CMS Announces Strategy to Enhance Hospital Capacity Amid COVID-19 Surge

first_imgThe program clearly differentiates the delivery of acute hospital care at home from more traditional home health services. While home health care provides important skilled nursing and other skilled care services, Acute Hospital Care at Home is for beneficiaries who require acute inpatient admission to a hospital and who require at least daily rounding by a physician and a medical team monitoring their care needs on an ongoing basis. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlined unprecedented comprehensive steps to increase the capacity of the American health care system to provide care to patients outside a traditional hospital setting amid a rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalizations across the country. These flexibilities include allowances for safe hospital care for eligible patients in their homes and updated staffing flexibility designed to allow ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) to provide greater inpatient care when needed. Building on CMS’s previous actions to expand the availability of telehealth across the nation, these actions are aimed at allowing health care services to be provided outside a hospital setting while maintaining capacity to continue critical non-COVID-19 care, allowing hospitals to focus on the increased need for care stemming from public health emergency (PHE). CMS anticipates patients may value the ability to spend time with family and caregivers at home without the visitation restrictions that exist in traditional hospital settings. Additionally, patients and their families not diagnosed with COVID-19 may prefer to receive care in their homes if local hospitals are seeing a larger number of patients with COVID-19. It is the patient’s choice to receive these services in the home or the traditional hospital setting and patients who do not wish to receive them in the home will not be required to. Acute Hospital Care at Home “We’re at a new level of crisis response with COVID-19 and CMS is leveraging the latest innovations and technology to help health care systems that are facing significant challenges to increase their capacity to make sure patients get the care they need,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “With new areas across the country experiencing significant challenges to the capacity of their health care systems, our job is to make sure that CMS regulations are not standing in the way of patient care for COVID-19 and beyond.” Ambulatory Surgical Center Flexibility The development of this program was informed by extensive consultation with both academic and private sector industry leaders to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to protect patients, and at no point will patient safety be compromised. CMS believes that treatment for more than 60 different acute conditions, such as asthma, congestive heart failure, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care, can be treated appropriately and safely in home settings with proper monitoring and treatment protocols. Today, CMS is announcing an update to that regulatory flexibility, clarifying that participating ASCs need only provide 24-hour nursing services when there is actually one or more patient receiving care onsite. The program change provides ASCs enrolled as hospitals the ability to flex up their staffing when needed and provide an important relief valve in communities experiencing hospital capacity constraints, while not mandating nurses be present when no patients are in the ASC. The flexibility is available to any of the 5732 ASCs throughout the country seeking to participate and will be immediately effective for the 85 ASCs currently participating in the Hospital Without Wallsinitiative. CMS expects this flexibility will allow these and additional ASCs enrolled as hospitals to serve as an added access point that will allow communities to maintain surgical capacity and other life-saving non-COVID-19, like cancer surgeries. Allowing these types of treatments to occur in designated ASCs enrolled as hospitals while hospitals are managing any surges of COVID-19 would allow vulnerable patients to receive this needed care in settings without known COVID-19 cases. Six health systems with extensive experience providing acute hospital care at home are being approved today for the new waivers and include Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Massachusetts); Huntsman Cancer Institute (Utah); Massachusetts General Hospital (Massachusetts); Mount Sinai Health System (New York City); Presbyterian Healthcare Services (New Mexico); and UnityPoint Health (Iowa). This immediately expands the at-home care options for Medicare beneficiaries in the regions served by these organizations. CMS has been in discussions with other health care systems and expects new applications to be submitted. To support these efforts, CMS has launched an online portal https://qualitynet.cms.gov/acute-hospital-care-at-home to streamline the waiver request process and allow hospitals and healthcare systems to submit the necessary information to ensure they meet the program’s criteria to participate. CMS will also closely monitor the program to safeguard beneficiaries by requiring hospitals to report quality and safety data to CMS on a frequency that is based on their prior experience with the Hospital At Home model. Participating hospitals will be required to have appropriate screening protocols before care at home begins to assess both medical and non-medical factors, including working utilities, assessment of physical barriers and screenings for domestic violence concerns. Beneficiaries will only be admitted from emergency departments and inpatient hospital beds, and an in-person physician evaluation is required prior to starting care at home. A registered nurse will evaluate each patient once daily either in person or remotely, and two in-person visits will occur daily by either registered nurses or mobile integrated health paramedics, based on the patient’s nursing plan and hospital policies. Today’s announcement builds upon the critical work by CMS to expand telehealth coverage to keep beneficiaries safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. CMS has expanded the scope of Medicare telehealth to allow Medicare beneficiaries across the country to receive telehealth services from any location, including their homes. CMS also added over 135 services such as emergency department visits, initial inpatient and nursing facility visits, and discharge day management services, that could be paid when delivered by telehealth. The flexibilities announced today, and the aggressive action taken by CMS to remove barriers to telehealth, ensure patients and providers have options when receiving and providing care given the challenges and additional stress placed on hospitals and the health care system during the COVID-19 PHE. As part of Hospital Without Walls, CMS also previously announced regulatory flexibility that allowed ASCs — facilities that normally provide same-day surgical care — the ability to be temporarily certified as hospitals and provide inpatient care for longer periods than normally allowed, with the appropriate staffing in place. ASCs are normally subject to a requirement that patients only remain in their care for less than 24 hours or require admission to a regular hospital. In March 2020, CMS announced the Hospitals Without Walls program, which provides broad regulatory flexibility that allowed hospitals to provide services in locations beyond their existing walls. Today, CMS is expanding on this effort by executing an innovative Acute Hospital Care At Home program, providing eligible hospitals with unprecedented regulatory flexibilities to treat eligible patients in their homes. This program was developed to support models of at-home hospital care throughout the country that have seen prior success in several leading hospital institutions and networks, and reported in academic journals, including a major study funded by a Healthcare Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). File Photo/A.J. Heightman last_img read more

