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So far Paul Natinsky has created 187 blog entries.

COVID-19: Behind The Numbers

By SUSAN ADELMAN, MD
Anyone who follows the supposed official numbers of people dying of coronavirus will find inexplicable discrepancies in the numbers from country to country. For example, the data for June 6 on the Worldometers website record 111,636 deaths in the United States and 4,634 in China, the country in which the virus originated. China? A country of 1.4 billion people? Really? India, a country with 1.3 billion people, reports only 6,933 deaths, as contrasted with Belgium, a country of 11.5 million people, which had 9,580 deaths. Seriously?

What about Germany, population 83.7 million, with 8,766 deaths, as contrasted with Spain, population 46.7 million, with 27,135 deaths, or Italy, population [Read More]

COVID-19: Behind The Numbers2020-07-22T22:59:18+00:00

New Frontiers Await During Coronavirus Crisis

Those days are gone forever. I should just let them go…
—Don Henley

By PAUL NATINSKY
Irrevocable changes are here and more are to come. COVID-19 will change small things as well as large.

We might finally be seeing the end of currency. Bills and coins are some of the dirtiest things we encounter in the course of our daily lives. Gone for good, likely, is the handshake, possibly the casual greeting kiss or hug. I vote for the bow to replace these conventions—elegant and regal, safe and sanitary.

Big things will change, too. Social distancing and reduced capacities for indoor businesses, restaurants, bars, concert halls and movie theaters are likely to stick in some [Read More]

New Frontiers Await During Coronavirus Crisis2020-07-22T22:55:57+00:00

A Trained Response: Health And Safety Protocols Demand Full, Informed Implementation

By EWA MATUSZEWSKI
This column was not supposed to be about COVID-19—yet it must be. Not only because the virus continues to thrive in various parts of the country as I write this on the cusp of the 4th of July holiday weekend, but because in many ways the hard part has just begun.

I do not mean to minimize the extreme sickness and loss of life during the pandemic’s peak. That was a tremendously frightening and heartrending time not only in our nation but globally, and healthcare professionals at all levels used heroic measures to tame a fearsome, unknown enemy that was – and is – the virus. Their work continues, [Read More]

A Trained Response: Health And Safety Protocols Demand Full, Informed Implementation2020-07-22T22:53:05+00:00

Maintaining Coverage For Services During The Pandemic

By ROLF LOWE
The COVID 19 pandemic has had a significant impact on health care providers of all sizes and practice areas. While non-essential services came to a halt during the early part of the pandemic creating a sudden income loss, the loss of insurance coverage for existing and potential patients due to a job loss, reduction in income or reduction in hours worked could have a lingering effect on patient visits for routine care and serious health conditions. Fortunately, the Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid program allow individuals who have lost their health insurance to find low or no cost options for [Read More]

Maintaining Coverage For Services During The Pandemic2020-07-22T22:48:41+00:00

Special Immigration Considerations For Medical Professionals During The COVID-19 Pandemic

By ALEXANDRA CRANDALL
The COVID-19 National Emergency has now been effective in the United States for three months. During this time, guidance from federal agencies has been dynamic as the government adapts to the “new normal.”

But even as the global health crisis halts nonessential travel and disrupts visa issuance to many foreign nationals, federal agencies have published additional guidance and announced special consideration for medical professionals. To be sure, these carve-outs are critical, as 17 percent of medical professionals—and 28 percent of all physicians—in the United States were born outside of the United States.

Medical Professionals Present in the United States:

USCIS has implemented a temporary policy change for former J-1 medical [Read More]

Special Immigration Considerations For Medical Professionals During The COVID-19 Pandemic2020-07-22T22:44:45+00:00

LANSING LINES

Gov Mulls How To Enforce Mask-Wearing
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said July 9 she is reviewing the state’s current mask-wearing requirements to consider “whether or not we need to take this a step further to strengthen compliance.”

The governor led off her COVID-19 update press event with a picture from the Diamond Lake sandbar party from the over the weekend and said she wanted to make it “very clear” the law still requires people to wear masks in enclosed places of accommodation.

“Make the mask. Make the mask with a political statement saying ‘I hate masks’ if you want. But just wear it,” the governor said toward the end of the press conference.

Whitmer said [Read More]

LANSING LINES2020-07-22T22:39:53+00:00

Civil Immunity For COVID Care Stalls Amid Tough Questions

(This story courtesy of MIRS, a Lansing-based news and information service.)

House Judiciary Committee members had some hard questions May 19 about legislation that would give immunity to hospitals, nursing homes, and health care providers from civil suits related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the end, the bill designed to tie up a loose end caused by the Legislature not extending the governor’s original emergency declaration didn’t move out of committee.

“If this bill passes, if it actually gets signed in its current form, which is incredibly unlikely, then plaintiffs would be unable to bring a suit or a theory saying that there was a failure to exercise appropriate care under the [Read More]

Civil Immunity For COVID Care Stalls Amid Tough Questions2020-06-11T15:48:16+00:00

Hiring A Diverse Army To Track COVID-19 Amid Reopening

By CARMEN HEREDIA & ANNA ALMENDRALA
As a contact tracer, Teresa Ayala-Castillo is sometimes asked whether herbal teas and Vicks VapoRub can treat COVID-19. These therapies aren’t exactly official health guidance, but Ayala-Castillo isn’t fazed. She listens and then suggests other ideas — like getting rest and drinking plenty of fluids.

“I don’t want to call them old wives’ tales, but these remedies are things that I’m 100 percent familiar with because my mom used them on me,” said Ayala-Castillo, a bilingual first-generation Ecuadorian American who works for the city of Long Beach, California.

Health departments across the United States are working at a furious pace to staff their armies of contact tracers [Read More]

Hiring A Diverse Army To Track COVID-19 Amid Reopening2020-06-11T15:43:02+00:00

ON POINT WITH POs: Intersection Of Business, Physician Practices Cannot Be Ignored

By EWA MATUSZEWSKI
The emergence of a best practices playbook for physician practices following the pandemic is likely as close as any primary care physician practice has come to having a strategic plan. Of course, a playbook or return-to-work strategy is not a strategic plan. It is focused on health and safety for patients, practice teams, vendors and anyone who sets foot in a physician’s office. But if you haven’t considered adopting a broader strategic plan as an offshoot of a playbook, it’s advisable to do so now.

Learn from other industries. I was in the trenches with PCPs as they struggled with financial issues, staff layoffs, insufficient personal protection equipment and [Read More]

ON POINT WITH POs: Intersection Of Business, Physician Practices Cannot Be Ignored2020-06-11T15:38:30+00:00

COMPLIANCE CORNER: Governor’s Guidlelines & Reopening Medical Services

By KAITLIN NUCCI
On May 21, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order No. 2020-96 in response to the steady drop in confirmed daily cases of COVID-19. This new order has lifted the postponement of non-essential medical and dental procedures as of May 28 at 11:59 PM. Upon the resurgence of these medical and/or dental services, outpatient healthcare facilities will be subject to the workplace safety rules as provided in Executive Order 2020-97. These restrictions aim to continue the downward trend in daily confirmed cases, while acknowledging that COVID-19 remains a danger in the state of Michigan.

Executive Order 2020-97 enacts safeguards that facilities must use in providing non-essential services. These facilities [Read More]

COMPLIANCE CORNER: Governor’s Guidlelines & Reopening Medical Services2020-06-11T15:34:50+00:00