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    Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have conducted a study that has determined the role that a critical protein buy kamagra online with free samples plays in kamagra tabletten kaufen the development of hair cells. These hair cells are vital buy kamagra online with free samples for hearing. Some of these cells amplify sounds that come into the ear, and others transform sound waves into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Ronna Hertzano, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head buy kamagra online with free samples and Neck Surgery at UMSOM and Maggie Matern, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, demonstrated that the protein, called GFI1, may be critical for determining whether an embryonic hair cell matures into a functional adult hair cell or becomes a different cell that functions more like a nerve cell or neuron.The study was published in the journal Development, and was conducted by physician-scientists and researchers at the UMSOM Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and the UMSOM Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS), in collaboration with researchers at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel.Hearing relies on the proper functioning of specialized cells within the inner ear called hair cells.

    When the hair cells do not develop properly or are damaged by environmental stresses like loud noise, it results in a loss of hearing function.In the United States, the prevalence of hearing loss doubles with every 10-year increase in age, affecting about half of all adults in their 70s and about 80 percent of those who are over age 85. Researchers have been focusing on describing the developmental steps that lead to a functional hair cell, in order to potentially generate new hair cells when old ones are damaged.Hair cells buy kamagra online with free samples in the inner earTo conduct her latest study, Dr. Hertzano and her team utilized cutting-edge methods to study gene expression in the hair buy kamagra online with free samples cells of genetically modified newborn mice that did not produce GFI1. They demonstrated that, in the absence of this vital protein, embryonic hair cells failed to progress in their development to become fully functional adult cells.

    In fact, the genes expressed by these cells indicated that they were likely to develop into neuron-like cells."Our findings explain why GFI1 is critical buy kamagra online with free samples to enable embryonic cells to progress into functioning adult hair cells," said Dr. Hertzano. "These data also explain the importance buy kamagra online with free samples of GFI1 in experimental protocols to regenerate hair cells from stem cells. These regenerative methods have the buy kamagra online with free samples potential of being used for patients who have experienced hearing loss due to age or environmental factors like exposure to loud noise."Dr.

    Hertzano first became interested in GFI1 while completing her M.D., Ph.D. At Tel Aviv buy kamagra online with free samples University. As part of her dissertation, she discovered that the hearing loss resulting from mutations in another protein called POU4F3 appeared to largely result from a loss of GFI1 in the hair cells. Since then, she buy kamagra online with free samples has been conducting studies to discover the role of GFI1 and other proteins in hearing.

    Other research groups in the field are now testing these proteins to determine whether they can be used as a "cocktail" to regenerate lost hair cells and restore hearing."Hearing research has been buy kamagra online with free samples going through a Renaissance period, not only from advances in genomics and methodology, but also thanks to its uniquely collaborative nature among researchers," said Dr. Herzano.The new study was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was also funded by the Binational Scientific Foundation (BSF)."This is an exciting buy kamagra online with free samples new finding that underscores the importance of basic research to lay the foundation for future clinical innovations," said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z.

    And Akiko buy kamagra online with free samples K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, buy kamagra online with free samples University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Identifying the complex pathways that lead to normal hearing could prove to be the key for reversing hearing loss in millions of Americans." Story Source. Materials provided buy kamagra online with free samples by University of Maryland School of Medicine.

    Note. Content may be edited for style and length.Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine are learning more about how a person's genes play a role in the possibility they'll suffer from alcoholic cirrhosis with the discovery of a gene that could make the disease less likely.Alcoholic cirrhosis can happen buy kamagra online with free samples after years of drinking too much alcohol. According to the researchers, buy kamagra online with free samples discovering more about this illness couldn't come at a more important time."Based on U.S. Data, alcohol-associated liver disease is on the rise in terms of the prevalence and incidents and it is happening more often in younger patients," said Suthat Liangpunsakul, MD, professor of medicine, dean's scholar in medical research for the Department of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and one of the principal investigators of the study.

    "There's a real public health problem involving the consumption of alcohol and people starting to drink at a younger age."The team describes their findings buy kamagra online with free samples in a new paper published in Hepatology. The GenomALC Consortium was funded by the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH). This genome-wide association study began several years ago and buy kamagra online with free samples is one of the largest studies related to alcoholic cirrhosis ever performed. DNA samples were taken from over 1,700 patients from sites in the United States, several countries in Europe and Australia and sent to IU School of Medicine buy kamagra online with free samples where the team performed the DNA isolation for genome analysis.

    The patients were divided into two groups -- one made up of heavy drinkers that never had a history of alcohol-induced liver injury or liver disease and a second group of heavy drinkers who did have alcoholic cirrhosis."Our key finding is a gene called Fas Associated Factor Family Member 2, or FAF2," said Tae-Hwi Schwantes-An, PhD, assistant research professor of medical and molecular genetics and the lead author of the study. "There's this convergence of findings now that are pointing to the genes involved in lipid droplet organization pathway, and that seems to be one of the biological reasonings of why certain people get liver disease and why certain people do not."The researchers are anticipating to study this gene more closely and looking at its relationship to other, previously-discovered genes that can make a person more likely to develop alcoholic cirrhosis."We know for a fact those genes are linked together in a biological process, so the logical next step is to study how the changes in these genes alter the function of that process, whether it's less buy kamagra online with free samples efficient in one group of people, or maybe it's inhibited in some way," Schwantes-An said. "We don't know exactly what the biological underpinning of that is, but now we have a pretty well-defined target where we can look at these variants and see how they relate to alcoholic cirrhosis."As their research continues, the team hopes to eventually find a way to identify this genetic factor in patients with the goal of helping them prevent alcoholic cirrhosis in the future or developing targeted therapies that can help individuals in a more personalized way. Story Source buy kamagra online with free samples.

    Materials provided by Indiana University School of buy kamagra online with free samples Medicine. Original written by Christina Griffiths. Note. Content may be edited for style and length.Penn Medicine researchers have found that middle-aged individuals -- those born in the late 1960s and the 1970s -- may be in a perpetual state of H3N2 influenza virus susceptibility because their antibodies bind to H3N2 viruses but fail to prevent infections, according to a new study led by Scott Hensley, PhD, an associate professor of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

    The paper was published today in Nature Communications."We found that different aged individuals have different H3N2 flu virus antibody specificities," Hensley said. "Our studies show that early childhood infections can leave lifelong immunological imprints that affect how individuals respond to antigenically distinct viral strains later in life."Most humans are infected with influenza viruses by three to four years of age, and these initial childhood infections can elicit strong, long lasting memory immune responses. H3N2 influenza viruses began circulating in humans in 1968 and have evolved substantially over the past 51 years. Therefore, an individual's birth year largely predicts which specific type of H3N2 virus they first encountered in childhood.Researchers completed a serological survey -- a blood test that measures antibody levels -- using serum samples collected in the summer months prior to the 2017-2018 season from 140 children (ages one to 17) and 212 adults (ages 18 to 90).

    They first measured the differences in antibody reactivity to various strains of H3N2, and then measured for neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies. Neutralizing antibodies can prevent viral infections, whereas non-neutralizing antibodies can only help after an infection takes place. Samples from children aged three to ten years old had the highest levels of neutralizing antibodies against contemporary H3N2 viruses, while most middle-aged samples had antibodies that could bind to these viruses but these antibodies could not prevent viral infections.Hensley said his team's findings are consistent with a concept known as "original antigenic sin" (OAS), originally proposed by Tom Francis, Jr. In 1960.

    "Most individuals born in the late 1960s and 1970s were immunologically imprinted with H3N2 viruses that are very different compared to contemporary H3N2 viruses. Upon infection with recent H3N2 viruses, these individuals tend to produce antibodies against regions that are conserved with older H3N2 strains and these types of antibodies typically do not prevent viral infections."According to the research team, it is possible that the presence of high levels of non-neutralizing antibodies in middle-aged adults has contributed to the continued persistence of H3N2 viruses in the human population. Their findings might also relate to the unusual age distribution of H3N2 infections during the 2017-2018 season, in which H3N2 activity in middle-aged and older adults peaked earlier compared to children and young adults.The researchers say that it will be important to continually complete large serological surveys in different aged individuals, including donors from populations with different vaccination rates. A better understanding of immunity within the population and within individuals will likely lead to improved models that are better able to predict the evolutionary trajectories of different influenza virus strains."Large serological studies can shed light on why the effectiveness of flu vaccines varies in individuals with different immune histories, while also identifying barriers that need to be overcome in order to design better vaccines that are able to elicit protective responses in all age groups," said Sigrid Gouma, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher of Microbiology and first author on the paper.Other Penn authors include Madison Weirick and Megan E.

    Gumina. Additional authors include Angela Branche, David J. Topham, Emily T. Martin, Arnold S.

    Monto, and Sarah Cobey.This work was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (1R01AI113047, S.E.H.. 1R01AI108686, S.E.H.. 1R01AI097150, A.S.M.. CEIRS HHSN272201400005C, S.E.H., S.C., E.T.M., A.S.M.

    A.B., D.J.T.) and Center for Disease Control (U01IP000474, A.S.M.). Scott E. Hensley holds an Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Awards from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.Males and females share the vast majority of their genomes. Only a sprinkling of genes, located on the so-called X and Y sex chromosomes, differ between the sexes.

    Nevertheless, the activities of our genes -- their expression in cells and tissues -- generate profound distinctions between males and females.Not only do the sexes differ in outward appearance, their differentially expressed genes strongly affect the risk, incidence, prevalence, severity and age-of-onset of many diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease and neurological afflictions.Researchers have observed sex-associated differences in gene expression across a range of tissues including liver, heart, and brain. Nevertheless, such tissue-specific sex differences remain poorly understood. Most traits that display variance between males and females appear to result from differences in the expression of autosomal genes common to both sexes, rather than through expression of sex chromosome genes or sex hormones.A better understanding of these sex-associated disparities in the behavior of our genes could lead to improved diagnoses and treatments for a range of human illnesses.In a new paper in the PERSPECTIVES section of the journal Science, Melissa Wilson reviews current research into patterns of sex differences in gene expression across the genome, and highlights sampling biases in the human populations included in such studies."One of the most striking things about this comprehensive study of sex differences," Wilson said, "is that while aggregate differences span the genome and contribute to biases in human health, each individual gene varies tremendously between people."Wilson is a researcher in the Biodesign Center for Mechanisms in Evolution, the Center for Evolution and Medicine, and ASU's School of Life Sciences. advertisement A decade ago, an ambitious undertaking, known as the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) consortium began to investigate the effects DNA variation on gene expression across the range of human tissues.

    Recent findings, appearing in the Science issue under review, indicate that sex-linked disparities in gene expression are far more pervasive than once assumed, with more than a third of all genes displaying sex-biased expression in at least one tissue. (The new research highlighted in Wilson's PERSPECTIVES piece describes gene regulatory differences between the sexes in every tissue under study.)Sex-linked differences in gene expression are shared across mammals, though their relative roles in disease susceptibility remain speculative. Natural selection likely guided the development of many of these attributes. For example, the rise of placental mammals some 90 million years ago may have led to differences in immune function between males and females.Such sex-based distinctions arising in the distant past have left their imprint on current mammals, including humans, expressed in higher rates of autoimmune disorders in females and increased cancer rates in males.Despite their critical importance for understanding disease prevalence and severity, sex differences in gene expression have only recently received serious attention in the research community.

    Wilson and others suggest that much historical genetic research, using primarily white male subjects in mid-life, have yielded an incomplete picture.Such studies often fail to account for sex differences in the design and analysis of experiments, rendering a distorted view of sex-based disease variance, often leading to one-size-fits-all approaches to diagnosis and treatment. The authors therefore advise researchers to be more careful about generalizations based on existing databases of genetic information, including GTEx.A more holistic approach is emerging, as researchers investigate the full panoply of effects related to male and female gene expression across a broader range of human variation. Story Source. Materials provided by Arizona State University.

    Original written by Richard Harth. Note. Content may be edited for style and length.Researchers at Yale have identified a possible treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare genetic disease for which there is currently no cure or treatment, by targeting an enzyme that had been considered "undruggable." The finding appears in the Aug. 25 edition of Science Signaling.DMD is the most common form of muscular dystrophy, a disease that leads to progressive weakness and eventual loss of the skeletal and heart muscles.

    It occurs in 16 of 100,000 male births in the U.S. People with the disease exhibit clumsiness and weakness in early childhood and typically need wheelchairs by the time they reach their teens. The average life expectancy is 26.While earlier research had revealed the crucial role played by an enzyme called MKP5 in the development of DMD, making it a promising target for possible treatment, scientists for decades had been unable to disrupt this family of enzymes, known as protein tyrosine phosphatases, at the enzymes' "active" site where chemical reactions occur.In the new study, Anton Bennett, the Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Pharmacology and professor of comparative medicine, and his team screened over 162,000 compounds. They identified one molecular compound that blocked the enzyme's activity by binding to a previously undiscovered allosteric site -- a spot near the enzyme's active site."There have been many attempts to design inhibitors for this family of enzymes, but those compounds have failed to produce the right properties," Bennett said.

    "Until now, the family of enzymes has been considered 'undruggable.'"By targeting the allosteric site of MKP5 instead, he said, "We discovered an excellent starting point for drug development that circumvented the earlier problems."The researchers tested their compound in muscle cells and found that it successfully inhibited MKP5 activity, suggesting a promising new therapeutic strategy for treating DMD.The research was supported by a National Institutes of Health grant through the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, as well as by the Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale, which annually presents awards to support the most promising life science discoveries from Yale faculty.Bennett said that the Blavatnik funding, which is administered by the Yale Office of Cooperative Research, was critical in moving the research forward. "It resulted in a license with a major pharmaceutical company," he said, "and we hope they will rapidly move forward with the development of the new treatment."The finding has implications well beyond muscular dystrophy, he added. The researchers have demonstrated that the MKP5 enzyme is broadly implicated in fibrosis, or the buildup of scar tissue, a condition that contributes to nearly one-third of natural deaths worldwide."Fibrosis is involved in the end-stage death of many tissues, including liver, lung, and muscle," Bennett said. "We believe this enzyme could be a target more broadly for fibrotic tissue disease."The research team from Yale included Naftali Kaminski, the Boehringer-Ingelheim Professor of Internal Medicine and chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.

    Jonathan Ellman, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Chemistry and professor of pharmacology. Karen Anderson, professor of pharmacology and of molecular biophysics and biochemistry. Elias Lolis, professor of pharmacology. Zachary Gannam, a graduate student in pharmacology.

    Kisuk Min, a postdoctoral fellow. Shanelle Shillingford, a graduate student in chemistry. Lei Zhang, a research associate in pharmacology. And the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery.

    Story Source. Materials provided by Yale University. Original written by Brita Belli. Note.

    Content may be edited for style and length.This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR and Kaiser Health News. This story can be republished for free (details). After shutting down in the spring, America’s empty gyms are beckoning a cautious public back for a workout. To reassure wary customers, owners have put in place — and now advertise — a variety of coronavirus control measures. At the same time, the fitness industry is trying to rehabilitate itself by pushing back against what it sees as a misleading narrative that gyms have no place during a pandemic.In the first months of the coronavirus outbreak, most public health leaders advised closing gyms, erring on the side of caution.

    As infections exploded across the country, states ordered gyms and fitness centers closed, along with restaurants, movie theaters and bars. State and local officials consistently branded gyms as high-risk venues for infection, akin to bars and nightclubs. In early August, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called gym-going a “dangerous activity,” saying he would keep them shut — only to announce later in the month that most gyms could reopen in September at a third of the capacity and under tight regulations.New York, New Jersey and North Carolina were among the last state holdouts — only recently allowing fitness facilities to reopen.

    Many states continue to limit capacity and have instituted new requirements.The benefits of gyms are clear. Regular exercise staves off depression and improves sleep, and staying fit may be a way to avoid a serious case of COVID-19. But there are clear risks, too. Lots of people moving around indoors, sharing equipment and air, and breathing heavily could be a recipe for easy viral spread.

    There are scattered reports of coronavirus cases traced back to specific gyms. But gym owners say those are outliers and argue the dominant portrayal overemphasizes potential dangers and ignores their brief but successful track record of safety during the pandemic. Email Sign-Up Subscribe to KHN’s free Morning Briefing. A Seattle gym struggles to comply with new rules and surviveAt NW Fitness in Seattle, everything from a set of squats to a run on the treadmill requires a mask.

    Every other cardio machine is off-limits. The owners have marked up the floor with blue tape to show where each person can work out.Esmery Corniel, a member, has resumed his workout routine with the punching bag.“I was honestly just losing my mind,” said Corniel, 27. He said he feels comfortable in the gym with its new safety protocols.“Everybody wears their mask, everybody socially distances, so it’s no problem here at all,” Corniel said.There’s no longer the usual morning “rush” of people working out before heading to their jobs.Under Washington state’s coronavirus rules, only about 10 to 12 people at a time are permitted in this 4,000-square-foot gym.“It’s drastically reduced our ability to serve our community,” said John Carrico. He and his wife, Jessica, purchased NW Fitness at the end of last year.John and Jessica Carrico run NW Fitness, a small gym in Seattle that has struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic.

    Their membership has plummeted in recent months, in part because the gym has been closed and subject to strict coronavirus requirements.(Will Stone)Meanwhile, the cost of running the businesses has gone up dramatically. The gym now needs to be staffed round-the-clock to keep up with the frequent cleaning requirements, and to ensure people are wearing masks and following the rules.Keeping the gym open 24/7 — previously a big selling point for members — is no longer feasible. In the past three months, they’ve lost more than a third of their membership.“If the trend continues, we won’t be able to stay open,” said Jessica Carrico, who also works as a nurse at a homeless shelter run by Harborview Medical Center.Given her medical background, Jessica Carrico was initially inclined to trust the public health authorities who ordered all gyms to shut down, but gradually her feelings changed.“Driving around the city, I’d still see lines outside of pot shops and Baskin-Robbins,” she said. €œThe arbitrary decision that had been made was very clear, and it became really frustrating.”Even after gyms in the Seattle area were allowed to reopen, their frustrations continued — especially with the strict cap on operating capacity.

    The Carricos believe that falls hardest on smaller gyms that don’t have much square footage.“People want this space to be safe, and will self-regulate,” said John Carrico. He believes he could responsibly operate with twice as many people inside as currently allowed. Public health officials have mischaracterized gyms, he added, and underestimated their potential to operate safely.“There’s this fear-based propaganda that gyms are a cesspool of coronavirus, which is just super not true,” Carrico said.Gyms seem less risky than bars. But there’s very little research either wayThe fitness industry has begun to push back at the pandemic-driven perceptions and prohibitions.

    €œWe should not be lumped with bars and restaurants,” said Helen Durkin, an executive vice president for the International Health, Racquet &. Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).John Carrico called the comparison with bars particularly unfair. €œIt’s almost laughable. I mean, it’s almost the exact opposite.

    €¦ People here are investing in their health. They’re coming in, they’re focusing on what they’re trying to do as far as their workout. They’re not socializing, they’re not sitting at a table and laughing and drinking.”Since the pandemic began, many gyms have overhauled operations and now look very different. Locker rooms are often closed and group classes halted.

    Many gyms check everyone for symptoms upon arrival. They’ve spaced out equipment and begun intensive cleaning regimes.Gyms have a big advantage over other retail and entertainment venues, Durkin said, because the membership model means those who may have been exposed in an outbreak can be easily contacted.A company that sells member databases and software to gyms has been compiling data during the pandemic. (The data, drawn from 2,877 gyms, is by no means comprehensive because it relies on gym owners to self-report incidents in which a positive coronavirus case was detected at the gym, or was somehow connected to the gym.) The resultant report said that the overall “visits to virus” ratio of 0.002% is “statistically irrelevant” because only 1,155 cases of coronavirus were reported among more than 49 million gym visits. Similarly, data collected from gyms in the United Kingdom found only 17 cases out of more than 8 million visits in the weeks after gyms reopened there.Only a few U.S.

    States have publicly available information on outbreaks linked to the fitness sector, and those states report very few cases. In Louisiana, for example, the state has identified five clusters originating in “gym/fitness settings,” with a total of 31 cases. None of the people died. By contrast, 15 clusters were traced to “religious services/events,” sickening 78, and killing five of them.“The whole idea that it’s a risky place to be … around the world, we just aren’t seeing those numbers anywhere,” said IHRSA’s Durkin.A study from South Korea published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is often cited as evidence of the inherent hazards of group fitness activities.The study traced 112 coronavirus infections to a Feb.

    15 training workshop for fitness dance instructors. Those instructors went on to teach classes at 12 sports facilities in February and March, transmitting the virus to students in the dance classes, but also to co-workers and family members.But defenders of the fitness industry point out that the outbreak began before South Korea instituted social distancing measures.The study authors note that the classes were crowded and the pace of the dance workouts was fast, and conclude that “intense physical exercise in densely populated sports facilities could increase the risk for infection” and “should be minimized during outbreaks.” They also found that no transmission occurred in classes with fewer than five people, or when an infected instructor taught “lower-intensity” classes such as yoga and Pilates.Linda Rackner with PRO Club in Bellevue, Washington, says the enormous, upscale gym has adapted relatively easily to the new coronavirus rules. The fitness club’s physical size, extensive budget and technology have helped staffers maintain a fairly normal experience for their members.(Will Stone)Public health experts continue to urge gym members to be cautiousIt’s clear that there are many things gym owners — and gym members — can do to lower the risk of infection at a gym, but that doesn’t mean the risk is gone. Infectious disease doctors and public health experts caution that gyms should not downplay their potential for spreading disease, especially if the coronavirus is widespread in the surrounding community.“There are very few [gyms] that can actually implement all the infection control measures,” said Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease epidemiologist in Phoenix.

    €œThat’s really the challenge with gyms. There is so much variety that it makes it hard to put them into a single box.”Popescu and two colleagues developed a COVID-19 risk chart for various activities. Gyms were classified as “medium high,” on par with eating indoors at a restaurant or getting a haircut, but less risky than going to a bar or riding public transit.Popescu acknowledges there’s not much recent evidence that gyms are major sources of infection, but that should not give people a false sense of assurance.“The mistake would be to assume that there is no risk,” she said. €œIt’s just that a lot of the prevention strategies have been working, and when we start to loosen those, though, is where you’re more likely to see clusters occur.”Any location that brings people together indoors increases the risk of contracting the coronavirus, and breathing heavily adds another element of risk.

    Interventions such as increasing the distance between cardio machines might help, but tiny infectious airborne particles can travel farther than 6 feet, Popescu said.The mechanics of exercising also make it hard to ensure people comply with crucial preventive measures like wearing a mask.“How effective are masks in that setting?. Can they really be effectively worn?. € asked Dr. Deverick Anderson, director of the Duke Center for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention.

    €œThe combination of sweat and exertion is one unique thing about the gym setting.”“I do think that, in the big picture, gyms would be riskier than restaurants because of the type of activity and potential for interaction there,” Anderson said.The primary way people could catch the virus at a gym would be coming close to someone who is releasing respiratory droplets and smaller airborne particles, called “aerosols,” when they breathe, talk or cough, said Dr. Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Health.He’s less worried about people catching the virus from touching a barbell or riding a stationary bike that someone else used. That’s because scientists now think “surface” transmission isn’t driving infection as much as airborne droplets and particles.“I’m not really worried about transmission that way,” Blumberg said. €œThere’s too much attention being paid to disinfecting surfaces and ‘deep cleaning,’ spraying things in the air.

    I think a lot of that’s just for show.”Blumberg said he believes gyms can manage the risks better than many social settings like bars or informal gatherings.“A gym where you can adequately social distance and you can limit the number of people there and force mask-wearing, that’s one of the safer activities,” he said.Adapting to the pandemic’s prohibitions doesn’t come cheapIn Bellevue, Washington, PRO Club is an enormous, upscale gym with spacious workout rooms — and an array of medical services such as physical therapy, hormone treatments, skin care and counseling. PRO Club has managed to keep the gym experience relatively normal for members since reopening, according to employee Linda Rackner. €œThere is plenty of space for everyone. We are seeing about 1,000 people a day and have capacity for almost 3,000,” Rackner said.

    €œWe’d love to have more people in the club.”The gym uses the same air-cleaning units as hospital ICUs, deploys ultraviolet robots to sanitize the rooms and requires temperature checks to enter. €œI feel like we have good compliance,” said Dean Rogers, one of the personal trainers. €œFor the most part, people who come to a gym are in it for their own health, fitness and wellness.”But Rogers knows this isn’t the norm everywhere. In fact, his own mother back in Oklahoma believes she contracted the coronavirus at her gym.“I was upset to find out that her gym had no guidelines they were following, no safety precautions,” he said.

    €œThere are always going to be some bad actors.”This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR and Kaiser Health News. Carrie Feibel, an editor for the NPR-KHN reporting partnership, contributed to this story. Related Topics Multimedia Public Health States Audio COVID-19 WashingtonThis story also ran on CNN. This story can be republished for free (details). CLEVELAND — Families skipping or delaying pediatric appointments for their young children because of the pandemic are missing out on more than vaccines. Critical testing for lead poisoning has plummeted in many parts of the country.In the Upper Midwest, Northeast and parts of the West Coast — areas with historically high rates of lead poisoning — the slide has been the most dramatic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    In states such as Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota, testing for the brain-damaging heavy metal fell by 50% or more this spring compared with 2019, health officials report.“The drop-off in April was massive,” said Thomas Largo, section manager of environmental health surveillance at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, noting a 76% decrease in testing compared with the year before. €œWe weren’t quite prepared for that.” Don't Miss A Story Subscribe to KHN’s free Weekly Edition newsletter. Blood tests for lead, the only way to tell if a child has been exposed, are typically performed by pricking a finger or heel or tapping a vein at 1- and 2-year-old well-child visits. A blood test with elevated lead levels triggers the next critical steps in accessing early intervention for the behavioral, learning and health effects of lead poisoning and also identifying the source of the lead to prevent further harm.Because of the pandemic, though, the drop in blood tests means referrals for critical home inspections plus medical and educational services are falling, too.

    And that means help isn’t reaching poisoned kids, a one-two punch, particularly in communities of color, said Yvonka Hall, a lead poisoning prevention advocate and co-founder of the Cleveland Lead Safe Network. And this all comes amid COVID-related school and child care closures, meaning kids who are at risk are spending more time than ever in the place where most exposure happens. The home.“Inside is dangerous,” Hall said.The CDC estimates about 500,000 U.S. Children between ages 1 and 5 have been poisoned by lead, probably an underestimate due to the lack of widespread testing in many communities and states.

    In 2017, more than 40,000 children had elevated blood lead levels, defined as higher than 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, in the 23 states that reported data.While preliminary June and July data in some states indicates lead testing is picking up, it’s nowhere near as high as it would need to be to catch up on the kids who missed appointments in the spring at the height of lockdown orders, experts say. And that may mean some kids will never be tested.“What I’m most worried about is that the kids who are not getting tested now are the most vulnerable — those are the kids I’m worried might not have a makeup visit,” said Stephanie Yendell, senior epidemiology supervisor in the health risk intervention unit at the Minnesota Department of Health.Lifelong ConsequencesThere’s a critical window for conducting lead poisoning blood tests, timed to when children are crawling or toddling and tend to put their hands on floors, windowsills and door frames and possibly transfer tiny particles of lead-laden dust to their mouths.Children at this age are more likely to be harmed because their rapidly growing brains and bodies absorb the element more readily. Lead poisoning can’t be reversed. Children with lead poisoning are more likely to fall behind in school, end up in jail or suffer lifelong health problems such as kidney and heart disease.That’s why lead tests are required at ages 1 and 2 for children receiving federal Medicaid benefits, the population most likely to be poisoned because of low-quality housing options.

