CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in a statement declared racism "a serious public health threat that directly affects the well-being of millions of Americans" and "the health of our entire nation," in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Georgia, Kentucky, and Maryland.
- Georgia: CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in a statement Thursday declared racism "a serious public health threat that directly affects the well-being of millions of Americans" and "the health of our entire nation." Walensky said CDC plans to continue studying the impact of social determinants of health on outcomes, as well as make new investments in racial and ethnic minority communities, expand internal CDC efforts to foster greater diversity, and launch its new "Racism and Health" web portal to serve as "a catalyst for public and scientific discourse around racism and health" (Din, Politico, 4/8; Foster-Frau, Washington Post, 4/9; Weixel, The Hill, 4/8; Carbajal, Becker's Hospital Review, 4/9).
- Kentucky: Centene Corp. has named Joshua Sloop as president and CEO of WellCare of Kentucky. Sloop previously served as COO and plan product president for PA Health & Wellness, the subsidiary health plan for Centene in Pennsylvania. Sloop succeeds Bill Jones, who is now regional SVP and oversees Centene's markets in Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (Larson, Louisville Business First, 4/9).
- Maryland: CMS on Thursday issued a proposed rule that will increase hospice payments by 2.3%, or $530 million, in fiscal year (FY) 2022. CMS in a fact sheet said CMS' proposed aggregate cap for hospice payments in FY 2022 will be $31,389.66, an increase of 2.3% over last year's cap. In addition, CMS said the proposed rule would require hospices to conduct a competency evaluation for hospice aides, which should "allow highly skilled aides to be trained more quickly in order to provide high quality patient care while protecting patient health and safety" (Lagasse, Healthcare Finance, 4/12; Brady, Modern Healthcare, 4/8).