The Blog to Transform Advanced Care
Advancing Care through Innovation, Observation and Collaboration.
Each week, C-TAC compiles the latest legislative and regulatory updates affecting the serious illness care field, combined with insider analysis from our policy experts. Here’s what you need to know for the week ahead:
- House Preparing to Vote on COVID-19 Stimulus Package
- Biden Targets Diverse Groups with Vaccine Hesitancy for COVID-19 Funds
- Reminder: Biden-Harris COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Holding Public Meeting this Friday
- COVID-19 Lowered Medicare Care Utilization Across Races, Services
House Preparing to Vote on COVID-19 Stimulus Package
The House Budget Committee voted Monday to advance President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, setting up the bill for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives later this week. In addition to direct payments of $1,400 to people earning up to $75,000 and couples earning $150,000, the legislation allots $10 billion for Defense Production Act spending to tackle shortages of medical supplies and equipment.
The bill would also boost federal spending on Medicaid home-and-community based supports (HCBS) by about $9 billion for one year, and would allocate $1.4 billion in funding for programs authorized under the Older Americans Act, including support for nutrition programs, community-based support programs and the National Family Caregiver Support Program. The bill text is available here.
Biden Targets Diverse Groups with Vaccine Hesitancy for COVID-19 Funds
The Biden-Harris Administration has awarded over $17 million to counter fear and misinformation in communities of color that have indicated they’re concerned about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a funding database from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Vaccine hesitancy is a major barrier that prevents the COVID-19 vaccine from reaching those who need it most. C-TAC applauds this effort to engage with communities who have been historically mistreated or overlooked by our healthcare system. More information is available here.
Reminder: Biden-Harris COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Holding Public Meeting this Friday
The Biden-Harris Administration’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force will hold a virtual public meeting on Friday, Feb. 26 from 3-5 PM ET. The meeting will be available to livestream here.
The Task Force operates under the HHS Office of Minority Health, aiming to provide recommendations for mitigating health inequities caused or made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the Task Force, click here.
COVID-19 Lowered Medicare Care Utilization Across Races, Services
In the first six months of 2020, fee-for-service Medicare utilization dropped across categories of services, races, and dual eligibility statuses, a recent study confirmed. Researchers studied fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries’ healthcare spending habits in the first six months of 2020 and compared these to corresponding data from the first six months of 2019. Researchers drew their sample from CMS Medicare Part A and Part B fee-for-service claims data. More information is available here.