    Tests are also recommended for all children living in high-risk ZIP codes with older housing stock and historically high levels of lead exposure.Testing fell far short of recommendations in many parts of the country even before the pandemic, though, with one recent study estimating that in some states 80% of poisoned children are never identified. And when tests are required, there has been little enforcement of the rule.Early in the pandemic, officials in New York’s Erie County bumped up the threshold for sending a public health worker into a family’s home to investigate the source of lead exposure from 5 micrograms per deciliter to 45 micrograms per deciliter (a blood lead level that usually requires hospitalization), said Dr. Gale Burstein, that county’s health commissioner. For all other cases during that period, officials inspected only the outside of the child’s home for potential hazards.About 700 fewer children were tested for lead in Erie County in April than in the same month last year, a drop of about 35%.Ohio, which has among the highest levels of lead poisoning in the country, recently expanded automatic eligibility for its Early Intervention program to any child with an elevated blood lead test, providing the opportunity for occupational, physical and speech therapy.

    Learning supports for school. And developmental assessments. If kids with lead poisoning don’t get tested, though, they won’t be referred for help.In early April, there were only three referrals for elevated lead levels in the state, which had been fielding nine times as many on average in the months before the pandemic, said Karen Mintzer, director of Bright Beginnings, which manages them for Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disabilities. €œIt basically was a complete stop,” she said.

    Since mid-June, referrals have recovered and are now above pre-pandemic levels.“We should treat every child with lead poisoning as a medical emergency,” said John Belt, principal investigator for the Ohio Department of Health’s lead poisoning program. €œNot identifying them is going to delay the available services, and in some cases lead to a cognitive deficit.”Pandemic Compounds WorriesOne of the big worries about the drop in lead testing is that it’s happening at a time when exposure to lead-laden paint chips, soil and dust in homes may be spiking because of stay-at-home orders during the pandemic.Exposure to lead dust from deteriorating paint, particularly in high-friction areas such as doors and windows, is the most common cause of lead exposure for children in the U.S.“I worry about kids in unsafe housing, more so during the pandemic, because they’re stuck there during the quarantine,” said Dr. Aparna Bole, a pediatrician at Cleveland’s University Hospitals Rainbow Babies &. Children’s Hospital.The pandemic may also compound exposure to lead, experts fear, as both landlords and homeowners try to tackle renovation projects without proper safety precautions while everyone is at home.

    Or the economic fallout of the crisis could mean some people can no longer afford to clean up known lead hazards at all.“If you’ve lost your job, it’s going to make it difficult to get new windows, or even repaint,” said Yendell.The CDC says it plans to help state and local health departments track down children who missed lead tests. Minnesota plans to identify pediatric clinics with particularly steep drops in lead testing to figure out why, said Yendell.But, Yendell said, that will likely have to wait until the pandemic is over. €œRight now I’m spending 10-20% of my time on lead, and the rest is COVID.”The pandemic has stretched already thinly staffed local health departments to the brink, health officials say, and it may take years to know the full impact of the missed testing. For the kids who’ve been poisoned and had no intervention, the effects may not be obvious until they enter school and struggle to keep up.

    Brie Zeltner. @BrieZeltner Related Topics Public Health CDC Children's Health COVID-19 Michigan Minnesota New York Ohio StudyCan’t see the audio player?. Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The headlines from this week will be about how President Donald Trump knew early on how serious the coronavirus pandemic was likely to become but purposely played it down.

    Potentially more important during the past few weeks, though, are reports of how White House officials have pushed scientists at the federal government’s leading health agencies to put politics above science.Meanwhile, Republicans appear to have given up on using the Affordable Care Act as an electoral cudgel, judging, at least, from its scarce mention during the GOP convention. Democrats, on the other hand, particularly those running for the U.S. House and Senate, are doubling down on their criticism of Republicans for failing to adequately protect people with preexisting health conditions. That issue was key to the party winning back the House in 2018.This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet.Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:The Affordable Care Act has become a political vulnerability for Republican officials, who have no interest in reopening the debate on it during this campaign.

    Trump vowed before his 2016 election to repeal the law immediately after taking office and members of Congress had berated it for years. But they could not gain the political capital to overturn Obamacare.Trump’s comments to journalist-author Bob Woodward about holding back information on the risks of the coronavirus pandemic from the public may not have a major effect on the election since so many voters’ minds are already set on their choices. For many, the president’s statements are seen by partisans as identifying what they already believe. For Trump’s supporters, that he is protecting the public.

    For his critics, that he is a liar.The number of COVID-19 cases appears to have hit another plateau, but it’s still twice as high as the count last spring. Officials are waiting to see if end-of-the-summer activities over the Labor Day holiday will create another surge.The stalemate on Capitol Hill over coronavirus relief funding shows no sign of easing soon. Republicans in the Senate are resisting Democrats’ insistence on a massive package, but it’s not exactly clear what the GOP can agree on.The vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca ran into difficulty this week as experts seek to determine whether a neurological problem that developed in one volunteer was caused by the vaccine. Some public health officials, such as NIH Director Francis Collins, said this helps show that even with the compressed testing timeline, safeguards are working.Nonetheless, another vaccine maker, Pfizer, said it might still have its vaccine ready before the election.The recent controversy at the FDA over the emergency authorization of plasma to treat COVID patients and the awkward decision at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change guidelines for testing asymptomatic people have created a credibility gap among some Americans and played into concerns that the administration is undercutting science.Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Elizabeth Lawrence, who reported the August NPR-KHN “Bill of the Month” installment, about an appendectomy gone wrong, and the very big bill that followed.

    If you have an outrageous medical bill you would like to share with us, you can do that here.Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too:Julie Rovner. ProPublica’s “A Doctor Went to His Own Employer for a COVID-19 Antibody Test. It Cost $10,984,” by Marshall AllenJoanne Kenen. The Atlantic’s “America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral,” by Ed YongSarah Karlin-Smith.

    Politico’s “Emails Show HHS Official Trying to Muzzle Fauci,” by Sarah OwermohleMary Ellen McIntire. The Atlantic’s “What Young, Healthy People Have to Fear From COVID-19,” by Derek ThompsonTo hear all our podcasts, click here.And subscribe to What the Health?. on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, or Pocket Casts. Related Topics Elections Multimedia Public Health The Health Law CDC COVID-19 FDA KHN's 'What The Health?.

    ' NIH Podcasts Trump Administration U.S. Congress VaccinesSOBRE NOTICIAS EN ESPAÑOLNoticias en español es una sección de Kaiser Health News que contiene traducciones de artículos de gran interés para la comunidad hispanohablante, y contenido original enfocado en la población hispana que vive en los Estados Unidos. Use Nuestro Contenido Este contenido puede usarse de manera gratuita (detalles). El gobernador de Florida, Ron DeSantis, trató de aliviar el temor a volar durante la pandemia en un evento con ejecutivos de aerolíneas y compañías de alquiler de autos.“Los aviones simplemente no han sido vectores cuando se observa la propagación del coronavirus”, dijo DeSantis en el encuentro en el Aeropuerto Internacional Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood el 28 de agosto.

    “La evidencia es la evidencia. Y creo que es algo que la gente puede hacer con seguridad “, agregó.¿La evidencia es realmente tan clara?. La afirmación de DeSantis de que los aviones no han sido “vectores” de la propagación del coronavirus es falsa, según expertos. Un “vector” disemina el virus de un lugar a otro, y los aviones han transportado a pasajeros infectados a través de distintas regiones, lo que hace que los brotes de COVID-19 sean más difíciles de contener.Joseph Allen, profesor asociado en la Universidad de Harvard y experto en exposiciones a virus, calificó a los aviones como “excelentes vectores para la propagación viral” en una llamada de prensa.En contexto, DeSantis parecía estar haciendo hincapié en la seguridad de volar en avión en lugar del papel que desempeñaron los aviones en la propagación del virus de un lugar a otro.Cuando se le consultó a la oficina del gobernador sobre datos que respaldaran los comentarios de DeSantis, el secretario de prensa Cody McCloud no presentó ningún estudio ni estadística.

    En cambio, citó el programa de rastreo de contactos del Departamento de Salud de Florida y escribió que “no ha proporcionado ninguna información que sugiera que algún paciente se haya infectado mientras viajaba en un vuelo comercial”.El programa de rastreo de contactos de Florida se ha visto envuelto en una controversia sobre informes que denuncian que no tiene suficiente personal y que es ineficaz. CNN llamó a 27 residentes del estado que dieron positivo para COVID-19 y descubrió que solo cinco habían sido contactados por las autoridades de salud. (El Departamento de Salud de Florida no respondió a las solicitudes de entrevista).Expertos aseguran que, en general, los aviones brindan ambientes seguros en lo que respecta a la calidad del aire, pero agregaron que el riesgo de infección depende en gran medida de las políticas que las aerolíneas puedan tener sobre los asientos de los pasajeros, el uso de máscaras y el tiempo de embarque.Según indicaron, el riesgo de contraer el coronavirus en un avión es relativamente bajo si la aerolínea sigue los procedimientos de salud pública. Hacer cumplir la regla de usar máscara, espaciar los asientos disponibles y examinar a los pasajeros enfermos.“Si observas otras enfermedades, ves pocos brotes en aviones”, dijo Allen.

    €œNo son los semilleros de infección que la gente cree que son”.Las aerolíneas señalan con frecuencia que los aviones comerciales están equipados con filtros de aire HEPA, recomendados por los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC), que se utilizan en las salas de aislamiento de los hospitales.Los filtros HEPA capturan el 99,97% de las partículas en el aire y reducen sustancialmente el riesgo de propagación viral. Además, el aire en las cabinas se renueva por completo entre 10 y 12 veces por hora, elevando la calidad del aire por encima de la de un edificio normal.Debido a la alta tasa de renovación del aire, es poco probable que se contraiga el coronavirus de alguien sentado a varias filas de distancia. Sin embargo, sí podría ocurrir el contagio de alguien cercano.“El mayor riesgo durante el vuelo sería si el pasajero se sienta cerca de alguien que pueda infectar”, dijo Richard Corsi, quien estudia la contaminación del aire en interiores y es decano de Ingeniería en Universidad Estatal de Portland.También es importante señalar que los sistemas de filtración de alta potencia de los aviones no son suficientes por sí solos para prevenir brotes. Si una aerolínea no mantiene libres los asientos del medio ni hace cumplir rigurosamente el uso de máscaras, volar puede ser bastante peligroso.

    Actualmente, las aerolíneas nacionales que mantienen abiertos los asientos intermedios incluyen Delta, Hawaiian, Southwest y JetBlue.La razón de esto es que las personas infectadas envían partículas virales al aire a un ritmo más rápido que el que los aviones las expulsan fuera de la cabina. €œSiempre que tose, habla o respira, está enviando gotitas”, dijo Qingyan Chen, profesor de ingeniería mecánica en la Universidad Purdue. €œEstas gotas están en la cabina todo el tiempo”.Esto hace que las medidas de protección adicionales, como el uso de máscaras, sean aún más necesarias.Chen citó dos vuelos internacionales anteriores a la pandemia donde las tasas de infección variaron según el uso de mascarillas. En el primer vuelo, ningún pasajero llevaba máscaras y un solo pasajero infectó a 14 personas mientras el avión viajaba de Londres a Hanoi, Vietnam.

    En el segundo vuelo, de Singapur a Hangzhou, en China, todos los pasajeros llevaban máscaras faciales.Aunque 15 pasajeros eran residentes de Wuhan con casos sospechosos o confirmados de COVID-19, el único hombre infectado en el recorrido se había aflojado la máscara en pleno vuelo y había estado sentado cerca de cuatro residentes de Wuhan que luego dieron positivo para el virus.Pero, aunque volar es una actividad de riesgo relativamente bajo, se debe evitar viajar a menos que sea absolutamente necesario.“Cualquier cosa que te ponga en contacto con más personas aumentará el riesgo”, dijo Cindy Prins, profesora clínica asociada de Epidemiología en la Escuela de Salud Pública y Profesiones de la Salud de la Universidad de Florida.El verdadero peligro de viajar no es el vuelo en sí. Sin embargo, pasar por el control de seguridad y esperar en la puerta de embarque es probable que ponga a la persona en contacto cercano con otros y aumente sus posibilidades de contraer el virus.Además, abordar, cuando el sistema de ventilación del avión no está funcionando y las personas no pueden mantenerse alejadas entre sí, es una de las partes más riesgosas. €œReducir este tiempo es importante para bajar la exposición”, escribió Corsi. €œHay que llegar al asiento con la máscara y sentarse lo más rápido posible”.Con todo, es demasiado pronto para determinar cuánta transmisión de persona a persona ha ocurrido en vuelos.Julian Tang, profesor asociado honorario en el Departamento de Ciencias Respiratorias de la Universidad de Leicester, en Inglaterra, dijo que está al tanto de varios grupos de infecciones relacionadas con los viajes aéreos.

    Sin embargo, es un desafío demostrar que las personas contrajeron el virus en un vuelo.“Alguien que presenta síntomas de COVID-19 varios días después de llegar a su destino podría haberse infectado en casa antes de llegar al aeropuerto, mientras estaba en el aeropuerto o en el vuelo, o incluso al llegar al aeropuerto de destino, porque todo el mundo tiene un período de incubación variable”, dijo Tang.Katherine Estep, vocera de Airlines for America, un grupo comercial de la industria centrado en Estados Unidos, dijo que los CDC no han confirmado ningún caso de transmisión a bordo de una aerolínea estadounidense.La ausencia de transmisión confirmada no es necesariamente una prueba de que los viajeros estén seguros. En cambio, la falta de datos refleja el hecho de que Estados Unidos tiene una tasa de infección más alta en comparación con otros países, dijo Chen. Dado que tiene tantos casos confirmados, es más difícil determinar exactamente dónde alguien contrajo el virus. Related Topics Noticias En Español Public Health COVID-19 KHN &.

    PolitiFact HealthCheckThis story also ran on NPR. This story can be republished for free (details). Nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center were on edge as early as March when patients with COVID-19 began to show up in areas of the hospital that were not set aside to care for them. Explore Our Database KHN and The Guardian are tracking health care workers who died from COVID-19 and writing about their lives and what happened in their final days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had advised hospitals to isolate COVID patients to limit staff exposure and help conserve high-level personal protective equipment that’s been in short supply.Yet COVID patients continued to be scattered through the Oakland hospital, according to complaints to California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. The concerns included the sixth-floor medical unit where veteran nurse Janine Paiste-Ponder worked.COVID patients on that floor were not staying in their rooms, either confused or uninterested in the rules.

    Staff was not provided highly protective N95 respirators, said Mike Hill, a nurse in the hospital intensive care unit and the hospital’s chief representative for the California Nurses Association, which filed complaints to Cal/OSHA, the state’s workplace safety regulator. “It was just a matter of time before one of the nurses died on one of these floors,” Hill said.Two nurses fell ill, including Paiste-Ponder, 59, who died of complications from the virus on July 17.The concerns raised in Oakland also have swept across the U.S., according to interviews, a review of government workplace safety complaints and health facility inspection reports. A KHN investigation found that dozens of nursing homes and hospitals ignored official guidelines to separate COVID patients from those without the coronavirus, in some places fueling its spread and leaving staff unprepared and infected or, in some cases, dead.As recently as July, a National Nurses United survey of more than 21,000 nurses found that 32% work in a facility that does not have a dedicated COVID unit. At that time, the coronavirus had reached all but 17 U.S.

    Counties, data collected by Johns Hopkins University shows.California Nurses Association members had complained to Cal/OSHA about COVID patients being spread throughout Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and say the practice was a factor in Janine Paiste-Ponder’s illness and death.(National Nurses United)KHN discovered that COVID victims have been commingled with uninfected patients in health care facilities in states including California, Florida, New Jersey, Iowa, Ohio, Maryland and New York.A COVID-19 outbreak was in full swing at the New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus in late April when health inspectors observed residents with dementia mingling in a day room — COVID-positive patients as well as others awaiting test results. At the time, the center had already reported COVID infections among 119 residents and 46 virus-related deaths, according to a Medicare inspection report.The assistant director of nursing at an Iowa nursing home insisted April 28 that they did “not have any COVID in the building” and overrode the orders of a community doctor to isolate several patients with fevers and falling oxygen levels, an inspection report shows.By mid-May, the facility’s COVID log showed 61 patients with the virus and nine dead.Federal work-safety officials have closed at least 30 complaints about patient mixing in hospitals nationwide without issuing a citation. They include a claim that a Michigan hospital kept patients who tested negative for the virus in the COVID unit in May. An upstate New York hospital also had COVID patients in the same unit as those with no infection, according to a closed complaint to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    Email Sign-Up Subscribe to KHN’s free Morning Briefing. Federal Health and Human Services officials have called on hospitals to tell them each day if they have a patient who came in without COVID-19 but had an apparent or confirmed case of the coronavirus 14 days later. Hospitals filed 48,000 reports from June 21 through Aug. 28, though the number reflects some double or additional counting of individual patients.COVID patients have been mixed in with others for a variety of reasons.

    Some hospitals report having limited tests, so patients carrying the virus are identified only after they had already exposed others. In other cases, they had false-negative test results or their facility was dismissive of federal guidelines, which carry no force of law.And while federal Medicare officials have inspected nearly every U.S. Nursing home in recent months and states have occasionally levied fines and cut off new admissions for isolation lapses, hospitals have seen less scrutiny.The Scene Inside SutterAt Alta Bates in Oakland, part of the Sutter Health network, hospital staff made it clear in official complaints to Cal/OSHA that they wanted administrators to follow the state’s unique law on aerosol-transmitted diseases. From the start, some staffers wanted all the state-required protections for a virus that has been increasingly shown to be transmitted by tiny particles that float through the air.The regulations call for patients with a virus like COVID-19 to be moved to a specialized unit within five hours of identification — or to a specialized facility.

    The rules say those patients should be in a room with a HEPA filter or with negative air pressure, meaning that air is circulated out a window or exhaust fan instead of drifting into the hallway.Initially, in March, the hospital outfitted a 40-bed COVID unit, according to Hill. But when a surge of patients failed to materialize, that unit was pared to 12 beds.Since then, a steady stream of virus patients have been admitted, he said, many testing positive only days after admission — and after they’d been in regular rooms in the facility.From March 10 through July 30, Hill’s union and others filed eight complaints to Cal/OSHA, including allegations that the hospital failed to follow isolation rules for COVID patients, some on the cancer floor.So far, regulators have done little. Gov. Gavin Newsom had ordered workplace safety officials to “focus on … supporting compliance” instead of enforcement except on the “most serious violations.”State officials responded to complaints by reaching out by mail and phone to “ensure the proper virus prevention measures are in place,” according to Frank Polizzi, a spokesperson for Cal/OSHA.A third investigation related to transport workers not wearing N95 respirators while moving COVID-positive or possible coronavirus patients at a Sutter facility near the hospital resulted in a $6,750 fine, Cal/OSHA records show.The string of complaints also says the hospital did not give staff the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) under state law — an N95 respirator or something more protective — for caring for virus patients.Nurse Janine Paiste-Ponder died July 17 of COVID-19.

    Her colleagues held a vigil for her on July 21.(National Nurses United)Instead, Hill said, staff on floors with COVID patients were provided lower-quality surgical masks, a concern reflected in complaints filed with Cal/OSHA.Hill believes that Paiste-Ponder and another nurse on her floor caught the virus from COVID patients who did not remain in their rooms.“It is sad, because it didn’t really need to happen,” Hill said.Polizzi said investigations into the July 17 death and another staff hospitalization are ongoing.A Sutter Health spokesperson said the hospital takes allegations, including Cal/OSHA complaints, seriously and its highest priority is keeping patients and staff safe.The statement also said “cohorting,” or the practice of grouping virus patients together, is a tool that “must be considered in a greater context, including patient acuity, hospital census and other environmental factors.”Concerns at Other HospitalsCDC guidelines are not strict on the topic of keeping COVID patients sectioned off, noting that “facilities could consider designating entire units within the facility, with dedicated [staff],” to care for COVID patients.That approach succeeded at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. A recent study reported “extensive” viral contamination around COVID patients there, but noted that with “standard” infection control techniques in place, staffers who cared for COVID patients did not get the virus.The hospital set up an isolation unit with air pumped away from the halls, restricted access to the unit and trained staff to use well-developed protocols and N95 respirators — at a minimum. What worked in Nebraska, though, is far from standard elsewhere.Cynthia Butler, a nurse and National Nurses United member at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte, on Florida’s west coast, said she actually felt safer working in the COVID unit — where she knew what she was dealing with and had full PPE — than on a general medical floor.She believes she caught the virus from a patient who had COVID-19 but was housed on a general floor in May. A similar situation occurred in July, when another patient had an unexpected case of COVID — and Butler said she got another positive test herself.She said both patients did not meet the hospital’s criteria for testing admitted patients, and the lapses leave her on edge, concerns she relayed to an OSHA inspector who reached out to her about a complaint her union filed about the facility.“Every time I go into work it’s like playing Russian roulette,” Butler said.A spokesperson for HCA Healthcare, which owns the hospital, said it tests patients coming from long-term care, those going into surgery and those with virus symptoms.

    She said staffers have access to PPE and practice vigilant sanitation, universal masking and social distancing.The latter is not an option for Butler, though, who said she cleans, feeds and starts IVs for patients and offers reassurance when they are isolated from family.“I’m giving them the only comfort or kind word they can get,” said Butler, who has since gone on unpaid leave over safety concerns. €œI’m in there doing that and I’m not being protected.”Given research showing that up to 45% of COVID patients are asymptomatic, UCSF Medical Center is testing everyone who’s admitted, said Dr. Robert Harrison, a University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine professor who consults on occupational health at the hospital.It’s done for the safety of staff and to reduce spread within the hospital, he said. Those who test positive are separated into a COVID-only unit.And staff who spent more than 15 minutes within 6 feet of a not-yet-identified COVID patient in a less-protective surgical mask are typically sent home for two weeks, he said.Outside of academic medicine, though, front-line staff have turned to union leaders to push for such protections.In Southern California, leaders of the National Union of Healthcare Workers filed an official complaint with state hospital inspectors about the risks posed by intermingled COVID patients at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital in Orange County, part of for-profit Tenet Health.

    There, the complaint said, patients were not routinely tested for COVID-19 upon admission.One nursing assistant spent two successive 12-hour shifts caring for a patient on a general medical floor who required monitoring. At the conclusion of the second shift, she was told the patient had just been found to be COVID-positive.The worker had worn only a surgical mask — not an N95 respirator or any form of eye protection, according to the complaint to the California Department of Public Health. The nursing assistant was not offered a COVID test or quarantined before her next two shifts, the complaint said.The public health department said it could not comment on a pending inspection.Barbara Lewis, Southern California hospital division director with the union, said COVID patients were on the same floor as cancer patients and post-surgical patients who were walking the halls to speed their recovery.She said managers took steps to separate the patients only after the union held a protest, spoke to local media and complained to state health officials.Hospital spokesperson Jessica Chen said the hospital “quickly implemented” changes directed by state health authorities and does place some COVID patients on the same nursing unit as non-COVID patients during surges. She said they are placed in single rooms with closed doors.

    COVID tests are given by physician order, she added, and employees can access them at other places in the community.It’s in contrast, Lewis said, to high-profile examples of the precautions that might be taken.“Now we’re seeing what’s happening with baseball and basketball — they’re tested every day and treated with a high level of caution,” Lewis said. €œYet we have thousands and thousands of health care workers going to work in a very scary environment.”Nursing Homes Face Penalties More than 40% of the people who’ve died of COVID-19 lived in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, researchers have found.Patient mixing has been a scattered concern at nursing homes, which Medicare officials discovered when they reviewed infection control practices at more than 15,000 facilities.News reports have highlighted the problem at an Ohio nursing home and at a Maryland home where the state levied a $70,000 fine for failing to keep infected patients away from those who weren’t sick — yet.Another facing penalties was Fair Havens Center, a Miami Springs, Florida, nursing home where inspectors discovered that 11 roommates of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were put in rooms with other residents — putting them at heightened risk.Florida regulators cut off admissions to the home and Medicare authorities levied a $235,000 civil monetary penalty, records show.The vice president of operations at the facility told inspectors that isolating exposed patients would mean isolating the entire facility. Everyone had been exposed to the 32 staff members who tested positive for the virus, the report says.Fair Havens Center did not respond to a request for comment.In Iowa, Medicare officials declared a state of “immediate jeopardy” at Pearl Valley Rehabilitation and Care Center in Muscatine. There, they discovered that staffers were in denial over an outbreak in their midst, with a nursing director overriding a community doctor’s orders to isolate or send residents to the emergency room.

    Instead, officials found, in late April, the assistant nursing director kept COVID patients in the facility, citing a general order by their medical director to avoid sending patients to the ER “if you can help it.”Meanwhile, several patients were documented by facility staff to have fevers and falling oxygen levels, the Medicare inspection report shows. Within two weeks, the facility discovered it had an outbreak, with 61 residents infected and nine dead, according to the report.Medicare officials are investigating Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home in New Jersey, state Sen. Joseph Vitale said during a recent legislative hearing. Resident council president Glenn Osborne testified during the hearing that the home’s residents were returned to the same shared rooms after hospitalizations.Osborne, an honorably discharged Marine, said he saw more residents of the home die than fellow service members during his military service.

    The Menlo Park and Paramus veterans homes — where inspectors saw dementia patients with and without the virus commingling in a day room — both reported more than 180 COVID cases among residents, 90 among staff and at least 60 deaths.A spokesperson for the homes said he could not comment due to pending litigation.“These deaths should not have happened,” Osborne said. €œMany of these deaths were absolutely avoidable, in my humble opinion.” Christina Jewett. ChristinaJ@kff.org, @by_cjewett Related Topics California Health Industry Public Health States CDC COVID-19 Hospitals Lost On The Frontline Nursing Homes.

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    A simple coffee and a quick catnap could be the cure for staying alert on the nightshift as new research from the University of South Australia shows that this unlikely combination can improve attention and reduce sleep inertia.In Australia, more than 1.4 million people are employed in shift work, with more than 200,000 regularly working night or evening shifts.Lead researcher, Dr Stephanie Centofanti from UniSA Online and the Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory at UniSA says the finding could help counteract the kind of sleep inertia that is experienced by many shiftworkers."Shift workers are often chronically sleep-deprived because they have disrupted and irregular sleep patterns," Dr Centofanti says."As a result, they commonly use a range of strategies to try to boost their alertness while on the nightshift, and these can include taking power naps and drinking coffee -- yet it's important to understand that there are disadvantages for both."Many workers kamagra jelly usa nap during a night shift because ajanta kamagra oral jelly uk they get so tired. But the downside is that they kamagra jelly usa can experience 'sleep inertia' -- that grogginess you have just after you wake up -- and this can impair their performance and mood for up to an hour after their nap."Caffeine is also used by many people to stay awake and alert. But again, if you have too much coffee it can harm your overall sleep and health. And, if you use it to perk you up after a nap, it can take a good 20-30 minutes to kick in, so kamagra jelly usa there's a significant time delay before you feel the desired effect."A 'caffeine-nap' (or 'caff-nap') could be a viable alternative -- by drinking a coffee before taking a nap, shiftworkers can gain the benefits of a 20-30-minute nap then the perk of the caffeine when they wake.

