Monday Roundup

The Washington Examiner reports that the House Majority Leader announced today that the House, which currently is in recess, will be in session for three weeks beginning September 14 (unless required to address COVID emergency relief legislation). Beginning no later than October 2, the House will recess for the November 3 election. The House will commence a lame duck session on November 13. A short term continuing resolution to fund the federal government past September 30 is looking like a sure thing.

Healthcare Dive informs us that the large for profit hospital chains, like the large health insurers, are reporting profitable second quarter results.

“[Federal relief funding for healthcare providers in] The CARES Act was instrumental ensuring we did not have a financial crisis while we were fighting the pandemic crisis,” Tenet CEO Ron Rittenmeyer said during last week’s earnings call with investors. A similar story emerged among Tenet’s competitors — volume plunged but profits did not.

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services made public all of the State COVID-19 testing plans through the end of 2020, which have received HHS oversight.

A multidisciplinary team of experts from HHS has completed a technical review for each jurisdictions’ plan to ensure that it is sufficient to mitigate the spread of the virus, protect vulnerable groups, and account for adequate testing supplies and reagents to reach jurisdiction testing goals. The review panel, chaired by the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, includes subject matter experts from the Laboratory and Diagnostics Task Force within the Office of Assistant Secretary for Health, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CDC, and other agencies. The panel also reviews state testing progress, needs assessment, and plans on a monthly basis to determine if modifications are required or additional assistance is needed. Modifications may be necessary if patterns of virus transmission change or are projected to change, case rates increase or additional types of testing and inventory of tests and reagents become available through the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program at NIH or other sources.

In healthcare award news —

  • Fierce Health announced its choices of most influential minority healthcare executives. The award winner from the health insurance sector is AHIP’s Chief Operation Officer John Matthewson.
  • A friend of the FEHBlog pointed out that “The American Hospital Association (AHA) [on July 27, 2020] announced that it will honor five programs with the AHA Dick Davidson NOVA Award for their hospital-led collaborative efforts that improve community health. The winning programs are Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, Vail Health, Vail, Colo.; Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, Edison, N.J.; Supportive Housing for the Homeless, Baltimore City Hospitals, Baltimore; Healthy Roanoke Valley, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, Va.; and Mothers in Recovery, Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, Fla.

Congratulations to all of the award winners.

The FEHBlog recently noted that the federal government had awarded a large business loan to Kodak to uses its chemical expertise on drug manufacturing. Today the FEHBlog read in Fierce Pharma that the loan has been put on hold due to Congressional and SEC investigations.

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