industry – and their businesses. To help do that, Home Health Care News offers its top home health predictions for the coming 12 months below.
Curious what we predicted for last year? Revisit our 2021 predictions here...

Read Full Article

 

DEATH IS BUT A DREAM

Christopher Kerr is a hospice doctor. All of his patients die. Yet he has cared for thousands of patients who, in the face of death, speak of love and grace. DEATH IS BUT A DREAM explores the remarkably life-affirming processes that are happening beyond the physical realities of dying. These include dreams that are unlike any regular dream. Described as "more real than real," these end-of-life experiences resurrect past relationships, meaningful events and themes of love and forgiveness; they restore life's meaning and mark the transition from distress to comfort and acceptance. Dr. Kerr leads the audience through intimate interviews with the dying where the viewer can experience the immense power of the dreams and visions first hand. The film paints a compelling and deeply moving portrait of the profoundly healing nature of the dying process and shows the great comfort these experiences can provide to the families they leave behind. A film of comfort, hope, and a genuinely uplifting look at death.

SEE PRICING AND SCREENING OPTIONS

You may use this 20% discount code DIBAD20%OFF for Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado - feel free to share this discount and email with your colleagues at other institutions who may wish to use the film as part of their curriculum.

 
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