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New coronavirus cases in the United States have hit daily records multiple times in the past week and hospitalizations are rising in several areas of the country. A new Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) brief examines the composition of the workforce and how the risks and the impact of the pandemic on this workforce vary across racial and ethnic groups.

Key takeaways include:

  • While 60% of health workers are White, people of color accounted for the majority of COVID-19 cases and deaths among health workers.
  • People of color are more likely to be in roles and settings that pose particularly high risk of exposure to coronavirus, including providing direct patient care or support in inpatient hospital or residential or long-term care settings and reporting inadequate access to PPE.
  • While over half (54%) of health care workers say they would definitely get a free, safe and effective vaccine, Black adults with a health worker in their household are much less likely than White adults to say they would definitely get vaccinated (24% vs. 46%).

To read the full brief, click here.

Other Updates:

CMS Announces Access to COVID-19 Antibody Treatment for Medicare Beneficiaries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Friday, November 13 that Medicare beneficiaries can receive coverage of monoclonal antibodies to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with no cost sharing during the public health emergency (PHE). CMS will issue billing and coding instructions for health care providers and anticipates that a broad range of providers and suppliers will administer this treatment.

More information is available here.

HHS Releases RFI on Novel Technologies for Chronic Disease Management for Aging Underserved Populations

On Monday Nov. 11, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a Request for Information (RFI) to relevant stakeholders regarding innovative solutions to chronic disease management that serve aging populations in underserved areas. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) seeks public feedback relating to barriers and opportunities for technology-driven solutions, key indicators and data sources of technology-driven chronic disease management, examples of health promotion using technology driven solutions, and public-private partnerships.

C-TAC will review the RFI for possible comments and others can also submit comments to OASHcomments@hhs.gov with “RFI RESPONSE” in the subject line by midnight ET on December 22, 2020.

CMS Will Retire the Original Online Compare Tools on December 1st, 2020 – New Consolidated Site Across Provider Types is Now Live

In early September, CMS released Care Compare on Medicare.gov, which streamlines the agency’s eight original health care compare tools. The eight original compare tools – like Nursing Home Compare, Hospital Compare, Physician Compare – will be retired on December 1st, ending this transition period.

In an announcement released on Tuesday, Nov. 18, CMS urged readers to use Care Compare on Medicare.gov and encourage people with Medicare and their caregivers to start using it as well. Readers were also encouraged to update any links to the eight original care tools on their public-facing websites so that they will direct audiences to Care Compare. Inside Health Policy has made the full announcement available here.

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