It has been eight or nine weeks since most of the country went into ‘virtual only’ operations as a result of the pandemic. There have been several big effects of “virtual America.” Most importantly, 25% of working adults have lost their jobs, with more to come. About 35% of the workforce has positions where they are able to work remotely (see Covid-19 Pandemic Shines A Light On A New Kind Of Class Divide And Its Inequalities) while 30% of the workforce is in ‘essential’ positions that require ongoing contact with the public. And the bankruptcy rates are on the rise.
In health and human services, most states have shutdown all services except emergency services, congregate residential services, and those services that can be delivered virtually. The result has been a sharp decline in revenue, profitability, cash flow problems—and layoffs (see 240,000 Physician Practice Staff Laid Off In April 2020 Due To Pandemic; 1% Of Total Layoffs). About half of the states are just starting to allow additional health care services to be delivered.
You would think there would be a big rush to ‘open up’ and get operations back to normal. But, most of the executives I’ve connected with over the past two weeks are conflicted about exactly how to do that—in a way that is both safe for employees and limits liability for the inevitable employee noncompliance with the new rules. As a chief executive officer, I think CDC guidelines are off the mark (see CDC COVID-19 Employer Information For Office Buildings and OSHA Guidance On Preparing Workplaces For COVID-19). They don’t mention routine testing, contact tracing, or quarantine management for employees. Instead, because they don’t include routine testing, the guidelines are a laundry list of odd ways to change the physical layout of any office space—get rid of your coffee pot, put plastic up between workstations, don’t meet in the office and sit together, maintain 6′ distance in elevators, don’t use public transportation, etc.
I think we will see more focus on testing as the backbone of a safety program in the months ahead. And in the weeks ahead, we’ll be providing an update on where and how testing is being used, on testing availability, and on testing management. To assist with your planning, we’ve put together an executive digest of the most recent developments and resources for managing during the crisis and planning for post-crisis recovery.
The Latest In Testing, Tracking & Related Efforts
Abbott announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorization for the company’s SARS-CoV-2 IgG lab-based serology blood test on the Alinity™ i system.
Mayo Clinic is collaborating with Entercom Communications to launch a radio campaign that raises awareness in Detroit, Michigan; New York City, New York; Miami, Florida; and Chicago, Illinois of the federally-sponsored national Expanded Access Program for Convalescent Plasma.
The National Council for Behavioral Health began distributing 2.3 million surgical face masks to mental health and addiction treatment organizations unable to acquire personal protective equipment to protect staff.
On April 8, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services announced new guidelines, authorizing pharmacists to administer COVID-19 tests.
All New York long-term care facilities must communicate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test results and deaths to residents’ families, according to an executive order issued by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
Resources For Executive Leadership
I heard a quote over the weekend, which I believe is relevant for the COVID-19 challenge: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” – Winston Churchill
In this OPEN MINDS Executive Blueprint For Crisis Management web briefing, OPEN MINDS Senior Associate Ray Wolfe how to secure additional sources of cash (and ensure that preparation and financial pitch are up to par); improve the complex revenue cycle process; understand and reduce unit costs; improve cost management by monitoring key performance indicators; and rebalance portfolios and determine when to close programs or start new ones.
So, what organizations survive a crisis? It isn’t necessarily the organizations with the highest quality of services. Or the best positioned or branded organizations. Or the organizations with the most political clout. Or the most profitable organizations.
The Impact On Mental Health & Solutions
Terence Ketter, M.D., Bipolar Disorder Section Advisor of PsychU and Professor Emeritus, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, at Stanford University discusses the effects of COVID-19 on individuals with bipolar disorder and the clinical professionals treating them.
Healthstat, Inc. announced the nationwide availability of its new virtual mental health solution, Ment4Me, as part of its VirtualCare Platform. Ment4Me is a comprehensive virtual solution that enables employers to improve access to high quality mental health services for employees seeking support for treatable mental health conditions.
In this webinar, Jon Grant, J.D., M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago Medicine; and Rachel Self, Ph.D., MS, is a senior medical science liaison for Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc., discuss the impact of COVID-19 on impulse control disorders, along with tips on how to mitigate stress and anxiety in the midst of the pandemic.
This article takes a deeper dive into a study that examined the psychological impact of COVID-19 on health care workers in epicenter of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan, China.
Expanding Access To Telehealth
Doctor On Demand, a virtual heath care provider organization, announced that medical services are now available to 33 million Medicare Part B beneficiaries.
LetsGetChecked, a leading direct-to-consumer at-home health testing and insights company, announced the closing of $71 million in its Series C round of financing.
Twilio, a cloud communications platform, announced that Twilio Programmable Video will power Zocdoc’s new free, HIPAA-compliant telehealth video solution.
Carbon Health announced a $28 million funding round from existing investor Data Collective in an extended series B. The funding has helped Carbon Health expand through the COVID-19 outbreak, growing its workforce from 100 to 300 and focusing its efforts on testing and virtual care.
Resources For Public Health
Between March 1, 2020 and May 2, 2020, nearly 27 million Americans may have lost employer-sponsored health insurance due to the coronavirus disease of 2019, and that based on income 41.6% are likely eligible for Medicaid.
About 55% of adults in the United States age 70 and older have experienced a disruption in their medical care during the first month of social distancing due to coronavirus disease 2019, according to a nationwide survey.
Hypertension, obesity, and diabetes were the most common comorbid health conditions associated with severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 among 191 adults ages 18 to 87 hospitalized in Wuhan, China.
During March 2020, among 305 people in Atlanta, Georgia who were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019, about 83% were African American, a higher than expected share based on overall hospital admissions.
Maintaining Support For Vulnerable Populations
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the launch of the COVID Coach app, a new mobile app designed to help both Veterans and civilians cope with feelings of stress and anxiety they may be experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Centene Corporation, which offers Medicare Advantage plans nationally through the WellCare and Allwell brands and locally through the Health Net brand, announced new efforts to help support its nearly 1 million Medicare Advantage members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 12, 2020, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services published a report identifying the percent of North Carolinians who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
In April 2020, the Virginia Department of Corrections published the COVID-19 Response Inmate Early Release Plan in response to the Governor’s state of emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation announced new Ohio grants totaling $260,000 to Ohio-based Boys & Girls Clubs, Feeding America organizations, and the Children’s Hunger Alliance to address food insecurity in the wake of COVID-19.
The United Health Foundation has donated $500,000 to the Colorado Community Health Network to address the behavioral health needs of Colorado residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Centene Corporation announced that it has convened a group of medical, non-profit, and community leaders to form the Centene Health Disparities Task Force. The task force will further enhance Centene’s leadership and commitment to ensuring underserved populations have access to quality health care.
For even more on ensuring your strategy is sustainable in the post-crisis normal, join us at The Virtual 2020 OPEN MINDS Strategy & Innovation Institute for the session, Creating A Sustainable Growth Strategy In A Rapidly Changing Market, led by OPEN MINDS Senior Associate Ray Wolfe on June 1. And I’ll be hosting an open forum for discussion on strategy development and management in a crisis on June 2, Open Forum On Strategy & The New Leadership Mindset For Growth.