President Trump in a video from the White House released Wednesday said his Covid-19 diagnosis may be a "blessing in disguise," in part because he says his illness shed light on Regeneron's experimental antiviral treatment, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Illinois, and Maryland.
- District of Columbia: President Trump in a video from the White House released Wednesday said his diagnosis with Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, may be a "blessing in disguise," in part because his illness shed light on Regeneron's experimental antiviral treatment, which hasn't been approved by FDA. Sean Conley, the White House physician, in a memo added that Trump had not experienced symptoms of Covid-19 in more than 24 hours, that his oxygen saturation level and respiratory rate were normal, and that a blood test indicated Trump had developed coronavirus antibodies—although Regeneron said it's not possible to determine from the blood test used whether those antibodies were made by Trump's body or supplied by the company's drug cocktail. Separately, Regeneron on Wednesday announced it had requested an emergency use authorization from FDA for the treatment, which Trump said he would make available for "free" to anyone who needs it, although he did not explain how he would do so (Haberman/Thomas, New York Times, 10/7; Madhani et al., Associated Press, 10/8; Bender, Wall Street Journal, 10/7)
- Illinois: The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) has named Kim Keck as the group's new CEO effective next year, making Keck the first woman who will serve in the role. Keck currently serves as the leader of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and a member of BCBSA's board. Keck will succeed Scott Serota, who is retiring at the end of this year (Goldberg, Crain's Chicago Business/Modern Healthcare, 10/6).
- Maryland: Senior officials from CMS on Tuesday said hospitals will have 14 weeks to provide daily reporting on their Covid-19 cases and deaths, as well as influenza cases and use of personal protective equipment, or otherwise risk losing Medicare and Medicaid payments. CMS said it will send notices informing the roughly 6,000 hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid of whether they currently meet the reporting requirements. Three weeks later, CMS will again notify hospitals that still are not in compliance, and the agency will continue sending weekly notices to hospitals that are not in compliance for four more weeks. At that point, if a hospital still is not complying with the reporting requirements, CMS will terminate Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to the facility in 30 days. Hospitals will be able to appeal that termination (O'Donnell, Reuters, 10/6; Evans, Wall Street Journal, 10/6; Castellucci, Modern Healthcare, 10/6).