HHS extended the deadline for American Rescue Plan spending to March 31, 2025, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia and Georgia.
- District of Columbia: HHS extended the deadline for American Rescue Plan spending from March 31, 2024, to March 31, 2025. Under the plan, states are given a temporary 10-percentage point increase to the federal medical assistance percentage for certain Medicaid expenditures for home-and community-based services, which total roughly $12.7 billion. (Plescia, Becker's Hospital CFO Report, 6/3)
- District of Columbia: The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) on Friday appointed Ilisa Bernstein as its interim CEO, effective immediately. Previously, Bernstein led pharmaceutical and advocacy practices as the SVP of pharmacy practice and government affairs at APhA. She has more than 30 years of experience working on advocacy and regulation efforts in senior leadership positions with FDA and Pfizer. In her role as interim CEO, Bernstein will guide the APhA board through its national search for a new CEO. "I am excited to be selected to serve as APhA's Interim CEO, an organization that I've cherished and actively been involved with since my student pharmacist days," Bernstein said. (Twenter, Becker's Hospital Review, 6/3)
- Georgia: A study published Thursday by CDC found that reports of melatonin poisoning in children increased during the pandemic. For the study, lead author Karima Lelak, an emergency physician at Children's Hospital of Michigan and her colleagues analyzed reports from poison control centers from 2012 to 2021. In total, they found over 260,000 reports of children taking too much melatonin—making up 0.6% of all poison control callas in 2012 and around 5% in 2021. Children did not show symptoms in around 83% of those calls. However, children in other reports experienced vomiting, altered breathing, or a variety of other symptoms. During the 10-year study period, over 4,000 children were hospitalized, five were put on machines to help them breathe properly, and two children under the age of two died. Notably, most of the hospitalized children were teenagers, and many of those cases were suspected suicide attempts. According to Lelak, many parents think of melatonin as the equivalent of a vitamin that is safe to leave on a nightstand, "[b]ut really it's a medication that has the potential to cause harm, and should be put way in the medicine cabinet." (Stobbe, Associated Press, 6/2; AP/NPR, 6/3)