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AzHHA Member Advisory - COVID-19: August 31

Flu vaccine message needs your support

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is expected to hold a press conference today at 3 p.m. to discuss the importance of vaccinations during our COVID-19 response. The Governor’s office seeks the support of the healthcare community on the importance of the flu shot and how it can protect our communities. As we await the statewide vaccination advertising campaign, AzHHA has created some ready-made social media graphics and messages with the images available for download on our https://www.azhha.org/communications_resources page.

Emergency use authorization for remdesivir broadens

The FDA Friday broadened the emergency use authorization (EUA) for Remdesivir. The expansion allows the drug to be used for all hospitalized patients (adult or child) with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. For more information, please view the Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers and an Updated Remdesivir Guidance slide deck describing this critical expansion.

CMS releases regulation making COVID-19 data reporting a Medicare condition of participation for hospitals

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an unexpected interim final rule last week that, among other provisions, makes collecting and reporting COVID-19 data a condition of participation (CoP) for hospitals that participate in Medicare. By making this data reporting a CoP, the penalty for a hospital’s noncompliance potentially may mean termination from the Medicare program if appropriate corrective action is not taken.

The rule also implements new laboratory reporting requirements in accordance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Failure to comply with these requirements could result in civil monetary penalties of $1,000 a day for the first day and $500 a day for each subsequent day.

AzHHA knows our members are putting forward a good faith effort to report data needed to battle COVID-19 under very trying circumstances, and despite ever-changing requests from the government. We will continue to brief members on our work with state and federal leaders on this issue.

HHS releases a COVID-19 Workforce Virtual Toolkit

The toolkit includes updated resources for hospitals including a curated set of resources and tools for decision-makers managing health care workforce challenges in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Hospitals are encouraged to review the toolkit. 

COVID-19 study for employers/employees 

COVID-19 has significantly impacted every individual across the state. By joining the AZ Heroes research project at the University of Arizona sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can monitor your health every week and have timely information on how best to protect yourself and your loved ones.

As a participant, you will be enrolled in the study for one year, during which you will test yourself every week for the virus that causes COVID-19. This weekly test, at no cost, will provide peace of mind to know if you have contracted COVID-19 and help mitigate the spread to loved ones or coworkers. No lines. No cost. Quick and accurate results.

It will also allow employers to know who and how many employees have been exposed to the virus (or if nobody has been exposed) to help make better decisions about precaution measures, staggering work schedules, and work assignments.

AZ HEROES Participants will:

  • Participate in weekly short surveys and at-home COVID-19 tests for up to nine months
  • Answer questions and complete at-home COVID-19 tests if they become ill during the study
  • Complete surveys about their COVID-19 history, risks, and occupational exposure 3 times
  • Go to Sonora Quest for a blood draw 3-4 times to test for antibodies

For more information, email AZHeroes@arizona.edu or visit azheroes.arizona.edu.