    It's a win-win."The small pilot study tested the impact of 200 mg of caffeine (equivalent to 1-2 regular cups of coffee) consumed by participants just before a 3.30am 30-minute nap, comparing results with a group that took a placebo.Participants taking a 'caffeine-nap' showed marked improvements in both performance and alertness, indicating the potential of a 'caffeine-nap' to counteract sleep grogginess.Dr Centofanti says this shows a promising fatigue countermeasure for shift workers. She says the next move is to test the new finding on more kamagra jelly usa people. Story Source kamagra jelly usa. Materials provided by University of South Australia.

    Note. Content may be edited for style and length.A study of a gateway receptor for SARS-CoV-2 led by Walter Lukiw, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Neurology and Ophthalmology at LSU Health New Orleans' Neuroscience Center of Excellence and School of Medicine, may help explain the wide variety of symptoms and organs involved with SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. The results suggest that a multi-organ infection with SARS-CoV-2 may be via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, which is found almost everywhere throughout the body. The findings are published in the journal Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology.To better understand the mechanism and pathways of SARS-CoV-2 infection and susceptibility to specific cell and tissue types as well as organ systems, the research team analyzed 85 human tissues for the presence of ACE2 receptors.

    ACE2 is a protein that is found on the surface of many immune and nonimmune cell types. An enzyme, it is part of the system that regulates blood pressure and fluid and electrolyte balance. It may also help regulate cardiovascular, neurovascular and renal function, as well as fertility. ACE2 receptors act like locks on cells, and the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins act like keys that open the locks letting the virus enter cells to rapidly multiply.

    As well as controls, tissues tested included lung, digestive, renal-excretory, reproductive, eye tissues, and 21 different regions of the brain."Besides strong ACE2 expression in respiratory, digestive, renal-excretory and reproductive cells, high ACE2 expression was also found in the amygdala, cerebral cortex and brainstem," reports Dr. Lukiw. "This may help explain cognitive deficits associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Some of the highest ACE2 expression levels were found in the pons and medulla oblongata in the human brainstem, an anatomical region of the brain containing the medullary respiratory centers, and this may in part explain the susceptibility of many CoV-19 patients to severe respiratory distress."The team further noted that ACE2 receptor activity was also easily detected in the eye, suggesting that the visual system may provide an additional entry point for SARS-CoV-2 invasion and that under certain conditions, eyeglasses or face shields may be as important as face masks in reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission and infection."Several important research gaps remain," Lukiw concludes.

    "A real danger of SARS-CoV-2 infection is not only its highly transmissible and contagious nature and lethality, but also its simultaneous and multipronged attack on many human cell and tissue types involving vital and critical respiratory, immunological, vascular, renal-excretory and neural systems as well as an unprecedented coordinated disruption of the complex neurophysiology, neurochemistry, neurobiology and neurology of the cells of the brain and central nervous system (CNS) that normally regulate these multiple physiological systems."The authors credit the late Dr. James M. Hill (formerly a Professor in the Departments of Microbiology, Ophthalmology and Pharmacology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine) with whom they had a longstanding research collaboration on the expression of the ACE2 receptors, including those found in the Alzheimer's disease brain. Aileen Pogue, from Alchem Biotech Research in Toronto, also participated in the research data tabulation, bioinformatics and statistical analysis.The research was supported by grants from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB).

    The Louisiana Biotechnology Research Network (LBRN). And NIH grants NEI EY006311, NIA AG18031 and NIA AG038834.SOBRE NOTICIAS EN ESPAÑOLNoticias en español es una sección de Kaiser Health News que contiene traducciones de artículos de gran interés para la comunidad hispanohablante, y contenido original enfocado en la población hispana que vive en los Estados Unidos. Use Nuestro Contenido Este contenido puede usarse de manera gratuita (detalles). La temporada de influenza se verá diferente este año, ya que los Estados Unidos se enfrentan a una pandemia de coronavirus que ya ha matado a más de 176.000 personas.Muchos estadounidenses son reacios a ir al médico y los funcionarios de salud pública temen que las personas eviten vacunarse.

    Aunque a veces se considera incorrectamente como un resfriado, la gripe también mata a decenas de miles de personas en el país cada año. Los más vulnerables son los niños pequeños, los adultos mayores y las personas con enfermedades subyacentes. Cuando se combina con los efectos de COVID-19, los expertos en salud pública dicen que es más importante que nunca vacunarse contra la gripe.Si una cantidad suficiente de la población se vacuna, más del 45% lo hizo la temporada de gripe pasada, podría ayudar a evitar un escenario de pesadilla este invierno, con hospitales llenos de pacientes con COVID-19 y los que sufren los efectos graves de la influenza.Además de la posible carga para los hospitales, existe la posibilidad de que las personas contraigan ambos virus y “nadie sabe qué sucede si se contrae influenza y COVID simultáneamente porque nunca sucedió antes”, dijo la doctora Rachel Levine, secretaria de Salud de Pennsylvania, a reporteros.En respuesta, este año los fabricantes están produciendo más suministros de vacunas, entre 194 y 198 millones de dosis, unas 20 millones más de las que se distribuyeron la temporada pasada, según los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC).Mientras se acerca la temporada de gripe, aquí hay algunas respuestas a preguntas frecuentes:P. ¿Cuándo debo vacunarme contra la gripe?.

    La publicidad ya ha comenzado y algunas farmacias y clínicas ya tienen sus suministros. Pero, debido a que la efectividad de la vacuna puede disminuir con el tiempo, los CDC recomiendan no recibir la dosis en agosto.Muchas farmacias y clínicas comenzarán las inmunizaciones a principios de septiembre. Generalmente, los virus de la influenza comienzan a circular a mediados o fines de octubre, pero se expanden masivamente más tarde, en el invierno. Se necesitan aproximadamente dos semanas después de recibir la inyección para que los anticuerpos, que circulan en la sangre y frustran las infecciones, se acumulen.“Las personas jóvenes y sanas pueden comenzar a vacunarse contra la gripe en septiembre, y las personas mayores y otras poblaciones vulnerables pueden hacerlo en octubre”, dijo el doctor Steve Miller, director clínico de la aseguradora Cigna.Los CDC recomiendan que las personas “se vacunen contra la influenza a fines de octubre”, pero señalaron que se puede recibir la vacuna más tarde porque “aún puede ser beneficiosas y la vacunación debe ofrecerse a lo largo de toda la temporada de influenza”.Aun así, algunos expertos recomiendan no esperar demasiado este año, no solo por COVID-19, sino también en caso de que haya escasez debido a la abrumadora demanda.P.

    ¿Cuáles son las razones por las que las que debería ofrecer mi brazo para vacunarme?. Hay que vacunarse porque brinda protección contra la gripe y, por lo tanto, contra la propagación a otras personas, lo que puede ayudar a disminuir la carga para los hospitales y el personal médico.Y hay otro mensaje que puede resonar en estos tiempos extraños.“Le da a la gente la sensación de que hay algunas cosas que pueden controlar”, dijo Eduardo Sánchez, director médico de prevención de la American Heart Association.Si bien una vacuna contra la gripe no evitará COVID-19, recibirla podría ayudar al médico a diferenciar entre las dos enfermedades si se desarrolla algún síntoma (fiebre, tos, dolor de garganta) que ambas infecciones comparten, explicó Sánchez.Y aunque las vacunas contra la gripe no evitarán todos los casos de gripe, vacunarse puede reducir la gravedad si la persona se enferma, dijo.Todas las personas elegibles, especialmente los trabajadores esenciales, los que sufren de afecciones subyacentes y aquellos en mayor riesgo, incluidos los niños muy pequeños y las mujeres embarazadas, deben buscar protección, dijeron los CDC. La entidad recomienda la vacunación a partir de los 6 meses.P. ¿Qué sabemos sobre la efectividad de la vacuna de este año?.

    Se deben producir nuevas vacunas contra la gripe cada año, porque el virus muta y la efectividad de la vacuna varía, dependiendo de qué tan bien coincida con el virus circulante.Se calculó que la formulación del año pasado tuvo una eficacia de aproximadamente un 45% para prevenir la gripe en general, con una efectividad de aproximadamente un 55% en los niños. Las vacunas disponibles en el país este año tienen como objetivo prevenir al menos tres cepas diferentes del virus, y la mayoría cubre cuatro.Todavía no se sabe qué tan bien coincidirá el suministro de este año con las cepas que circularán en los Estados Unidos. Las primeras indicaciones del hemisferio sur, que atraviesa su temporada de gripe durante nuestro verano, son alentadoras. Allí, las personas practicaron el distanciamiento social, usaron máscaras y se vacunaron en mayor número este año, y los niveles mundiales de gripe son más bajos de lo esperado.

    Sin embargo, expertos advierten que no se debe contar con una temporada igual de suave en los Estados Unidos, en parte porque los esfuerzos por usar mascara facial y de distanciamiento social varían ampliamente.P. ¿Qué están haciendo diferente los seguros y sistemas de salud este año?. Las aseguradoras y los sistemas de salud contactados por KHN dicen que seguirán las pautas de los CDC, que exigen limitar y espaciar la cantidad de personas que esperan en las filas y las áreas de vacunación. Algunos están programando citas para vacunas contra la gripe para ayudar a controlar el flujo.Health Fitness Concepts, una compañía que trabaja con UnitedHealth Group y otras empresas para establecer clínicas de vacunación contra la gripe en el noreste del país, dijo que está “fomentando eventos más pequeños y frecuentes para apoyar el distanciamiento social” y “exigiendo que se completen todos los formularios y arremangarse las camisas antes de entrar al área de vacunación contra la influenza”.Se requerirá que todos usen máscaras.Además, a nivel nacional, algunos grupos médicos contratados por UnitedHealth instalarán carpas, para que las inyecciones se puedan administrar al aire libre, dijo un vocero.Kaiser Permanente planifica las vacunas directamente en autos en algunos de sus centros médicos y está probando los procedimientos de detección y registro sin contacto en algunos lugares.Geisinger Health, un proveedor de salud regional en Pennsylvania y Nueva Jersey, dijo que también tendría programas de vacunación contra la influenza al aire libre en sus instalaciones.Además, “Geisinger exige que todos los empleados reciban la vacuna contra la influenza este año”, dijo Mark Shelly, director de prevención y control de infecciones del sistema.

    €œAl dar este paso, esperamos transmitir a nuestros vecinos la importancia de la vacuna contra la influenza para todos”.P. Por lo general, me vacunan contra la gripe en el trabajo. ¿Seguirá siendo una opción este año?. Con el objetivo de evitar riesgosas reuniones en interiores, muchos empleadores se muestran reacios a patrocinar las clínicas de gripe en oficinas como han ofrecido en años anteriores.

    Y con tanta gente que sigue trabajando desde casa, hay menos necesidad de llevar las vacunas contra la gripe al lugar de trabajo. En cambio, muchos empleadores están alentando a los trabajadores a que reciban vacunas de sus médicos de atención primaria, en farmacias u otros entornos comunitarios. El seguro generalmente cubrirá el costo de la vacuna.Algunos empleadores están considerando ofrecer cupones para vacunas contra la gripe a sus trabajadores sin seguro o a aquellos que no participan en el plan médico de la compañía, dijo Julie Stone, directora general de salud y beneficios de Willis Towers Watson, una firma consultora.Estos cupones podrían, por ejemplo, permitir a los trabajadores obtener la vacuna en un laboratorio en particular sin costo.Algunos empleadores están comenzando a pensar en cómo podrían usar sus estacionamientos para administrar vacunas contra la gripe enlos autos, dijo el doctor David Zieg, líder de servicios clínicos para el consultor de beneficios Mercer.Aunque la ley federal permite a los empleadores exigir a los empleados que se vacunen contra la gripe, ese paso generalmente lo toman solo los centros de atención médica y algunas universidades donde las personas viven y trabajan en estrecha colaboración, dijo Zieg.Pero sucede. El mes pasado, el sistema de la Universidad de California emitió una orden ejecutiva que requiere que todos los estudiantes, profesores y personal se vacunen contra la gripe antes del 1 de noviembre, con limitadas excepciones.P.

    ¿Qué están haciendo las farmacias para alentar a las personas a vacunarse contra la gripe?. Algunas farmacias están haciendo un esfuerzo adicional para salir a la comunidad y ofrecer vacunas contra la gripe.Walgreens, que tiene casi 9,100 farmacias en todo el país, continúa una asociación iniciada en 2015 con organizaciones comunitarias, iglesias y empleadores que ha ofrecido alrededor de 150,000 clínicas de gripe móviles hasta la fecha.El programa pone especial énfasis en trabajar con poblaciones vulnerables y en áreas desatendidas, dijo el doctor Kevin Ban, director médico de la cadena de farmacias.Walgreens comenzó a ofrecer vacunas contra la gripe a mediados de agosto y está animando a las personas a no demorar en vacunarse.Tanto Walgreens como CVS están estimulando a las personas a programar citas y hacer trámites en línea este año para minimizar el tiempo que pasan en los locales.En los CVS MinuteClinic, una vez que los pacientes se han registrado para recibir la vacuna contra la gripe, deben esperar afuera o en su automóvil, ya que las áreas de espera interiores ahora están cerradas.“No tenemos un arsenal contra COVID”, dijo Ban, de Walgreens. €œPero quitar la presión del sistema de atención médica proporcionando vacunas por adelantado es algo que sí podemos hacer”. Julie Appleby.

    jappleby@kff.org, @Julie_Appleby Michelle Andrews. andrews.khn@gmail.com, @mandrews110 Related Topics Insurance Noticias En Español Public Health CDC COVID-19 Insurers VaccinesThis story was produced in partnership with PolitiFact. This story can be republished for free (details). President Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president in a 70-minute speech from the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday night.Speaking to a friendly crowd that didn’t appear to be observing social distancing conventions, and with few participants wearing masks, he touched on a range of topics, including many related to the COVID pandemic and health care in general.Throughout, the partisan crowd applauded and chanted “Four more years!. € And, even as the nation’s COVID-19 death toll exceeded 180,000, Trump was upbeat.

    €œIn recent months, our nation and the entire planet has been struck by a new and powerful invisible enemy,” he said. €œLike those brave Americans before us, we are meeting this challenge.”At the end of the event, there were fireworks.Our partners at PolitiFact did an in-depth fact check on Trump’s entire acceptance speech. Here are the highlights related to the administration’s COVID-19 response and other health policy issues:“We developed, from scratch, the largest and most advanced testing system in the world.” This is partially right, but it needs context.It’s accurate that the U.S. Developed its COVID-19 testing system from scratch, because the government didn’t accept the World Health Organization’s testing recipe.

    But whether the system is the “largest” or “most advanced” is subject to debate.The U.S. Has tested more individuals than any other country. But experts told us a more meaningful metric would be the percentage of positive tests out of all tests, indicating that not only sick people were getting tested. Another useful metric would be the percentage of the population that has been tested.

    The U.S. Is one of the most populous countries but has tested a lower percentage of its population than other countries. Don't Miss A Story Subscribe to KHN’s free Weekly Edition newsletter. The U.S.

    Was also slower than other countries in rolling out tests and amping up testing capacity. Even now, many states are experiencing delays in reporting test results to positive individuals.As for “the most advanced,” Trump may be referring to new testing investments and systems, like Abbott’s recently announced $5, 15-minute rapid antigen test, which the company says will be about the size of a credit card, needs no instrumentation and comes with a phone app through which people can view their results. But Trump’s comment makes it sound as if these testing systems are already in place when they haven’t been distributed to the public.“The United States has among the lowest [COVID-19] case fatality rates of any major country in the world. The European Union’s case fatality rate is nearly three times higher than ours.”The case fatality rate measures the known number of cases against the known number of deaths.

    The European Union has a rate that’s about 2½ times greater than the United States.But the source of that data, Oxford University’s Our World in Data project, reports that “during an outbreak of a pandemic, the case fatality rate is a poor measure of the mortality risk of the disease.”A better way to measure the threat of the virus, experts say, is to look at the number of deaths per 100,000 residents. Viewed that way, the U.S. Has the 10th-highest death rate in the world.“We will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner.”It’s far from guaranteed that a coronavirus vaccine will be ready before the end of the year.While researchers are making rapid strides, it’s not yet known precisely when the vaccine will be available to the public, which is what’s most important. Six vaccines are in the third phase of testing, which involves thousands of patients.

    Like earlier phases, this one looks at the safety of a vaccine but also examines its effectiveness and collects more data on side effects. Results of the third phase will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for approval.The government website Operation Warp Speed seems less optimistic than Trump, announcing it “aims to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021.”And federal health officials and other experts have generally predicted a vaccine will be available in early 2021. Federal committees are working on recommendations for vaccine distribution, including which groups should get it first. €œFrom everything we’ve seen now — in the animal data, as well as the human data — we feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021,” said Dr.

    Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert. €œI don’t think it’s dreaming.”“Last month, I took on Big Pharma. You think that is easy?. I signed orders that would massively lower the cost of your prescription drugs.”Quite misleading.

    Trump signed four executive orders on July 24 aimed at lowering prescription drug prices. But those orders haven’t taken effect yet — the text of one hasn’t even been made publicly available — and experts told us that, if implemented, the measures would be unlikely to result in significant drug price reductions for the majority of Americans.“We will always and very strongly protect patients with preexisting conditions, and that is a pledge from the entire Republican Party.”Trump’s pledge is undermined by his efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, the only law that guarantees people with preexisting conditions both receive health coverage and do not have to pay more for it than others do. In 2017, Trump supported congressional efforts to repeal the ACA. The Trump administration is now backing GOP-led efforts to overturn the ACA through a court case.

    And Trump has also expanded short-term health plans that don’t have to comply with the ACA.“Joe Biden recently raised his hand on the debate stage and promised he was going to give it away, your health care dollars to illegal immigrants, which is going to bring a massive number of immigrants into our country.”This is misleading. During a June 2019 Democratic primary debate, candidates were asked. €œRaise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants.” All candidates on stage, including Biden, raised their hands. They were not asked if that coverage would be free or subsidized.Biden supports extending health care access to all immigrants, regardless of immigration status.

    A task force recommended that he allow immigrants who are in the country illegally to buy health insurance, without federal subsidies.“Joe Biden claims he has empathy for the vulnerable, yet the party he leads supports the extreme late-term abortion of defenseless babies right up to the moment of birth.”This mischaracterizes the Democratic Party’s stance on abortion and Biden’s position.Biden has said he would codify the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade and related precedents. This would generally limit abortions to the first 20 to 24 weeks of gestation. States are allowed under court rulings to ban abortion after the point at which a fetus can sustain life, usually considered to be between 24 and 28 weeks from the mother’s last menstrual period — and 43 states do.

    But the rulings require states to make exceptions “to preserve the life or health of the mother.” Late-term abortions are very rare, about 1%.The Democratic Party platform holds that “every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion — regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured.” It does not address late-term abortion.PolitiFact’s Daniel Funke, Jon Greenberg, Louis Jacobson, Noah Y. Kim, Bill McCarthy, Samantha Putterman, Amy Sherman, Miriam Valverde and KHN reporter Victoria Knight contributed to this report. Related Topics Elections Health Industry Pharmaceuticals Public Health The Health Law Abortion COVID-19 Immigrants KHN &. PolitiFact HealthCheck Preexisting Conditions Trump Administration Vaccines.

    A simple coffee and a quick catnap could be the cure for staying alert on the nightshift as new research from the University of South Australia shows that this unlikely combination can improve attention and reduce sleep inertia.In Australia, more than 1.4 million people are employed in shift work, with more than 200,000 regularly working night or evening shifts.Lead researcher, Dr Stephanie Centofanti from UniSA Online and view the Sleep and Chronobiology buy kamagra online with free samples Laboratory at UniSA says the finding could help counteract the kind of sleep inertia that is experienced by many shiftworkers."Shift workers are often chronically sleep-deprived because they have disrupted and irregular sleep patterns," Dr Centofanti says."As a result, they commonly use a range of strategies to try to boost their alertness while on the nightshift, and these can include taking power naps and drinking coffee -- yet it's important to understand that there are disadvantages for both."Many workers nap during a night shift because they get so tired. But the downside is that they can experience 'sleep inertia' -- that grogginess you have just after you wake up -- and buy kamagra online with free samples this can impair their performance and mood for up to an hour after their nap."Caffeine is also used by many people to stay awake and alert. But again, if you have too much coffee it can harm your overall sleep and health. And, if you use it to perk you up after a nap, it can take a good 20-30 minutes to kick in, so there's a significant time delay before you feel the desired effect."A 'caffeine-nap' (or 'caff-nap') could be a viable alternative -- by drinking a coffee before taking a nap, shiftworkers can gain the benefits of a 20-30-minute nap buy kamagra online with free samples then the perk of the caffeine when they wake.

    It's a win-win."The small pilot study tested the impact of 200 mg of caffeine (equivalent to 1-2 regular cups of coffee) consumed by participants just before a 3.30am 30-minute nap, comparing results with a group that took a placebo.Participants taking a 'caffeine-nap' showed marked improvements in both performance and alertness, indicating the potential of a 'caffeine-nap' to counteract sleep grogginess.Dr Centofanti says this shows a promising fatigue countermeasure for shift workers. She says the next move is to test the new finding buy kamagra online with free samples on more people. Story Source buy kamagra online with free samples. Materials provided by University of South Australia.

    Note. Content may be edited for style and length.A study of a gateway receptor for SARS-CoV-2 led by Walter Lukiw, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Neurology and Ophthalmology at LSU Health New Orleans' Neuroscience Center of Excellence and School of Medicine, may help explain the wide variety of symptoms and organs involved with SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. The results suggest that a multi-organ infection with SARS-CoV-2 may be via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, which is found almost everywhere throughout the body. The findings are published in the journal Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology.To better understand the mechanism and pathways of SARS-CoV-2 infection and susceptibility to specific cell and tissue types as well as organ systems, the research team analyzed 85 human tissues for the presence of ACE2 receptors.

    ACE2 is a protein that is found on the surface of many immune and nonimmune cell types. An enzyme, it is part of the system that regulates blood pressure and fluid and electrolyte balance. It may also help regulate cardiovascular, neurovascular and renal function, as well as fertility. ACE2 receptors act like locks on cells, and the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins act like keys that open the locks letting the virus enter cells to rapidly multiply.

    As well as controls, tissues tested included lung, digestive, renal-excretory, reproductive, eye tissues, and 21 different regions of the brain."Besides strong ACE2 expression in respiratory, digestive, renal-excretory and reproductive cells, high ACE2 expression was also found in the amygdala, cerebral cortex and brainstem," reports Dr. Lukiw. "This may help explain cognitive deficits associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Some of the highest ACE2 expression levels were found in the pons and medulla oblongata in the human brainstem, an anatomical region of the brain containing the medullary respiratory centers, and this may in part explain the susceptibility of many CoV-19 patients to severe respiratory distress."The team further noted that ACE2 receptor activity was also easily detected in the eye, suggesting that the visual system may provide an additional entry point for SARS-CoV-2 invasion and that under certain conditions, eyeglasses or face shields may be as important as face masks in reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission and infection."Several important research gaps remain," Lukiw concludes.

    "A real danger of SARS-CoV-2 infection is not only its highly transmissible and contagious nature and lethality, but also its simultaneous and multipronged attack on many human cell and tissue types involving vital and critical respiratory, immunological, vascular, renal-excretory and neural systems as well as an unprecedented coordinated disruption of the complex neurophysiology, neurochemistry, neurobiology and neurology of the cells of the brain and central nervous system (CNS) that normally regulate these multiple physiological systems."The authors credit the late Dr. James M. Hill (formerly a Professor in the Departments of Microbiology, Ophthalmology and Pharmacology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine) with whom they had a longstanding research collaboration on the expression of the ACE2 receptors, including those found in the Alzheimer's disease brain. Aileen Pogue, from Alchem Biotech Research in Toronto, also participated in the research data tabulation, bioinformatics and statistical analysis.The research was supported by grants from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB).

    The Louisiana Biotechnology Research Network (LBRN). And NIH grants NEI EY006311, NIA AG18031 and NIA AG038834.SOBRE NOTICIAS EN ESPAÑOLNoticias en español es una sección de Kaiser Health News que contiene traducciones de artículos de gran interés para la comunidad hispanohablante, y contenido original enfocado en la población hispana que vive en los Estados Unidos. Use Nuestro Contenido Este contenido puede usarse de manera gratuita (detalles). La temporada de influenza se verá diferente este año, ya que los Estados Unidos se enfrentan a una pandemia de coronavirus que ya ha matado a más de 176.000 personas.Muchos estadounidenses son reacios a ir al médico y los funcionarios de salud pública temen que las personas eviten vacunarse.

    Aunque a veces se considera incorrectamente como un resfriado, la gripe también mata a decenas de miles de personas en el país cada año. Los más vulnerables son los niños pequeños, los adultos mayores y las personas con enfermedades subyacentes. Cuando se combina con los efectos de COVID-19, los expertos en salud pública dicen que es más importante que nunca vacunarse contra la gripe.Si una cantidad suficiente de la población se vacuna, más del 45% lo hizo la temporada de gripe pasada, podría ayudar a evitar un escenario de pesadilla este invierno, con hospitales llenos de pacientes con COVID-19 y los que sufren los efectos graves de la influenza.Además de la posible carga para los hospitales, existe la posibilidad de que las personas contraigan ambos virus y “nadie sabe qué sucede si se contrae influenza y COVID simultáneamente porque nunca sucedió antes”, dijo la doctora Rachel Levine, secretaria de Salud de Pennsylvania, a reporteros.En respuesta, este año los fabricantes están produciendo más suministros de vacunas, entre 194 y 198 millones de dosis, unas 20 millones más de las que se distribuyeron la temporada pasada, según los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC).Mientras se acerca la temporada de gripe, aquí hay algunas respuestas a preguntas frecuentes:P. ¿Cuándo debo vacunarme contra la gripe?.

    La publicidad ya ha comenzado y algunas farmacias y clínicas ya tienen sus suministros. Pero, debido a que la efectividad de la vacuna puede disminuir con el tiempo, los CDC recomiendan no recibir la dosis en agosto.Muchas farmacias y clínicas comenzarán las inmunizaciones a principios de septiembre. Generalmente, los virus de la influenza comienzan a circular a mediados o fines de octubre, pero se expanden masivamente más tarde, en el invierno. Se necesitan aproximadamente dos semanas después de recibir la inyección para que los anticuerpos, que circulan en la sangre y frustran las infecciones, se acumulen.“Las personas jóvenes y sanas pueden comenzar a vacunarse contra la gripe en septiembre, y las personas mayores y otras poblaciones vulnerables pueden hacerlo en octubre”, dijo el doctor Steve Miller, director clínico de la aseguradora Cigna.Los CDC recomiendan que las personas “se vacunen contra la influenza a fines de octubre”, pero señalaron que se puede recibir la vacuna más tarde porque “aún puede ser beneficiosas y la vacunación debe ofrecerse a lo largo de toda la temporada de influenza”.Aun así, algunos expertos recomiendan no esperar demasiado este año, no solo por COVID-19, sino también en caso de que haya escasez debido a la abrumadora demanda.P.

