The big news this week is that two days before the public health emergency was set to end on July 25, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar endorsed the renewal for an additional 90 days (see HHS Extends COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration). The emergency period will now end on October 23 without another extension.
Because our “state-based” (and in some states, county-based) approach to reopening, it’s tough to get a bead on exactly where we’re at. There are signs of opening up—Salem’s Long-Term Care Facilities Cautiously Reopen For Visits, Minnesota Reopens Adult Day Centers For People With Disabilities, and New York State Department Of Health Announces Resumption Of Limited Visitation To Nursing Homes. And, there are steps backward—COVID-19 Restrictions To Be Tightened In Upper Michigan, Texas Bans Elective Surgeries In More Than 100 Counties As Coronavirus Hospitalizations Keep Climbing, and Indy Closes Bars, Pushes Back Start Of In-School Classes, Adds More Restrictions To Curb Virus. For a deeper dive into each state, check out this map from The New York Times, See How All 50 States Are Reopening (And Closing Again). But that is just the backdrop to the bigger story. There are many competitive changes in the health and human services sector just this week:
- Humana Invests $100 Million Into Heal’s Telehealth Platform, Announces National Partnership
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Massachusetts Offers Dental Members Access To Teledentistry During COVID-19 Pandemic
- Baxter & Ayogo Announce Partnership For Home Dialysis Digital Health Solutions
- HLM Venture Partners & .406 Ventures Provide $8 Million In Growth Capital To Integrated Medical Case Solutions
- CVS Caremark Adds Five Companies To Digital Health Platform
This combination of a chaotic market landscape and high competitor activity points out the need for adjusting your planning model. How to make your planning “pandemic proof” was the focus of this month’s OPEN MINDS Management Newsletter. If you missed it, check our “how to” toolkit:
- Strategic Plan As Recovery Plan
- Shaping A Recovery Strategy—The OPEN MINDS Strategic Planning Model
- From The Field: 7 Common Strategic Planning Mistakes To Avoid
- Strategic Plan? Try Strategic Action Says Emergence Health Network
- Your Strategic Advantage: From Vision To Action
- How To Do Scenario Planning & Modify Business Units To Support Strategy
For a good read on the topic, check out the advice given by Eric McNulty and Leonard Marcus of the Harvard Business Review in Are You Leading Through the Crisis … Or Managing The Response?. Of course, managing the response to the crisis (and the day-to-day uncertainties) is a critical component of strategy—and recovery. While the organizational path to sustainability isn’t simple, the most successful leaders (and organizations) will be those that can manage the complexity of the current landscape while not losing sight of the future. As the authors noted, “The coronavirus crisis, like every crisis, is unfolding over an arc of time with a beginning, middle, and end. It is useful to think what distinguishes what was, is, and will be. There was a past of relative stability and predictability. There now is chaos and disruption. There will be … a different state.”
To help you manage your crisis response—and lead through to the recovery, don’t miss these recent OPEN MINDS resources:
Reopening & Related Guidance
People who have been confirmed with mild to moderate COVID-19 can leave their isolation without receiving a negative test, according to recently revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Increasing evidence shows that most people are no longer infectious 10 days after they begin having symptoms of COVID-19.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration for an additional 90 days. Secretary Alex Azar endorsed the renewal on July 23, 2020, ahead of its expiration on July 25.
New York state is permitting local schools to provide in-person special education services during the summer term, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The ability to provide in-person services is due to an executive order signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 5, 2020.
The document was released on July 17, 2020, by the New York State Education Department. The guidance addresses factors schools should consider in setting their reopening plans during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.
The order was signed on June 5, 2020. It permits New York State schools to provide in-person special education services and instruction during the summer term despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Updates On Grants & Relief Funding
On July 6, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service clarified that for-profit health care provider organizations must pay taxes on payments from the Provider Relief Fund created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Non-profit health care provider organizations that receive Provider Relief Fund payments are generally exempt from paying taxes on the payment, according to the IRS.
Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Sheila Hogan announced there will be $33 million in new grant funding created in response to the economic challenges faced by the hundreds of Montana behavioral health provider organizations impacted by COVID-19.
Testing, Vaccines & Related Efforts
U.S. pharmacists can play a vital role in the administration of COVID-19 tests. However, this article summary from PsychU highlights how pharmacists can play an even greater role in addressing the national pandemic crisis.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has established a new clinical trials network that aims to enroll thousands of volunteers in large-scale clinical trials. They will be testing a variety of investigational vaccines and monoclonal antibodies intended to protect people from COVID-19.
Universal testing for COVID-19 in long-term care facilities identified a high number of asymptomatic cases. Among the 896 residents who were universally tested, about 39.6% were positive for SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid.
Resources For Executive Leadership & Recovery
This presentation was delivered The 2020 National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors I/DD Summit and outlines the strategic drivers of intellectual and developmental disability systems post-crisis, as well as the key elements needed to remain relevant in the changing market.
“If we think what we are doing today will serve us tomorrow, then we will not be here tomorrow.” This comment, made at The 2020 Strategy & Innovation Institute keynote address Innovation By Design: Capturing Value In Health Care by Carl Clark, M.D., chief executive officer of the Mental Health Center of Denver, are words of wisdom for every executive team member of a specialty provider organization. Innovation is no longer a luxury, it is a strategic survival skill.
In this strategic web briefing, OPEN MINDS Executive Vice President Rob Hickernell discussed how provider organizations can leverage social media best practices in the wake of COVID-19. He discussed how to design an “online social blueprint” by leveraging social media best practices; use the top social media platforms to drive traffic, brand awareness, and consumer engagement; and manage organizational reputation and avoid social media pitfalls that can damage the brand.
Since the start of the pandemic, 53 million Americans have filed for unemployment, close to 16% of the adult population. For many of these people, the loss of their job also means a loss of health insurance.
Clinical Updates In The Field
The increased number of consumers served through virtual means as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can cause a significant burden on provider organizations. This resource from Integrated Care Online provides practical guidelines and a best practice approach to streamline virtual care.
The pandemic crisis has shed light on the challenges of operating a brick-and-mortar provider organization. This Integrated Care Online resource highlights how telehealth plays a vital role in an increasingly virtual market.
An estimated 550 additional veterans in the United States are projected to die by suicide annually for every five percentage point rise in unemployment, compared to veteran suicide levels prior to the onset of COVID-19. Due to the extended duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment rates in the general population have increased by nearly 10 percentage points since January 2020, rising from about 3% to more than 13%.
On July 10, 2020, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced that an estimated 8,000 inmates could be eligible for release by end of August 2020 due to the COVID-19. This reduction in the incarcerated population comes after the release of about 10,000 persons since February, when COVID-19 was officially recognized in the U.S.
Tracking The Disrupted Landscape
Based on an assessment of COVID-19-related job loss, it is estimated that approximately 10.1 million non-elderly adults in the United States will lose employer-sponsored health insurance as a result of job loss in their household by the end of December 2020. This equals approximately 21% of the estimated 48 million non-elderly people in the United States will be part of a household in which someone loses a job due to COVID-19, overall.
For our Elite-level members, let us help you prepare for the recovery. Review your recovery plan with one of our senior advisors through our QuickConsult program—or schedule a virtual briefing for your team on the market effects of the pandemic. To schedule, just call 855-559-6827 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don’t miss our technical assistance sessions that are part of The OPEN MINDS Executive Blueprint For Crisis Recovery:
- Getting Paid More For What You Do – Tactics To Increase Fees & Rates From Payers & Moving To New Reimbursement Models: August 6 at 1:00 pm EDT led by OPEN MINDS Senior Associate Paul Duck
- Planning For Revenue Expansion By Expanding Your Service Area – From Market Analysis To Launch: August 13 at 1:00 pm EDT led by OPEN MINDS Senior Associate Paul Duck