March 23, 2020

Around the nation: San Francisco to lease hotel rooms for first responders and certain COVID-19 patients

Daily Briefing

    The Section 1135 Medicaid waiver CMS approved will remove certain Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP requirements in Washington state, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California and Washington.

    • California: San Francisco will be using at least 3,500 hotel rooms to house patients with COVID-19 who need to be isolated but don't require hospitalization and lack a place to isolate themselves. Along with the 3,500 hotel rooms, San Francisco will lease rooms for first responders. Trent Rhorer, executive director of San Francisco's Human Services Agency, said, "We don't want health care workers on the front line to go home and potentially infect others" (Dolan, Los Angeles Times, 3/19).

    • Washington: CMS on Thursday approved Washington's 1135 Medicaid waiver, which will remove certain Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP requirements. CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the agency is "committed to stripping away any red tape that gets in the way of states or providers effectively managing this public health emergency." Washington is the second state to have a 1135 waiver granted, after Florida (CMS release, 3/19).

    • Washington: Providence St. Joseph Health will donate $500,000 to food banks and nonprofit community organizations currently supporting response efforts to COVID-19. The donation will be divided into two parts, with one part supporting virus containment strategies and the other addressing the economic challenges the epidemic is expected to cause among marginalized populations (Bean, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/19).

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