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Archive for September 2020

COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, September 22

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from Pennsylvania’s state government (as of 3:30 on Tuesday, September 22) and the federal government (as of 2:45 p.m. on Monday, September 21). Pennsylvania Update Governor Wolf Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Levine introduced “COVID-19 Alert PA,” a new cell phone app that the state hopes will facilitate contact tracing.  The app, which works on Android and Apple cell phones, uses bluetooth technology to identify people who were recently near someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.  The app notifies individuals who may have been exposed and directs them to resources but does not provide the name of the person who was diagnosed and does not provide the state with the names of … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Friday, September 18

The following is the latest coronavirus information from Pennsylvania’s state government as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, September 18. The Courts A federal court has ruled that parts of Governor Wolf’s orders closing down aspects of life and commerce in the state in response to the COVID-19 emergency were unconstitutional.  Find the entire court decision in this Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article that also summarizes the decision, its implications, and reactions to it. Governor Wolf Governor Wolf called on the General Assembly to provide an additional $225 million in CARES Act funding for the state’s COVID-19 hazard pay program to support front-line workers risking their health to continue working in life-sustaining industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Department of Health The Department of … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

MFAR is Dead

At least for now. The controversial Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation, slated for implementation this fall over the objections of many health care stakeholders, will not move forward at this time. In a tweet earlier this week, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma wrote that We’ve listened closely to concerns that have been raised by our state and provider partners about potential unintended consequences of the proposed rule, which require further study.  Therefore, CMS is withdrawing the rule from the regulatory agenda. If implemented, opponents maintained, the regulation would have: Deprived states of important, established policy-making prerogatives. Created major new administrative burdens for state governments and hospitals. Inappropriately regulated financing of the state share of Medicaid spending. Introduced … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

Medicaid Enrollment on the Rise

More people are enrolling in Medicaid, and much of the increase is driven by the COVID-19 emergency. Or so reports the organization Families USA in a new study. According to the study, Over half of the 38 states reporting monthly enrollment through May or later have seen greater than 7% growth in enrollment since February. For the eight states reporting August enrollment, their average enrollment growth since February is approximately 11%. But the implications are even greater, according to the analysis, which found that in large part because of COVID-19 job loss, Medicaid enrollment among the 38 states reporting has already increased by 4.3 million people and is poised to increase much more in the near future. Analysis by Health … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid COVID-19, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Eliminate Medicaid DSH Cut, SNAP Asks PA Delegation

A Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government in FY 2021 should eliminate a cut in federal Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments to the states, and the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania has written to the state’s congressional delegation asking its members to convey this message to congressional leaders. The cut was mandated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act but has never been implemented. In its letter to the delegation, SNAP wrote that The Medicaid DSH cut was predicated on the expectation that the Affordable Care Act would greatly reduce the number of uninsured Americans, and while it has, millions remain uninsured, including nearly 700,000 Pennsylvanians – a number thought to be rising because of the job loss associated with … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

COVID-19 Update: Friday, September 11

The following is the latest coronavirus information from the state and federal governments as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, September 11. Pennsylvania State Government Department of State The Department of State has suspended the initial medical history and physical examination required for prescribing buprenorphine via telemedicine to treat opioid use disorder for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster declaration. Department of Health The Department of Health has revised its health alert Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Known or Patients Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a Healthcare Setting to add information on extended-use eye protection and to update language regarding the use of respirators. The Department of Health has clarified that it does not … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Uncategorized

SNAP Asks PA Delegation to Help Prevent Attempt to Undermine 340B

Pharmaceutical companies are attempting to prevent safety-net hospitals and others from receiving the full benefits of the section 340B prescription drug discount program and the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania has asked of the state’s congressional delegation to sign a congressional letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking to him intervene and stop the pharmaceutical companies. In asking members of the delegation to sign onto the bipartisan letter, SNAP notes that The 340B program is essential for Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals, other qualified Pennsylvania providers, and others like us throughout the country, enabling us to obtain discounts on prescription drugs we dispense on an outpatient basis to qualified, low-income patients. The program greatly enhances the ability of hospitals to … Read More

Posted in 340b, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

COVID-19 Update: Friday, September 4

The following is the latest coronavirus information from the state and federal governments as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, September 4. Pennsylvania Update Independent Fiscal Office The Independent Fiscal Office reports that Pennsylvania collected $2.55 billion in General Fund revenue for August, an increase of $355.5 million (16.2 percent) over August 2019 collections.  The IFO estimates that roughly $235 million of the $355.5 million increase was associated with extended tax due dates related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Personal income tax revenue, sales, use, and hotel occupancy revenue, and corporate net income tax revenue all exceeded estimates.  See the IFO’s full August report here. Department of Health The Department of Health has revised its guidance for skilled nursing facilities with a … Read More

Posted in COVID-19, DSH hospitals

COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, September 1

The following is the latest coronavirus information from Pennsylvania’s state government as of 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1. Governor Wolf Governor Wolf has signed a second renewal of his 90-day disaster declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic.  This declaration provides for increased support for state agencies involved in the continued response to the virus and recovery during reopening, including expediting supply procurement and lifting certain regulations to allow for efficient and effective mitigation.  The disaster declaration also has facilitated waivers and extensions to support Pennsylvanians, Pennsylvania businesses, and Pennsylvania caregivers during the pandemic.  Learn more from the governor’s news release announcing the signing and see the emergency declaration itself. Governor Wolf asked the General Assembly to pass legislation for paid … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19
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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania