Under the state's emergency declaration, telephone and telehealth visits that are designated by a provider as clinically appropriate will qualify for Medicaid payment, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Connecticut, Illinois, and New York.
- Connecticut: Kurt Kruczek, the owner of Naples Pizza, has been bringing free pizza to doctors and nurses who are treating patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The shop owner said he plans to continue bringing free pies to the workers at least once per week and twice a day. Kruczek said it's "a great way to contribute to what's happening right now and maybe make it a little bigger and invite other restaurants to do the same" (Musto, Fox News, 3/18).
- Illinois/New Jersey: AbbVie and Allergan announced Tuesday that they have signed a consent decree with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in order to continue their plans to merge. The decree requires that the companies commit to selling some of their products to other companies. Namely, the companies agreed to sell brazikumab, an experimental treatment for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, to AstraZeneca—a move that was announced previously. The companies will also sell a pancreatic treatment to Nestle. AbbVie and Allergan expect the deal to close in May (Owens, MarketWatch, 3/17; Anderson, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/18).
- New York: The New York Department of Health will allow telephone and telehealth services for Medicaid beneficiaries during the COVID-19 epidemic. Under the state's emergency declaration, telephone and telehealth visits that are designated by a provider as clinically appropriate will qualify for Medicaid payments. Medicaid will reimburse telephone and virtual evaluations and management services for patients going back to March 13 (Drees, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/18).