Daily Briefing

Around the nation: OSHA conducts follow-up inspections for Covid-19 safety violations


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Wednesday started conducting follow-up inspections for health care facilities that previously violated Covid-19 safety requirements, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Texas.

  • District of Columbia: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Wednesday started conducting follow-up inspections for hospitals, nursing homes, and skilled nursing facilities that previously received citations for violating Covid-19 safety requirements. During the follow-up inspections, facilities will be required to prove that any previous violations have been corrected and provide proof that they are prepared for future surges. "I think for the most part, we're going to see hospitals being ready for these because hospitals are constantly having to be prepared for quality types of inspections, whether it's from their state licensure agency, other regulators or CMS," said Kevin Troutman, a partner at Fisher Phillips. "Nursing homes and smaller operations may face a bigger challenge just because they don't typically have as much in the way of resources and dedicated quality assurance types of staff." (Gillespie, Modern Healthcare, 3/8)
  • Hawaii: Gov. David Ige (D) on Tuesday announced that Hawaii plans to lift its indoor mask mandate later this month—making it the final U.S. state to drop indoor masking requirements. According to Ige, the mandate will end on March 25 at 11:59 p.m. "Because of people who have been serious about this and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus, we have reduced Covid-19 in Hawaii to the point where most of us will be safe without masks," Ige said. After the mandate has been lifted, the state will still recommend masks in crowded indoor areas and near immunocompromised individuals. (Schnell, The Hill, 3/8)
  • Texas: Amazon Pharmacy on Tuesday announced a partnership with five Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurers and their pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), Prime Therapeutics, to integrate its drug discount card into their health care coverage. Under the partnership, beneficiaries will be able to choose whether they want to pay for their medications through Amazon Pharmacy's MedsYourWay discount card or with prices negotiated by their PBM. "Rather than a discount card being an alternative to their benefit, it is actually now complementary to their benefits," said Amazon CMO, Nworah Ayogu. "We're excited that Prime is saying, 'We want what's easiest and best for the customer and lowest cost for the customer whether that is on benefit or not.' We like that they're willing to take that customer-centric model." (Tepper, Modern Healthcare, 3/8)

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