NPHI Hosts Discussion Focused on the COVID-19 Omicron Variant (12.9.21)

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NPHI Hosts Discussion Focused on the COVID-19 Omicron Variant (12.9.21)

Today, the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI) hosted Dr. William Petri, MD, PhD, of the University of Virginia Medical Center, to lead a discussion focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and specifically navigating the newest Omicron variant. The membership also heard from NPHI Chief Innovation Officer, Cameron Muir, MD. Overall, this session provided members with an opportunity to ask questions on top-of-mind COVID-19 issues including vaccine hesitancy, the influenza vaccine as it relates to COVID-19, and COVID-19 fatigue.

“I’m proud to be able to facilitate such important, timely conversations with our membership, especially as we navigate the Omicron variant,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, CEO of NPHI. “We are thankful to have heard from Dr. Petri on what we know at this stage in the pandemic, and what we should watch for as we prepare for the coming months.”

The conversation, entitled “NPHI Member Engagement Call: COVID-19 Update” was part of a biweekly series of NPHI-hosted discussions to address today’s pressing hospice topics through engagement with health policy experts, thought leaders, and other industry innovators.

The discussion was meant to present and educate NPHI members on the latest information related to the Omicron variant and offer a space for discussion on the pandemic as we move into the winter months. Notably, Dr. Petri shared data on the unique mutations that have evolved from Omicron, which differ from the other variants of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, he highlighted that at this time, the Omicron variant appears to be less deadly than other variants, however, it will take time to understand fully. In closing, Dr. Petri urged our membership to get their booster if they have not already, continue social distancing and wearing a mask, and added that a variant-specific vaccine for Omicron is expected to be available by March 2022.

The National Partnership for Healthcare & Hospice Innovation (NPHI) is a collaborative of 75+ not-for-profit, community-integrated hospice and palliative care providers dedicated to ensuring patients and their families have access to care that reflects their individual goals, values and preferences. Representing providers from 31 states and the District of Columbia, NPHI and its members help design more innovative and effective models of care, advocate for comprehensive and community-integrated care customized to meet each person’s unique needs, and build collaboration between national thought leaders, decision-makers, and other healthcare stakeholders to improve hospice care.