The American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, and American Nurses Association on Monday published an open letter urging Americans to wear face masks or coverings in public and practice social distancing to help stem the new coronavirus' spread, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Illinois, and Maryland.
- California: Kaiser Permanente announced that it will dedicate $100 million to efforts that aim to address systemic racism in the United States. The health system said it will join the Local Initiatives Support Coalition, launch a $60 million investment partnership that will provide loans to businesses owned by people of color, dedicate $15 million to grants that help businesses owned by people of color with training and other efforts, and allocate $25 million to grassroots initiatives aimed at ending systemic racism and to its own research on the effects of adverse childhood experiences (Deruy, The Mercury News, 6/26).
- Illinois: The American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, and American Nurses Association on Monday published an open letter urging Americans to wear face masks or coverings in public and practice social distancing to help stem the new coronavirus' spread. The groups wrote that "some of the steps that were critical to the progress" America had made against its coronavirus epidemic "were too quickly abandoned" in some states, "[a]nd now we are watching in real-time as a dramatic uptick in Covid-19 cases is erasing our hard-won gains." They added, "This is why as physicians, nurses, hospital and health system leaders, researchers and public health experts, we are urging the American public to take the simple steps we know will help stop the spread of the virus: wearing a face mask, maintaining physical distancing, and washing hands" (Japesen, Forbes, 7/6; Open letter, 7/6).
- Maryland: CMS on Monday issued a proposed rule to update the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for calendar year 2021. Under the proposed rule, CMS would expand add-on payments for equipment and supplies used to provide dialysis treatment in beneficiaries' homes, in hopes of encouraging greater use of at-home dialysis for ESRD patients. The proposed rule also includes annual technical changes to the ESRD PPS, updates to Medicare's ESRD Quality Incentive Program, and updates to payment rates for renal dialysis services provided to beneficiaries with acute kidney injury (Minemyer, FierceHealthcare, 7/6; Modern Healthcare, 7/6).