    ¿Cuáles son las razones por las que las que debería ofrecer mi brazo para vacunarme?. Hay que vacunarse porque brinda protección contra la gripe y, por lo tanto, contra la propagación a otras personas, lo que puede ayudar a disminuir la carga para los hospitales y el personal médico.Y hay otro mensaje que puede resonar en estos tiempos extraños.“Le da a la gente la sensación de que hay algunas cosas que pueden controlar”, dijo Eduardo Sánchez, director médico de prevención de la American Heart Association.Si bien una vacuna contra la gripe no evitará COVID-19, recibirla podría ayudar al médico a diferenciar entre las dos enfermedades si se desarrolla algún síntoma (fiebre, tos, dolor de garganta) que ambas infecciones comparten, explicó Sánchez.Y aunque las vacunas contra la gripe no evitarán todos los casos de gripe, vacunarse puede reducir la gravedad si la persona se enferma, dijo.Todas las personas elegibles, especialmente los trabajadores esenciales, los que sufren de afecciones subyacentes y aquellos en mayor riesgo, incluidos los niños muy pequeños y las mujeres embarazadas, deben buscar protección, dijeron los CDC. La entidad recomienda la vacunación a partir de los 6 meses.P. ¿Qué sabemos sobre la efectividad de la vacuna de este año?.

    Se deben producir nuevas vacunas contra la gripe cada año, porque el virus muta y la efectividad de la vacuna varía, dependiendo de qué tan bien coincida con el virus circulante.Se calculó que la formulación del año pasado tuvo una eficacia de aproximadamente un 45% para prevenir la gripe en general, con una efectividad de aproximadamente un 55% en los niños. Las vacunas disponibles en el país este año tienen como objetivo prevenir al menos tres cepas diferentes del virus, y la mayoría cubre cuatro.Todavía no se sabe qué tan bien coincidirá el suministro de este año con las cepas que circularán en los Estados Unidos. Las primeras indicaciones del hemisferio sur, que atraviesa su temporada de gripe durante nuestro verano, son alentadoras. Allí, las personas practicaron el distanciamiento social, usaron máscaras y se vacunaron en mayor número este año, y los niveles mundiales de gripe son más bajos de lo esperado.

    Sin embargo, expertos advierten que no se debe contar con una temporada igual de suave en los Estados Unidos, en parte porque los esfuerzos por usar mascara facial y de distanciamiento social varían ampliamente.P. ¿Qué están haciendo diferente los seguros y sistemas de salud este año?. Las aseguradoras y los sistemas de salud contactados por KHN dicen que seguirán las pautas de los CDC, que exigen limitar y espaciar la cantidad de personas que esperan en las filas y las áreas de vacunación. Algunos están programando citas para vacunas contra la gripe para ayudar a controlar el flujo.Health Fitness Concepts, una compañía que trabaja con UnitedHealth Group y otras empresas para establecer clínicas de vacunación contra la gripe en el noreste del país, dijo que está “fomentando eventos más pequeños y frecuentes para apoyar el distanciamiento social” y “exigiendo que se completen todos los formularios y arremangarse las camisas antes de entrar al área de vacunación contra la influenza”.Se requerirá que todos usen máscaras.Además, a nivel nacional, algunos grupos médicos contratados por UnitedHealth instalarán carpas, para que las inyecciones se puedan administrar al aire libre, dijo un vocero.Kaiser Permanente planifica las vacunas directamente en autos en algunos de sus centros médicos y está probando los procedimientos de detección y registro sin contacto en algunos lugares.Geisinger Health, un proveedor de salud regional en Pennsylvania y Nueva Jersey, dijo que también tendría programas de vacunación contra la influenza al aire libre en sus instalaciones.Además, “Geisinger exige que todos los empleados reciban la vacuna contra la influenza este año”, dijo Mark Shelly, director de prevención y control de infecciones del sistema.

    €œAl dar este paso, esperamos transmitir a nuestros vecinos la importancia de la vacuna contra la influenza para todos”.P. Por lo general, me vacunan contra la gripe en el trabajo. ¿Seguirá siendo una opción este año?. Con el objetivo de evitar riesgosas reuniones en interiores, muchos empleadores se muestran reacios a patrocinar las clínicas de gripe en oficinas como han ofrecido en años anteriores.

    Y con tanta gente que sigue trabajando desde casa, hay menos necesidad de llevar las vacunas contra la gripe al lugar de trabajo. En cambio, muchos empleadores están alentando a los trabajadores a que reciban vacunas de sus médicos de atención primaria, en farmacias u otros entornos comunitarios. El seguro generalmente cubrirá el costo de la vacuna.Algunos empleadores están considerando ofrecer cupones para vacunas contra la gripe a sus trabajadores sin seguro o a aquellos que no participan en el plan médico de la compañía, dijo Julie Stone, directora general de salud y beneficios de Willis Towers Watson, una firma consultora.Estos cupones podrían, por ejemplo, permitir a los trabajadores obtener la vacuna en un laboratorio en particular sin costo.Algunos empleadores están comenzando a pensar en cómo podrían usar sus estacionamientos para administrar vacunas contra la gripe enlos autos, dijo el doctor David Zieg, líder de servicios clínicos para el consultor de beneficios Mercer.Aunque la ley federal permite a los empleadores exigir a los empleados que se vacunen contra la gripe, ese paso generalmente lo toman solo los centros de atención médica y algunas universidades donde las personas viven y trabajan en estrecha colaboración, dijo Zieg.Pero sucede. El mes pasado, el sistema de la Universidad de California emitió una orden ejecutiva que requiere que todos los estudiantes, profesores y personal se vacunen contra la gripe antes del 1 de noviembre, con limitadas excepciones.P.

    ¿Qué están haciendo las farmacias para alentar a las personas a vacunarse contra la gripe?. Algunas farmacias están haciendo un esfuerzo adicional para salir a la comunidad y ofrecer vacunas contra la gripe.Walgreens, que tiene casi 9,100 farmacias en todo el país, continúa una asociación iniciada en 2015 con organizaciones comunitarias, iglesias y empleadores que ha ofrecido alrededor de 150,000 clínicas de gripe móviles hasta la fecha.El programa pone especial énfasis en trabajar con poblaciones vulnerables y en áreas desatendidas, dijo el doctor Kevin Ban, director médico de la cadena de farmacias.Walgreens comenzó a ofrecer vacunas contra la gripe a mediados de agosto y está animando a las personas a no demorar en vacunarse.Tanto Walgreens como CVS están estimulando a las personas a programar citas y hacer trámites en línea este año para minimizar el tiempo que pasan en los locales.En los CVS MinuteClinic, una vez que los pacientes se han registrado para recibir la vacuna contra la gripe, deben esperar afuera o en su automóvil, ya que las áreas de espera interiores ahora están cerradas.“No tenemos un arsenal contra COVID”, dijo Ban, de Walgreens. €œPero quitar la presión del sistema de atención médica proporcionando vacunas por adelantado es algo que sí podemos hacer”. Julie Appleby.

    jappleby@kff.org, @Julie_Appleby Michelle Andrews. andrews.khn@gmail.com, @mandrews110 Related Topics Insurance Noticias En Español Public Health CDC COVID-19 Insurers VaccinesThis story was produced in partnership with PolitiFact. This story can be republished for free (details). President Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president in a 70-minute speech from the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday night.Speaking to a friendly crowd that didn’t appear to be observing social distancing conventions, and with few participants wearing masks, he touched on a range of topics, including many related to the COVID pandemic and health care in general.Throughout, the partisan crowd applauded and chanted “Four more years!. € And, even as the nation’s COVID-19 death toll exceeded 180,000, Trump was upbeat.

    €œIn recent months, our nation and the entire planet has been struck by a new and powerful invisible enemy,” he said. €œLike those brave Americans before us, we are meeting this challenge.”At the end of the event, there were fireworks.Our partners at PolitiFact did an in-depth fact check on Trump’s entire acceptance speech. Here are the highlights related to the administration’s COVID-19 response and other health policy issues:“We developed, from scratch, the largest and most advanced testing system in the world.” This is partially right, but it needs context.It’s accurate that the U.S. Developed its COVID-19 testing system from scratch, because the government didn’t accept the World Health Organization’s testing recipe.

    But whether the system is the “largest” or “most advanced” is subject to debate.The U.S. Has tested more individuals than any other country. But experts told us a more meaningful metric would be the percentage of positive tests out of all tests, indicating that not only sick people were getting tested. Another useful metric would be the percentage of the population that has been tested.

    The U.S. Is one of the most populous countries but has tested a lower percentage of its population than other countries. Don't Miss A Story Subscribe to KHN’s free Weekly Edition newsletter. The U.S.

    Was also slower than other countries in rolling out tests and amping up testing capacity. Even now, many states are experiencing delays in reporting test results to positive individuals.As for “the most advanced,” Trump may be referring to new testing investments and systems, like Abbott’s recently announced $5, 15-minute rapid antigen test, which the company says will be about the size of a credit card, needs no instrumentation and comes with a phone app through which people can view their results. But Trump’s comment makes it sound as if these testing systems are already in place when they haven’t been distributed to the public.“The United States has among the lowest [COVID-19] case fatality rates of any major country in the world. The European Union’s case fatality rate is nearly three times higher than ours.”The case fatality rate measures the known number of cases against the known number of deaths.

    The European Union has a rate that’s about 2½ times greater than the United States.But the source of that data, Oxford University’s Our World in Data project, reports that “during an outbreak of a pandemic, the case fatality rate is a poor measure of the mortality risk of the disease.”A better way to measure the threat of the virus, experts say, is to look at the number of deaths per 100,000 residents. Viewed that way, the U.S. Has the 10th-highest death rate in the world.“We will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner.”It’s far from guaranteed that a coronavirus vaccine will be ready before the end of the year.While researchers are making rapid strides, it’s not yet known precisely when the vaccine will be available to the public, which is what’s most important. Six vaccines are in the third phase of testing, which involves thousands of patients.

    Like earlier phases, this one looks at the safety of a vaccine but also examines its effectiveness and collects more data on side effects. Results of the third phase will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for approval.The government website Operation Warp Speed seems less optimistic than Trump, announcing it “aims to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021.”And federal health officials and other experts have generally predicted a vaccine will be available in early 2021. Federal committees are working on recommendations for vaccine distribution, including which groups should get it first. €œFrom everything we’ve seen now — in the animal data, as well as the human data — we feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021,” said Dr.

    Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert. €œI don’t think it’s dreaming.”“Last month, I took on Big Pharma. You think that is easy?. I signed orders that would massively lower the cost of your prescription drugs.”Quite misleading.

    Trump signed four executive orders on July 24 aimed at lowering prescription drug prices. But those orders haven’t taken effect yet — the text of one hasn’t even been made publicly available — and experts told us that, if implemented, the measures would be unlikely to result in significant drug price reductions for the majority of Americans.“We will always and very strongly protect patients with preexisting conditions, and that is a pledge from the entire Republican Party.”Trump’s pledge is undermined by his efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, the only law that guarantees people with preexisting conditions both receive health coverage and do not have to pay more for it than others do. In 2017, Trump supported congressional efforts to repeal the ACA. The Trump administration is now backing GOP-led efforts to overturn the ACA through a court case.

    And Trump has also expanded short-term health plans that don’t have to comply with the ACA.“Joe Biden recently raised his hand on the debate stage and promised he was going to give it away, your health care dollars to illegal immigrants, which is going to bring a massive number of immigrants into our country.”This is misleading. During a June 2019 Democratic primary debate, candidates were asked. €œRaise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants.” All candidates on stage, including Biden, raised their hands. They were not asked if that coverage would be free or subsidized.Biden supports extending health care access to all immigrants, regardless of immigration status.

    A task force recommended that he allow immigrants who are in the country illegally to buy health insurance, without federal subsidies.“Joe Biden claims he has empathy for the vulnerable, yet the party he leads supports the extreme late-term abortion of defenseless babies right up to the moment of birth.”This mischaracterizes the Democratic Party’s stance on abortion and Biden’s position.Biden has said he would codify the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade and related precedents. This would generally limit abortions to the first 20 to 24 weeks of gestation. States are allowed under court rulings to ban abortion after the point at which a fetus can sustain life, usually considered to be between 24 and 28 weeks from the mother’s last menstrual period — and 43 states do.

    But the rulings require states to make exceptions “to preserve the life or health of the mother.” Late-term abortions are very rare, about 1%.The Democratic Party platform holds that “every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion — regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured.” It does not address late-term abortion.PolitiFact’s Daniel Funke, Jon Greenberg, Louis Jacobson, Noah Y. Kim, Bill McCarthy, Samantha Putterman, Amy Sherman, Miriam Valverde and KHN reporter Victoria Knight contributed to this report. Related Topics Elections Health Industry Pharmaceuticals Public Health The Health Law Abortion COVID-19 Immigrants KHN &. PolitiFact HealthCheck Preexisting Conditions Trump Administration Vaccines.

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    TTHealthWatch is http://www.amisdepasteur.fr/kamagra-oral-jelly-uk-sales/ a who makes kamagra weekly podcast from Texas Tech. In it, Elizabeth Tracey, director of electronic media for Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Rick Lange, MD, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, look at the top medical stories of the week. A transcript of the podcast is below the summary.This week's topics include revascularization in people with both MI and shock, a new targeted therapy for some thyroid and lung cancers, remdesivir in moderate Covid disease, and the risk of Covid for those with cancer.Program notes:0:37 Cancer and COVID risk1:37 Specific type of cancer2:33 Individualized risk category3:33 Individual numbers were small4:03 Use of remdesivir in moderate disease5:03 Used an ordinal scale to assess6:03 New targeted agent selpercatinib7:03 Overall 2% of cancers8:12 Valuable addition for this mutation9:06 Effective, durable and minimal side effects10:02 Identify the pathway and target10:26 Heart attack, shock and revascularization11:26 CATH-PCI registry12:09 May need additional procedures who makes kamagra later13:14 EndTranscript:Elizabeth Tracey. How does COVID-19 affect people with cancer?.

    Rick Lange. Best coronary interventions in people with who makes kamagra heart attacks and shock.Elizabeth. A new targeted agent for some types of thyroid and lung cancers.Rick. And remdesivir in people with moderate COVID infection -- helpful or not?.

    Elizabeth. That's what we're talking about this week on TT HealthWatch, your weekly look at the medical headlines from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso. I'm Elizabeth Tracey, a Baltimore-based medical journalist.Rick. And I'm Rick Lange, President of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso and Dean of the Paul L.

    Foster School of Medicine.Elizabeth. Rick, how about if we start with the COVID ones first and then we can move on to the ones that are not COVID?. This week, we have 50/50. The first one I'd like to talk about is the one that's in Lancet Oncology.

    It's taking a look at COVID-19 and how does that impact on people with various types of cancer?. Their a priori hypothesis -- and I think many of us would have thought this also -- is that folks who have cancer probably are at higher likelihood of having more severe disease and poor outcomes.In the UK, they did a registry that's called the UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project. In this study, they looked between March 18th and May 8th. They had adult patients with cancer enrolled in this and then they also had a parallel non-COVID UK cancer control population.319 of their 1,044 patients in this cohort died and 92.5% of those had a cause of death recorded as due to COVID-19.

    So the numbers compress, of course, and when they take a look at specific types of cancers, they find that it's the patients with leukemia who showed a significantly increased case fatality rate. They corrected, of course, for age and sex, and those hematologic malignancies, especially among those who had recently had chemotherapy, had an increased risk of death relative to COVID-19 admission.Rick. Obviously, there are a number of risk factors for having severe disease and death -- age, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, lung disease, kidney disease -- and people have assumed that cancer also increases your risk of having severe or life-threatening COVID infection.This study allowed the investigators to look at all types of cancers and what they found particularly was that the presence of a solid tumor cancer -- something like a kidney cancer, or a GI cancer, or even lung cancer -- did not increase the risk of having severe COVID infection or dying from COVID infection. It was just the hematologic malignancies that you mentioned.

    Now, what this allows them to do is to have an individualized risk categorization for each of the patients. When you're taking care of a patient with lung cancer, do you have to be more or less concerned and therefore change your chemotherapy?. People have shortened radiotherapy, they've switched from IV to oral chemotherapy regimens, and they've also modified immunotherapy. It suggests that, in fact, in people with solid tumors that's probably not necessary.Elizabeth.

    I think all of this is good news because, of course, people have been extremely reluctant to come to medical centers and continue treatment because they've been concerned about COVID-19. As we've noted before, I feel substantially safer in the hospital than I feel anywhere else in town, so that concern, at least, is something I would probably put to rest.I think one thing that was somewhat disappointing about this study and that I would like to see confirmed is the numbers because, as we've talked about before, when you start to parse those into the various types of malignancies, I'd sure like to see much bigger numbers so that I could feel more comfortable with the outcomes.Rick. Yep. Either individual numbers of pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer, and lung cancer were all small.

    But, again, they were able to take a large group -- solid tumors versus hematologic malignancies like leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma -- and those large categories were able to determine that it was the latter that had the increased risk. I agree, but these are the largest numbers we have to date.Elizabeth. Let's talk about your COVID one. That's in the Journal of the American Medical Association, "How early should we be using remdesivir?.

    " That's what I'll call it.Rick. Even, should we at all?. Now you say, "Well, of course we should be. We've already had those studies and proven that." The studies that showed that remdesivir were helpful were those that had severe COVID infection.

    They were hospitalized and they had a decrease in their blood oxygen content, hypoxia, or hypoxemia.In a large trial of over 1,000 people sponsored by the NIH, it showed that remdesivir, if done early, can actually decrease the hospital stay by 4 days, -- from 15 days to 11 days -- but there was no change in the mortality. That's the severe COVID-infected. What about those that have moderate COVID infection?. There were about 600 individuals.

    You have evidence of COVID infection, you have pulmonary infiltrates -- they could see it on your lungs -- but you don't require oxygen. Those 600 people got randomized to either have 5 days of remdesivir, 10 days of remdesivir, or just standard care.Those that received 10 days versus those that received standard care, their outcome was essentially the same. Those that received 5 days of remdesivir appeared to do a little bit better, but the clinical significance of it really isn't very clear because they used what's called an ordinal scale that ranged from everything from, "Did the patient need hospitalization?. " to "Were they dead?.

    "Each of those things wasn't similarly affected by remdesivir and some are more significant than others. For example, dying is a much more significant event than going to be hospitalized or needing to be put on nasal oxygen. The authors were really kind of muted. They said, "Well, it looks like it could be beneficial." But clinical significance, really not very evident.Elizabeth.

    And it's kind of expensive, so putting people on that stuff if they don't really need it doesn't make any sense to me. Remind me again about the side effect profile.Rick. Relatively minor side effects. Now, it's interesting because only about three-fourths of the individuals actually completed the 5-day course.

    Only about 40% completed the 10-day course because they left the hospital earlier, which made it even a little bit more complicated. I think that the studies show for people with severe infection, it can shorten your hospital stay. But in those with moderate infection, I'd say the jury's still out.Elizabeth. Leaving our COVID things then, let's turn to the New England Journal of Medicine, back to cancer, a new targeted agent called selpercatinib, which takes aim at specific mutations that are called RET -- that's capital R-E-T- -- altered cancers.

    There are two studies that are in here, one taking a look at thyroid cancers and the other taking a look at non-small cell lung cancers.It turns out that with regard to the thyroid cancers, more than 50% of sporadic medullary thyroid cancers have this particular RET mutation and 10% to 20% of papillary thyroid cancers. [There are] much smaller percentages of non-small cell lung cancers in the second study, but also colorectal, breast, and other cancers.This particular mutation generates docking sites for downstream signaling adapters and that activates multiple key cancer effectors, so that's how this thing works. And when you take a look overall among a group of diverse cancers, these aberrations have been identified in approximately 2% of the cases of cancer.In the thyroid cancers, they had 55 patients with the medullary thyroid cancer previously treated. Sixty-nine percent had a response to the agent with 82% progression-free survival at one year.

    Among 88 patients who had the same mutation and medullary thyroid cancer not previously treated, only 73% -- which I think is a little curious -- had a response to selpercatinib, while 92% had progression-free survival at one year. Finally, in 15 of 19 patients with previously treated RET fusion-positive thyroid cancer, 79% had a response.With regard to non-small cell lung cancer, they had 105 patients with this mutation, previously been treated with platinum-based chemotherapy, 64% response, and 39 previously untreated patients, 85% had a response. And finally, in 10 of 11 patients with central nervous system metastases had an intracranial response to the agent.This looks like a valuable addition for that 2% of total cancers that express this particular mutation and suggests to me that something we've asserted many times about cancer, that clinically we call it cancer -- but actually, if we take a look at really what this disease is, it's a multitude of different diseases.Rick. Elizabeth, and I'm glad you brought that point up because this therapy was effective in lung cancer and thyroid cancer.

    You say, "Well, those are two different organs." But the mechanism for the growth of the cancer was the same in both these of types of cancers.As you mentioned, it's the RET protein. That RET protein typically signals growth of cells. When it mutates or fuses, there's uncontrolled growth of these cells. That's what causes cancer.

    So what we're moving from is an organ-specific therapy to the molecular mechanisms behind it so we can get really specific targeted therapies.This particular RET therapy was effective, it was durable, and importantly, the side effects were really minimal. Only 2% to 3% percent of individuals that were taking the medication had to stop it because of the side effects. It's one of several different targeted therapies that's now available.Elizabeth. Right.

    I guess one of my concerns is a) the expense of developing these targeted therapies and getting them to market, and b) the fact that overall 2% of cancers manifest this particular mutation. So does that mean we're going to peck away at all of these different mutations in order to develop that entire armamentarium of targeted agents that are going to help everybody with cancer?. Rick. That's a great question.

    I can foresee a time we look at those individual pathways that we know, and although this one may account for less than 2% of cancers, another one may be 5%, another one be 4% or 3%. So in toto, what we should be able to do is identify the pathways that are activated in a particular cancer and have specific therapies towards that. I think that's the future. It's targeted therapy towards the molecular mechanism, not targeted towards the organ.Elizabeth.

    Well, I'm just going to say that what I'm hoping for the future is that we're going to develop blood tests that are specific for this, be able to catch the things super early before they even start to manifest as any particular tumor type. Let's turn to your final one in JAMA Internal Medicine.Rick. Elizabeth, we're going to talk about individuals who have heart attacks -- then after that, or as a result of that, have shock, and their mortality's been very high, as high as 50%.Now, we know that when someone's having a heart attack, if you open their artery up, restore blood flow, you improve their overall outcome. But 70% to 80% of these people that have heart attacks and shock have more than one blood vessel involved.

    Only one has the clot that's caused the acute heart attack, but there are other blood vessels with blockages or stenosis.The question is when you're taking pictures and you identify that, do you just open the one artery or should you open all the arteries to improve overall outcome?. That's what this study addressed. Do we do just the culprit vessel or do all vessels to do this?. This is a follow-up on a randomized controlled trial.Now, you say, "Well, why would you want to do this after a randomized controlled trial that showed that only doing the culprit vessel was the best way to do it?.

    " Well, because it's a very selected population and sometimes it's not a real-world experience. To address whether this applies in the real world, they used results from the CathPCI Registry. That's a registry of everybody that has a cardiac catheterization.There were over 64,000 patients at over 1,600 hospitals that had a heart attack and shock. Some of those individuals had all the blood vessels opened, about a third of them did, and about two-thirds just had that single blood vessel opened.Doing the single blood vessel ended up with a better outcome.

    If you opened all blood vessels, you had a higher risk of dying and a higher risk of having complications as a result of the procedure as well.Elizabeth. A couple of other things that they mentioned in this study. One is that when you only have the culprit vessel done, you were at higher risk for subsequent ... Requiring additional revascularization or readmission for heart failure down the road.Rick.

    You may need to have additional procedures in some patients down the road, but the thing is they live through the hospitalization. You don't kill them during the hospitalization [because] of complication.Here's why this is particularly important. When people present with a heart attack and don't have shock but have multi-vessel disease, studies have shown they do better if you open all their blood vessels up.Ten years ago I helped write those guidelines. We would have said, "Oh, my goodness.

    When you're having an acute heart attack, don't open all the blood vessels. When you're having shock, open them all up." Now what the studies have shown is just the opposite.Elizabeth. That's so fascinating and so tell me, how often do shock and MI occur together?. Rick.

    That's a great question. It's obviously more likely to occur in people that have either had a previous heart attack or [are] older. I would say it's probably in the neighborhood of about 10% or 15%. Most people with acute heart attack don't have shock.

    But those that do, the mortality is very high.Elizabeth. Good information, then. On that note, that's a look at this week's medical headlines from Texas Tech. I'm Elizabeth Tracey.Rick.

    I'm Rick Lange. Y'all listen up and make healthy choices. Last Updated August 28, 2020.

    TTHealthWatch is a weekly podcast buy kamagra online with free samples http://www.amisdepasteur.fr/buy-kamagra-oral-jelly-online-australia/ from Texas Tech. In it, Elizabeth Tracey, director of electronic media for Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Rick Lange, MD, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, look at the top medical stories of the week. A transcript of the podcast is below the summary.This week's topics include revascularization in people with both MI and shock, a new targeted therapy for some thyroid and lung cancers, remdesivir in moderate Covid disease, and the risk of Covid for those with cancer.Program notes:0:37 Cancer and COVID risk1:37 Specific type of cancer2:33 Individualized risk category3:33 Individual numbers were small4:03 Use of remdesivir in moderate disease5:03 Used an ordinal scale to assess6:03 New targeted agent selpercatinib7:03 Overall 2% of cancers8:12 Valuable addition for this mutation9:06 Effective, durable and minimal side effects10:02 Identify the pathway and target10:26 Heart attack, shock and revascularization11:26 CATH-PCI registry12:09 buy kamagra online with free samples May need additional procedures later13:14 EndTranscript:Elizabeth Tracey. How does COVID-19 affect people with cancer?.

    Rick Lange. Best coronary interventions buy kamagra online with free samples in people with heart attacks and shock.Elizabeth. A new targeted agent for some types of thyroid and lung cancers.Rick. And remdesivir in people with moderate COVID infection -- helpful or not?.

    Elizabeth. That's what we're talking about this week on TT HealthWatch, your weekly look at the medical headlines from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso. I'm Elizabeth Tracey, a Baltimore-based medical journalist.Rick. And I'm Rick Lange, President of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso and Dean of the Paul L.

    Foster School of Medicine.Elizabeth. Rick, how about if we start with the COVID ones first and then we can move on to the ones that are not COVID?. This week, we have 50/50. The first one I'd like to talk about is the one that's in Lancet Oncology.

