New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says store owners have "a right to protect themselves" and their customers from potentially being exposed to the new coronavirus by people who refuse to wear face masks, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, New York, and Tennessee.
- District of Columbia: The White House is urging Congress to include a provision that would completely ban so-called "surprise" medical billing in lawmakers' next legislative package to address America's new coronavirus epidemic. Prior to the Covid-19 epidemic, Congress appeared poised to spend 2020 coming up with a solution to surprise medical bills. The debate to date largely has centered on creating a benchmark payment rate for out-of-network bills and a so-called arbitration "backstop" to give parties a path for repeal. However, according to Politico, the White House is suggesting that lawmakers put in place a blanket prohibition against balance billing patients for certain out-of-network care instead of stipulating specific rates that providers could charge insurers for the charges or mandating that insurers would be responsible for covering such charges at all. According to Inside Health Policy, the White House has not publicly released details on or legislative test for the proposal (Luthi/Roubein, Politico, 5/27; Cohen, Inside Health Policy, 5/28 [subscription required]).
- New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Thursday announced that he's planning to sign an executive order that would allow private businesses to deny entry to people who are not wearing a face mask or covering. Cuomo noted that New York has made it mandatory for people to wear face masks or coverings in public settings to help curb transmission of the new coronavirus. He said store owners have "a right to protect themselves" and their customers. "You don't want to wear a mask, fine, but you don't have a right to then go into that store if that store owner doesn't want you to," Cuomo said (Fernandez, Axios, 5/28).
- Tennessee: Baptist Memorial Health Care on Wednesday named Tom Barnett as its new chief information and digital officer. Barnett succeeds Beverly Jordan, who is retiring from the position. Barnett most recently served as VP and CIO of University of Rochester Medical Center (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 5/28).