‘More assertive’: Kaiser Permanente, others announce COVID-19 vaccine requirements (ABC 7)

ABC 7: ‘More assertive’: Kaiser Permanente, others announce COVID-19 vaccine requirements. “There is a growing list of companies demanding proof of vaccination. On Monday, Kaiser Permanente announced how it plans to take protection a step further. It will now require all employees and physicians to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, and the more transmissible, more infectious Delta variant.”

HuffPost: I’m An ICU Doctor And I Cannot Believe The Things Unvaccinated Patients Are Telling Me

HuffPost: I’m An ICU Doctor And I Cannot Believe The Things Unvaccinated Patients Are Telling Me. “Then, effective vaccines became widely available in the U.S. — I briefly saw light at the end of the tunnel. The number of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs across the country plummeted. It looked like our sacrifices and commitment as health care workers had paid off. We believed herd immunity could become a reality and we could return to some sense of normalcy. But the relief was short-lived, the hope was fleeting, and we are amid another surge. A surge that is fueled by a highly transmissible variant and those unvaccinated. My experiences in the ICU these past weeks have left me surprised, disheartened, but most of all, angry.”

Reuters: ICUs clogged on the way in, morgues on the way out in California’s COVID crisis

Reuters: ICUs clogged on the way in, morgues on the way out in California’s COVID crisis. “Southern California is so overwhelmed with coronavirus cases that patients are backed up trying to get into hospitals, and corpses get stuck in another logjam once they leave. At one hospital in Orange County, ambulances loaded with patients are lining up outside waiting for space in the intensive care unit, and COVID-19 patients fill the emergency room hallway.”

Today: Photo goes viral showing ICU doctor embracing COVID-19 patient on Thanksgiving

Today: Photo goes viral showing ICU doctor embracing COVID-19 patient on Thanksgiving. “A heartbreaking photo showing the emotional moment a doctor comforted a patient in the coronavirus intensive care unit on Thanksgiving is going viral. Thursday marked the 252nd consecutive day of work for Dr. Joseph Varon at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston. The physician, who was identified by the Getty photographer, wore full personal protective gear as he wrapped his arms around an elderly patient.”

New York Times: Billions in Hospital Virus Aid Rested on Compliance With Private Vendor

New York Times: Billions in Hospital Virus Aid Rested on Compliance With Private Vendor. “The Trump administration tied billions of dollars in badly needed coronavirus medical funding this spring to hospitals’ cooperation with a private vendor collecting data for a new Covid-19 database that bypassed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The highly unusual demand, aimed at hospitals in coronavirus hot spots using funds passed by Congress with no preconditions, alarmed some hospital administrators and even some federal health officials.”

Boston Globe: In calm before the storm, hospitals prepare for second wave of COVID-19

Boston Globe: In calm before the storm, hospitals prepare for second wave of COVID-19. “In the spring, hospitals cobbled together the space and staff to care for hundreds of severely ill patients — in many cases more than ever before seen — and the lessons on how to do that will guide the response to whatever the fall brings. Advances in understanding how to treat the illness might lead to shorter lengths of stay or fewer admissions. And improved testing capacity means hospitals are no longer in the dark about how many patients might show up at their doorstep. But hospital officials also foresee new challenges that weren’t encountered in the spring.”

Axios: Health care CEO pay outstrips infectious disease research

Axios: Health care CEO pay outstrips infectious disease research. “The CEOs of 179 health care companies took home almost $2.5 billion in 2019, a majority of which came from cashing out stock, according to an Axios analysis of financial filings. The big picture: That amount is four times what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had to study and prepare for all ’emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases’ last year, right before the novel coronavirus outbreak turned into a global pandemic.”

New York Times: Putin Speaks, Officials Shrug, and Doctors Are Caught in the Middle

New York Times: Putin Speaks, Officials Shrug, and Doctors Are Caught in the Middle. “Assailed by critics as an absentee leader at the start of the coronavirus crisis in Russia, President Vladimir V. Putin re-emerged with a splash on state television last month to show that he cared and was taking charge. He promised cash bonuses of up to $1,100 a month for each doctor, nurse and other ‘front line’ health worker involved in fighting the virus. But for an all-powerful leader whose every word must be taken as a command, Mr. Putin has had a surprisingly hard time making his voice heard. More than a month after he spoke, the money has yet to materialize for many. Instead, some doctors have received visits from police investigators and prosecutors demanding to know why they complained publicly about not getting their bonuses.”

New York Times: Wealthiest Hospitals Got Billions in Bailout for Struggling Health Providers

New York Times: Wealthiest Hospitals Got Billions in Bailout for Struggling Health Providers. “With states restricting hospitals from performing elective surgery and other nonessential services, their revenue has shriveled. The Department of Health and Human Services has disbursed $72 billion in grants since April to hospitals and other health care providers through the bailout program, which was part of the CARES Act economic stimulus package. The department plans to eventually distribute more than $100 billion more. So far, the riches are flowing in large part to hospitals that had already built up deep financial reserves to help them withstand an economic storm. Smaller, poorer hospitals are receiving tiny amounts of federal aid by comparison.”

Exclusive: U.S. coronavirus stimulus went to some healthcare providers facing criminal inquiries (Reuters)

Reuters: Exclusive: U.S. coronavirus stimulus went to some healthcare providers facing criminal inquiries. “Eager to bolster the healthcare system during the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. government last month sped $30 billion in stimulus payments to most healthcare providers that billed Medicare last year. That speed resulted in taxpayers’ money flowing to some companies and people facing civil or criminal fraud investigations, according to defense lawyers and others representing more than a dozen firms and people facing such inquiries.”

Fox 17: New website could help you save money on medical bills

Fox 17: New website could help you save money on medical bills. “It’s pretty straight forward and completely free to use, all you have to do is answer a few questions including your income, insurance status, and how much you owe at which hospital. In a couple minutes it will tell you if you qualify.” Applying for financial assistance is an additional step. You can do it on your own, or the site can help you for a fee of $29.

TechRepublic: How a 2017 snowstorm prepared an Oregon hospital system for the COVID-19 pandemic

TechRepublic: How a 2017 snowstorm prepared an Oregon hospital system for the COVID-19 pandemic. “When the growing pandemic and expected work-from-home orders became apparent by March 1, the health system put the lessons learned from that snowstorm into place.” An excellent look at how an IT team tackled the problems revealed by a snowstorm and applied their solutions to the coronavirus restrictions.

CNN: Hundreds of dental offices crippled by ransomware attack

CNN: Hundreds of dental offices crippled by ransomware attack. “On Tuesday, two Wisconsin companies that provide an online service to dentists’ offices, Percsoft and the Digital Dental Record, told their customers that the software they use to connect to individual offices had been infected with ransomware Monday morning. In periodic updates, they say they are working on a case-by-case basis.”

LGBTQ Nation: This group is developing a badly needed database of trans-friendly medical providers

LGBTQ Nation: This group is developing a badly needed database of trans-friendly medical providers. “For many transgender people, finding supportive medical care can be difficult, requiring one to travel for hours, rely on often-outdated information or even turn to less-than-legal means to get aid. The DC Area Transmasculine Society (DCATS) is trying to change things for the better, putting together an online database where trans people can recommend care providers in their local area.”