    It's taking a look at COVID-19 and how does that impact on people with various types of cancer?. Their a priori hypothesis -- and I think many of us would have thought this also -- is that folks who have cancer probably are at higher likelihood of having more severe disease and poor outcomes.In the UK, they did a registry that's called the UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project. In this study, they looked between March 18th and May 8th. They had adult patients with cancer enrolled in this and then they also had a parallel non-COVID UK cancer control population.319 of their 1,044 patients in this cohort died and 92.5% of those had a cause of death recorded as due to COVID-19.

    So the numbers compress, of course, and when they take a look at specific types of cancers, they find that it's the patients with leukemia who showed a significantly increased case fatality rate. They corrected, of course, for age and sex, and those hematologic malignancies, especially among those who had recently had chemotherapy, had an increased risk of death relative to COVID-19 admission.Rick. Obviously, there are a number of risk factors for having severe disease and death -- age, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, lung disease, kidney disease -- and people have assumed that cancer also increases your risk of having severe or life-threatening COVID infection.This study allowed the investigators to look at all types of cancers and what they found particularly was that the presence of a solid tumor cancer -- something like a kidney cancer, or a GI cancer, or even lung cancer -- did not increase the risk of having severe COVID infection or dying from COVID infection. It was just the hematologic malignancies that you mentioned.

    Now, what this allows them to do is to have an individualized risk categorization for each of the patients. When you're taking care of a patient with lung cancer, do you have to be more or less concerned and therefore change your chemotherapy?. People have shortened radiotherapy, they've switched from IV to oral chemotherapy regimens, and they've also modified immunotherapy. It suggests that, in fact, in people with solid tumors that's probably not necessary.Elizabeth.

    I think all of this is good news because, of course, people have been extremely reluctant to come to medical centers and continue treatment because they've been concerned about COVID-19. As we've noted before, I feel substantially safer in the hospital than I feel anywhere else in town, so that concern, at least, is something I would probably put to rest.I think one thing that was somewhat disappointing about this study and that I would like to see confirmed is the numbers because, as we've talked about before, when you start to parse those into the various types of malignancies, I'd sure like to see much bigger numbers so that I could feel more comfortable with the outcomes.Rick. Yep. Either individual numbers of pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer, and lung cancer were all small.

    But, again, they were able to take a large group -- solid tumors versus hematologic malignancies like leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma -- and those large categories were able to determine that it was the latter that had the increased risk. I agree, but these are the largest numbers we have to date.Elizabeth. Let's talk about your COVID one. That's in the Journal of the American Medical Association, "How early should we be using remdesivir?.

    " That's what I'll call it.Rick. Even, should we at all?. Now you say, "Well, of course we should be. We've already had those studies and proven that." The studies that showed that remdesivir were helpful were those that had severe COVID infection.

    They were hospitalized and they had a decrease in their blood oxygen content, hypoxia, or hypoxemia.In a large trial of over 1,000 people sponsored by the NIH, it showed that remdesivir, if done early, can actually decrease the hospital stay by 4 days, -- from 15 days to 11 days -- but there was no change in the mortality. That's the severe COVID-infected. What about those that have moderate COVID infection?. There were about 600 individuals.

    You have evidence of COVID infection, you have pulmonary infiltrates -- they could see it on your lungs -- but you don't require oxygen. Those 600 people got randomized to either have 5 days of remdesivir, 10 days of remdesivir, or just standard care.Those that received 10 days versus those that received standard care, their outcome was essentially the same. Those that received 5 days of remdesivir appeared to do a little bit better, but the clinical significance of it really isn't very clear because they used what's called an ordinal scale that ranged from everything from, "Did the patient need hospitalization?. " to "Were they dead?.

    "Each of those things wasn't similarly affected by remdesivir and some are more significant than others. For example, dying is a much more significant event than going to be hospitalized or needing to be put on nasal oxygen. The authors were really kind of muted. They said, "Well, it looks like it could be beneficial." But clinical significance, really not very evident.Elizabeth.

    And it's kind of expensive, so putting people on that stuff if they don't really need it doesn't make any sense to me. Remind me again about the side effect profile.Rick. Relatively minor side effects. Now, it's interesting because only about three-fourths of the individuals actually completed the 5-day course.

    Only about 40% completed the 10-day course because they left the hospital earlier, which made it even a little bit more complicated. I think that the studies show for people with severe infection, it can shorten your hospital stay. But in those with moderate infection, I'd say the jury's still out.Elizabeth. Leaving our COVID things then, kamagra jelly uk next day delivery let's turn to the New England Journal of Medicine, back to cancer, a new targeted agent called selpercatinib, which takes aim at specific mutations that are called RET -- that's capital R-E-T- -- altered cancers.

    There are two studies that are in here, one taking a look at thyroid cancers and the other taking a look at non-small cell lung cancers.It turns out that with regard to the thyroid cancers, more than 50% of sporadic medullary thyroid cancers have this particular RET mutation and 10% to 20% of papillary thyroid cancers. [There are] much smaller percentages of non-small cell lung cancers in the second study, but also colorectal, breast, and other cancers.This particular mutation generates docking sites for downstream signaling adapters and that activates multiple key cancer effectors, so that's how this thing works. And when you take a look overall among a group of diverse cancers, these aberrations have been identified in approximately 2% of the cases of cancer.In the thyroid cancers, they had 55 patients with the medullary thyroid cancer previously treated. Sixty-nine percent had a response to the agent with 82% progression-free survival at one year.

    Among 88 patients who had the same mutation and medullary thyroid cancer not previously treated, only 73% -- which I think is a little curious -- had a response to selpercatinib, while 92% had progression-free survival at one year. Finally, in 15 of 19 patients with previously treated RET fusion-positive thyroid cancer, 79% had a response.With regard to non-small cell lung cancer, they had 105 patients with this mutation, previously been treated with platinum-based chemotherapy, 64% response, and 39 previously untreated patients, 85% had a response. And finally, in 10 of 11 patients with central nervous system metastases had an intracranial response to the agent.This looks like a valuable addition for that 2% of total cancers that express this particular mutation and suggests to me that something we've asserted many times about cancer, that clinically we call it cancer -- but actually, if we take a look at really what this disease is, it's a multitude of different diseases.Rick. Elizabeth, and I'm glad you brought that point up because this therapy was effective in lung cancer and thyroid cancer.

    You say, "Well, those are two different organs." But the mechanism for the growth of the cancer was the same in both these of types of cancers.As you mentioned, it's the RET protein. That RET protein typically signals growth of cells. When it mutates or fuses, there's uncontrolled growth of these cells. That's what causes cancer.

    So what we're moving from is an organ-specific therapy to the molecular mechanisms behind it so we can get really specific targeted therapies.This particular RET therapy was effective, it was durable, and importantly, the side effects were really minimal. Only 2% to 3% percent of individuals that were taking the medication had to stop it because of the side effects. It's one of several different targeted therapies that's now available.Elizabeth. Right.

    I guess one of my concerns is a) the expense of developing these targeted therapies and getting them to market, and b) the fact that overall 2% of cancers manifest this particular mutation. So does that mean we're going to peck away at all of these different mutations in order to develop that entire armamentarium of targeted agents that are going to help everybody with cancer?. Rick. That's a great question.

    I can foresee a time we look at those individual pathways that we know, and although this one may account for less than 2% of cancers, another one may be 5%, another one be 4% or 3%. So in toto, what we should be able to do is identify the pathways that are activated in a particular cancer and have specific therapies towards that. I think that's the future. It's targeted therapy towards the molecular mechanism, not targeted towards the organ.Elizabeth.

    Well, I'm just going to say that what I'm hoping for the future is that we're going to develop blood tests that are specific for this, be able to catch the things super early before they even start to manifest as any particular tumor type. Let's turn to your final one in JAMA Internal Medicine.Rick. Elizabeth, we're going to talk about individuals who have heart attacks -- then after that, or as a result of that, have shock, and their mortality's been very high, as high as 50%.Now, we know that when someone's having a heart attack, if you open their artery up, restore blood flow, you improve their overall outcome. But 70% to 80% of these people that have heart attacks and shock have more than one blood vessel involved.

    Only one has the clot that's caused the acute heart attack, but there are other blood vessels with blockages or stenosis.The question is when you're taking pictures and you identify that, do you just open the one artery or should you open all the arteries to improve overall outcome?. That's what this study addressed. Do we do just the culprit vessel or do all vessels to do this?. This is a follow-up on a randomized controlled trial.Now, you say, "Well, why would you want to do this after a randomized controlled trial that showed that only doing the culprit vessel was the best way to do it?.

    " Well, because it's a very selected population and sometimes it's not a real-world experience. To address whether this applies in the real world, they used results from the CathPCI Registry. That's a registry of everybody that has a cardiac catheterization.There were over 64,000 patients at over 1,600 hospitals that had a heart attack and shock. Some of those individuals had all the blood vessels opened, about a third of them did, and about two-thirds just had that single blood vessel opened.Doing the single blood vessel ended up with a better outcome.

    If you opened all blood vessels, you had a higher risk of dying and a higher risk of having complications as a result of the procedure as well.Elizabeth. A couple of other things that they mentioned in this study. One is that when you only have the culprit vessel done, you were at higher risk for subsequent ... Requiring additional revascularization or readmission for heart failure down the road.Rick.

    You may need to have additional procedures in some patients down the road, but the thing is they live through the hospitalization. You don't kill them during the hospitalization [because] of complication.Here's why this is particularly important. When people present with a heart attack and don't have shock but have multi-vessel disease, studies have shown they do better if you open all their blood vessels up.Ten years ago I helped write those guidelines. We would have said, "Oh, my goodness.

    When you're having an acute heart attack, don't open all the blood vessels. When you're having shock, open them all up." Now what the studies have shown is just the opposite.Elizabeth. That's so fascinating and so tell me, how often do shock and MI occur together?. Rick.

    That's a great question. It's obviously more likely to occur in people that have either had a previous heart attack or [are] older. I would say it's probably in the neighborhood of about 10% or 15%. Most people with acute heart attack don't have shock.

    But those that do, the mortality is very high.Elizabeth. Good information, then. On that note, that's a look at this week's medical headlines from Texas Tech. I'm Elizabeth Tracey.Rick.

    I'm Rick Lange. Y'all listen up and make healthy choices. Last Updated August 28, 2020.

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    This extra rest can be helpful in decreasing stress on the kamagra chewable tablets shoulder and elbow joints, but it can also lead to decreased kamagra que es strength and ROM. Overhead athletes need to keep their bodies strong, and a great way to achieve that is by performing a regular strengthening program. With many gyms remaining closed or limiting access during social distancing, that can be even more challenging. However, there are many exercises that can be done at home with minimal equipment needs kamagra que es.

    A great program to focus on during the off season is the Thrower’s Ten program that was developed with the overhead athlete in mind. These exercises focus on the muscle groups that matter most for the overhead athlete. We use our entire body to throw a ball and the stress on the shoulder to decelerate the arm kamagra que es is about twice our body weight. Most of this stress gets placed on the rotator cuff and scapular muscles that slow the arm down as we follow through with our throw.

    Weakness in these muscles can lead to problems with the shoulder and elbow joints. Common injuries can be Little League shoulder and elbow or strains to the ulnar collateral ligaments (Tommy kamagra que es John). If you have dealt with pain or injuries in the past, a comprehensive evaluation by a physical therapist (PT) who focuses on treating the overhead athlete can be extremely helpful in identifying areas of concern. Your PT will evaluate your strength with a dynamometer to look at any significant abnormalities between shoulders.

    They can also perform kamagra que es a video throwing analysis to look at ways to potentially reduce injury risk and improve performance. This can almost always be achieved with only a couple of visits, and the off season is a great time to start addressing areas of concern to be ready for next season or throwing during the winter. Your PT can help you develop a customized home exercise program based on your needs. Physical Therapist Kyle Stevenson, D.P.T., sees patients at MidMichigan’s Rehabilitation Services location in Greater Midland North-End Fitness Center kamagra que es.

    He has a special interest in sports medicine, and enjoys working with athletes of all ages. He has completed specialized coursework and training for the throwing athletes. New patients are kamagra que es welcome with a physician referral by calling (989) 832-5913. Those who would like more information about MidMichigan’s Rehabilitation Services may visit www.midmichigan.org/rehabilitation.Have you ever woken up with a sore throat and used your phone to get a virtual visit?.

    The odds are it’s not available to you, and there is a reason for that. You may be hearing about how virtual care, often described as telehealth or kamagra que es telemedicine, is beneficial during COVID-19 and how health systems are offering virtual access like never before. There’s a reason for that, too. For the past few weeks I’ve seen Facebook posts daily from former nursing colleagues in metro Detroit, one of the hardest hit areas in the country, as they provide front-line care to patients with COVID-19.

    It makes kamagra que es me very proud to call these nurses my friends. As a former emergency department nurse, I recall the feeling of satisfaction knowing that I’ve helped someone on the worst day of their life. One of the best parts of being a nurse is knowing you matter to the only person in health care that truly matters. The patient kamagra que es.

    Several years ago I made the difficult decision to no longer perform bedside nursing and become a nurse administrator. The biggest loss from my transition is the feeling that what I do matters to the patient. COVID-19 has forced a lot of us to rethink the role we kamagra que es play in health care and what the real priority should be. Things that were top priorities three months ago have been rightfully cast aside to either care for patients in a pandemic or prepare for the unknown future of, “When is our turn?.

    € For me, COVID-19 has reignited the feeling that what I do matters as virtual care has become a powerful tool on the forefront of care during this crisis. It has also shown that many of the powerful rules kamagra que es and regulations that limit virtual care are not needed and should be discarded permanently. When I became the director of virtual care at our organization in 2015 I knew nothing about telehealth. Sure, I had seen a stroke robot in some Emergency Departments, and I had some friends that told me their insurance company lets them FaceTime a doctor for free (spoiler alert.

    It’s not FaceTime) kamagra que es. I was tech-savvy from a consumer perspective and a tech novice from an IT perspective. Nevertheless, my team and I spent the next few years learning as we built one of the higher volume virtual care networks in the state of Michigan. We discovered a kamagra que es lot of barriers that keep virtual care from actually making the lives of patients and providers better and we also became experts in working around those barriers.

    But, there were two obstacles that we could not overcome. Government regulation and insurance provider willingness to cover virtual visits. These two kamagra que es barriers effectively cripple most legitimate attempts to provide value-added direct-to-consumer virtual care, which I define as using virtual care technologies to provide care outside of our brick-and-mortar facilities, most commonly in the patient home. The need to social distance, cancel appointments, close provider offices, keep from overloading emergency departments and urgent cares and shelter in place created instant demand for direct-to-consumer virtual care.

    In all honesty, I’ve always considered direct-to-consumer virtual care to be the flashy, must-have holiday gift of the year that organizations are convinced will be the way of the future. If a health kamagra que es system wants to provide on-demand access to patients for low-complexity acute conditions, they will easily find plenty of vendors that will sell them their app and their doctors and put the health system’s logo on it. What a health system will struggle with is to find is enough patient demand to cover the high cost. Remember my friends from earlier that told me about the app their insurance gave them?.

    Nearly all of kamagra que es them followed that up by telling me they’ve never actually used it. I am fortunate that I work for an organization that understands this and instead focuses on how can we provide care that our patients actually want and need from the doctors they want to see. Ironically, this fiscal year we had a corporate top priority around direct-to-consumer virtual care. We wanted to expand kamagra que es what we thought were some successful pilots and perform 500 direct-to-consumer visits.

    This year has been one of the hardest of my leadership career because, frankly, up until a month ago I was about to fail on this top priority. With only four months left, http://www.amisdepasteur.fr/can-you-buy-kamagra-over-the-counter-usa/ we were only about halfway there. The biggest problem we ran into was that every great idea a physician brought to me was instantly dead in the water because practically no insurance company would pay for it. There kamagra que es are (prior to COVID-19) a plethora of rules around virtual care billing but the simplest way to summarize it is that most virtual care will only be paid if it happens in a rural location and inside of a health care facility.

    It is extremely limited what will be paid for in the patient home and most of it is so specific that the average patient isn’t eligible to get any in-home virtual care. Therefore, most good medical uses for direct-to-consumer care would be asking the patient to pay cash or the physician to forgo reimbursement for a visit that would be covered if it happened in office. Add to that the massive capital and operating expenses it takes to build a virtual care network and you can see why these programs don’t exist kamagra que es. A month ago I was skeptical we’d have a robust direct-to-consumer program any time soon and then COVID-19 hit.

    When COVID-19 started to spread rapidly in the United States, regulations and reimbursement rules were being stripped daily. The first change that had major impact is when the Centers for Medicare kamagra que es and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they would temporarily begin reimbursing for virtual visits conducted in the patient’s home for COVID-19 and non-COVID related visits. We were already frantically designing a virtual program to handle the wave of COVID-19 screening visits that were overloading our emergency departments and urgent cares. We were having plenty of discussions around reimbursement for this clinic.

    Do we attempt to bill insurances knowing they will likely deny, do we do a cash clinic model or do we do kamagra que es this as a community benefit and eat the cost?. The CMS waiver gave us hope that we would be compensated for diverting patients away from reimbursed visits to a virtual visit that is more convenient for the patient and aligns with the concept of social distancing. Realistically we don’t know if we will be paid for any of this. We are holding all of the bills for at least 90 days while the industry sorts out the kamagra que es rules.

    I was excited by the reimbursement announcement because I knew we had eliminated one of the biggest direct-to-consumer virtual care barriers. However, I was quickly brought back to reality when I was reminded that HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) still existed. I had this crazy idea that during a pandemic we should make it as easy as possible for people to receive virtual care and that the best way kamagra que es to do that was to meet the patient on the device they are most comfortable with and the application (FaceTime, Facebook, Skype, etc.) that they use every day. The problem is nearly every app the consumer uses on a daily basis is banned by HIPAA because “it’s not secure.” I’m not quite sure what a hacker stands to gain by listening into to my doctor and me talk about how my kids yet again gave me strep throat but apparently the concern is great enough to stifle the entire industry.

    Sure, not every health care discussion is as low-key as strep throat and a patient may want to protect certain topics from being discussed over a “non-secure” app but why not let the patient decide through informed consent?. Regulators could also abandon kamagra que es this all-or-nothing approach and lighten regulations surrounding specific health conditions. The idea that regulations change based on medical situation is not new. For example, in my home state of Michigan, adolescents are essentially considered emancipated if it involves sexual health, mental health or substance abuse.

    Never mind that this same kamagra que es information is freely given over the phone by every office around the country daily without issue, but I digress. While my job is to innovate new pathways for care, our lawyer’s job is to protect the organization and he, along with IT security, rightfully shot down my consumer applications idea. A few days later I legitimately screamed out loud in joy when the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would use discretion on enforcing HIPAA compliance rules and specifically allowed for use of consumer applications. The elimination of billing restrictions and HIPAA regulations changed what kamagra que es is possible for health care organizations to offer virtually.

    Unfortunately both changes are listed as temporary and will likely be removed when the pandemic ends. Six days after the HIPAA changes were announced, we launched a centralized virtual clinic for any patient that wanted a direct-to-consumer video visit to be screened by a provider for COVID-19. It allows patients to call in without a referral kamagra que es and most patients are on-screen within five minutes of clicking the link we text them. They don’t have to download an app, create an account or even be an established patient of our health system.

    It saw over 900 patients in the first 12 days it was open. That is 900 real patients that received care from a physician or advanced practice provider without risking personal exposure and without kamagra que es going to an already overwhelmed ED or urgent care. To date, 70 percent of the patients seen by the virtual clinic did not meet CDC testing criteria for COVID-19. I don’t believe we could have reached even half of these patients had the consumer application restrictions been kept.

    A program like this almost certainly wouldn’t exist if not for the regulations being lifted and even if it did, it would have taken kamagra que es six to 12 months to navigate barriers and implement in normal times. Sure, the urgency of a pandemic helps but the impact of provider, patients, regulators and payors being on the same page is what fueled this fire. During the virtual clinic’s first two weeks, my team turned its attention to getting over 300 providers across 60+ offices virtual so they could see their patients at home. Imagine being an immunocompromised cancer patient right now and being asked to leave your home and be exposed to other people kamagra que es in order to see your oncologist.

    Direct-to-consumer virtual care is the best way to safely care for these patients and without these temporary waivers it wouldn’t be covered by insurance even if you did navigate the clunky apps that are HIPAA compliant. Do we really think the immunocompromised cancer patient feels any more comfortable every normal flu season?. Is it any more appropriate kamagra que es to ask them to risk exposure to the flu than it is to COVID-19?. And yet we deny them this access in normal times and it quite possibly will be stripped away from them when this crisis is over.

    Now 300 to 400 patients per day in our health system are seen virtually by their own primary care doctor or specialist for non-COVID related visits. Not a single one of these would have been reimbursed one month ago and I am kamagra que es highly skeptical I would have gotten approval to use the software that connects us to the patient. Lastly, recall that prior to COVID-19, our system had only found 250 total patients that direct-to-consumer care was value-added and wasn’t restricted by regulation or reimbursement. COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to the whole country and health care is no exception.

    It has put priorities in perspective and shined a light on what is kamagra que es truly value-added. For direct-to-consumer virtual care it has shown us what is possible when we get out of our own way. If a regulation has to be removed to allow for care during a crisis then we must question why it exists in the first place. HIPAA regulation cannot go back to its antiquated practices if we are truly going to shift the kamagra que es focus to patient wellness.

    CMS and private payors must embrace value-added direct-to-consumer virtual care and allow patients the access they deserve. COVID-19 has forced this industry forward, we cannot allow it to regress and be forgotten when this is over. Tom Wood is the director of trauma and virtual care for MidMichigan Health, a non-profit health system headquartered in Midland, Michigan, affiliated with Michigan Medicine, the health care division of the University of Michigan.

    Many athletes have had their baseball season More Bonuses shortened or cancelled due buy kamagra online with free samples to COVID-19. This extra rest can be helpful in decreasing stress on the shoulder and elbow joints, but it can also lead to decreased strength and ROM. Overhead athletes need to keep their bodies strong, and a great way to achieve that is by performing a regular strengthening program. With many gyms remaining closed or limiting buy kamagra online with free samples access during social distancing, that can be even more challenging. However, there are many exercises that can be done at home with minimal equipment needs.

    A great program to focus on during the off season is the Thrower’s Ten program that was developed with the overhead athlete in mind. These exercises focus on the muscle buy kamagra online with free samples groups that matter most for the overhead athlete. We use our entire body to throw a ball and the stress on the shoulder to decelerate the arm is about twice our body weight. Most of this stress gets placed on the rotator cuff and scapular muscles that slow the arm down as we follow through with our throw. Weakness in these muscles can lead to problems with the shoulder and elbow joints buy kamagra online with free samples.

    Common injuries can be Little League shoulder and elbow or strains to the ulnar collateral ligaments (Tommy John). If you have dealt with pain or injuries in the past, a comprehensive evaluation by a physical therapist (PT) who focuses on treating the overhead athlete can be extremely helpful in identifying areas of concern. Your PT will evaluate your strength with a dynamometer to look at any significant buy kamagra online with free samples abnormalities between shoulders. They can also perform a video throwing analysis to look at ways to potentially reduce injury risk and improve performance. This can almost always be achieved with only a couple of visits, and the off season is a great time to start addressing areas of concern to be ready for next season or throwing during the winter.

    Your PT can help you develop a customized home exercise buy kamagra online with free samples program based on your needs. Physical Therapist Kyle Stevenson, D.P.T., sees patients at MidMichigan’s Rehabilitation Services location in Greater Midland North-End Fitness Center. He has a special interest in sports medicine, and enjoys working with athletes of all ages. He has completed specialized coursework and training for the throwing buy kamagra online with free samples athletes. New patients are welcome with a physician referral by calling (989) 832-5913.

    Those who would like more information about MidMichigan’s Rehabilitation Services may visit www.midmichigan.org/rehabilitation.Have you ever woken up with a sore throat and used your phone to get a virtual visit?. The odds buy kamagra online with free samples are it’s not available to you, and there is a reason for that. You may be hearing about how virtual care, often described as telehealth or telemedicine, is beneficial during COVID-19 and how health systems are offering virtual access like never before. There’s a reason for that, too. For the past few weeks I’ve seen Facebook posts daily from former nursing colleagues in metro Detroit, one of the hardest hit areas in the country, as they provide front-line care to patients buy kamagra online with free samples with COVID-19.

    It makes me very proud to call these nurses my friends. As a former emergency department nurse, I recall the feeling of satisfaction knowing that I’ve helped someone on the worst day of their life. One of the best buy kamagra online with free samples parts of being a nurse is knowing you matter to the only person in health care that truly matters. The patient. Several years ago I made the difficult decision to no longer perform bedside nursing and become a nurse administrator.

    The biggest loss from buy kamagra online with free samples my transition is the feeling that what I do matters to the patient. COVID-19 has forced a lot of us to rethink the role we play in health care and what the real priority should be. Things that were top priorities three months ago have been rightfully cast aside to either care for patients in a pandemic or prepare for the unknown future of, “When is our turn?. € For me, COVID-19 has reignited the feeling that what I do matters as virtual care buy kamagra online with free samples has become a powerful tool on the forefront of care during this crisis. It has also shown that many of the powerful rules and regulations that limit virtual care are not needed and should be discarded permanently.

    When I became the director of virtual care at our organization in 2015 I knew nothing about telehealth. Sure, I had buy kamagra online with free samples seen a stroke robot in some Emergency Departments, and I had some friends that told me their insurance company lets them FaceTime a doctor for free (spoiler alert. It’s not FaceTime). I was tech-savvy from a consumer perspective and a tech novice from an IT perspective. Nevertheless, my team and I spent the next few years learning as we built one of the higher volume virtual buy kamagra online with free samples care networks in the state of Michigan.

    We discovered a lot of barriers that keep virtual care from actually making the lives of patients and providers better and we also became experts in working around those barriers. But, there were two obstacles that we could not overcome. Government regulation buy kamagra online with free samples and insurance provider willingness to cover virtual visits. These two barriers effectively cripple most legitimate attempts to provide value-added direct-to-consumer virtual care, which I define as using virtual care technologies to provide care outside of our brick-and-mortar facilities, most commonly in the patient home. The need to social distance, cancel appointments, close provider offices, keep from overloading emergency departments and urgent cares and shelter in place created instant demand for direct-to-consumer virtual care.

    In all honesty, I’ve always considered direct-to-consumer virtual care to be the flashy, must-have holiday gift of the buy kamagra online with free samples year that organizations are convinced will be the way of the future. If a health system wants to provide on-demand access to patients for low-complexity acute conditions, they will easily find plenty of vendors that will sell them their app and their doctors and put the health system’s logo on it. What a health system will struggle with is to find is enough patient demand to cover the high cost. Remember my friends from earlier that told me about the app their insurance buy kamagra online with free samples gave them?. Nearly all of them followed that up by telling me they’ve never actually used it.

    I am fortunate that I work for an organization that understands this and instead focuses on how can we provide care that our patients actually want and need from the doctors they want to see. Ironically, this fiscal year we buy kamagra online with free samples had a corporate top priority around direct-to-consumer virtual care. We wanted to expand what we thought were some successful pilots and perform 500 direct-to-consumer visits. This year has http://www.amisdepasteur.fr/kamagra-oral-jelly-uk-sales/ been one of the hardest of my leadership career because, frankly, up until a month ago I was about to fail on this top priority. With only four months left, we were only about halfway there.