Anthony Weiner reports to prison for sexting conviction

first_imgAnthony Weiner reports to prison for sexting conviction Published: November 6, 2017 1:57 PM EST Author: AP AYER, Mass. (AP) Former Rep. Anthony Weiner reported to prison Monday to begin a 21-month sentence for sexting with a 15-year-old girl.Weiner is being held at the Federal Medical Center Devens in Massachusetts, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said.The facility in Ayer, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Boston, has over 1,000 inmates at the medical center and over 100 more at an adjacent minimum security satellite camp. It’s the same prison that once housed Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.Weiner was sentenced in September by a judge who said the crime resulted from a “very strong compulsion.” At the time, a tearful Weiner said he was undergoing therapy and had been “a very sick man for a very long time.”Amid a sexting controversy involving women, the New York Democrat resigned his U.S. House seat in 2011 only to have new allegations doom his 2013 run for mayor.MORE: Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in sexting caseLast year, a criminal probe into his sexting with a high school student intruded into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House. Then-FBI Director James Comey announced in late October 2016 that he was reopening the probe of Clinton’s use of a private computer server after emails between Clinton and Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin – formerly Clinton’s closest aide – were found on Weiner’s computer.Two days before Election Day, the FBI declared there was nothing new in the emails. But in a recent interview, Clinton called Comey’s intervention “the determining factor” in her defeat.Abedin and Weiner are in divorce proceedings.At sentencing in Manhattan federal court, Weiner attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown said his client likely exchanged thousands of messages with hundreds of women over the years and was communicating with up to 19 women when he encountered the teenager.Devlin-Brown declined to comment on Monday.MORE: Ex-US Rep. Anthony Weiner pleads guilty in sexting case SHAREcenter_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Recommended Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in sexting case last_img read more

Chuitna Decision Imminent

first_imgThe precedent setting water rights decision is not mentioned on the Dept. of Natural Resources’ “Division News and Hot Topics” page. A deeper dig reveals that PacRim Coal “is currently working on updating its permit application but has given no time frame for when it will be submitted. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The State of Alaska has six days to decide if water rights go to environmental groups or to what would be the state’s largest coal mine. laine on chuitnaShavelson: “Governor Walker certainly has a lot on his plate from the gas line to the fiscal crisis, but the decision he has to make in the Chuitna water shed in Upper Cook Inlet is precedent setting – it’s a decision whether to protect salmon habitat or give it away for a one time use. Bob Shavelson is a director at Cook Inletkeeper who, along with the Chuitna Citizens Coalition and others met with the governor a month ago. Alaska’s only other operating coal mine, Usibelli, has stopped all exports due to poor markets. Fish Radio’s Laine Welch spoke to one of the environmental activists… The decision on water rights for salmon or coal will be made jointly by Governor Walker and Lt. Governor Mallott. The deadline is October 6.last_img read more

Hero CPL Global TV Viewership grows by 44% to 134m in…

first_imgHero CPL Global TV Viewership grows by 44% to 134m in 2016The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) are delighted to announce that the 2016 season was the tournament’s biggest yet, with over 134 million viewers tuning in globally to the biggest party in sport, representing a 44 percent increase from 2015.Cumulative audience figures have risen steadily year on year since the tournament’s inception from 36 million viewers (in 2013), to 66 million (2014), 93 million (2015) and now to 134 million (2016).Television figures from Sony SIX broadcast figures in India alone almost doubled from 44 million to 82 million, while there was also a significant rise in the United Kingdom arising from the partnership with broadcasters Dave / UK TV with audience figures growing from 548,000 (in 2015) to 2.5 million. The partnership with One World Sports in the USA, meanwhile, saw audience figures increase from 694,000 (2015) to 743,000.This year the Hero CPL also broke new ground by becoming the first professional cricket league to stage matches in mainland USA and matches were viewed across more lands than ever before, with One World Sports (USA), Sony SIX (India), Dave / UKTV (UK), Sky (New Zealand), Fox Sports (Australia), EcoNet / KweseTV (sub-Saharan Africa) and OSN (Middle East) all showcasing the CPL.With significant viewership increases across each of the key markets, a delighted Damien O’Donohoe, CEO of the Hero CPL reflected: “Today is a proud day and further evidence of the rising international stature of the Hero CPL not just in the Americas, but across the UK, India, Middle East and beyond.“The release of these global viewership figures is a tremendous boost, not just for the game of cricket in the Caribbean, but for each of the local tourism boards and our loyal sponsors who invest so much in the development and marketing of the game.“The profile of West Indies cricket has never been higher and 2016 was a memorable year with the Men’s senior and Under-19 sides, as well as the Women’s team, enjoying international success in the first half of the year.last_img read more