eNews: June 24, 2020


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NYSDOH June 24 Updates


Tri-State Govs Impose 14-Day Quarantine for Visitors from High Infection Rate States
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced on Wednesday that they would impose a 14-day quarantine on visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates.

“We worked very hard to get the viral transmission down. We don’t want to see it go up,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo during a joint press conference with his fellow tri-state governors.

The order in New York, which will take the form of a travel advisory, will take effect at midnight. The standard for measuring states considered a risk will be those with more than 10 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people or whose infection rate is above 10 percent based on a seven-day rolling average.

As of today, Cuomo said there are nine states that fit that criteria: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, and Texas. But more than two dozen states are seeing surges in cases.

The advisory not only applies to out-of-state residents. Any New Yorker that leaves to visit those states would be subject to quarantine upon their return, Cuomo said. The infection rate in New York state is now 1.1 percent, while the number of total hospitalizations is now at 1,071, the lowest since March 19th.

Although it was not clear how the three states would enforce the quarantine, Cuomo denied that the measure was simply symbolic. “You violate the quarantine, you will have to do mandatory quarantine and you will be fined,” he said.

Violators may be asked to pay a minimum fine of $2,000 and up to $10,000 if they cause harm, according to the governor.


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Younger Adults Testing Positive for Coronavirus in More States
In several U.S. states, including Florida, Texas, Washington, California and Colorado, there are reports of a demographic shift in coronavirus case trends, with younger adults increasingly making up a greater share of cases, according to NPR.

There are many possible reasons for this shift, including the fact that more people are getting tested for the new virus, public health experts told NPR. But some experts attribute the rise in cases among adults in their 20s and 30s to their possible belief that they are at lower risk of contracting the virus and return to social gathering settings sooner than older adults.

In Washington, an analysis of state data showed that nearly half of new COVID-19 cases in Seattle were among people in their 20s and 30s. State data in California shows that adults younger than 35 years make up about 44 percent of new coronavirus cases, NPR reports.

“If you see these types of trends occurring in a state as large as California, it’s probably a very strong harbinger that this is actually happening nationally, too,” George Lemp, DrPH, an infectious disease epidemiologist and former director of the University of California’s HIV/AIDS Research Program, told NPR.

Many governors have blamed the uptick in cases on young adults, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who tied the rise in new virus cases to reports of packed bars and young adults failing to socially distance.

Some local governments are trying to create public awareness campaigns aimed at young adults. Ken Welch, a county commissioner in Pinellas County, said the county thought about getting local athletes to talk about the importance of wearing a mask.

Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at New York City-based Columbia University, told NPR that identifying “trusted spokespeople” to create awareness among younger adults is key.

“I think young people can potentially have a very, very valuable role if we can harness their energy and attention,” she said. (Becker’s Hospital Review June 22)


Resistant Meningococcal Strain Circulating US, CDC Warns
The CDC is warning healthcare providers about a new resistant strain of Neisseria meningitidis, which causes meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal disease is a life-threatening infection of the brain and spinal cord or bloodstream. The infection is usually treated with penicillin or ciprofloxacin. The antibiotics are also used for prophylaxis in people who have had close contact with the infected patient.

However, the CDC has detected 11 meningococcal cases that occurred in nine states between 2019 and 2020 in which isolates contained a gene and mutations associated with resistance to these antibiotics. Another 22 cases reported from 2013 -20 contained the gene associated with penicillin resistance, but did not have mutations associated with ciprofloxacin resistance, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published June 19.

The agency is urging clinicians to conduct antibiotic susceptibility testing before switching from empirical treatment to penicillin or ampicillin for patients with meningococcal disease.

To learn more, click here.


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AHA Urging HHS To Extend Health Emergency Declaration: Set to Expire July 25
The declaration grants healthcare providers certain resources and flexibilities to care for COVID-19 patients, which will be needed past July, AHA President and CEO Richard Pollack said in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Mr. Pollack asked HHS to extend the declaration until various criteria are met related to supply chain, testing volume, intensive care unit capacity and death figures.


WEBINARS

June 29, 2020 @ 7:30am Medical Matters CME Webinar Registration Now Open Questions & Answers Surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Register now for MSSNY’s next webinar related to the COVID-19 pandemic on June 29th at 7:30am, Medical Matters: Questions & Answers Surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has generated myriad questions for health professionals.

This webinar will explore some of the most frequently asked of these questions and provide answers where they are available Faculty for this program is William Valenti, MD, Arthur Cooper, MD, Marcus Friedrich, MD and Elizabeth Dufort, MD.