    The biggest problem we ran into was that every great idea a physician brought to me was instantly dead in the buy kamagra online with free samples water because practically no insurance company would pay for it. There are (prior to COVID-19) a plethora of rules around virtual care billing but the simplest way to summarize it is that most virtual care will only be paid if it happens in a rural location and inside of a health care facility. It is extremely limited what will be paid for in the patient home and most of it is so specific that the average patient isn’t eligible to get any in-home virtual care. Therefore, most good medical uses for direct-to-consumer care would be asking the patient to pay cash or the buy kamagra online with free samples physician to forgo reimbursement for a visit that would be covered if it happened in office. Add to that the massive capital and operating expenses it takes to build a virtual care network and you can see why these programs don’t exist.

    A month ago I was skeptical we’d have a robust direct-to-consumer program any time soon and then COVID-19 hit. When COVID-19 started to spread rapidly in the United States, buy kamagra online with free samples regulations and reimbursement rules were being stripped daily. The first change that had major impact is when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they would temporarily begin reimbursing for virtual visits conducted in the patient’s home for COVID-19 and non-COVID related visits. We were already frantically designing a virtual program to handle the wave of COVID-19 screening visits that were overloading our emergency departments and urgent cares. We buy kamagra online with free samples were having plenty of discussions around reimbursement for this clinic.

    Do we attempt to bill insurances knowing they will likely deny, do we do a cash clinic model or do we do this as a community benefit and eat the cost?. The CMS waiver gave us hope that we would be compensated for diverting patients away from reimbursed visits to a virtual visit that is more convenient for the patient and aligns with the concept of social distancing. Realistically we don’t know buy kamagra online with free samples if we will be paid for any of this. We are holding all of the bills for at least 90 days while the industry sorts out the rules. I was excited by the reimbursement announcement because I knew we had eliminated one of the biggest direct-to-consumer virtual care barriers.

    However, I was quickly brought back to reality when I was reminded that HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) still buy kamagra online with free samples existed. I had this crazy idea that during a pandemic we should make it as easy as possible for people to receive virtual care and that the best way to do that was to meet the patient on the device they are most comfortable with and the application (FaceTime, Facebook, Skype, etc.) that they use every day. The problem is nearly every app the consumer uses on a daily basis is banned by HIPAA because “it’s not secure.” I’m not quite sure what a hacker stands to gain by listening into to my doctor and me talk about how my kids yet again gave me strep throat but apparently the concern is great enough to stifle the entire industry. Sure, not every health buy kamagra online with free samples care discussion is as low-key as strep throat and a patient may want to protect certain topics from being discussed over a “non-secure” app but why not let the patient decide through informed consent?. Regulators could also abandon this all-or-nothing approach and lighten regulations surrounding specific health conditions.

    The idea that regulations change based on medical situation is not new. For example, in my home state buy kamagra online with free samples of Michigan, adolescents are essentially considered emancipated if it involves sexual health, mental health or substance abuse. Never mind that this same information is freely given over the phone by every office around the country daily without issue, but I digress. While my job is to innovate new pathways for care, our lawyer’s job is to protect the organization and he, along with IT security, rightfully shot down my consumer applications idea. A few days later I legitimately screamed out loud in joy when buy kamagra online with free samples the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would use discretion on enforcing HIPAA compliance rules and specifically allowed for use of consumer applications.

    The elimination of billing restrictions and HIPAA regulations changed what is possible for health care organizations to offer virtually. Unfortunately both changes are listed as temporary and will likely be removed when the pandemic ends. Six days after the buy kamagra online with free samples HIPAA changes were announced, we launched a centralized virtual clinic for any patient that wanted a direct-to-consumer video visit to be screened by a provider for COVID-19. It allows patients to call in without a referral and most patients are on-screen within five minutes of clicking the link we text them. They don’t have to download an app, create an account or even be an established patient of our health system.

    It saw over 900 patients in the first 12 buy kamagra online with free samples days it was open. That is 900 real patients that received care from a physician or advanced practice provider without risking personal exposure and without going to an already overwhelmed ED or urgent care. To date, 70 percent of the patients seen by the virtual clinic did not meet CDC testing criteria for COVID-19. I don’t believe we could have buy kamagra online with free samples reached even half of these patients had the consumer application restrictions been kept. A program like this almost certainly wouldn’t exist if not for the regulations being lifted and even if it did, it would have taken six to 12 months to navigate barriers and implement in normal times.

    Sure, the urgency of a pandemic helps but the impact of provider, patients, regulators and payors being on the same page is what fueled this fire. During the virtual buy kamagra online with free samples clinic’s first two weeks, my team turned its attention to getting over 300 providers across 60+ offices virtual so they could see their patients at home. Imagine being an immunocompromised cancer patient right now and being asked to leave your home and be exposed to other people in order to see your oncologist. Direct-to-consumer virtual care is the best way to safely care for these patients and without these temporary waivers it wouldn’t be covered by insurance even if you did navigate the clunky apps that are HIPAA compliant. Do we really think the immunocompromised cancer patient feels any buy kamagra online with free samples more comfortable every normal flu season?.

    Is it any more appropriate to ask them to risk exposure to the flu than it is to COVID-19?. And yet we deny them this access in normal times and it quite possibly will be stripped away from them when this crisis is over. Now 300 buy kamagra online with free samples to 400 patients per day in our health system are seen virtually by their own primary care doctor or specialist for non-COVID related visits. Not a single one of these would have been reimbursed one month ago and I am highly skeptical I would have gotten approval to use the software that connects us to the patient. Lastly, recall that prior to COVID-19, our system had only found 250 total patients that direct-to-consumer care was value-added and wasn’t restricted by regulation or reimbursement.

    COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to the whole country and health buy kamagra online with free samples care is no exception. It has put priorities in perspective and shined a light on what is truly value-added. For direct-to-consumer virtual care it has shown us what is possible when we get out of our own way. If a regulation has to be removed to allow for care during a crisis then we must question why it exists in the first place. HIPAA regulation cannot go back to its antiquated practices if we are truly going to shift the focus to patient wellness.

    CMS and private payors must embrace value-added direct-to-consumer virtual care and allow patients the access they deserve. COVID-19 has forced this industry forward, we cannot allow it to regress and be forgotten when this is over.

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    Digital adoption had to be done at buy super kamagra uk an unprecedented speed - telemedicine for the delivery of healthcare really got scaled up. He added that in the WHO European region, 30 out 53 countries have some manner of digital contact tracing for COVID-19 despite privacy challenges and issues around the use of secondary data. HIMSS20 Digital Learn on-demand, earn buy super kamagra uk credit, find products and solutions. Get Started >>.

    Dr Paivi Sillanaukee, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland explained buy super kamagra uk that COVID-19 has accelerated digital health transformation in her country. She noted that the increase in online health information has been of enormous help in Finland and citizens have gained reliable, up-to-date information from these platforms. This also led to the decrease of in health line calls and required healthcare workers, which in turn has helped the health service system to cope better.“Two to seven per-cent of doctors were ready to offer video-consultations (prior buy super kamagra uk to the pandemic), but now it’s closer to 60%,” said Dr Gottfried Ludewig, Director 'Digitalisation and Innovation', Federal Ministry of Health, Germany. The country’s contact tracing app called Corona Warn-App has seen about 17.5 million downloads and Dr Ludewig noted that the app has a connection to laboratories which offer COVID-19 testing, which helps inform people much faster than before after they have been tested.In addition, a digital ICU registry to help monitor bed capacity was also implemented and set up within four to six weeks – it would usually have taken two to three years.

    Challenges in three broad areasWhile the COVID-19 pandemic has been a big catalyst in the rapid adoption of digital health tools, Dr Pravene buy super kamagra uk Nath, MD, Global Head, Digital Health Strategy, Personalized Health Care, Roche, USA observed some challenges in three broad areas. Access and administration, operations and personalisation.“In terms of access and administration, there was a widespread of telehealth in a short period of time but it is still very uneven, in terms of addressing all populations and the true seamless experience that’s needed to reduce friction during a time when there is limited supply,” explained Dr Nath.In operations, he said that demand forecasting, management of supply chain, capacity management is critical and the technology is ready for that. If these tech tools can be handed to healthcare providers, they can do operational decision making in real time with real data.Lastly, Dr buy super kamagra uk Nath commented that there is still some way to go in digitally enabled, condition-focused (personalized) care – things like remote patient monitoring when coupled to a care delivery model that allows moving past the encounter.Dr Kluge similarly observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed significant shortcomings, particularly in the capabilities of countries to access real time data. From the WHO perspective, there is a need to step down from academic solutions and move towards pragmatic and implementable solutions, taking into account the specifics at the national and subnational context.Register now to listen to the session 'on demand' at the HIMSS &.

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has seen unprecedented impact on global level, not just on an economic scale but also putting health systems around the world buy kamagra online with free samples on their limits. At the opening panel of the HIMSS &. Health 2.0 Europe Digital Conference titled Leveraging buy kamagra online with free samples Digital Health to Predict, Prevent and Manage Future Health Crises, moderator Hal Wolf, President &. CEO, HIMSS, together with the four panelists spoke about the impact of digital technologies on the COVID-19 responses in Europe, and the ongoing work that needs to be done ensure access and inclusivity in the provision of digital health.The acceleration of digital health transformation“COVID-19 has given impetus for countries to accelerate the adoption of digital health,” said Dr Hans Kluge, Regional Director for Europe, WHO, Denmark. Digital adoption buy kamagra online with free samples had to be done at an unprecedented speed - telemedicine for the delivery of healthcare really got scaled up.

    He added that in the WHO European region, 30 out 53 countries have some manner of digital contact tracing for COVID-19 despite privacy challenges and issues around the use of secondary data. HIMSS20 Digital Learn on-demand, earn credit, buy kamagra online with free samples find products and solutions. Get Started >>. Dr buy kamagra online with free samples Paivi Sillanaukee, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland explained that COVID-19 has accelerated digital health transformation in her country. She noted that the increase in online health information has been of enormous help in Finland and citizens have gained reliable, up-to-date information from these platforms.

    This also led to the decrease of in health line calls and required buy kamagra online with free samples healthcare workers, which in turn has helped the health service system to cope better.“Two to seven per-cent of doctors were ready to offer video-consultations (prior to the pandemic), but now it’s closer to 60%,” said Dr Gottfried Ludewig, Director 'Digitalisation and Innovation', Federal Ministry of Health, Germany. The country’s contact tracing app called Corona Warn-App has seen about 17.5 million downloads and Dr Ludewig noted that the app has a connection to laboratories which offer COVID-19 testing, which helps inform people much faster than before after they have been tested.In addition, a digital ICU registry to help monitor bed capacity was also implemented and set up within four to six weeks – it would usually have taken two to three years. Challenges in three broad areasWhile the COVID-19 buy kamagra online with free samples pandemic has been a big catalyst in the rapid adoption of digital health tools, Dr Pravene Nath, MD, Global Head, Digital Health Strategy, Personalized Health Care, Roche, USA observed some challenges in three broad areas. Access and administration, operations and personalisation.“In terms of access and administration, there was a widespread of telehealth in a short period of time but it is still very uneven, in terms of addressing all populations and the true seamless experience that’s needed to reduce friction during a time when there is limited supply,” explained Dr Nath.In operations, he said that demand forecasting, management of supply chain, capacity management is critical and the technology is ready for that. If these tech tools can be handed to healthcare providers, they can do operational decision making in real time with real data.Lastly, Dr Nath commented that there is still some way to go in digitally enabled, condition-focused (personalized) care buy kamagra online with free samples – things like remote patient monitoring when coupled to a care delivery model that allows moving past the encounter.Dr Kluge similarly observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed significant shortcomings, particularly in the capabilities of countries to access real time data.

    From the WHO perspective, there is a need to step down from academic solutions and move towards pragmatic and implementable solutions, taking into account the specifics at the national and subnational context.Register now to listen to the session 'on demand' at the HIMSS &. Health 2.0 European Digital Conference and keep up with the latest news and developments from the event here..

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    Rules and Household viagra kamagra uk Size 3. The Three MSP Programs - What are they and how are they Different?. 4. FOUR viagra kamagra uk Special Benefits of MSP Programs.

    Back Door to Extra Help with Part D MSPs Automatically Waive Late Enrollment Penalties for Part B - and allow enrollment in Part B year-round outside of the short Annual Enrollment Period No Medicaid Lien on Estate to Recover Payment of Expenses Paid by MSP Food Stamps/SNAP not reduced by Decreased Medical Expenses when Enroll in MSP - at least temporarily 5. Enrolling in an MSP - Automatic Enrollment &. Applications for People who viagra kamagra uk Have Medicare What is Application Process?. 6.

    Enrolling in an MSP for People age 65+ who Do Not Qualify for Free Medicare Part A - the "Part A Buy-In Program" 7. What Happens After MSP Approved - How Part B Premium is Paid 8 Special Rules for QMBs - viagra kamagra uk How Medicare Cost-Sharing Works 1. NO ASSET LIMIT!. Since April 1, 2008, none of the three MSP programs have resource limits in New York -- which means many Medicare beneficiaries who might not qualify for Medicaid because of excess resources can qualify for an MSP.

    1.A viagra kamagra uk. SUMMARY CHART OF MSP BENEFITS QMB SLIMB QI-1 Eligibility ASSET LIMIT NO LIMIT IN NEW YORK STATE INCOME LIMIT (2020) Single Couple Single Couple Single Couple $1,064 $1,437 $1,276 $1,724 $1,436 $1,940 Federal Poverty Level 100% FPL 100 – 120% FPL 120 – 135% FPL Benefits Pays Monthly Part B premium?. YES, and also Part A premium if did not have enough work quarters and meets citizenship requirement. See “Part viagra kamagra uk A Buy-In” YES YES Pays Part A &.

    B deductibles &. Co-insurance YES - with limitations NO NO Retroactive to Filing of Application?. Yes - Benefits begin the viagra kamagra uk month after the month of the MSP application. 18 NYCRR §360-7.8(b)(5) Yes – Retroactive to 3rd month before month of application, if eligible in prior months Yes – may be retroactive to 3rd month before month of applica-tion, but only within the current calendar year.

    (No retro for January application). See GIS 07 MA 027 viagra kamagra uk. Can Enroll in MSP and Medicaid at Same Time?. YES YES NO!.

    Must viagra kamagra uk choose between QI-1 and Medicaid. Cannot have both, not even Medicaid with a spend-down. 2. INCOME LIMITS viagra kamagra uk and RULES Each of the three MSP programs has different income eligibility requirements and provides different benefits.

    The income limits are tied to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). 2019 FPL levels were released by NYS DOH in GIS 20 MA/02 - 2020 Federal Poverty Levels -- Attachment II and have been posted by Medicaid.gov and the National Council on Aging and are in the chart below. NOTE viagra kamagra uk. There is usually a lag in time of several weeks, or even months, from January 1st of each year until the new FPLs are release, and then before the new MSP income limits are officially implemented.

    During this lag period, local Medicaid offices should continue to use the previous year's FPLs AND count the person's Social Security benefit amount from the previous year - do NOT factor in the Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment). Once the updated guidelines are released, districts will use the viagra kamagra uk new FPLs and go ahead and factor in any COLA. See 2019 Fact Sheet on MSP in NYS by Medicare Rights Center ENGLISH SPANISH Income is determined by the same methodology as is used for determining in eligibility for SSI The rules for counting income for SSI-related (Aged 65+, Blind, or Disabled) Medicaid recipients, borrowed from the SSI program, apply to the MSP program, except for the new rules about counting household size for married couples. N.Y.

    Soc. Serv. L. 367-a(3)(c)(2), NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7, 89-ADM-7 p.7.

    Gross income is counted, although there are certain types of income that are disregarded. The most common income disregards, also known as deductions, include. (a) The first $20 of your &. Your spouse's monthly income, earned or unearned ($20 per couple max).

    (b) SSI EARNED INCOME DISREGARDS. * The first $65 of monthly wages of you and your spouse, * One-half of the remaining monthly wages (after the $65 is deducted). * Other work incentives including PASS plans, impairment related work expenses (IRWEs), blind work expenses, etc. For information on these deductions, see The Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities (MBI-WPD) and other guides in this article -- though written for the MBI-WPD, the work incentives apply to all Medicaid programs, including MSP, for people age 65+, disabled or blind.

    (c) monthly cost of any health insurance premiums but NOT the Part B premium, since Medicaid will now pay this premium (may deduct Medigap supplemental policies, vision, dental, or long term care insurance premiums, and the Part D premium but only to the extent the premium exceeds the Extra Help benchmark amount) (d) Food stamps not counted. You can get a more comprehensive listing of the SSI-related income disregards on the Medicaid income disregards chart. As for all benefit programs based on financial need, it is usually advantageous to be considered a larger household, because the income limit is higher. The above chart shows that Households of TWO have a higher income limit than households of ONE.

    The MSP programs use the same rules as Medicaid does for the Disabled, Aged and Blind (DAB) which are borrowed from the SSI program for Medicaid recipients in the “SSI-related category.” Under these rules, a household can be only ONE or TWO. 18 NYCRR 360-4.2. See DAB Household Size Chart. Married persons can sometimes be ONE or TWO depending on arcane rules, which can force a Medicare beneficiary to be limited to the income limit for ONE person even though his spouse who is under 65 and not disabled has no income, and is supported by the client applying for an MSP.

    EXAMPLE. Bob's Social Security is $1300/month. He is age 67 and has Medicare. His wife, Nancy, is age 62 and is not disabled and does not work.

    Under the old rule, Bob was not eligible for an MSP because his income was above the Income limit for One, even though it was well under the Couple limit. In 2010, NYS DOH modified its rules so that all married individuals will be considered a household size of TWO. DOH GIS 10 MA 10 Medicare Savings Program Household Size, June 4, 2010. This rule for household size is an exception to the rule applying SSI budgeting rules to the MSP program.

    Under these rules, Bob is now eligible for an MSP. When is One Better than Two?. Of course, there may be couples where the non-applying spouse's income is too high, and disqualifies the applying spouse from an MSP. In such cases, "spousal refusal" may be used SSL 366.3(a).

    (Link is to NYC HRA form, can be adapted for other counties). 3. The Three Medicare Savings Programs - what are they and how are they different?. 1.

    Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB). The QMB program provides the most comprehensive benefits. Available to those with incomes at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), the QMB program covers virtually all Medicare cost-sharing obligations. Part B premiums, Part A premiums, if there are any, and any and all deductibles and co-insurance.

    QMB coverage is not retroactive. The program’s benefits will begin the month after the month in which your client is found eligible. ** See special rules about cost-sharing for QMBs below - updated with new CMS directive issued January 2012 ** See NYC HRA QMB Recertification form ** Even if you do not have Part A automatically, because you did not have enough wages, you may be able to enroll in the Part A Buy-In Program, in which people eligible for QMB who do not otherwise have Medicare Part A may enroll, with Medicaid paying the Part A premium (Materials by the Medicare Rights Center). 2.

    Specifiedl Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB). For those with incomes between 100% and 120% FPL, the SLMB program will cover Part B premiums only. SLMB is retroactive, however, providing coverage for three months prior to the month of application, as long as your client was eligible during those months. 3.

    Qualified Individual (QI-1). For those with incomes between 120% and 135% FPL, and not receiving Medicaid, the QI-1 program will cover Medicare Part B premiums only. QI-1 is also retroactive, providing coverage for three months prior to the month of application, as long as your client was eligible during those months. However, QI-1 retroactive coverage can only be provided within the current calendar year.

    (GIS 07 MA 027) So if you apply in January, you get no retroactive coverage. Q-I-1 recipients would be eligible for Medicaid with a spend-down, but if they want the Part B premium paid, they must choose between enrolling in QI-1 or Medicaid. They cannot be in both. It is their choice.

    DOH MRG p. 19. In contrast, one may receive Medicaid and either QMB or SLIMB. 4.

    Four Special Benefits of MSPs (in addition to NO ASSET TEST). Benefit 1. Back Door to Medicare Part D "Extra Help" or Low Income Subsidy -- All MSP recipients are automatically enrolled in Extra Help, the subsidy that makes Part D affordable. They have no Part D deductible or doughnut hole, the premium is subsidized, and they pay very low copayments.

    Once they are enrolled in Extra Help by virtue of enrollment in an MSP, they retain Extra Help for the entire calendar year, even if they lose MSP eligibility during that year. The "Full" Extra Help subsidy has the same income limit as QI-1 - 135% FPL. However, many people may be eligible for QI-1 but not Extra Help because QI-1 and the other MSPs have no asset limit. People applying to the Social Security Administration for Extra Help might be rejected for this reason.

    Recent (2009-10) changes to federal law called "MIPPA" requires the Social Security Administration (SSA) to share eligibility data with NYSDOH on all persons who apply for Extra Help/ the Low Income Subsidy. Data sent to NYSDOH from SSA will enable NYSDOH to open MSP cases on many clients. The effective date of the MSP application must be the same date as the Extra Help application. Signatures will not be required from clients.

    In cases where the SSA data is incomplete, NYSDOH will forward what is collected to the local district for completion of an MSP application. The State implementing procedures are in DOH 2010 ADM-03. Also see CMS "Dear State Medicaid Director" letter dated Feb. 18, 2010 Benefit 2.

    MSPs Automatically Waive Late Enrollment Penalties for Part B Generally one must enroll in Part B within the strict enrollment periods after turning age 65 or after 24 months of Social Security Disability. An exception is if you or your spouse are still working and insured under an employer sponsored group health plan, or if you have End Stage Renal Disease, and other factors, see this from Medicare Rights Center. If you fail to enroll within those short periods, you might have to pay higher Part B premiums for life as a Late Enrollment Penalty (LEP). Also, you may only enroll in Part B during the Annual Enrollment Period from January 1 - March 31st each year, with Part B not effective until the following July.

    Enrollment in an MSP automatically eliminates such penalties... For life.. Even if one later ceases to be eligible for the MSP. AND enrolling in an MSP will automatically result in becoming enrolled in Part B if you didn't already have it and only had Part A.

    See Medicare Rights Center flyer. Benefit 3. No Medicaid Lien on Estate to Recover MSP Benefits Paid Generally speaking, states may place liens on the Estates of deceased Medicaid recipients to recover the cost of Medicaid services that were provided after the recipient reached the age of 55. Since 2002, states have not been allowed to recover the cost of Medicare premiums paid under MSPs.

    In 2010, Congress expanded protection for MSP benefits. Beginning on January 1, 2010, states may not place liens on the Estates of Medicaid recipients who died after January 1, 2010 to recover costs for co-insurance paid under the QMB MSP program for services rendered after January 1, 2010. The federal government made this change in order to eliminate barriers to enrollment in MSPs. See NYS DOH GIS 10-MA-008 - Medicare Savings Program Changes in Estate Recovery The GIS clarifies that a client who receives both QMB and full Medicaid is exempt from estate recovery for these Medicare cost-sharing expenses.

    Benefit 4. SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits not reduced despite increased income from MSP - at least temporarily Many people receive both SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits and MSP. Income for purposes of SNAP/Food Stamps is reduced by a deduction for medical expenses, which includes payment of the Part B premium. Since approval for an MSP means that the client no longer pays for the Part B premium, his/her SNAP/Food Stamps income goes up, so their SNAP/Food Stamps go down.

    Here are some protections. Do these individuals have to report to their SNAP worker that their out of pocket medical costs have decreased?. And will the household see a reduction in their SNAP benefits, since the decrease in medical expenses will increase their countable income?. The good news is that MSP households do NOT have to report the decrease in their medical expenses to the SNAP/Food Stamp office until their next SNAP/Food Stamp recertification.

    Even if they do report the change, or the local district finds out because the same worker is handling both the MSP and SNAP case, there should be no reduction in the household’s benefit until the next recertification. New York’s SNAP policy per administrative directive 02 ADM-07 is to “freeze” the deduction for medical expenses between certification periods. Increases in medical expenses can be budgeted at the household’s request, but NYS never decreases a household’s medical expense deduction until the next recertification. Most elderly and disabled households have 24-month SNAP certification periods.

    Eventually, though, the decrease in medical expenses will need to be reported when the household recertifies for SNAP, and the household should expect to see a decrease in their monthly SNAP benefit. It is really important to stress that the loss in SNAP benefits is NOT dollar for dollar. A $100 decrease in out of pocket medical expenses would translate roughly into a $30 drop in SNAP benefits. See more info on SNAP/Food Stamp benefits by the Empire Justice Center, and on the State OTDA website.

    Some clients will be automatically enrolled in an MSP by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) shortly after attaining eligibility for Medicare. Others need to apply. The 2010 "MIPPA" law introduced some improvements to increase MSP enrollment. See 3rd bullet below.

    Also, some people who had Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act before they became eligible for Medicare have special procedures to have their Part B premium paid before they enroll in an MSP. See below. WHO IS AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED IN AN MSP. Clients receiving even $1.00 of Supplemental Security Income should be automatically enrolled into a Medicare Savings Program (most often QMB) under New York State’s Medicare Savings Program Buy-in Agreement with the federal government once they become eligible for Medicare.

    They should receive Medicare Parts A and B. Clients who are already eligible for Medicare when they apply for Medicaid should be automatically assessed for MSP eligibility when they apply for Medicaid. (NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 and GIS 05 MA 033). Clients who apply to the Social Security Administration for Extra Help, but are rejected, should be contacted &.

    Enrolled into an MSP by the Medicaid program directly under new MIPPA procedures that require data sharing. Strategy TIP. Since the Extra Help filing date will be assigned to the MSP application, it may help the client to apply online for Extra Help with the SSA, even knowing that this application will be rejected because of excess assets or other reason. SSA processes these requests quickly, and it will be routed to the State for MSP processing.

    Since MSP applications take a while, at least the filing date will be retroactive. Note. The above strategy does not work as well for QMB, because the effective date of QMB is the month after the month of application. As a result, the retroactive effective date of Extra Help will be the month after the failed Extra Help application for those with QMB rather than SLMB/QI-1.

    Applying for MSP Directly with Local Medicaid Program. Those who do not have Medicaid already must apply for an MSP through their local social services district. (See more in Section D. Below re those who already have Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act before they became eligible for Medicare.

    If you are applying for MSP only (not also Medicaid), you can use the simplified MSP application form (theDOH-4328(Rev. 8/2017-- English) (2017 Spanish version not yet available). Either application form can be mailed in -- there is no interview requirement anymore for MSP or Medicaid. See 10 ADM-04.

    Applicants will need to submit proof of income, a copy of their Medicare card (front &. Back), and proof of residency/address. See the application form for other instructions. One who is only eligible for QI-1 because of higher income may ONLY apply for an MSP, not for Medicaid too.

    One may not receive Medicaid and QI-1 at the same time. If someone only eligible for QI-1 wants Medicaid, s/he may enroll in and deposit excess income into a pooled Supplemental Needs Trust, to bring her countable income down to the Medicaid level, which also qualifies him or her for SLIMB or QMB instead of QI-1. Advocates in NYC can sign up for a half-day "Deputization Training" conducted by the Medicare Rights Center, at which you'll be trained and authorized to complete an MSP application and to submit it via the Medicare Rights Center, which submits it to HRA without the client having to apply in person. Enrolling in an MSP if you already have Medicaid, but just become eligible for Medicare Those who, prior to becoming enrolled in Medicare, had Medicaid through Affordable Care Act are eligible to have their Part B premiums paid by Medicaid (or the cost reimbursed) during the time it takes for them to transition to a Medicare Savings Program.

