The President’s latest OPM Director nominee John Gibbs will receive a confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday September 9, 2020, at 3:30 pm ET.
In other Senate news, the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is working his caucus to gain support for a scaled down COVID-19 relief bill according to the Hill. “The GOP proposal includes a $300 per week federal unemployment benefit, another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding, $105 billion for schools and an additional $16 billion for coronavirus testing.” “’It’s something I hope 53 Republican senators vote yes on,’ said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), adding that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ‘accommodated’ some of his concerns about the initial GOP bill.”
As for healthcare tidbits:
- The Centers for Disease Control has posted an extensive set of FAQs on this year flu vaccination program. For example
Q. Are there delays in the availability of flu vaccine?
A. Currently, vaccine manufacturers are not reporting any significant delays in distributing flu vaccine this season. Because a record number of flu vaccine doses are being manufactured this year, the time to produce and distribute them will be longer. CDC will continue to provide weekly updates on total flu vaccine doses distributed throughout the 2020-2021 flu season. Use the VaccineFinder to find out where to get vaccinated near you.
- EHR Intelligence reports
EHR data collected during a patient visit can be leveraged to develop an EHR registry of patients with excessive alcohol use that can be optimized and updated in real-time, Kaiser Permanente researchers reported in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. An EHR registry consisting of patient data could medical professionals address specific high-risk patients. In this case, researchers can utilize the registry to assess alcohol use and recovery methods. Although alcohol abuse is a significant problem in the US, there were no current EHR-integrated registries that assessed these issues.
That was an important gap to fill. It’s good to see the government’s investment in EHR’s paying off.