In the face of growing opposition from hospital and doctors groups, UnitedHealthcare said on Thursday it would delay a plan to stop paying for emergency room visits that it deemed nonurgent, at least until the pandemic has ended.The policy, which would affect millions of United’s customers, was greeted with longstanding worry over the unintended consequences of the coronavirus crisis on Americans’ health as people put off care for serious illnesses. The change had also sparked outrage in light of the steep declines in E.R. visits that ironically resulted in healthy profits and savings for insurers.The New York Times, Read More.
For more than a year, public health officials have repeatedly told us that masks save lives. They’ve warned us to keep our distance from our neighbors, who’ve morphed into disease vectors before our eyes. Now they are telling us that if we’re vaccinated, we no longer need to wear masks or physically distance ourselves in most cases — even indoors. To many people, myself included, this seems hard to reconcile with so many long months of masking and physical distancing and sacrificing our social lives for fear of covid-19. What is an anxious, pandemic-weary (and wary) soul to do?KHN, Read More.
With Covid-19 vaccines authorized for adults and teens, shotmakers and regulators are turning their attention to ensuring that the vaccines are safe and effective for younger children.The FDA’s independent vaccine advisory committee grappled Thursday with how to ensure the safety of Covid shots in children as disease caseloads continue to dwindle in the U.S.Politico, Read More.
Healthcare costs are projected to increase 6.5% in 2022 as sicker patients seek care after putting it off during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report. Annual cost growth hovered between 5.5% and 6% from 2017 to 2020, following a steady decline from 2007’s 11.9% mark, according to PricewaterhouseCooper’s Health Research Institute. Deferred or forgone care, growing mental health issues, preparations for the next pandemic and investments in digital tools are expected to increase costs in 2022, researchers said.Modern Healthcare, Read More.
After reaching a peak in February, Mississippi’s vaccination rate has declined so much that our rate is now last in the nation. Or to borrow the term sailors use on the Rez, our vaccination rate leaves us DDL (Dead Dang Last!). Only 34% of our fellow Mississippians have received at least one dose of the vaccine compared to 50% of the national population–a 16-point deficit, worst in the country. Vaccines in Mississippi now are easily available. Yet, Mississippi is the most vaccine hesitant State.The Northside Sun, Read More.