    In 2018, DOH clarified that reimbursement of the Part B premium will be made regardless of whether the individual is still in a Medicaid managed care (MMC) plan. GIS 18 MA/001 Medicaid Managed Care Transition for Enrollees Gaining Medicare ( PDF) provides, "Due to efforts to transition individuals who gain Medicare eligibility and who require LTSS, individuals may not be disenrolled from MMC upon receipt of Medicare. To facilitate the transition and not disadvantage the recipient, the Medicaid program is approving reimbursement of Part B premiums for enrollees in MMC." The procedure for getting the Part B premium paid is different for those whose Medicaid was administered by the NYS of Health Exchange (Marketplace), as opposed to their local social services district. The procedure is also different for those who obtain Medicare because they turn 65, as opposed to obtaining Medicare based on disability.

    Either way, Medicaid recipients who transition onto Medicare should be automatically evaluated for MSP eligibility at their next Medicaid recertification. NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 Individuals can also affirmatively ask to be enrolled in MSP in between recertification periods. IF CLIENT HAD MEDICAID ON THE MARKETPLACE (NYS of Health Exchange) before obtaining Medicare. IF they obtain Medicare because they turn age 65, they will receive a letter from their local district asking them to "renew" Medicaid through their local district.

    See 2014 LCM-02. Now, their Medicaid income limit will be lower than the MAGI limits ($842/ mo reduced from $1387/month) and they now will have an asset test. For this reason, some individuals may lose full Medicaid eligibility when they begin receiving Medicare. People over age 65 who obtain Medicare do NOT keep "Marketplace Medicaid" for 12 months (continuous eligibility) See GIS 15 MA/022 - Continuous Coverage for MAGI Individuals.

    Since MSP has NO ASSET limit. Some individuals may be enrolled in the MSP even if they lose Medicaid, or if they now have a Medicaid spend-down. If a Medicare/Medicaid recipient reports income that exceeds the Medicaid level, districts must evaluate the person’s eligibility for MSP. 08 OHIP/ADM-4 ​If you became eligible for Medicare based on disability and you are UNDER AGE 65, you are entitled to keep MAGI Medicaid for 12 months from the month it was last authorized, even if you now have income normally above the MAGI limit, and even though you now have Medicare.

    This is called Continuous Eligibility. EXAMPLE. Sam, age 60, was last authorized for Medicaid on the Marketplace in June 2016. He became enrolled in Medicare based on disability in August 2016, and started receiving Social Security in the same month (he won a hearing approving Social Security disability benefits retroactively, after first being denied disability).

    Even though his Social Security is too high, he can keep Medicaid for 12 months beginning June 2016. Sam has to pay for his Part B premium - it is deducted from his Social Security check. He may call the Marketplace and request a refund. This will continue until the end of his 12 months of continues MAGI Medicaid eligibility.

    He will be reimbursed regardless of whether he is in a Medicaid managed care plan. See GIS 18 MA/001 Medicaid Managed Care Transition for Enrollees Gaining Medicare (PDF) When that ends, he will renew Medicaid and apply for MSP with his local district. Individuals who are eligible for Medicaid with a spenddown can opt whether or not to receive MSP. (Medicaid Reference Guide (MRG) p.

    19). Obtaining MSP may increase their spenddown. MIPPA - Outreach by Social Security Administration -- Under MIPPA, the SSA sends a form letter to people who may be eligible for a Medicare Savings Program or Extra Help (Low Income Subsidy - LIS) that they may apply. The letters are.

    · Beneficiary has Extra Help (LIS), but not MSP · Beneficiary has no Extra Help (LIS) or MSP 6. Enrolling in MSP for People Age 65+ who do Not have Free Medicare Part A - the "Part A Buy-In Program" Seniors WITHOUT MEDICARE PART A or B -- They may be able to enroll in the Part A Buy-In program, in which people eligible for QMB who are age 65+ who do not otherwise have Medicare Part A may enroll in Part A, with Medicaid paying the Part A premium. See Step-by-Step Guide by the Medicare Rights Center). This guide explains the various steps in "conditionally enrolling" in Part A at the SSA office, which must be done before applying for QMB at the Medicaid office, which will then pay the Part A premium.

    See also GIS 04 MA/013. In June, 2018, the SSA revised the POMS manual procedures for the Part A Buy-In to to address inconsistencies and confusion in SSA field offices and help smooth the path for QMB enrollment. The procedures are in the POMS Section HI 00801.140 "Premium-Free Part A Enrollments for Qualified Medicare BenefiIaries." It includes important clarifications, such as. SSA Field Offices should explain the QMB program and conditional enrollment process if an individual lacks premium-free Part A and appears to meet QMB requirements.

    SSA field offices can add notes to the “Remarks” section of the application and provide a screen shot to the individual so the individual can provide proof of conditional Part A enrollment when applying for QMB through the state Medicaid program. Beneficiaries are allowed to complete the conditional application even if they owe Medicare premiums. In Part A Buy-in states like NYS, SSA should process conditional applications on a rolling basis (without regard to enrollment periods), even if the application coincides with the General Enrollment Period. (The General Enrollment Period is from Jan 1 to March 31st every year, in which anyone eligible may enroll in Medicare Part A or Part B to be effective on July 1st).

    7. What happens after the MSP approval - How is Part B premium paid For all three MSP programs, the Medicaid program is now responsible for paying the Part B premiums, even though the MSP enrollee is not necessarily a recipient of Medicaid. The local Medicaid office (DSS/HRA) transmits the MSP approval to the NYS Department of Health – that information gets shared w/ SSA and CMS SSA stops deducting the Part B premiums out of the beneficiary’s Social Security check. SSA also refunds any amounts owed to the recipient.

    ) CMS “deems” the MSP recipient eligible for Part D Extra Help/ Low Income Subsidy (LIS). ​Can the MSP be retroactive like Medicaid, back to 3 months before the application?. ​The answer is different for the 3 MSP programs. QMB -No Retroactive Eligibility – Benefits begin the month after the month of the MSP application.

    18 NYCRR § 360-7.8(b)(5) SLIMB - YES - Retroactive Eligibility up to 3 months before the application, if was eligible This means applicant may be reimbursed for the 3 months of Part B benefits prior to the month of application. QI-1 - YES up to 3 months but only in the same calendar year. No retroactive eligibility to the previous year. 7.

    QMBs -Special Rules on Cost-Sharing. QMB is the only MSP program which pays not only the Part B premium, but also the Medicare co-insurance. However, there are limitations. First, co-insurance will only be paid if the provide accepts Medicaid.

    Not all Medicare provides accept Medicaid. Second, under recent changes in New York law, Medicaid will not always pay the Medicare co-insurance, even to a Medicaid provider. But even if the provider does not accept Medicaid, or if Medicaid does not pay the full co-insurance, the provider is banned from "balance billing" the QMB beneficiary for the co-insurance. Click here for an article that explains all of these rules.

    This article was authored by the Empire Justice Center.THE PROBLEM. Meet Joe, whose Doctor has Billed him for the Medicare Coinsurance Joe Client is disabled and has SSD, Medicaid and Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB). His health care is covered by Medicare, and Medicaid and the QMB program pick up his Medicare cost-sharing obligations. Under Medicare Part B, his co-insurance is 20% of the Medicare-approved charge for most outpatient services.

    He went to the doctor recently and, as with any other Medicare beneficiary, the doctor handed him a bill for his co-pay. Now Joe has a bill that he can’t pay. Read below to find out -- SHORT ANSWER. QMB or Medicaid will pay the Medicare coinsurance only in limited situations.

    First, the provider must be a Medicaid provider. Second, even if the provider accepts Medicaid, under recent legislation in New York enacted in 2015 and 2016, QMB or Medicaid may pay only part of the coinsurance, or none at all. This depends in part on whether the beneficiary has Original Medicare or is in a Medicare Advantage plan, and in part on the type of service. However, the bottom line is that the provider is barred from "balance billing" a QMB beneficiary for the Medicare coinsurance.

    Unfortunately, this creates tension between an individual and her doctors, pharmacies dispensing Part B medications, and other providers. Providers may not know they are not allowed to bill a QMB beneficiary for Medicare coinsurance, since they bill other Medicare beneficiaries. Even those who know may pressure their patients to pay, or simply decline to serve them. These rights and the ramifications of these QMB rules are explained in this article.

    CMS is doing more education about QMB Rights. The Medicare Handbook, since 2017, gives information about QMB Protections. Download the 2020 Medicare Handbook here. See pp.

    53, 86. 1. To Which Providers will QMB or Medicaid Pay the Medicare Co-Insurance?. "Providers must enroll as Medicaid providers in order to bill Medicaid for the Medicare coinsurance." CMS Informational Bulletin issued January 6, 2012, titled "Billing for Services Provided to Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs).

    The CMS bulletin states, "If the provider wants Medicaid to pay the coinsurance, then the provider must register as a Medicaid provider under the state rules." If the provider chooses not to enroll as a Medicaid provider, they still may not "balance bill" the QMB recipient for the coinsurance. 2. How Does a Provider that DOES accept Medicaid Bill for a QMB Beneficiary?. If beneficiary has Original Medicare -- The provider bills Medicaid - even if the QMB Beneficiary does not also have Medicaid.

    Medicaid is required to pay the provider for all Medicare Part A and B cost-sharing charges, even if the service is normally not covered by Medicaid (ie, chiropractic, podiatry and clinical social work care). Whatever reimbursement Medicaid pays the provider constitutes by law payment in full, and the provider cannot bill the beneficiary for any difference remaining. 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(n)(3)(A), NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 If the QMB beneficiary is in a Medicare Advantage plan - The provider bills the Medicare Advantage plan, then bills Medicaid for the balance using a “16” code to get paid.

    The provider must include the amount it received from Medicare Advantage plan. 3. For a Provider who accepts Medicaid, How Much of the Medicare Coinsurance will be Paid for a QMB or Medicaid Beneficiary in NYS?. The answer to this question has changed by laws enacted in 2015 and 2016.

    In the proposed 2019 State Budget, Gov. Cuomo has proposed to reduce how much Medicaid pays for the Medicare costs even further. The amount Medicaid pays is different depending on whether the individual has Original Medicare or is a Medicare Advantage plan, with better payment for those in Medicare Advantage plans. The answer also differs based on the type of service.

    Part A Deductibles and Coinsurance - Medicaid pays the full Part A hospital deductible ($1,408 in 2020) and Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance ($176/day) for days 20 - 100 of a rehab stay. Full payment is made for QMB beneficiaries and Medicaid recipients who have no spend-down. Payments are reduced if the beneficiary has a Medicaid spend-down. For in-patient hospital deductible, Medicaid will pay only if six times the monthly spend-down has been met.

    For example, if Mary has a $200/month spend down which has not been met otherwise, Medicaid will pay only $164 of the hospital deductible (the amount exceeding 6 x $200). See more on spend-down here. Medicare Part B - Deductible - Currently, Medicaid pays the full Medicare approved charges until the beneficiary has met the annual deductible, which is $198 in 2020. For example, Dr.

    John charges $500 for a visit, for which the Medicare approved charge is $198. Medicaid pays the entire $198, meeting the deductible. If the beneficiary has a spend-down, then the Medicaid payment would be subject to the spend-down. In the 2019 proposed state budget, Gov.

    Cuomo proposed to reduce the amount Medicaid pays toward the deductible to the same amount paid for coinsurance during the year, described below. This proposal was REJECTED by the state legislature. Co-Insurance - The amount medicaid pays in NYS is different for Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. If individual has Original Medicare, QMB/Medicaid will pay the 20% Part B coinsurance only to the extent the total combined payment the provider receives from Medicare and Medicaid is the lesser of the Medicaid or Medicare rate for the service.

    For example, if the Medicare rate for a service is $100, the coinsurance is $20. If the Medicaid rate for the same service is only $80 or less, Medicaid would pay nothing, as it would consider the doctor fully paid = the provider has received the full Medicaid rate, which is lesser than the Medicare rate. Exceptions - Medicaid/QMB wil pay the full coinsurance for the following services, regardless of the Medicaid rate. ambulance and psychologists - The Gov's 2019 proposal to eliminate these exceptions was rejected.

    hospital outpatient clinic, certain facilities operating under certificates issued under the Mental Hygiene Law for people with developmental disabilities, psychiatric disability, and chemical dependence (Mental Hygiene Law Articles 16, 31 or 32). SSL 367-a, subd. 1(d)(iii)-(v) , as amended 2015 If individual is in a Medicare Advantage plan, 85% of the copayment will be paid to the provider (must be a Medicaid provider), regardless of how low the Medicaid rate is. This limit was enacted in the 2016 State Budget, and is better than what the Governor proposed - which was the same rule used in Original Medicare -- NONE of the copayment or coinsurance would be paid if the Medicaid rate was lower than the Medicare rate for the service, which is usually the case.

    This would have deterred doctors and other providers from being willing to treat them. SSL 367-a, subd. 1(d)(iv), added 2016. EXCEPTIONS.

    The Medicare Advantage plan must pay the full coinsurance for the following services, regardless of the Medicaid rate. ambulance ) psychologist ) The Gov's proposal in the 2019 budget to eliminate these exceptions was rejected by the legislature Example to illustrate the current rules. The Medicare rate for Mary's specialist visit is $185. The Medicaid rate for the same service is $120.

    Current rules (since 2016). Medicare Advantage -- Medicare Advantage plan pays $135 and Mary is charged a copayment of $50 (amount varies by plan). Medicaid pays the specialist 85% of the $50 copayment, which is $42.50. The doctor is prohibited by federal law from "balance billing" QMB beneficiaries for the balance of that copayment.

    Since provider is getting $177.50 of the $185 approved rate, provider will hopefully not be deterred from serving Mary or other QMBs/Medicaid recipients. Original Medicare - The 20% coinsurance is $37. Medicaid pays none of the coinsurance because the Medicaid rate ($120) is lower than the amount the provider already received from Medicare ($148). For both Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare, if the bill was for a ambulance or psychologist, Medicaid would pay the full 20% coinsurance regardless of the Medicaid rate.

    The proposal to eliminate this exception was rejected by the legislature in 2019 budget. . 4. May the Provider 'Balance Bill" a QMB Benficiary for the Coinsurance if Provider Does Not Accept Medicaid, or if Neither the Patient or Medicaid/QMB pays any coinsurance?.

    No. Balance billing is banned by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(n)(3)(A).

    In an Informational Bulletin issued January 6, 2012, titled "Billing for Services Provided to Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs)," the federal Medicare agency - CMS - clarified that providers MAY NOT BILL QMB recipients for the Medicare coinsurance. This is true whether or not the provider is registered as a Medicaid provider. If the provider wants Medicaid to pay the coinsurance, then the provider must register as a Medicaid provider under the state rules. This is a change in policy in implementing Section 1902(n)(3)(B) of the Social Security Act (the Act), as modified by section 4714 of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which prohibits Medicare providers from balance-billing QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing.

    The CMS letter states, "All Medicare physicians, providers, and suppliers who offer services and supplies to QMBs are prohibited from billing QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing, including deductible, coinsurance, and copayments. This section of the Act is available at. CMCS Informational Bulletin http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title19/1902.htm. QMBs have no legal obligation to make further payment to a provider or Medicare managed care plan for Part A or Part B cost sharing.

    Providers who inappropriately bill QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing are subject to sanctions. Please note that the statute referenced above supersedes CMS State Medicaid Manual, Chapter 3, Eligibility, 3490.14 (b), which is no longer in effect, but may be causing confusion about QMB billing." The same information was sent to providers in this Medicare Learning Network bulletin, last revised in June 26, 2018. CMS reminded Medicare Advantage plans of the rule against Balance Billing in the 2017 Call Letter for plan renewals. See this excerpt of the 2017 call letter by Justice in Aging - Prohibition on Billing Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees for Medicare Cost Sharing 5.

    How do QMB Beneficiaries Show a Provider that they have QMB and cannot be Billed for the Coinsurance?. It can be difficult to show a provider that one is a QMB. It is especially difficult for providers who are not Medicaid providers to identify QMB's, since they do not have access to online Medicaid eligibility systems Consumers can now call 1-800-MEDICARE to verify their QMB Status and report a billing issue. If a consumer reports a balance billng problem to this number, the Customer Service Rep can escalate the complaint to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), which will send a compliance letter to the provider with a copy to the consumer.

    See CMS Medicare Learning Network Bulletin effective Dec. 16, 2016. Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) that Medicare beneficiaries receive every three months state that QMBs have no financial liability for co-insurance for each Medicare-covered service listed on the MSN. The Remittance Advice (RA) that Medicare sends to providers shows the same information.

    By spelling out billing protections on a service-by-service basis, the MSNs provide clarity for both the QMB beneficiary and the provider. Justice in Aging has posted samples of what the new MSNs look like here. They have also updated Justice in Aging’s Improper Billing Toolkit to incorporate references to the MSNs in its model letters that you can use to advocate for clients who have been improperly billed for Medicare-covered services. CMS is implementing systems changes that will notify providers when they process a Medicare claim that the patient is QMB and has no cost-sharing liability.

    The Medicare Summary Notice sent to the beneficiary will also state that the beneficiary has QMB and no liability. These changes were scheduled to go into effect in October 2017, but have been delayed. Read more about them in this Justice in Aging Issue Brief on New Strategies in Fighting Improper Billing for QMBs (Feb. 2017).

    QMBs are issued a Medicaid benefit card (by mail), even if they do not also receive Medicaid. The card is the mechanism for health care providers to bill the QMB program for the Medicare deductibles and co-pays. Unfortunately, the Medicaid card dos not indicate QMB eligibility. Not all people who have Medicaid also have QMB (they may have higher incomes and "spend down" to the Medicaid limits.

    Advocates have asked for a special QMB card, or a notation on the Medicaid card to show that the individual has QMB. See this Report - a National Survey on QMB Identification Practices published by Justice in Aging, authored by Peter Travitsky, NYLAG EFLRP staff attorney. The Report, published in March 2017, documents how QMB beneficiaries could be better identified in order to ensure providers do not bill them improperly. 6.

    If you are Billed -​ Strategies Consumers can now call 1-800-MEDICARE to report a billing issue. If a consumer reports a balance billng problem to this number, the Customer Service Rep can escalate the complaint to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), which will send a compliance letter to the provider with a copy to the consumer. See CMS Medicare Learning Network Bulletin effective Dec. 16, 2016.

    Send a letter to the provider, using the Justice In Aging Model model letters to providers to explain QMB rights.​​​ both for Original Medicare (Letters 1-2) and Medicare Advantage (Letters 3-5) - see Overview of model letters. Include a link to the CMS Medicare Learning Network Notice. Prohibition on Balance Billing Dually Eligible Individuals Enrolled in the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program (revised June 26. 2018) In January 2017, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau issued this guide to QMB billing.

    A consumer who has a problem with debt collection, may also submit a complaint online or call the CFPB at 1-855-411-2372. TTY/TDD users can call 1-855-729-2372. Medicare Advantage members should complain to their Medicare Advantage plan. In its 2017 Call Letter, CMS stressed to Medicare Advantage contractors that federal regulations at 42 C.F.R.

    § 422.504 (g)(1)(iii), require that provider contracts must prohibit collection of deductibles and co-payments from dual eligibles and QMBs.

    6 buy kamagra online with free samples http://www.amisdepasteur.fr/kamagra-oral-jelly-uk-sales/. Enrolling in an MSP for People age 65+ who Do Not Qualify for Free Medicare Part A - the "Part A Buy-In Program" 7. What Happens After MSP Approved - How Part B Premium is Paid 8 Special Rules for QMBs - How Medicare Cost-Sharing Works 1.

    NO ASSET buy kamagra online with free samples LIMIT!. Since April 1, 2008, none of the three MSP programs have resource limits in New York -- which means many Medicare beneficiaries who might not qualify for Medicaid because of excess resources can qualify for an MSP. 1.A.

    SUMMARY CHART OF MSP BENEFITS QMB SLIMB QI-1 Eligibility ASSET LIMIT NO LIMIT IN NEW YORK STATE INCOME LIMIT (2020) Single Couple Single Couple Single Couple $1,064 $1,437 $1,276 $1,724 $1,436 $1,940 Federal Poverty Level 100% FPL 100 buy kamagra online with free samples – 120% FPL 120 – 135% FPL Benefits Pays Monthly Part B premium?. YES, and also Part A premium if did not have enough work quarters and meets citizenship requirement. See “Part A Buy-In” YES YES Pays Part A &.

    B deductibles & buy kamagra online with free samples. Co-insurance YES - with limitations NO NO Retroactive to Filing of Application?. Yes - Benefits begin the month after the month of the MSP application.

    18 NYCRR §360-7.8(b)(5) Yes – Retroactive to 3rd month before buy kamagra online with free samples month of application, if eligible in prior months Yes – may be retroactive to 3rd month before month of applica-tion, but only within the current calendar year. (No retro for January application). See GIS 07 MA 027.

    Can Enroll buy kamagra online with free samples in MSP and Medicaid at Same Time?. YES YES NO!. Must choose between QI-1 and Medicaid.

    Cannot have buy kamagra online with free samples both, not even Medicaid with a spend-down. 2. INCOME LIMITS and RULES Each of the three MSP programs has different income eligibility requirements and provides different benefits.

    The income limits are tied to buy kamagra online with free samples the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). 2019 FPL levels were released by NYS DOH in GIS 20 MA/02 - 2020 Federal Poverty Levels -- Attachment II and have been posted by Medicaid.gov and the National Council on Aging and are in the chart below. NOTE.

    There is usually a lag buy kamagra online with free samples in time of several weeks, or even months, from January 1st of each year until the new FPLs are release, and then before the new MSP income limits are officially implemented. During this lag period, local Medicaid offices should continue to use the previous year's FPLs AND count the person's Social Security benefit amount from the previous year - do NOT factor in the Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment). Once the updated guidelines are released, districts will use the new FPLs and go ahead and factor in any COLA.

    See 2019 Fact Sheet on MSP in NYS by Medicare Rights Center ENGLISH SPANISH Income is determined by the same buy kamagra online with free samples methodology as is used for determining in eligibility for SSI The rules for counting income for SSI-related (Aged 65+, Blind, or Disabled) Medicaid recipients, borrowed from the SSI program, apply to the MSP program, except for the new rules about counting household size for married couples. N.Y. Soc.

    Serv. L. 367-a(3)(c)(2), NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7, 89-ADM-7 p.7.

    Gross income is counted, although there are certain types of income that are disregarded. The most common income disregards, also known as deductions, include. (a) The first $20 of your &.

    Your spouse's monthly income, earned or unearned ($20 per couple max). (b) SSI EARNED INCOME DISREGARDS. * The first $65 of monthly wages of you and your spouse, * One-half of the remaining monthly wages (after the $65 is deducted).

    * Other work incentives including PASS plans, impairment related work expenses (IRWEs), blind work expenses, etc. For information on these deductions, see The Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities (MBI-WPD) and other guides in this article -- though written for the MBI-WPD, the work incentives apply to all Medicaid programs, including MSP, for people age 65+, disabled or blind. (c) monthly cost of any health insurance premiums but NOT the Part B premium, since Medicaid will now pay this premium (may deduct Medigap supplemental policies, vision, dental, or long term care insurance premiums, and the Part D premium but only to the extent the premium exceeds the Extra Help benchmark amount) (d) Food stamps not counted.

    You can get a more comprehensive listing of the SSI-related income disregards on the Medicaid income disregards chart. As for all benefit programs based on financial need, it is usually advantageous to be considered a larger household, because the income limit is higher. The above chart shows that Households of TWO have a higher income limit than households of ONE.

    The MSP programs use the same rules as Medicaid does for the Disabled, Aged and Blind (DAB) which are borrowed from the SSI program for Medicaid recipients in the “SSI-related category.” Under these rules, a household can be only ONE or TWO. 18 NYCRR 360-4.2. See DAB Household Size Chart.

    Married persons can sometimes be ONE or TWO depending on arcane rules, which can force a Medicare beneficiary to be limited to the income limit for ONE person even though his spouse who is under 65 and not disabled has no income, and is supported by the client applying for an MSP. EXAMPLE. Bob's Social Security is $1300/month.

    He is age 67 and has Medicare. His wife, Nancy, is age 62 and is not disabled and does not work. Under the old rule, Bob was not eligible for an MSP because his income was above the Income limit for One, even though it was well under the Couple limit.

    In 2010, NYS DOH modified its rules so that all married individuals will be considered a household size of TWO. DOH GIS 10 MA 10 Medicare Savings Program Household Size, June 4, 2010. This rule for household size is an exception to the rule applying SSI budgeting rules to the MSP program.

    Under these rules, Bob is now eligible for an MSP. When is One Better than Two?. Of course, there may be couples where the non-applying spouse's income is too high, and disqualifies the applying spouse from an MSP.

    In such cases, "spousal refusal" may be used SSL 366.3(a). (Link is to NYC HRA form, can be adapted for other counties). 3.

    The Three Medicare Savings Programs - what are they and how are they different?. 1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB).

    The QMB program provides the most comprehensive benefits. Available to those with incomes at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), the QMB program covers virtually all Medicare cost-sharing obligations. Part B premiums, Part A premiums, if there are any, and any and all deductibles and co-insurance.

    QMB coverage is not retroactive. The program’s benefits will begin the month after the month in which your client is found eligible. ** See special rules about cost-sharing for QMBs below - updated with new CMS directive issued January 2012 ** See NYC HRA QMB Recertification form ** Even if you do not have Part A automatically, because you did not have enough wages, you may be able to enroll in the Part A Buy-In Program, in which people eligible for QMB who do not otherwise have Medicare Part A may enroll, with Medicaid paying the Part A premium (Materials by the Medicare Rights Center).

    2. Specifiedl Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB). For those with incomes between 100% and 120% FPL, the SLMB program will cover Part B premiums only.

    SLMB is retroactive, however, providing coverage for three months prior to the month of application, as long as your client was eligible during those months. 3. Qualified Individual (QI-1).

    For those with incomes between 120% and 135% FPL, and not receiving Medicaid, the QI-1 program will cover Medicare Part B premiums only. QI-1 is also retroactive, providing coverage for three months prior to the month of application, as long as your client was eligible during those months. However, QI-1 retroactive coverage can only be provided within the current calendar year.

    (GIS 07 MA 027) So if you apply in January, you get no retroactive coverage. Q-I-1 recipients would be eligible for Medicaid with a spend-down, but if they want the Part B premium paid, they must choose between enrolling in QI-1 or Medicaid. They cannot be in both.

    In contrast, one may receive Medicaid and either QMB or SLIMB. 4. Four Special Benefits of MSPs (in addition to NO ASSET TEST).

    Benefit 1. Back Door to Medicare Part D "Extra Help" or Low Income Subsidy -- All MSP recipients are automatically enrolled in Extra Help, the subsidy that makes Part D affordable. They have no Part D deductible or doughnut hole, the premium is subsidized, and they pay very low copayments.

