Washington Post: As coronavirus surges, GOP lawmakers are moving to limit public health powers

Washington Post: As coronavirus surges, GOP lawmakers are moving to limit public health powers . “In some states, anger at perceived overreach by health officials has prompted legislative attempts to limit their authority, including new state laws that prevent the closure of businesses or allow lawmakers to rescind mask mandates. Some state courts have reined in the emergency and regulatory powers governors have wielded against the virus. And in its recent rulings and analysis, the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled its willingness to limit disease mitigation in the name of religious freedom.”

CNN: Major medical groups call for employers to mandate Covid-19 vaccines for health care workers

CNN: Major medical groups call for employers to mandate Covid-19 vaccines for health care workers. “As the number of Covid-19 cases surges in the United States, more than 50 health care groups — including the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Public Health Association — issued a joint statement calling for all health care and long-term care employers to mandate employees be vaccinated against Covid-19.”

Poynter: Governments created an informational black hole for Indigenous communities and COVID-19

Poynter: Governments created an informational black hole for Indigenous communities and COVID-19. “We may never know how many American Indians or Alaska Natives died of COVID-19. The Indian Health Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is not keeping track. The Centers for Disease Control cannot tell us. And some state health authorities will not disclose that data, despite multiple public records requests, even though it would shed light on the pandemic’s death toll in Indian Country.”

Notre Dame News: Artificial intelligence tool could increase patient health literacy, study shows

Notre Dame News: Artificial intelligence tool could increase patient health literacy, study shows. “University of Notre Dame researcher John Lalor, an assistant professor of information technology, analytics and operations at the Mendoza College of Business, is part of a team working on a web-based natural language processing system that could increase the health literacy of patients who access their records through a patient portal. NoteAid, a project based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, conveniently translates medical jargon for health care consumers.”

New York Times: Some Florida Hospitals Have More Covid Patients Than Ever Before

New York Times: Some Florida Hospitals Have More Covid Patients Than Ever Before. ” A month ago, the number of Covid-19 patients admitted at two University of Florida hospitals in Jacksonville was down to 14. Now more than 140 people are hospitalized with the virus, a tenfold increase over five weeks — and the highest number of Covid patients this system has seen since the start of the pandemic.”

“Don’t You Work With Old People?”: Many Elder-Care Workers Still Refuse to Get COVID-19 Vaccine (ProPublica)

ProPublica: “Don’t You Work With Old People?”: Many Elder-Care Workers Still Refuse to Get COVID-19 Vaccine. “Nursing homes faced a shocking mortality rate during the pandemic. In the U.S., COVID-19 killed more than 133,000 residents and nearly 2,000 staff members between May 31, 2020 and this July 4, according to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reports…. Yet seven months after the first vaccines became available to medical professionals, only 59% of staff at the nation’s nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are fully or partially vaccinated — with eight states reporting an average rate of less than half, according to CMS data updated last week.”

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Proposes Raising Penalty for Hospitals That Don’t Publish Prices

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Proposes Raising Penalty for Hospitals That Don’t Publish Prices. “The Biden administration on Monday proposed sharply higher penalties for larger hospitals that don’t make their prices public. The proposal would also clamp down on the use of special coding embedded in hospital webpages that prevents Alphabet Inc.’s Google and other search engines from displaying price pages in search results.”

Kaiser Health News: Hospital prices, required to be available and transparent, are anything but easy to find

Kaiser Health News: Hospital prices, required to be available and transparent, are anything but easy to find. “In theory, releasing prices may prompt consumers to shop around, weighing cost and quality. Perhaps they could save a few hundred dollars by getting their surgery or imaging test across town instead of at the nearby clinic or hospital. But, typically, consumers don’t comparison-shop, preferring to choose convenience or the provider their doctor recommends…. And hospitals say the transparency push alone won’t help consumers much, because each patient is different — and individual deductibles and insurance plans complicate matters.”

The Independent: New website to help patients and NHS staff check hospital waiting times

The Independent: New website to help patients and NHS staff check hospital waiting times. “A group of patient activists has set up a new website using official NHS data to allow patients to check the waiting times for treatments at their local hospital. The new waiting times tool is thought to be the first automated and regularly updated website that shows hospital performance against key waiting time targets, by medical specialty such as cardiology or orthopaedics.”

Financial Times: England’s NHS plans to share patient records with third parties

Financial Times: England’s NHS plans to share patient records with third parties. I do not usually share Financial Times articles because of the paywall, but this article was not paywalled to me. “England’s NHS is preparing to scrape the medical histories of 55m patients, including sensitive information on mental and sexual health, criminal records and abuse, into a database it will share with third parties. The data collection project, which is the first of its kind, has caused an uproar among privacy campaigners, who say it is ‘legally problematic’, especially as patients only have a few weeks to opt out of the plan.”

PR Newswire: Clearity Health, A Crowdsourced Search Engine For Local Healthcare Prices, Launches And Calls For Medical Bills (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: Clearity Health, A Crowdsourced Search Engine For Local Healthcare Prices, Launches And Calls For Medical Bills (PRESS RELEASE). “Clearity Health, a new organization created by successful local founders and medical doctors, launches today in Austin. Its namesake healthcare cost search engine will show users exactly what other patients with similar conditions have paid at local hospitals and medical offices, including information about what services may be required.” There’s a waiting list for what looks like a closed beta. Not clear if this is Austin-only, Texas-only, or nationwide.

12 Months of Trauma: More Than 3,600 US Health Workers Died in Covid’s First Year (Route Fifty)

Route Fifty: 12 Months of Trauma: More Than 3,600 US Health Workers Died in Covid’s First Year. “One key finding: Two-thirds of deceased health care workers for whom the project has data identified as people of color, revealing the deep inequities tied to race, ethnicity and economic status in America’s health care workforce. Lower-paid workers who handled everyday patient care, including nurses, support staff and nursing home employees, were far more likely to die in the pandemic than physicians were.”

ProPublica: The Broken Front Line

ProPublica: The Broken Front Line. “As the winter’s surge of coronavirus cases overwhelmed Los Angeles hospitals, EMTs like Michael Diaz were forced to take previously unthinkable measures. What lasting impact will the pandemic have on America’s first responders?”