NPHI Hosts Discussion on Current State of COVID-19 (1.20.22)

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NPHI Hosts Discussion on Current State of COVID-19 (1.20.22)

Today, the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI) hosted Cameron Muir, MR, NPHI Chief Innovation Officer, Sharon Masling, Director of Workplace Culture Consulting at Morgan Lewis, and Mike Milward, NPHI Strategic Adviser to lead a discussion focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and specifically the current state of the PHE. Overall, this session provided members with the opportunity to hear multiple perspectives of the virus, including medical, legal, and the “people’s perspective.”

“While gravely unfortunate that we are still navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m pleased that we are able to convene our membership during this critical time,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, CEO of NPHI. “Hearing both the medical as well as legal perspective is important to ensure NPHI members are in the best position to lead their respective organizations during this uncertain time. Thank you, Cameron, Sharon, and Mike for sharing your expertise!”

The conversation, entitled “NPHI Member Engagement Call: Current State of COVID-19” 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 education NPHI members on the latest information related to the Omicron variant, in addition to providing time for members to ask questions. Dr. Cameron Muir shared that while the degree of contagiousness has increased, the latest variant is less severe, showing movement from ‘pandemic’ to ‘epidemic’. He also shared that the Omicron variant tends to affect the upper respiratory track more than the lower respiratory track, leading to less cases of respiratory failure. Dr. Cameron Muir

Sharon Masling shared information about the everchanging rules and regulations regarding COVID-19. Specifically, she touched on the two the Supreme Court decisions that came out last week and the impact on hospices across the country. Notably, the Supreme Court ruled that CMS had the authority to ensure the health and safety of Medicare and Medicaid patients, therefore granting CMS the ability to issue a vaccine mandate. On the same day, the court also ruled that Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) likely did not have the authority to issue an emergency temporary standard that had a vaccine mandate or testing requirement. Sharon explained exemptions to the CMS rule and highlighted the compliance dates to NPHI members.

Mike Milward spoke about his work on the Social Services Forum with Lisa Balster at Ohio’s Hospice. They spoke about staffing challenges, however, pointed to the fact that member engagement calls as well as forums like the Social Services Forum show members they are not alone in these struggles. Please click here to learn more about this series or how to become a NPHI member.

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.