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April 17, 2020

Around the nation: States plan mass Covid-19 testing for first responders, essential workers

Daily Briefing

    Arizona and New York will test health care and other essential workers statewide to identify those who have already been exposed to the novel coronavirus and therefore may have developed immunity to infection, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arizona, Maryland, and New York.

    • Arizona/New York: The University of Arizona on Tuesday announced it will receive $3.5 million from the state to begin antibody testing for 250,000 health care workers and first responders in the state to identify those who have already been exposed to the novel coronavirus, and therefore may have developed some immunity to infection. Similarly, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) this week announced that his state also is planning to implement mass antibody testing of medical personnel and essential workers to accelerate individuals' returns to work (Hay, Reuters, 4/14; Berthelsen/Clukey, Bloomberg, 4/15).

    • Maryland: CMS has delayed its planned Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport payment model until fall 2020. The agency said it is delaying the model because its 205 participants are focused on addressing the United States' coronavirus epidemic. The five-year payment model, which was originally set to begin on May 1, aims to reduce unnecessary hospital visits for low-acuity emergencies by providing ambulance teams with more flexibility in how they triage emergencies (Ellison, Becker's CFO Report, 4/14).

    • New York: New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) and other state and local governments on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to temporarily halt the Trump administration's so-called "public charge" rule during the country's coronavirus epidemic. James in a statement said the policy, which allows federal officials to consider whether immigrants are receiving or are likely to receive public benefits when reviewing their U.S. residency applications, disrupts "efforts to slow the continued spread of the virus happening nationwide" (Kruzel, The Hill, 4/13).

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