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May 12, 2022

Around the nation: Health care organizations ask HHS to extend the Covid-19 public health emergency

Daily Briefing

    The American Hospital Association (AHA) and American Medical Association (AMA), along with 14 other health care organizations, wrote a letter urging HHS to extend the Covid-19 public health emergency, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia and New York.

    • District of Columbia: AHA and AMA, along with 14 other health care organizations, on Tuesday wrote a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra urging HHS to extend the public health emergency until the global pandemic subsides. Under the public health emergency, federal agencies have been able to relax certain policies for health care providers and state governments. "We understand Americans are frustrated with the pandemic and the related ongoing public health measures resulting from it. Healthcare providers and others across the country's healthcare infrastructure are exhausted as well. We have learned, however, that COVID-19 and its variants take full advantage when we let our guard down," the letter said. Currently, the emergency is set to expire July 15, but the Biden administration has promised to provide 60 days' notice before ending the emergency. (Goldman, Modern Healthcare, 5/11)
    • District of Columbia: White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice on Monday said she tested positive for the coronavirus. "This morning I tested positive for Covid-19," Rice tweeted. "I'm feeling fine and grateful to be vaccinated and double boosted. I last saw the President in person on Wednesday—masked—and under CDC guidance he is not considered a close contact." (Chalfant, The Hill, 5/9)
    • New York: Oscar Health during its first-quarter earnings call announced plans to exit Colorado and Arkansas to boost profitability—a move that company does not expect to have a "significant or even close to material effect" on its profits this year, CFO Scott Blackley said. According to CEO Mario Schlosser, the company's decision was made in reaction to low membership rates in both states and multiple local regulatory changes. At the end of 2021, Oscar Health had just 2,865 members in Colorado—less that 1% of its total enrollees. "We did not get the scale there and did not see a great right to win," Schlosser said. (Tepper, Modern Healthcare, 5/10)

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