CMS on Thursday announced the timeline for its plans to establish minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Indiana, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
- Indiana: Anthem officials on Thursday announced plans to change its name to Elevance Health. After the change, the names of the health plans at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield will remain the same. However, according to the company, the change will "streamline the number of other brands in the market to reduce complexities and improve consumer experiences." The name change is pending stockholder approval in a vote that will take place on May 18. According to the Wall Street Journal, Anthem wants to reframe itself as an organization that has a broader portfolio and focus than its traditional business of health insurance. (Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, 3/10; Mathews, Wall Street Journal, 3/10)
- Maryland: CMS on Thursday announced plans to establish minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes. This move is part of the Biden administration's efforts to improve conditions in nursing homes after over 200,000 patients and workers in long-term care facilities died from Covid-19. "We are on a full-court sprint toward new regulations, new safety guidance and new systems," said Jonathan Blum, CMS principal deputy administrator and COO. However, members of the long-term care industry, including the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, have voiced concern over the planned requirements, questioning the feasibility of nurse staffing rules. (Christ, Modern Healthcare, 3/10)
- Massachusetts: Former President Barack Obama on Sunday announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19. "I've had a scratchy throat for a couple days, but am feeling fine otherwise. Michelle and I are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted, and she has tested negative," Obama wrote in a tweet. "It's a reminder to get vaccinated if you haven't already, even as cases go down." (Saric, Axios, 3/13)