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February 2, 2022

Around the nation: New York City high-risk residents to receive free Covid-19 antivirals

Daily Briefing

    New York City announced a program to send a limited supply of Covid-19 antiviral pills directly to some residents' homes for free, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Connecticut, Georgia, and New York.

    • Connecticut: Cigna on Monday announced the appointment of Charles Berg to serve as the president of its U.S. government business and senior advisor, where he will oversee the growth of the company's Medicare Advantage and individual and family plan businesses. Berg, who is currently on the board of directors for multiple health care companies, including DaVita Medical Group, CareCentrix, and Talkspace, will join Cigna's enterprise leadership team and work under Cigna chairman and CEO David Cordani. "Under Chuck's leadership, we will bring a sharp focus on our strategy through continued geographic expansion, leveraging Evernorth's industry-leading capabilities, and product suite enhancements to help people achieve their health and well-being goals," Cordani said. (Devereaux, Modern Healthcare, 1/31)
    • Georgia: CDC on Monday raised a dozen countries' Covid-19 travel advisories to their highest levels amid case spikes driven by the highly contagious omicron variant. The agency issued level 4 travel advisories for Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Anguilla, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Kosovo, Moldova, Singapore, the Philippines, Brazil, and French Guiana. Under the CDC's highest classification for Covid-19 risk, individuals are advised to avoid travel to the destinations altogether, but if travel is necessary, the agency recommends first being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. CDC warned that with the "very high" levels of Covid-19 cases in these countries, even fully vaccinated travelers will "still be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19." (Saric, Axios, 1/31)
    • New York: New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) on Sunday announced a program to send a limited supply of Covid-19 antiviral pills directly to residents' homes for free. Eligible New York City residents will be able to get same-day delivery of Pfizer's Paxlovid and Merck and Ridgeback Therapeutics' molnupiravir. Due to supply shortages, the city will prioritize individuals who face a higher risk of severe disease. To determine eligibility, those who test positive should contact their providers or the city Covid-19 hotline. For the program, New York City partnered with telehealth pharmacy Alto Pharmacy, who will distribute the drugs. "Our city's public health care system is seeing a decline in Covid-19 hospital admissions, but we are still very busy treating severely ill patients," said Mitchell Katz, president of New York City Health + Hospitals. "Free, at-home delivery of these antiviral pills will keep high-risk New Yorkers out of the hospital so we can immediately free up critical resources." (Carbajal, Becker's Hospital Review, 1/31)

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