HHS on Thursday announced $103 million in grants to help address burnout among health care workers, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, and Florida.
- California: State Sen. Scott Wiener (D) on Thursday introduced SB 866—a California bill that would allow children 12 and older to get vaccinations with no parental consent. This is the first bill introduced by California's new vaccine caucus, known as the Vaccine Work Group, which was formed to introducelegislation to combat the spread of the coronavirus and mitigate vaccine misinformation. The bill's first committee hearing is expected to occur in March or April. "We know we have the fringe anti-vaxxers who oppose any bill that expands access to vaccines," Wiener said. However, "[w]ith Covid, there are a huge number of teenagers not vaccinated—about a million—and a lot of them want to be vaccinated," he added. (Colliver, Politico, 1/21)
- District of Columbia: HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on Thursday announced plans to spend $103 million to address burnout among health care workers. "We are awarding $103 million to strengthen long-term efforts to reduce burnout among our health care workforce and to promote mental health and wellness among all of our health care workers," Becerra said. "The funds, which come from the American Rescue Plan, will be disbursed to numerous organizations that oversee evidence-informed programs, practices, and training. The focus will be on providers who do service in underserved and rural communities." According to Carole Johnson, the administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, the funds will be distributed across 45 organizations and will be divided into three different categories. (Frieden, MedPage Today, 1/20)
- Florida: On Wednesday, a dozen doctors from the Kennedy White Orthopaedic Center in Sarasota, Fla., sued HCA Healthcare for allegedly diminishing the "quality, reputation and capability of the surgical practice" by prioritizing its wholly owned hospitals in its role as a landowner and manager, Modern Healthcare reports. Since 1995, HCA and the Kennedy White Orthopaedic Center have been in a partnership where HCA retains a majority ownership. According to Michael Taaffe, a partner at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick who is representing the surgeons, HCA has taken profits from the center but failed to reinvest in its upkeep. "Kennedy White went into this arrangement assuming HCA would do everything to promote the facility, keep it updated, keep it clean, keep it operating properly," Taaffe said. "And they haven't done that." (Devereaux, Modern Healthcare, 1/20)