From addiction treatment to nursing homes, the end of the COVID emergency will change the entire US healthcare system


of the Biden administration Termination decision Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency in May, make a drastic change throughout the health care system far beyond what many have to do pay more For COVID testing.

In response to the pandemic, the federal government has suspended many rules on how care is provided in 2020. It has fundamentally changed every corner of American healthcare, from hospitals and nursing homes to public health and treatment of people recovering from addictions.

Now, as the government prepares to reverse some of these measures, we can get a glimpse of how patients will be affected.

Nursing home staff training rules become stricter

The end of the emergency means nursing homes will need to meet higher standards for training workers.

Advocates for nursing home residents are eager for the previous tougher training requirements to be reinstated, but the industry says the move could exacerbate staffing shortages plaguing facilities across the country. It has said.

Early in the pandemic, the federal government relaxed training requirements to help nursing homes function under the onslaught of the virus. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has enacted national policy that nursing homes are not required to comply with state-approved regulations requiring nursing aides to have at least 75 hours of training. Typically, nursing homes could not employ caregivers for more than four months without meeting these requirements.

Last year, CMS decided that relaxed training rules would no longer apply nationwide, but states and facilities can seek permits to retain lower standards. According to CMS, as of March, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Arizona, California, Delaware and Florida. 356 private homes in , Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington DC

Nursing aides often provide the most direct and labor-intensive care to residents, such as bathing and other hygiene-related tasks, eating, monitoring vital signs, and keeping rooms clean.Research shows that care homes Unstable staffing reduce quality of care.

Advocates for nursing home residents are happy that the exception to training is ending, but fear it may still reduce the quality of care. CMS notified After the more lenient standards expire, some of the hours recorded by nursing assistants during the pandemic may count towards the 75 hours of required training. But supporters argue that on-the-job experience doesn’t always replace training that workers miss.

Toby Edelman, senior policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, said, “Aides should know what they’re doing for themselves and their residents before providing care.” It is important to have proper training to be able to

The American Health Care Association, the largest nursing home lobby group, December survey Approximately four-fifths of facilities were found to be dealing with moderate to high levels of staff shortages.

Threatening treatment to people recovering from addiction

A rollback of broader access to buprenorphineis an important drug for people recovering from opioid addiction, surprising patients and doctors.

During the public health emergency, the Drug Enforcement Administration said providers can prescribe certain controlled substances online or over the phone without first undergoing an in-person medical evaluation. One of these drugs, buprenorphine, is an opioid that can prevent debilitating withdrawal symptoms in people recovering from other opioid addictions.Research has shown that using more than half Risk of overdose.

in a national fad opioid addictionsaid that if the buprenorphine expansion policy ended, “thousands of people would die.” Ryan Hamptona recovering activist.

DEA in late February Proposed regulation It would partially roll back prescriptions of controlled substances via telemedicine. Clinicians can use telemedicine to order her first 30 days of medications such as Buprenorphine, Ambien, Valium and Xanax, but patients must be evaluated in person to receive replacements.

For another group of drugs, including: Adderall, Ritalin, Oxycodone, the DEA proposal would introduce tighter controls. Patients seeking these drugs should see their doctor in person for an initial prescription.

David Hertzberg, a drug historian at the University of Buffalo, said the DEA’s approach reflects a fundamental challenge in formulating drug policy.

The DEA is “clearly taking this issue seriously,” he added.

The hospital is back to normal, somewhat

During the pandemic, CMS has tried to limit the problems that can arise when there are not enough medical workers to treat patients. Especially because before the COVID vaccine, workers were at high risk of getting sick.

For example, CMS has made nurse practitioners and physician assistants more widely available to hospitals in caring for Medicare patients. Also, new physicians who were not yet qualified to work at a particular hospital (for example, the governing body did not have time to conduct a review) could practice there.

Other changes during the public health emergency were aimed at increasing hospital capacity. Critical Access Hospital, a small rural hospital, was limited to 25 inpatient beds and did not have to comply with federal Medicare regulations that patient stays should not exceed an average of 96 hours.

Once the emergency is over, these exceptions will go away.

hospital trying to persuade Federal officials must either maintain multiple COVID-era policies beyond the emergency or work with Congress to change the law.

Monitoring infectious disease debris

The way state and local public health departments monitor the spread of the disease will change after the emergency ends. This is because the Department of Health and Human Services cannot require labs to report her COVID test data.

Without uniform federal requirements, states and counties will track the spread of the coronavirus differently. Additionally, hospitals will continue to provide COVID data to the federal government, though it may be less frequent.

Janet Hamilton, executive director of the State and Territorial Council of Epidemiologists, said the public health department remains aware of the extent of the changes.

In some ways, the end of the emergency offers public health officials an opportunity to rethink COVID surveillance. Compared to the early days of the pandemic, when at-home testing was not available and people relied heavily on laboratories to determine if they were infected, test data from laboratories is showing how the virus Not much is known about how widespread it is.

Public health officials no longer believe that “getting all test results from all lab tests may be the right strategy”. Surveillance for influenza offers a potential alternative model. increase. In the case of influenza, public health departments require test results from laboratory sampling.

“We’re still trying to find the best and most consistent strategy. I don’t think we’ve done that yet,” Hamilton said.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism on health issues. KHN is one of his three major operational programs in the United States, along with policy analysis and polling KFFMore (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is a donated non-profit organization that provides information on health issues to the public.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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