Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will distribute $2 billion in funds to help families pay for the funerals of patients who died from Covid-19, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Louisiana, and Maryland.
- District of Columbia: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will distribute $2 billion in funds to help families pay for the funerals of patients who died from Covid-19. Under the program, FEMA will reimburse families up to $7,000 for the funeral costs of Covid-19 patients, the lawmakers said. The program will retroactively cover the costs of any funerals that occurred between Jan. 20 and Dec. 31, 2020, and lawmakers intend to try to extend the program's duration through the end of America's coronavirus epidemic (Pitofsky, The Hill, 2/8).
- Louisiana: A new, preprint study published Monday in medRxiv linked Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans in February 2020 with tens of thousands of novel coronavirus cases that likely stemmed from a single person who carried the virus to the city from Texas about two weeks before the celebrations began. For the study, which hasn't yet been peer-reviewed, researchers used data on Covid-19 deaths to retroactively model how many coronavirus cases likely occurred in New Orleans, genome sequencing to trace the cases to an original source, and cell phone tracking data to simulate how the virus spread. The researchers estimated that nearly 800 people were infected with the virus by Feb. 26, 2020, and that those infections then led to a majority of the 50,000 coronavirus cases that occurred in the state over the following months (Woodruff, Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, 2/9).
- Maryland: CMS has extended to March 17 its deadline for eligible hospitals to submit third quarter 2020 Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems data. CMS also extended to April 1 the deadline for eligible hospitals to submit clinical quality measures for the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program and Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program (Carbajal, Becker's Hospital Review, 2/10).