Healthcare — COVID testing, treatment can quickly become costly

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In health news, the federal government will soon stop paying for COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines, a move that will come as a huge shock to those who are unaware of it.

Welcome to Overnight Health CareFollow the latest developments in policy and news that affect your health. The Hill is Nathaniel Weisel and Joseph Choi. Would someone forward this newsletter to you?

Why you should pay for your COVID test now

The federal government is poised to stop paying for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments in the coming months, shifting costs from taxpayers to individual patients.

Most Americans don’t realize this is going to happen, and it will be a big case of sticker shock, according to experts. It warns that the shift to preventive services will lead to health barriers.

  • Instead of free access to tests and treatments like Paxlovid, insurance companies and manufacturers set the price.
  • The days of free and easily accessible COVID-19 tests are about to end. Private insurance may no longer cover over-the-counter testing, and patients may first need a prescription for PCR testing.

Costs may be reflected in insurance premiums, but the vaccine will continue to be free for those with private insurance. Even with insurance, it can be expensive for patients to go to out-of-network providers.

But the biggest impact will be on uninsured or underinsured Americans, many of whom have jobs that put them at high risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Reflects the wider system: “How we do it in the US [right now] Cynthia Cox, insurance expert and vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said:

“But once the public health emergency is over, it will start to look like U.S. healthcare: complicated and expensive.”

Please check this out for details.

Surge in RSV hits children’s hospitals across the US

Children’s hospitals across the country are dealing with a surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases, stressing health services and millions of parents with sick children.

RSV is a common and generally mild disease, but the coronavirus pandemic has exposed millions of children later in life. While walled-in babies didn’t get RSV during the pandemic, children born just before or during the pandemic are now getting RSV in large numbers.

What the provider sees:

  • “We see older patients being hospitalized because they have never had RSV,” said Jason Newland, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Washington in St. Louis. says.
  • “Cases continue to rise and have not yet peaked,” said Caroline Njau, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, Children’s, Minnesota. “And RSV itself accounts for about two-thirds of the respiratory viral illnesses we see.”

Systematic issues: Healthcare providers who spoke with The Hill agreed that this recent surge in RSV has highlighted problems within the US pediatric healthcare system, both old and new.

Newland said children’s hospitals are understaffed and could lead to delays in some services, such as non-urgent surgeries, similar to what happened during the most difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is

  • Another issue cited by providers is the lack of children’s hospital capacity. Stephen Dorter, director of medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Nebraska, said the main concern during the virus surge was lack of space.
  • “Whether we convert playrooms in hospital spaces into treatment rooms or emergency departments into inpatient wards, we do everything we can to get them to the hospital,” Dlter said. rice field.

Please check this out for details.

Pfizer: New booster protects older people better than original product

According to the companies, antibody levels in clinical trial participants aged 55 and older who received a bivalent booster targeting Omicron BA.4/BA.5 were almost four times higher than those who received the first booster. did.

Results are based on blood samples taken one month later from adults who received a single dose of either the updated booster shot or the first version of the vaccine.

Flashback: Shots were approved without human data.

The number of participants in the study was small. Only 36 of them received new boosters and 40 of them received old boosters.

Federal health officials are relying on updated vaccines as a key part of the administration’s COVID-19 response. As the weather gets colder, officials are trying to convince people to get the latest vaccines to stem a new wave of serious infections and deaths.

But two months after the administration first approved the shots, penetration was low. Officials blame pandemic fatigue and a lack of resources to fully promote the shots.

Please check this out for details.

Manchin seeks deals on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

Centrist Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., said on Thursday that the government is seeking to protect the solvency of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, popular programs that face serious funding challenges for decades to come. He called for a broad bipartisan deal.

“You’re trying to put your financial home in order. You can’t live with this crippling debt,” said Manchin, who was late to a crucial vote and helped pass a large chunk of President Biden’s agenda. told Fortune’s Alan Murray at a CEO conference.

“If you don’t look at the trust funds that are going bankrupt: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Highways, you have a tremendous problem right now.” Compromise in Washington after the Nov. 8 midterm elections.

If Manchin continues to push for a bipartisan deal to strengthen the finances of Social Security and Medicare, he could turn Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) into a bargaining partner. deaf.

Please check this out for details.

Lawmakers push to end maternal health crisis

The Black Maternal Health Caucus has led legislative negotiations. The caucus was founded in 2019 to combat the dramatic racial divide that exists among pregnant blacks. Despite proposing a 12-package law to protect pregnant women, most of the caucus’ laws have not passed.

Black Maternal and Child Health Act of 2021 It called for recognizing and combating the social determinants of health, funding community-based organizations, diversifying the perinatal workforce, and other important provisions. But so far, only part of the package has President Biden signed into law: the Protecting Mothers Who Served Act.

That particular act commissioned the first-ever comprehensive study of America’s maternal health crisis among female veterans, while supporting maternal care programs at VA facilities.

  • Still, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Illinois), the primary sponsor of the “Momnibus” bill and founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, said she was pleased with the progress so far.
  • “There’s incredible momentum,” Underwood told The Hill. “His remaining 80% of Momnibus is in Build Back Better and we have been working with our colleagues in the Senate to find the means by which Momnibus is enacted. I am optimistic.”

The Maternal Vaccination Act, which funds programs to increase maternal vaccination rates, was recently passed with bipartisan support in the House of Representatives.

But with the midterm elections just days away, legislative talks have been put on hold, but the caucuses, along with the bill-leading Senator, Senator Cory Booker, DN.J. package to another means. hoping to pass.

Please check this out for details.

what we are reading

  • ‘Blank check’: Bill to boost antibiotic development slammed as ‘flawed’ giveaway to drug companies (Stat)
  • Europe-approved treatment to prevent respiratory syncytial virus in infants could soon arrive in US (CNN)
  • Talking about mothers and babies is a touchy subject for Republican candidates (Kaiser Health News)

by state

  • Rio Grande Valley Abortion Clinic (Texas Tribune) acquired by Pregnancy Center Against Abortion
  • Florida could surpass Affordable Care Act enrollment records in 2023 (Tampa Bay Times)
  • Colorado, Idaho Opt Out of National Survey Tracking Mental Health in Teens (KUNC)

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That’s all for today, thanks for reading. For the latest news and coverage, visit The Hill’s Health Care page. see you next week.

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