Educational objectives:

  • Identify frequently asked questions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Examine the dynamic circumstances encompassing COVID-19

Registration is now open for this webinar

To view the companion pieces to this webinar, be sure to go to cme.mssny.org or go to the MSSNY podcast site and listen to the COVID-19 related podcasts available here.

Additional information can be found here and assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at mhoffman@mssny.org.

The Medical Society of the State of New York is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


IPRO QIN-QIO Community of Care Coalitions: Working Together to Improve Care and Reduce Burden Wednesday July 8, 2020 | 12PM – 1PM EDT

Register Here!

Join us for a presentation of the Community of Care Coalition program and the ways our work at the IPRO QIN-QIO aligns with multiple initiatives including the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Shared Savings Program (SSP).
Our presentation will include a short overview of the program, a panel discussion of experts describing how the IPRO QIN-QIO programs can help your practice, and an open Q and A.

Participating organizations in our Community of Care Coalition program will have access to:

Educational resources and tools: guide and support quality improvement processes.

·       Health information technology support: access clinical decision support tools; innovations in HIT to reduce opioid-related harm, improve opioid prescribing and pain management; and track and report adverse events.

·       Data analysis and reporting: enhance identification, tracking, and reporting opportunities for improvement; receive timely data on quality measure performance.

·       Peer to peer collaboration: learn about best practices from peers.

·       Person and family engagement: gain insight on how best to involve patients, residents and their family members and care partners in their care.

·       Online learning: join virtual collaborative and take advantage of online, self-paced educational programs.

Find out more about the IPRO QIN QIO program here.


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CMS

CMS Opens Office to Cut Red Tape for Providers
To determine where to trim red tape, CMS relied on input from 10 Requests for Information, along with listening sessions, site visits, feedback from more than 2,500 stakeholders.

CMS says it has already removed unnecessary and burdensome regulations that have saved providers 4.4 million paperwork hours and $800 million. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Tuesday announced the creation of a new office designed to cut red tape for providers.

The regulatory reductions are expected to save providers $6.6 billion and 42 million unnecessary burden hours through 2021, CMS said. “The work of this new office will be targeted to help reduce unnecessary burden, increase efficiencies, continue administrative simplification, increase the use of health informatics, and improve the beneficiary experience,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said.

To determine where to trim red tape, CMS relied on input from 10 Requests for Information, along with listening sessions, site visits, feedback from more than 2,500 providers, clinicians, administrative staff, and beneficiaries, and 15,000 comments from various stakeholders.

So far, CMS said, the red tape reductions have:

·       Removed unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome conditions of participation for providers saving 4.4 million paperwork hours and total projected savings to providers of $800 million annually.

·       Removed 235 data elements from 33 items on the Outcomes and Assessment Information Set assessment instrument for home health.

·       Established within the Quality Payment Program consolidated data submission for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, removing a requirement that clinicians submit data in multiple systems.

·       Eliminated 79 measures under the Meaningful Measures Initiative, resulting in projected savings of $128 million and an anticipated reduction of 3.3 million burden hours through 2020.

·       Accelerated processing state requests to make program or benefit changes to their Medicaid programs through the state plan amendment and section 1915 waiver. (Health Leaders, June 23)


Physician Compare Preview Period is Now Open
The Physician Compare 60-day Preview Period is officially open as of June 22, 2020 at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. PT). You can now preview your 2018 Quality Payment Program performance information before it will appear on Physician Compare profile pages and in the Downloadable Database. You can access the secured Preview through the Quality Payment Program website.

Access the resource below on how to preview your data:

·        Physician Compare Preview Period User Guide

For additional assistance with accessing the Quality Payment Program website, or obtaining your EIDM user role, contact the Quality Payment Program service center at QPP@cms.hhs.gov.

To learn more about the 2018 Quality Payment Program performance information that is available for preview as well as the 2017 clinician utilization data that will be added to the Downloadable Database, download these documents from the Physician Compare Initiative page:

·        Clinician Performance Information on Physician Compare: Performance Year 2018 Preview Period

·        Group Performance Information on Physician Compare: Performance Year 2018 Preview Period

The 60-day Preview Period will close on August 20, 2020 at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).


MSSNY Helpline for Physicians Experiencing COVID-19 Related Stress 518-292-0140


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Includes waiting room, 2 exam rooms and room for medical assistants. Flexible schedule. Call Bianca at 212-327-1851.

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