In the News

Lawmakers Focus on Prevention, Cures to Curb US Health Insurance Costs

The Hill | By Paige Kupas
 
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) discussed their differing visions for an improved health care system on Wednesday, with the Democrat focusing largely on prevention and the Republican on breakthroughs in cures. 
 
Schweikert told The Hill’s Steve Clemons that shifting the system from the current “maintenance model” to a “curative model” would eventually reduce health care needs and bring costs down for the insurance industry. 
 
“Maybe instead of spending our money in a maintenance model, it’s now time to say that we as Americans are going to fixate on the curative model because that has the long-term benefit of crashing health care spending,” he said at The Hill’s “Closing the Gaps in Health Insurance” event. 
 
“And it is shocking the lack of embracing of that idea around here because it blows up much of the health care business model,” he added.
 
Some 60 percent of Americans report skipping or delaying treatment because out-of-pocket costs are too high, according to a poll commissioned by Consumers for Quality Care, which sponsored Wednesday’s event. 
 
Schweikert noted that people with chronic diseases represented the majority of health care spending in the country, meaning that finding cures for diseases such as diabetes would create disproportionate savings in the system. 
 
The co-chairman of the Congressional Telehealth Caucus also said that expanding at-home access to medical technologies could lower health care costs. 

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NIHCM Foundation COVID-19 Updates

The U.S. is entering the third summer of the pandemic, the sixth wave of COVID, and many people  are getting sick for the first time. Cases are six times higher than last summer, fortunately, hospitalizations remain in check. In addition, people are likely to get COVID multiple times. See the latest developments on the pandemic:

  • New Vaccine: The Food and Drug Administration met Tuesday and endorsed the Novavax shot. This vaccine was developed using decades-old technology and is an important option for those who are unable to take an mRNA vaccine.

Long COVID: CDC study suggests that more than one in five adult COVID survivors in the U.S. may develop long COVID. Many want to know whether they have long COVID and there are more than 200 symptoms of the condition.

 

Physical Therapy Compact

The Physical Therapy (PT) Compact is an agreement between states that allows PTs and PTAs to practice in multiple states with only a home state license. Obtaining a compact privilege is faster, less expensive, and easier than getting and maintaining licenses in multiple states.

Getting a compact privilege is a great way to expand your reach and give you flexibility. It can be useful for travel PTs, military spouses, telehealth practitioners, and PTs and PTAs near borders. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • You cannot use a compact privilege to practice/work in your permanent residence/home state.
  • It is not a multi-state license. You must get a compact privilege for each state you wish to work in, and the fees vary by state.
  • Many states also require a jurisprudence exam to ensure you understand the state laws.
  • Fortunately, there is no special continuing education requirement; you just need to maintain your home state CEUs.

Follow the PT Compact on Twitter and learn more about how you can get or expand your privileges today at PTCompact.org.

 

Despite Vaccines, Omicron Variant Puts Older Adults at Risk

Last winter's COVID-19 wave, driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant, killed almost as many Americans ages 65 and older as last summer's Delta variant wave, despite high vaccination rates among older people. Health experts cited the ability of the Omicron variant and its mutations to get around immune defenses and lackluster efforts to get booster shots to older adults as reasons for the elevated risk.

Read Full Story: The New York Times 

 

White House: 1st Shots for Kids Under 5 Possible by June 21

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration said Thursday that children under 5 may be able to get their first COVID-19 vaccination doses as soon as June 21, if federal regulators authorize shots for the age group, as expected.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Aashish Jha outlined the administration's planning for the last remaining ineligible age group to get shots. He said the Food and Drug Administration's outside panel of advisers will meet on June 14-15 to evaluate the Pfizer and Moderna shots for younger kids. Shipments to doctors' offices and pediatric care facilities would begin soon after FDA authorization, with the first shots possible the following week.

Jha said states can begin placing orders for pediatric vaccines on Friday, and said the administration has an initial supply of 10 million doses available. He said it may take a few days for the vaccines to arrive across the country and vaccine appointments to be widespread.

"Our expectation is that within weeks every parent who wants their child to get vaccinated will be able to get an appointment," Jha said.

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