    Once they are enrolled in Extra Help by virtue of enrollment in an MSP, they retain Extra Help for the entire calendar year, even if they lose MSP eligibility during that year. The "Full" Extra Help subsidy has the same income limit as QI-1 - 135% FPL. However, many people may be eligible for QI-1 but not Extra Help because QI-1 and the other MSPs have no asset limit.

    People applying to the Social Security Administration for Extra Help might be rejected for this reason. Recent (2009-10) changes to federal law called "MIPPA" requires the Social Security Administration (SSA) to share eligibility data with NYSDOH on all persons who apply for Extra Help/ the Low Income Subsidy. Data sent to NYSDOH from SSA will enable NYSDOH to open MSP cases on many clients.

    The effective date of the MSP application must be the same date as the Extra Help application. Signatures will not be required from clients. In cases where the SSA data is incomplete, NYSDOH will forward what is collected to the local district for completion of an MSP application.

    The State implementing procedures are in DOH 2010 ADM-03. Also see CMS "Dear State Medicaid Director" letter dated Feb. 18, 2010 Benefit 2.

    MSPs Automatically Waive Late Enrollment Penalties for Part B Generally one must enroll in Part B within the strict enrollment periods after turning age 65 or after 24 months of Social Security Disability. An exception is if you or your spouse are still working and insured under an employer sponsored group health plan, or if you have End Stage Renal Disease, and other factors, see this from Medicare Rights Center. If you fail to enroll within those short periods, you might have to pay higher Part B premiums for life as a Late Enrollment Penalty (LEP).

    Also, you may only enroll in Part B during the Annual Enrollment Period from January 1 - March 31st each year, with Part B not effective until the following July. Enrollment in an MSP automatically eliminates such penalties... For life..

    Even if one later ceases to be eligible for the MSP. AND enrolling in an MSP will automatically result in becoming enrolled in Part B if you didn't already have it and only had Part A. See Medicare Rights Center flyer.

    Benefit 3. No Medicaid Lien on Estate to Recover MSP Benefits Paid Generally speaking, states may place liens on the Estates of deceased Medicaid recipients to recover the cost of Medicaid services that were provided after the recipient reached the age of 55. Since 2002, states have not been allowed to recover the cost of Medicare premiums paid under MSPs.

    In 2010, Congress expanded protection for MSP benefits. Beginning on January 1, 2010, states may not place liens on the Estates of Medicaid recipients who died after January 1, 2010 to recover costs for co-insurance paid under the QMB MSP program for services rendered after January 1, 2010. The federal government made this change in order to eliminate barriers to enrollment in MSPs.

    See NYS DOH GIS 10-MA-008 - Medicare Savings Program Changes in Estate Recovery The GIS clarifies that a client who receives both QMB and full Medicaid is exempt from estate recovery for these Medicare cost-sharing expenses. Benefit 4. SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits not reduced despite increased income from MSP - at least temporarily Many people receive both SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits and MSP.

    Income for purposes of SNAP/Food Stamps is reduced by a deduction for medical expenses, which includes payment of the Part B premium. Since approval for an MSP means that the client no longer pays for the Part B premium, his/her SNAP/Food Stamps income goes up, so their SNAP/Food Stamps go down. Here are some protections.

    Do these individuals have to report to their SNAP worker that their out of pocket medical costs have decreased?. And will the household see a reduction in their SNAP benefits, since the decrease in medical expenses will increase their countable income?. The good news is that MSP households do NOT have to report the decrease in their medical expenses to the SNAP/Food Stamp office until their next SNAP/Food Stamp recertification.

    Even if they do report the change, or the local district finds out because the same worker is handling both the MSP and SNAP case, there should be no reduction in the household’s benefit until the next recertification. New York’s SNAP policy per administrative directive 02 ADM-07 is to “freeze” the deduction for medical expenses between certification periods. Increases in medical expenses can be budgeted at the household’s request, but NYS never decreases a household’s medical expense deduction until the next recertification.

    Most elderly and disabled households have 24-month SNAP certification periods. Eventually, though, the decrease in medical expenses will need to be reported when the household recertifies for SNAP, and the household should expect to see a decrease in their monthly SNAP benefit. It is really important to stress that the loss in SNAP benefits is NOT dollar for dollar.

    A $100 decrease in out of pocket medical expenses would translate roughly into a $30 drop in SNAP benefits. See more info on SNAP/Food Stamp benefits by the Empire Justice Center, and on the State OTDA website. Some clients will be automatically enrolled in an MSP by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) shortly after attaining eligibility for Medicare.

    Others need to apply. The 2010 "MIPPA" law introduced some improvements to increase MSP enrollment. See 3rd bullet below.

    Also, some people who had Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act before they became eligible for Medicare have special procedures to have their Part B premium paid before they enroll in an MSP. See below. WHO IS AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED IN AN MSP.

    Clients receiving even $1.00 of Supplemental Security Income should be automatically enrolled into a Medicare Savings Program (most often QMB) under New York State’s Medicare Savings Program Buy-in Agreement with the federal government once they become eligible for Medicare. They should receive Medicare Parts A and B. Clients who are already eligible for Medicare when they apply for Medicaid should be automatically assessed for MSP eligibility when they apply for Medicaid.

    (NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 and GIS 05 MA 033). Clients who apply to the Social Security Administration for Extra Help, but are rejected, should be contacted &. Enrolled into an MSP by the Medicaid program directly under new MIPPA procedures that require data sharing.

    Strategy TIP. Since the Extra Help filing date will be assigned to the MSP application, it may help the client to apply online for Extra Help with the SSA, even knowing that this application will be rejected because of excess assets or other reason. SSA processes these requests quickly, and it will be routed to the State for MSP processing.

    Since MSP applications take a while, at least the filing date will be retroactive. Note. The above strategy does not work as well for QMB, because the effective date of QMB is the month after the month of application.

    As a result, the retroactive effective date of Extra Help will be the month after the failed Extra Help application for those with QMB rather than SLMB/QI-1. Applying for MSP Directly with Local Medicaid Program. Those who do not have Medicaid already must apply for an MSP through their local social services district.

    (See more in Section D. Below re those who already have Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act before they became eligible for Medicare. If you are applying for MSP only (not also Medicaid), you can use the simplified MSP application form (theDOH-4328(Rev.

    8/2017-- English) (2017 Spanish version not yet available). Either application form can be mailed in -- there is no interview requirement anymore for MSP or Medicaid. See 10 ADM-04.

    Applicants will need to submit proof of income, a copy of their Medicare card (front &. Back), and proof of residency/address. See the application form for other instructions.

    One who is only eligible for QI-1 because of higher income may ONLY apply for an MSP, not for Medicaid too. One may not receive Medicaid and QI-1 at the same time. If someone only eligible for QI-1 wants Medicaid, s/he may enroll in and deposit excess income into a pooled Supplemental Needs Trust, to bring her countable income down to the Medicaid level, which also qualifies him or her for SLIMB or QMB instead of QI-1.

    Advocates in NYC can sign up for a half-day "Deputization Training" conducted by the Medicare Rights Center, at which you'll be trained and authorized to complete an MSP application and to submit it via the Medicare Rights Center, which submits it to HRA without the client having to apply in person. Enrolling in an MSP if you already have Medicaid, but just become eligible for Medicare Those who, prior to becoming enrolled in Medicare, had Medicaid through Affordable Care Act are eligible to have their Part B premiums paid by Medicaid (or the cost reimbursed) during the time it takes for them to transition to a Medicare Savings Program. In 2018, DOH clarified that reimbursement of the Part B premium will be made regardless of whether the individual is still in a Medicaid managed care (MMC) plan.

    GIS 18 MA/001 Medicaid Managed Care Transition for Enrollees Gaining Medicare ( PDF) provides, "Due to efforts to transition individuals who gain Medicare eligibility and who require LTSS, individuals may not be disenrolled from MMC upon receipt of Medicare. To facilitate the transition and not disadvantage the recipient, the Medicaid program is approving reimbursement of Part B premiums for enrollees in MMC." The procedure for getting the Part B premium paid is different for those whose Medicaid was administered by the NYS of Health Exchange (Marketplace), as opposed to their local social services district. The procedure is also different for those who obtain Medicare because they turn 65, as opposed to obtaining Medicare based on disability.

    Either way, Medicaid recipients who transition onto Medicare should be automatically evaluated for MSP eligibility at their next Medicaid recertification. NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 Individuals can also affirmatively ask to be enrolled in MSP in between recertification periods. IF CLIENT HAD MEDICAID ON THE MARKETPLACE (NYS of Health Exchange) before obtaining Medicare.

    IF they obtain Medicare because they turn age 65, they will receive a letter from their local district asking them to "renew" Medicaid through their local district. See 2014 LCM-02. Now, their Medicaid income limit will be lower than the MAGI limits ($842/ mo reduced from $1387/month) and they now will have an asset test.

    For this reason, some individuals may lose full Medicaid eligibility when they begin receiving Medicare. People over age 65 who obtain Medicare do NOT keep "Marketplace Medicaid" for 12 months (continuous eligibility) See GIS 15 MA/022 - Continuous Coverage for MAGI Individuals. Since MSP has NO ASSET limit.

    Some individuals may be enrolled in the MSP even if they lose Medicaid, or if they now have a Medicaid spend-down. If a Medicare/Medicaid recipient reports income that exceeds the Medicaid level, districts must evaluate the person’s eligibility for MSP. 08 OHIP/ADM-4 ​If you became eligible for Medicare based on disability and you are UNDER AGE 65, you are entitled to keep MAGI Medicaid for 12 months from the month it was last authorized, even if you now have income normally above the MAGI limit, and even though you now have Medicare.

    This is called Continuous Eligibility. EXAMPLE. Sam, age 60, was last authorized for Medicaid on the Marketplace in June 2016.

    He became enrolled in Medicare based on disability in August 2016, and started receiving Social Security in the same month (he won a hearing approving Social Security disability benefits retroactively, after first being denied disability). Even though his Social Security is too high, he can keep Medicaid for 12 months beginning June 2016. Sam has to pay for his Part B premium - it is deducted from his Social Security check.

    He may call the Marketplace and request a refund. This will continue until the end of his 12 months of continues MAGI Medicaid eligibility. He will be reimbursed regardless of whether he is in a Medicaid managed care plan.

    See GIS 18 MA/001 Medicaid Managed Care Transition for Enrollees Gaining Medicare (PDF) When that ends, he will renew Medicaid and apply for MSP with his local district. Individuals who are eligible for Medicaid with a spenddown can opt whether or not to receive MSP. (Medicaid Reference Guide (MRG) p.

    19). Obtaining MSP may increase their spenddown. MIPPA - Outreach by Social Security Administration -- Under MIPPA, the SSA sends a form letter to people who may be eligible for a Medicare Savings Program or Extra Help (Low Income Subsidy - LIS) that they may apply.

    The letters are. · Beneficiary has Extra Help (LIS), but not MSP · Beneficiary has no Extra Help (LIS) or MSP 6. Enrolling in MSP for People Age 65+ who do Not have Free Medicare Part A - the "Part A Buy-In Program" Seniors WITHOUT MEDICARE PART A or B -- They may be able to enroll in the Part A Buy-In program, in which people eligible for QMB who are age 65+ who do not otherwise have Medicare Part A may enroll in Part A, with Medicaid paying the Part A premium.

    See Step-by-Step Guide by the Medicare Rights Center). This guide explains the various steps in "conditionally enrolling" in Part A at the SSA office, which must be done before applying for QMB at the Medicaid office, which will then pay the Part A premium. See also GIS 04 MA/013.

    In June, 2018, the SSA revised the POMS manual procedures for the Part A Buy-In to to address inconsistencies and confusion in SSA field offices and help smooth the path for QMB enrollment. The procedures are in the POMS Section HI 00801.140 "Premium-Free Part A Enrollments for Qualified Medicare BenefiIaries." It includes important clarifications, such as. SSA Field Offices should explain the QMB program and conditional enrollment process if an individual lacks premium-free Part A and appears to meet QMB requirements.

    SSA field offices can add notes to the “Remarks” section of the application and provide a screen shot to the individual so the individual can provide proof of conditional Part A enrollment when applying for QMB through the state Medicaid program. Beneficiaries are allowed to complete the conditional application even if they owe Medicare premiums. In Part A Buy-in states like NYS, SSA should process conditional applications on a rolling basis (without regard to enrollment periods), even if the application coincides with the General Enrollment Period.

    (The General Enrollment Period is from Jan 1 to March 31st every year, in which anyone eligible may enroll in Medicare Part A or Part B to be effective on July 1st). 7. What happens after the MSP approval - How is Part B premium paid For all three MSP programs, the Medicaid program is now responsible for paying the Part B premiums, even though the MSP enrollee is not necessarily a recipient of Medicaid.

    The local Medicaid office (DSS/HRA) transmits the MSP approval to the NYS Department of Health – that information gets shared w/ SSA and CMS SSA stops deducting the Part B premiums out of the beneficiary’s Social Security check. SSA also refunds any amounts owed to the recipient. (Note.

    ) CMS “deems” the MSP recipient eligible for Part D Extra Help/ Low Income Subsidy (LIS). ​Can the MSP be retroactive like Medicaid, back to 3 months before the application?. ​The answer is different for the 3 MSP programs.

    QMB -No Retroactive Eligibility – Benefits begin the month after the month of the MSP application. 18 NYCRR § 360-7.8(b)(5) SLIMB - YES - Retroactive Eligibility up to 3 months before the application, if was eligible This means applicant may be reimbursed for the 3 months of Part B benefits prior to the month of application. QI-1 - YES up to 3 months but only in the same calendar year.

    No retroactive eligibility to the previous year. 7. QMBs -Special Rules on Cost-Sharing.

    QMB is the only MSP program which pays not only the Part B premium, but also the Medicare co-insurance. However, there are limitations. First, co-insurance will only be paid if the provide accepts Medicaid.

    Not all Medicare provides accept Medicaid. Second, under recent changes in New York law, Medicaid will not always pay the Medicare co-insurance, even to a Medicaid provider. But even if the provider does not accept Medicaid, or if Medicaid does not pay the full co-insurance, the provider is banned from "balance billing" the QMB beneficiary for the co-insurance.

    Click here for an article that explains all of these rules. This article was authored by the Empire Justice Center.THE PROBLEM. Meet Joe, whose Doctor has Billed him for the Medicare Coinsurance Joe Client is disabled and has SSD, Medicaid and Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB).

    His health care is covered by Medicare, and Medicaid and the QMB program pick up his Medicare cost-sharing obligations. Under Medicare Part B, his co-insurance is 20% of the Medicare-approved charge for most outpatient services. He went to the doctor recently and, as with any other Medicare beneficiary, the doctor handed him a bill for his co-pay.

    Now Joe has a bill that he can’t pay. Read below to find out -- SHORT ANSWER. QMB or Medicaid will pay the Medicare coinsurance only in limited situations.

    First, the provider must be a Medicaid provider. Second, even if the provider accepts Medicaid, under recent legislation in New York enacted in 2015 and 2016, QMB or Medicaid may pay only part of the coinsurance, or none at all. This depends in part on whether the beneficiary has Original Medicare or is in a Medicare Advantage plan, and in part on the type of service.

    However, the bottom line is that the provider is barred from "balance billing" a QMB beneficiary for the Medicare coinsurance. Unfortunately, this creates tension between an individual and her doctors, pharmacies dispensing Part B medications, and other providers. Providers may not know they are not allowed to bill a QMB beneficiary for Medicare coinsurance, since they bill other Medicare beneficiaries.

    Even those who know may pressure their patients to pay, or simply decline to serve them. These rights and the ramifications of these QMB rules are explained in this article. CMS is doing more education about QMB Rights.

    The Medicare Handbook, since 2017, gives information about QMB Protections. Download the 2020 Medicare Handbook here. See pp.

    53, 86. 1. To Which Providers will QMB or Medicaid Pay the Medicare Co-Insurance?.

    "Providers must enroll as Medicaid providers in order to bill Medicaid for the Medicare coinsurance." CMS Informational Bulletin issued January 6, 2012, titled "Billing for Services Provided to Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs). The CMS bulletin states, "If the provider wants Medicaid to pay the coinsurance, then the provider must register as a Medicaid provider under the state rules." If the provider chooses not to enroll as a Medicaid provider, they still may not "balance bill" the QMB recipient for the coinsurance. 2.

    How Does a Provider that DOES accept Medicaid Bill for a QMB Beneficiary?. If beneficiary has Original Medicare -- The provider bills Medicaid - even if the QMB Beneficiary does not also have Medicaid. Medicaid is required to pay the provider for all Medicare Part A and B cost-sharing charges, even if the service is normally not covered by Medicaid (ie, chiropractic, podiatry and clinical social work care).

    Whatever reimbursement Medicaid pays the provider constitutes by law payment in full, and the provider cannot bill the beneficiary for any difference remaining. 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(n)(3)(A), NYS DOH 2000-ADM-7 If the QMB beneficiary is in a Medicare Advantage plan - The provider bills the Medicare Advantage plan, then bills Medicaid for the balance using a “16” code to get paid.

    The provider must include the amount it received from Medicare Advantage plan. 3. For a Provider who accepts Medicaid, How Much of the Medicare Coinsurance will be Paid for a QMB or Medicaid Beneficiary in NYS?.

    The answer to this question has changed by laws enacted in 2015 and 2016. In the proposed 2019 State Budget, Gov. Cuomo has proposed to reduce how much Medicaid pays for the Medicare costs even further.

    The amount Medicaid pays is different depending on whether the individual has Original Medicare or is a Medicare Advantage plan, with better payment for those in Medicare Advantage plans. The answer also differs based on the type of service. Part A Deductibles and Coinsurance - Medicaid pays the full Part A hospital deductible ($1,408 in 2020) and Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance ($176/day) for days 20 - 100 of a rehab stay.

    Full payment is made for QMB beneficiaries and Medicaid recipients who have no spend-down. Payments are reduced if the beneficiary has a Medicaid spend-down. For in-patient hospital deductible, Medicaid will pay only if six times the monthly spend-down has been met.

    For example, if Mary has a $200/month spend down which has not been met otherwise, Medicaid will pay only $164 of the hospital deductible (the amount exceeding 6 x $200). See more on spend-down here. Medicare Part B - Deductible - Currently, Medicaid pays the full Medicare approved charges until the beneficiary has met the annual deductible, which is $198 in 2020.

    For example, Dr. John charges $500 for a visit, for which the Medicare approved charge is $198. Medicaid pays the entire $198, meeting the deductible.

    If the beneficiary has a spend-down, then the Medicaid payment would be subject to the spend-down. In the 2019 proposed state budget, Gov. Cuomo proposed to reduce the amount Medicaid pays toward the deductible to the same amount paid for coinsurance during the year, described below.

    This proposal was REJECTED by the state legislature. Co-Insurance - The amount medicaid pays in NYS is different for Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. If individual has Original Medicare, QMB/Medicaid will pay the 20% Part B coinsurance only to the extent the total combined payment the provider receives from Medicare and Medicaid is the lesser of the Medicaid or Medicare rate for the service.

    For example, if the Medicare rate for a service is $100, the coinsurance is $20. If the Medicaid rate for the same service is only $80 or less, Medicaid would pay nothing, as it would consider the doctor fully paid = the provider has received the full Medicaid rate, which is lesser than the Medicare rate. Exceptions - Medicaid/QMB wil pay the full coinsurance for the following services, regardless of the Medicaid rate.

    ambulance and psychologists - The Gov's 2019 proposal to eliminate these exceptions was rejected. hospital outpatient clinic, certain facilities operating under certificates issued under the Mental Hygiene Law for people with developmental disabilities, psychiatric disability, and chemical dependence (Mental Hygiene Law Articles 16, 31 or 32). SSL 367-a, subd.

    1(d)(iii)-(v) , as amended 2015 If individual is in a Medicare Advantage plan, 85% of the copayment will be paid to the provider (must be a Medicaid provider), regardless of how low the Medicaid rate is. This limit was enacted in the 2016 State Budget, and is better than what the Governor proposed - which was the same rule used in Original Medicare -- NONE of the copayment or coinsurance would be paid if the Medicaid rate was lower than the Medicare rate for the service, which is usually the case. This would have deterred doctors and other providers from being willing to treat them.

    SSL 367-a, subd. 1(d)(iv), added 2016. EXCEPTIONS.

    The Medicare Advantage plan must pay the full coinsurance for the following services, regardless of the Medicaid rate. ambulance ) psychologist ) The Gov's proposal in the 2019 budget to eliminate these exceptions was rejected by the legislature Example to illustrate the current rules. The Medicare rate for Mary's specialist visit is $185.

    The Medicaid rate for the same service is $120. Current rules (since 2016). Medicare Advantage -- Medicare Advantage plan pays $135 and Mary is charged a copayment of $50 (amount varies by plan).

    Medicaid pays the specialist 85% of the $50 copayment, which is $42.50. The doctor is prohibited by federal law from "balance billing" QMB beneficiaries for the balance of that copayment. Since provider is getting $177.50 of the $185 approved rate, provider will hopefully not be deterred from serving Mary or other QMBs/Medicaid recipients.

    Original Medicare - The 20% coinsurance is $37. Medicaid pays none of the coinsurance because the Medicaid rate ($120) is lower than the amount the provider already received from Medicare ($148). For both Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare, if the bill was for a ambulance or psychologist, Medicaid would pay the full 20% coinsurance regardless of the Medicaid rate.

    The proposal to eliminate this exception was rejected by the legislature in 2019 budget. . 4.

    May the Provider 'Balance Bill" a QMB Benficiary for the Coinsurance if Provider Does Not Accept Medicaid, or if Neither the Patient or Medicaid/QMB pays any coinsurance?. No. Balance billing is banned by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

    42 U.S.C. § 1396a(n)(3)(A). In an Informational Bulletin issued January 6, 2012, titled "Billing for Services Provided to Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs)," the federal Medicare agency - CMS - clarified that providers MAY NOT BILL QMB recipients for the Medicare coinsurance.

    This is true whether or not the provider is registered as a Medicaid provider. If the provider wants Medicaid to pay the coinsurance, then the provider must register as a Medicaid provider under the state rules. This is a change in policy in implementing Section 1902(n)(3)(B) of the Social Security Act (the Act), as modified by section 4714 of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which prohibits Medicare providers from balance-billing QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing.

    The CMS letter states, "All Medicare physicians, providers, and suppliers who offer services and supplies to QMBs are prohibited from billing QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing, including deductible, coinsurance, and copayments. This section of the Act is available at. CMCS Informational Bulletin http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title19/1902.htm.

    QMBs have no legal obligation to make further payment to a provider or Medicare managed care plan for Part A or Part B cost sharing. Providers who inappropriately bill QMBs for Medicare cost-sharing are subject to sanctions. Please note that the statute referenced above supersedes CMS State Medicaid Manual, Chapter 3, Eligibility, 3490.14 (b), which is no longer in effect, but may be causing confusion about QMB billing." The same information was sent to providers in this Medicare Learning Network bulletin, last revised in June 26, 2018.

    CMS reminded Medicare Advantage plans of the rule against Balance Billing in the 2017 Call Letter for plan renewals. See this excerpt of the 2017 call letter by Justice in Aging - Prohibition on Billing Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees for Medicare Cost Sharing 5. How do QMB Beneficiaries Show a Provider that they have QMB and cannot be Billed for the Coinsurance?.

    It can be difficult to show a provider that one is a QMB. It is especially difficult for providers who are not Medicaid providers to identify QMB's, since they do not have access to online Medicaid eligibility systems Consumers can now call 1-800-MEDICARE to verify their QMB Status and report a billing issue. If a consumer reports a balance billng problem to this number, the Customer Service Rep can escalate the complaint to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), which will send a compliance letter to the provider with a copy to the consumer.

    See CMS Medicare Learning Network Bulletin effective Dec. 16, 2016. Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) that Medicare beneficiaries receive every three months state that QMBs have no financial liability for co-insurance for each Medicare-covered service listed on the MSN.

    The Remittance Advice (RA) that Medicare sends to providers shows the same information. By spelling out billing protections on a service-by-service basis, the MSNs provide clarity for both the QMB beneficiary and the provider. Justice in Aging has posted samples of what the new MSNs look like here.

    They have also updated Justice in Aging’s Improper Billing Toolkit to incorporate references to the MSNs in its model letters that you can use to advocate for clients who have been improperly billed for Medicare-covered services. CMS is implementing systems changes that will notify providers when they process a Medicare claim that the patient is QMB and has no cost-sharing liability. The Medicare Summary Notice sent to the beneficiary will also state that the beneficiary has QMB and no liability.

    These changes were scheduled to go into effect in October 2017, but have been delayed. Read more about them in this Justice in Aging Issue Brief on New Strategies in Fighting Improper Billing for QMBs (Feb. 2017).

    QMBs are issued a Medicaid benefit card (by mail), even if they do not also receive Medicaid. The card is the mechanism for health care providers to bill the QMB program for the Medicare deductibles and co-pays. Unfortunately, the Medicaid card dos not indicate QMB eligibility.

    Not all people who have Medicaid also have QMB (they may have higher incomes and "spend down" to the Medicaid limits. Advocates have asked for a special QMB card, or a notation on the Medicaid card to show that the individual has QMB. See this Report - a National Survey on QMB Identification Practices published by Justice in Aging, authored by Peter Travitsky, NYLAG EFLRP staff attorney.

    The Report, published in March 2017, documents how QMB beneficiaries could be better identified in order to ensure providers do not bill them improperly. 6. If you are Billed -​ Strategies Consumers can now call 1-800-MEDICARE to report a billing issue.

    If a consumer reports a balance billng problem to this number, the Customer Service Rep can escalate the complaint to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), which will send a compliance letter to the provider with a copy to the consumer. See CMS Medicare Learning Network Bulletin effective Dec. 16, 2016.

    Send a letter to the provider, using the Justice In Aging Model model letters to providers to explain QMB rights.​​​ both for Original Medicare (Letters 1-2) and Medicare Advantage (Letters 3-5) - see Overview of model letters. Include a link to the CMS Medicare Learning Network Notice. Prohibition on Balance Billing Dually Eligible Individuals Enrolled in the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program (revised June 26.

    2018) In January 2017, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau issued this guide to QMB billing. A consumer who has a problem with debt collection, may also submit a complaint online or call the CFPB at 1-855-411-2372. TTY/TDD users can call 1-855-729-2372.

    Medicare Advantage members should complain to their Medicare Advantage plan. In its 2017 Call Letter, CMS stressed to Medicare Advantage contractors that federal regulations at 42 C.F.R. § 422.504 (g)(1)(iii), require that provider contracts must prohibit collection of deductibles and co-payments from dual eligibles and QMBs.

    Toolkit to Help Protect QMB Rights ​​In July 2015, CMS issued a report, "Access to Care Issues Among Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB's)" documenting how pervasive illegal attempts to bill QMBs for the Medicare coinsurance, including those who are members of managed care plans. Justice in Aging, a national advocacy organization, has a project to educate beneficiaries about balance billing and to advocate for stronger protections for QMBs. Links to their webinars and other resources is at this link.

    Their information includes. September 4, 2009, updated 6/20/20 by Valerie Bogart, NYLAG Author. Cathy Roberts.

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