June 25, 2021

In This Issue
Fast Facts
Senators Agree on Bipartisan Infrastructure Package; No Healthcare Provisions Included
NAHU Submits Letter Supporting Legislation to Expand Telehealth
Ask Your Legislators to Put an End to the Observation-Status Loophole
State Spotlight: Colorado and Nevada Pass Watered-Down Public-Option Laws
Healthcare Happy Hour: Legislators Introduce Bills to Put an End to Medicare Observation-Status Loophole
HUPAC Roundup: HUPAC Announces Exciting Annual Convention Events
What We're Reading
E-mail the Editor
Visit the NAHU Website
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What We're Reading

We are very excited to (virtually) see all of you this Sunday at NAHU’s Annual Convention! Make sure to sign up for the Annual NAHU Virtual 5k Run & Walk, the proceeds of which go to the HUPAC Administrative Fund. Here is what we’re reading this week:

  • Federal agencies have issued a request for information regarding the pharmacy benefit and prescription drug cost reporting requirements added by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. CAA required that group health plans and insurers under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program annually report certain information about pharmacy benefits and prescription-drug costs.
  • A new University of Minnesota study finds that U.S. hospitals have been slow to fully comply with a new federal rule that was designed to bring more price transparency to healthcare. The analysis found that only one in four of hospitals surveyed reported all required data in a machine-readable format that makes it easy for researchers and policymakers to analyze the information.
  • The Government Accountability Office released a report this week suggesting that the Federal Air Marshal Service document its response to COVID-19 cases and facilitate access to testing. Three hundred and forty five employees were infected and one air marshal died due to complications of the disease.
  • More and more Americans are getting vaccinated to protect themselves against coronavirus. But if you’re vaccinated, do you need to worry about new COVID-19 variants? NPR Health released an FAQ this week answering questions like this.
  • A California jury has cleared CVS in a years-long lawsuit alleging the pharmacy giant overcharged them by more than $121 million for generic drugs. The program at the center of the suit has been a source of controversy, and a number of insurers have also filed suit against CVS of late in relation to the program.
  • As a result of millions of professionals working from home full-time, online sales grew by 44 percent in 2020 as more and more consumers had to get comfortable making nearly all purchases online. Many analysts agree that these trends are not short-term, but the shift to online purchasing behavior is here for the long haul.
  • Emergency rooms are not typically places you check in for the night. If you break an arm, it gets set and you leave. If you have a heart attack, you won’t wait long for a hospital bed. But sometimes if your brain is not well and you end up in an ER, there’s a good chance you will get stuck there. Parents and advocates for kids’ mental health say that the ER can’t provide appropriate care and that the warehousing of kids in crisis can become an emergency itself.
  • COVID-19 survivors who lost their sense of taste and smell may have to wait up to a year to fully recover, a new study found. Out of 97 patients, 51 of them also were asked to undergo objective testing to corroborate the self-reported surveys. At eight months, 49 out of the 51 patients had fully recovered their sense of taste and smell.
  • A new study from the Pew Research Center found that Latino children are more than two times as likely to be without health insurance as non-Latino children. Between 2016 and 2019, the percentage of Latino children with health insurance fell in the United States by 1.6 percentage points and by much more in some states.
  • Lawmakers used to laugh when asked about UFOs. Now they have real questions — and they’re eager for the rare answers. The Pentagon is expected to release an unclassified report on crafts that allegedly defy the laws of physics and enter our airspace at will.
  • In this week’s bit of feel-good news: Florida A&M University student Jabari Richardson was in the process of moving when he saw a homeless man on the side of the road. Richardson decided to give away many of his belongings to the man instead of selling them.

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